If you're a short-term rental host, then you know that it's essential to protect your property from damage. One of the most significant risks is smoking, which can cause severe damage to your home or apartment. In this blog post, we'll discuss how to prevent smoking in your short-term rental and alternatives to an Airbnb smoking fee.

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What are the Risks of Smoking in a Short-Term Rental?

Smoking is a major cause of house fires in the United States. According to the National Fire Protection Association, cigarettes are responsible for one in twenty residential fires.

Smoke from cigarettes can also damage walls, ceilings, and floors. It can discolor paint and wallpaper, and it will make your home smell terrible. This will quickly rack up your cleaning bill and discourage future guests from leaving a positive review. For these reasons, it's essential to take steps to prevent smoking in your short-term rental.

Can You Enforce an Airbnb Smoking Fee?

Technically, you cannot set an official "Airbnb smoking fee." However, you can inform your guests about the consequences of breaking a no-smoking policy. Consequences can include leaving the guest a negative review and losing the security deposit on their rental.

Include a No-Smoking Policy

Smoking of any kind is not allowed on many short-term rental properties listed on sites like Airbnb and VRBO. This policy applies to cigarettes, cigars, pipes, hookahs, e-cigarettes, and vaporizers. If there is evidence of smoking in a rental property, guests may be subject to an additional fee.

A no-smoking policy is designed to protect the property from damage caused by smoking, such as burned carpets or furniture. Some guests may be unhappy with a no-smoking policy, but it is vital to enforce the rule in order to avoid complaints and negative reviews. If you are considering adding a no-smoking policy to your rental property, be sure to clearly add it to your house rules.

How to Prevent Smoking in Your Rental Property

Enforcing a no-smoking policy can be difficult, but there are a few things you can do to make it easier:

Implement a no-smoking policy

The first line of defense in preventing smoking in your rental property is to have a strict no-smoking policy. Be sure to add the policy to your house rules, and make it equally clear that guests will be charged a cleaning fee if they smoke.

Inform guests of a cleaning fee

If a guest is found to have been smoking on site, inform them that they will be charged a cleaning fee. The amount of the payment should be enough to cover the cost of deep-cleaning the rental property. Make sure to get an invoice for this service as you will need it to be reimbursed

Create a designated smoking area

If you have an outdoor area, such as a patio or deck, consider adding a designated smoking area. This will help to prevent guests from smoking inside the rental property.

Charge a security deposit

Another way to discourage smoking is to charge a security deposit. This will give guests an incentive to follow the rules, and it will cover any damage that may be caused by smoking.

What to Do if You Find Evidence of Smoking

Gather evidence

If you find evidence of smoking in your rental property, take action immediately. Be sure to document the damage with photos, videos, and collecting cigarette buds. If you have security cameras, you can quickly gather evidence from these. If submitting a claim to a platform like Airbnb, hosts have 14 days to provide thorough evidence of the claim.

Leave a negative review

Also, consider leaving the guest a lousy review. This will warn other hosts about the guest, and it may deter them from smoking in future rentals.

Clean thoroughly

Let your cleaning crew know that you will need a higher level of cleanliness. They should pay special attention to any areas where smoking has taken place. This may require shampooing carpets and using air fresheners.

Let your next guests know

Inform your upcoming guests of the recent issue and that you've thoroughly cleaned your property. This will show your new guests that you care about their stay, make them more understanding of any lingering scents, and improve the likelihood of a positive guest review from them.

Use air purifiers

Air purifiers are a great way to remove smoke from the air in your rental property. They can also help to reduce the risk of fire and improve air quality for guests with allergies or asthma.

Final Thoughts

The best way to prevent smoking in your rental property is to have a strict no-smoking policy. Be sure to add the policy to your house rules and make it clear that guests will be charged a cleaning fee if they smoke.

If you find evidence of smoking, take action immediately by documenting the damage and leaving a negative review. Remind your next guests that you have a no-smoking policy in place to help ensure a positive guest experience. By following these tips, you're setting yourself up for success as a smoke-free short-term vacation rental!

Host Tools provides an automated, unified calendar for short-term rental hosts, allowing you to seamlessly list on all major channels. Start your free trial today! 

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