When guests book a vacation rental, they commit to only bringing other registered guests to the property. Unfortunately, not all guests respect this policy.

Unregistered guests at your vacation home can cause expedited wear and tear on your rental and leave you liable for injuries sustained on the property. While most guests are respectful of a host's policy, hosts can take steps to prevent unregistered guests from staying at their rental. This post provides tips for preventing extra guests and how to handle the situation if it does occur.

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! 

What is an Unregistered Guest?

When a guest books a property, they must provide the number of guests who will be staying at the home. This includes any visitors to the rental, even if they do not spend the entire night there.

Knowing the identity of guests entering the property is extremely important for the protection and liability of the host. Any guest who enters the property which was not counted in the initial guest count upon booking is considered an unregistered guest. 

How Can You Prevent Unregistered Guests?

Preventing unregistered guests from accessing your property requires a proactive approach on the part of the host. Here are some effective strategies that can be employed to deter this occurrence:

Clear communication in house rules

The first line of defense in protecting yourself from unregistered guests is to state your guest policy in your house rules clearly. Here, you can provide details on the maximum number of guests allowed on your property and state whether guests can bring any visitors on site. Upon booking, the guest must agree to follow your house rules with these policies. 

Charge a guest deposit 

Charging a refundable guest deposit is a reliable way to deter guests from sneaking extra people onto the property. Requiring a deposit shows that you are serious about your guest rental limit. A host will ensure that their guest's deposit will be returned pending no property damage or any extra guests. 

Invest in smart technology

Many smart tech tools have been developed to help you remotely keep an eye on your property. Check out these four must-have innovative tech items that can protect you from damages by unregistered guests: 

Noise monitors

In August 2020, Airbnb introduced a strict global party ban. Hosts found in violation of this ban may face suspension of their account. Installing noise monitors on your property will give you the ability to remotely keep track of the number of people on your property based on noise levels.

You are able to set a noise level that, when reached, automatically alerts you. This is a great tool for keeping track of any parties happening at your short-term rental.

Security cameras

Investing in high-quality security cameras will help protect you from lawsuits and liabilities. Additionally, they are a dependable source of evidence if you need to file a report about a guest breaking your maximum guest count. Remember if you have any camera on your property that must be stated in your listing. Additionally cameras can only be outside, there cannot be camera in any indoor space. 

Smart entry locks

Smart locks are a great tool for keeping track of how often your front door is being opened. Plus, you are able to automate your smart lock with Host Tools. Host Tools will create unique entry codes for each guest, make them live only during a guest's stay, and will let your guest know how to check-in. This provides you peace of mind when hosting a rotating door of travelers.

Video doorbell 

The Ring Video Doorbell allows hosts to verify guests' identities when checking in. You can receive notifications to your mobile device, view the visitor, and communicate with them via a two-way intercom. 

Whenever you utilize any type of recording device on your property, you must disclose this information to your guests.

What to Do if There are Unregistered Guests on Your Property?

Unfortunately, unregistered guests on your property will occasionally happen. Here are some steps you can take to protect yourself as a host and your short-term rental: 

Submit a change fee

If you learn of extra guests on your property, you can submit a change request directly through the rental platform. With this change, you can manage the adjusted nightly rate for each additional guest. 

However, this method does not always work. For example, if you are using Airbnb and your rental is already rented at capacity. If your property held six people and was booked by two, you can make a change request for an unregistered third person. However, if it was booked by six and you find a seventh person, this method will not work. 

File a resolution request with the platform

If you cannot request a change fee due to the booking maximum, or your guest refuses to fulfill your request, you can file a resolution request with the rental platform. For example, if you use Airbnb, submit the request via the Resolution Center, and the guest will have 72 hours to respond. If the guest still refuses to pay, you can revisit the resolution request and select 

"Involve Airbnb" to move your case forward. 

Report the guest to the platform

If the guest disobeys your house rules by inviting extra guests to the property, you can report the guest to the platform directly. Many platforms like Airbnb or VRBO will require proof of these issues, like footage from your surveillance system. 

Final Thoughts

The overwhelming majority of guests are respectful of house rules. However, it is best to be prepared for the few inevitable exceptions of guests who will bring unregistered guests to your short-term rental.

 You can prevent this issue by ensuring you have a clear maximum guest statement in your house rules, charging a guest deposit fee, and investing in smart tech gadgets to keep an eye on your home remotely. If you still find yourself with disrespectful guests, you can request a change fee on the reservation, file a resolution request with the platform directly, or report the guest to the company.

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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