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How to Manage Extra Unauthorized Guests on Airbnb | Strategies for Hosting Success

How to Manage Extra Unauthorized Guests on Airbnb | Strategies for Hosting Success

As an Airbnb host, one of the challenges you may encounter is managing unauthorized extra guests. Whether it's due to miscommunication, last-minute changes, or guests trying to bypass booking restrictions, it's essential to be prepared and handle such situations professionally. In this article, we will explore various scenarios where hosts may face unauthorized extra guests and provide practical strategies to manage each specific situation effectively.

Top Tips for Managing Extra Unauthorized Airbnb Guests

  1. Set clear expectations
  2. Communicate proactively
  3. Be prepared for contingencies
  4. Screen guests
  5. Monitor your property
  6. Act Promptly

What are the Risks of Unauthorized Extra Guests on Airbnb?

1. Violation of Airbnb’s Terms of Service

In 2020, announcing a global ban on parties at Airbnb listings, Airbnb officially capped the maximum number of people allowed at an Airbnb property at 16. (This won’t apply for bookings you receive through other platforms like Vrbo or direct booking.) If your guest is trying to make a booking for a party of 16 or more, Airbnb will automatically cancel.

2. Violation of Local and State Regulations

Many cities, counties, and/or states impose occupancy limits on Airbnb vacation rentals and if the total number of guests arriving at your property exceeds that number, you are at risk of being fined and losing your permit to operate a short term rental.

3. Property Damage

The more people on your property, the more wear and tear it will incur and the higher the risk that something will be damaged. If the damage goes undetected, this could lead to you receiving negative reviews from the next guests who stay at your property.

4. Insurance Concerns

By violating Airbnb’s terms of service, you could lose your ability to file an AirCover claim. In the case you have broken regulations on occupancy limits, you could also lose out on receiving payment from your short term rental insurance provider.

5. Noise and Disturbance

The more guests, the noisier it can get, especially if your property is not adequately soundproofed. This can disturb neighbors and lead to strained relationships with your Airbnb neighbors, complaints to the police and local authorities as well as fines.

To mitigate these risks, it is essential to set clear house rules, communicate with guests about the maximum occupancy, and maintain transparency with both Airbnb and your guests. Be sure to also regularly review your property's suitability for the number of guests it can comfortably accommodate.

How to Manage Extra Unauthorized Guests on Airbnb | Strategies for Hosting Success

How to Manage Extra Unauthorized Guests on Airbnb

1. Miscommunication and Unplanned Visitors

Miscommunication can lead to unexpected guests showing up at your Airbnb property. It could be that the guests failed to communicate the correct number of individuals in their reservation, or their plans changed at the last minute, resulting in additional people arriving. Here's what you can do:

  • Communicate Proactively

Ensure that your listing clearly states the maximum occupancy and any additional guest policies. Regularly communicate with guests to confirm the number of individuals staying, especially close to their arrival date.

  • Be Prepared for Contingencies

Have extra bedding and essentials available to accommodate unforeseen guests comfortably. Keep spare sets of towels, sheets, and toiletries to ensure a seamless experience for everyone.

  • Set Clear Expectations

Politely inform guests about any extra charges for additional guests beyond the agreed-upon number. This approach ensures transparency and encourages guests to abide by the rules.

2. Day Visitors or Gatherings

Sometimes, guests may request to have visitors or host small gatherings during their stay. It is crucial to strike a balance between accommodating their needs and preserving the integrity of your property. Here are some steps you can take:

  • Establish Rules in Advance

Include a clear policy regarding day visitors or gatherings in your house rules. Specify the maximum number of guests allowed and any restrictions on noise levels or duration of visits.

  • Maintain Open Communication

Encourage guests to inform you in advance about any visitors they plan to have. This lets you assess whether it aligns with your property's capacity and guidelines.

  • Set Boundaries

Politely remind guests of the house rules if they exceed the agreed-upon limits or create disturbances. Emphasize the importance of respecting your property and the comfort of your neighbors.

How to Manage Extra Unauthorized Guests on Airbnb | Strategies for Hosting Success

3. Guests Trying to Bypass Booking Restrictions

In some cases, guests may attempt to bypass booking restrictions by sneaking in extra people without your knowledge. To address this challenge:

  • Thoroughly Screen Guests

Screening your guests using a screening tool like Autohost, Chekin, Superhog, or Authenticate is the best way to keep bad guests away from your Airbnb vacation rental. You can also review guest profiles, read reviews left by previous hosts, and pay attention to any red flags during the booking inquiry process though this can only weed out some problematic guests.

  • Monitor Your Property

Install security cameras or enlist the help of a neighbor to keep an eye on your Airbnb. This can deter guests from breaking the rules and provide you with evidence if violations occur.

  • Act Promptly

If you discover unauthorized guests during a guest's stay, contact them immediately. Politely remind them of the agreed-upon terms and any consequences for violating the rules. Depending on the severity of the situation, you may need to escalate the matter to Airbnb's support team or even call the police.


Effectively managing extra guests as an Airbnb host is crucial to ensure a positive experience for both you, your guests, and your neighbors. By implementing proactive strategies, clear communication, and fair policies, you can minimize the likelihood of such situations occurring and handle them professionally if they do arise. To further safeguard your property and business however use a reliable tool to screen for bad guests and scammers, make sure your vacation rental insurance covers the different scenarios that can occur, and ask guests to sign a short term rental agreement.

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