House Rules ideas for short-term rentals

Let’s face it,  trust is not enough to let your guests stay in your vacation rentals. After all, they are just strangers staying at your property for a very short period of time. Of course, it is business for you but what can you do to make their stay acceptable for both parties? Setting up rules that will govern the stay of your guests is a good idea for any property either big or small. In this article, we explore which rules are the Must-Have…

Remember that most guests view their vacations as a great financial investment and so setting up rules that are too harsh will cause a negative first impression. The point here is, trust goes both ways, and you should always consider this when establishing the house rules.

Here are a few examples of house rules that you can enforce in your vacation rentals without scaring off your guests:


Different people have different views about pets, and whether or not you allow them into your properties, you should make that clear to your guests before they book. Also, best specify the size and type you allow to avoid surprises during the clean-up.

Moving furniture

You don’t want a different arrangement every time a guest rents your apartment, and that’s why you need to set up rules to limit the movements. However, before you do that, make sure the furniture are arranged in a way that they don’t block walkways or affect other activities in the house. If a guest sees the need of rearranging them, he/she should come to you for approval and assistance.

Maximum occupancy

Every property has a maximum number of guests that they can accommodate. You need to set up a rule stating the maximum number of people that can stay and make your guests aware that if they are a bigger group there will be an additional fee.


If you are having troubles with your guests’ visitors coming into your properties, set it up as one of your rules. If you allow visitors but you have other terms (like how many people can be invited and until what time) – make that clear in your house rules as well.

Damage and breakage

Accidents happen and if they do, let your guests know that they have to report the issue in a timely manner. Additionally, if they are to pay for the damages, make sure you have the amounts well displayed beforehand.


Many guests understand that they should treat your property as their own home, but it’s always necessary to mention it just in case. Remind them that it’s essential to lock the doors and windows anytime they leave the house. Also, some property owners take the opportunity to remind guests of energy and water saving.


You might have other rules that you feel should be enforced on top of the ones we have listed. Now, it’s really important that you have those rules clearly communicated to your guests before and during their stay to avoid surprises.

As a final note, most of the property owners we work with try to develop a sense of trust between them and their guests, which ultimately makes most of the written rules unnecessary. After all, if your guests feel at home they will treat your property with respect it deserves. 

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