By The Hospitable Team
As an Airbnb host, you want your guests to have the best experience. So you’re ready to go the extra mile to make your space guest-perfect—from choosing the most convenient furniture and the finest bed linen to a rigorous cleaning process between guest stays.
But guests who smoke inside a vacation rental property can bring several problems that most hosts would rather avoid. Smoking in a short-term rental can result in an expensive cleaning bill for a host and, potentially, a bad review from future guests.
So what can you do when an Airbnb guest smokes in your home? Can you charge an Airbnb smoking fee for violating your house rules? Read on to find out.
What Is Airbnb Smoking Policy?
Airbnb encourages hosts to clearly state their no-smoking policy in their listing descriptions, messages, and house rules. It also helps to inform your guests about the consequences of breaking the no-smoking policy.
Unfortunately, you can’t set a special Airbnb smoking fee to say something like, “No smoking, or there will be an extra cleaning fee.” You can’t also make a charge against their security deposit.
And if you want to allow smoking on your rental property, you should clearly define designated smoking areas. These specifically chosen locations could be the driveways, balconies, a front porch, or a vacant spot down the street. You should also provide an ashtray to avoid unnecessary littering of cigarette butts.
According to Airbnb community standards, guests are expected to respect the listing rules and comply with the Airbnb smoking policy. They should not smoke inside a rental space unless the host allows them to do so. This includes the use of tobacco, cannabis, e-cigarettes, etc.
How to Prevent Smoking in Your Airbnb
You may have already started a no-smoking policy in your Airbnb house rules. But still, there is a possibility that a guest may break it. So what should you do to keep your short-term rental property smoke-free?
Be Strict and Clear
You need to decide whether your policy is no smoking or no smokers because there is a difference between them. Smokers often book “no smoking” Airbnb spaces because they are happy to smoke outside. Some hosts may also be okay with letting smokers stay if they smoke outside.
But most hosts who have a no smoking policy don’t want any smokers. So you need to clearly say in your Airbnb house rules:
- No smoking inside
- No smoking outside
- No smokers
You should also highlight your Airbnb no-smoking policies in your welcome message and check-in instructions. Writing a personalized message to each guest is rather time-consuming, but you can save a lot of time using software like Hospitable.com. Our tool will help you automate conversations with guests.
Have conversations with your guests even when you sleep.
Don’t be afraid to mention that if your guests are caught smoking in or out, their stay will be canceled, and they will have to leave your space without a refund. You should also emphasize that anyone who leaves the smell of cigarettes inside your house will risk a bad host review.
Add No Smoking Signs
A good idea is to politely remind your guests about your policy with “No Smoking” signs. You can purchase these stickers online and put them in the bathroom, living room, and balcony. Just make sure that these formal signs are easily seen, so your guests will have no excuse for “not knowing.”
Monitor Exterior Using Camera
Install an outdoor security camera to monitor traffic outside your front door when possible. You will be able to collect evidence if your guests walk in or out smoking. As long as guests are notified that there are cameras on your house, it can be another way to deter guests from smoking on your property.
Leave a Bad Review
If you caught your guests smoking, don’t hesitate to give them a bad review. It’s not easy to get refunded for smoke damage, so leaving a bad review is often the only option you have for penalizing your guest for smoking.
Clearly state that the guest breached house rules by smoking and give them 1 star on cleanliness. This way, you can also ensure that other hosts won’t have to suffer the same consequences. That guest won’t easily be able to make another booking through Airbnb because hosts don’t want a guest that breaks the rules.
How to Clean after a Guest Smoked
If a guest has smoked inside the home, the smell can remain on the curtains, walls, towels, bed linen, and soft furniture. And it’s the hardest smell to get rid of. It may take hours of intensive cleaning to make your rental space smell fresh again.
You can report the incident to Airbnb, but you need to provide evidence documenting the issue you complain about. It may include a written account of what has happened, photos of empty cigarette packs and butts, videos made with security cameras, receipt for professional cleaning service. You can make a claim within 14 days of your guest’s checkout date.
You also need to do a thorough cleaning to rid your home of that nasty smell. Here are a few suggestions of what you can do:
- Open the windows and place a fan inside the room;
- Remove any cigarette butts from the space;
- Try an odor eliminating spray and set out a few bowls with natural absorbers such as cat litter, charcoal, or coffee grounds;
- Wipe down walls, windows, doors, and all hard surfaces with an ammonia-based cleaner;
- Put all linen (curtains, beddings, towels) through a deep wash;
- Steam clean carpets and air out the furniture and mattress if possible;
- Replace the filter inside your air conditioner and heater.
It’s a lot of work, so you’ll need to ensure you have the tools to notify your cleaning crew about the new task in time. Luckily with Hospitable.com, you’ll be able to assign tasks to your cleaners and other members of your team automatically. Hospitable will help you automate almost all aspects of your business, even if you list your properties on multiple platforms.
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It can be very upsetting to deal with the clean-up if your Airbnb guests don’t respect your house rules and smoke on your short-term rental property. So you should be confident in the rules you set for your rental space and take the necessary measures to enforce a no smoking policy with your guests.
Airbnb house rules are just important as a strong description, clear photos, and a catchy headline in your Airbnb listing. Guests just need a bit of information and direction about your home and what you allow.
Make sure to add good vibes to the recipe, and follow our tips.
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