How to host on your terms

Host your space your way by adjusting settings and house rules.
By Airbnb on Nov 10, 2020
5 min read
Updated Nov 16, 2022


  • Your listing lets you set how many guests you host and the amenities they can access

  • House rules help you set expectations and show guests your hosting style

  • Your booking settings dictate when guests can book your place

Welcoming people you’ve never met into your space might be new for you. To help you feel more comfortable hosting, Airbnb has settings and features that let you control how and when you host.

From which spaces in your place are available to guests to the number of guests who can stay, you can tailor your booking settings based on your needs, availability, and preferences.

If you're not sure how to choose your booking settings or create your house rules, don’t worry. We’ll guide you through the different options and provide a few examples of the ways you can host on your terms.

Create a clear, detailed listing

Your listing provides guests with a peek into your space, helping them get a better sense of your living arrangements and pricing before they make a reservation. When creating your listing, consider:

  • What nightly rate and fees you want to charge: When hosting on Airbnb, you set the nightly rate you charge your guests. Your rates can be modified at any time before you accept a reservation and can vary from night to night and season to season. You can also choose to include extra fees for cleaning, additional guests, and more. Our pricing tips can help you set a competitive price.
  • How many guests your space accommodates: In your listing, indicate the maximum number of guests you're willing to host at one time. Guests can only book your place if the total number of people in their group is the same or fewer than what you've set in your booking criteria.
  • Which amenities are available to guests: Just because you have a grill or a washer and dryer doesn’t mean you need to make them available. You can indicate the amenities at your place that guests can use, those they can't, and any that come with restrictions. For example, Brian, a Host in Newport, Rhode Island, writes in his listing description, “Guests may use my washer and dryer upon request.”

Set your house rules

House rules help you be clear about your hosting style and set expectations with guests. They also help guests decide up front if your place is right for them.

Your house rules are now featured prominently in four places: on your listing page, when guests book your space, and in the Pack Your Bags email as well as the Arrival Guide guests receive ahead of their trip. With ground rules, anything you include in your standard house rules can be enforced.

You can choose your standard house rules from a set of fixed options in the following areas:

  • Pets
  • Events
  • Smoking, vaping, and e-cigarettes
  • Quiet hours
  • Check-in and checkout times
  • Maximum number of guests
  • Commercial photography and filming

Like always, you can also add a written set of additional rules to accompany your standard house rules. Your additional rules should specify anything that’s off-limits for guests, like a private balcony or personal storage closet. You can also include rules related to local and regional customs (such as staying quiet during the siesta) and requirements that aren’t included in standard house rules (such as no shoes in the house).

If you believe a guest violates your rules—either those you’ve selected or those you’ve written—contact Community Support. We’ll support you if you need to cancel the reservation.

Note: All house rules must align with Airbnb’s policies and terms—including our terms of service and nondiscrimination policy.

How to edit your house rules

Choose your booking settings

Use your calendar and booking settings to set your availability and identify the types of bookings you want to receive. When determining your booking settings, consider:

  • Your availability: It’s up to you to decide when you'd like to make your place available to guests. If you'll be out of town, hosting friends or family, or unable to host at certain times, you can block your calendar for specific dates. If you’d prefer to have more time to clean or take a break between guests, you can also set a standard preparation time before every booking to create a buffer between each stay.
  • How guests can book: As a Host, you can choose how guests book your space: either by using Instant Book or sending a reservation request. Instant Book allows people who meet all of your guest requirements and agree to your house rules to instantly book your space for any available dates. With reservation requests, you review and accept each request individually.
  • How long you want guests to stay: You can choose the minimum and maximum length of a stay at your place, subject to local laws. Some Hosts adjust their requirements based on seasonal demand, requiring a two-night or even one-week minimum during peak periods.
  • Advance notice: Not sure when you’ll be available to host in the future? No problem. Use your settings to control how far in advance you want to accept bookings. That way, guests can’t make a reservation for dates that you’re not ready to commit to. You can also set the amount of notice you need before guests arrive—for instance, you can use your settings to avoid same-day or next-day bookings if you prefer to have more notice before a guest arrives.
  • Guest arrival and departure times: Late checkouts and early arrivals can interfere with other reservations, especially if you have back-to-back bookings. You can use your settings to establish guest arrival and departure times, and edit your listing to describe why it’s important for guests to stick to these times (for example: "The cleaner will arrive at 11 a.m.").

Remember, your booking settings can be adjusted at any time. It can also be helpful to routinely review your booking settings to ensure they match your current availability and hosting preferences.

Host with confidence

Hosts appreciate guests who treat their place as if it were their own. At Airbnb, we’ve implemented a number of policies and protections to help you attract guests who will be a good fit for your space.

In addition to these protections, clear listing descriptions, detailed house rules, and up-to-date booking settings can help ensure your place is treated with respect, providing you with greater confidence and helping you create a better experience for your guests.

Information contained in this article may have changed since publication.
Nov 10, 2020
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