• Alette Nalder

The Ultimate Guide to Airbnb Guest Etiquette: How to get five-star ratings as a guest.

Ever wondered the dos and don’ts of staying in an Airbnb? We'll share with you the basic steps you can take to achieve five stars as a guest: every time.

We’ve got you covered! This is where we give you the ultimate guide to Airbnb guest etiquette and how you can get a 5-star review from your Airbnb host. We’ve listed out the Must Do’s and Definitely Don’ts for staying in an Airbnb.


Confirm Airbnb check-in details

The number one mistake that guests make when checking-in to an Airbnb is not confirming their check-in details with the host. It’s important to check that your stay has been approved and any extras you require for your stay have been organised. Double and triple check the house rules and make sure you aren't bringing or planning anything that may break them. By being communicative and double-checking the information you are more likely to receive that 5-star review from your Airbnb host.

Read and re-read the Check-In Information

Every property is different and may have unique check-in requirements. Some Airbnbs have lock-boxes for entry, others operate through a key-handover. This can be confusing but the listing should specify which check-in type the property requires.

The actual access information is often sent a couple of days before your check-in through the Airbnb messaging service. Always read through the instructions before your arrival so you know exactly how to get in. Calling the host in a panic because you didn't realise the parking was in another building when it was specified in the check-in information, can often lead to a less than 5-star review from the host.

Hosts can also forget things as well! If you realised they haven't mentioned where to park or the code to the lockbox, send them a message prior to your arrival. It's much less stressful for both of you if you're not sitting around waiting for their reply.

During your stay

Don’t sneak in extra people or pets

In most Airbnbs, pets are strictly not allowed. This is to maintain the cleanliness of the property and is often a punishable rule set by the body corporate of the building. Breaking this rule could get the host fined, and can leave you with an unexpected charge afterwards.

In some instances, there will be linens specific to the number of people you have booked for. It can be a little disappointing if you turn up with a group of four and there's only one bed made. There is also a legal limit of guests the host is allowed to have in the house. Breaking this can pose many issues for the host, and ultimately you.

If you are unsure if you can invite your friend to stay the night, always double-check with the host. Most of the time they can stay in the spare room. But be aware, not telling the host can get a pretty bad review on your end.

In both of these instances, your Airbnb host may evict you from the building without a refund. Avoid this and just send them a message. Simple! Communication is key for a 5-star review!

Don’t throw a party

This seems like the most obvious one, but it has recently been overlooked by many guests. Throwing a party is always a bad idea. Most Airbnbs have stringent rules against noise pollution and partying. This isn't just because they're prudes, the police, neighbours and body corporates often impose these rules on the host. If hosts are receiving calls about noisy guests, it is guaranteed you will receive a poor review.

Sometimes you've invited a few people over for a quiet few and things get out of hand. Make sure you always have control over the situation at the Airbnb, it's your reputation at stake if a few bad eggs show up. We recommend to avoid it altogether and just meet at the local pub!

Guests who are found to have been holding a party at the residence will often be evicted and be made to pay a hefty fee for the destruction of property, litter, violation of rules, and any lingering smell. If upcoming stays have to be cancelled to clean a property after a party, this may also become an extra expense paid by the partygoers.

Save the host the time, and you the money. Just don't do it! Don't risk your reputation and that 5-star review for one night of partying.

Don’t take things without asking

Theft is never ok. Taking items from Airbnbs means that other guests are left without the right utensils to stay at the property. It also means the host will have to pay to have the items replaced. This cost can often fall back on you when the housekeepers go through stocktake.

Again, this is an additional expense which will be charged to you, the guest. If you don’t know how much the item is worth, you may end up paying quite the price for something you could have got elsewhere for much cheaper. And, ultimately, the host will not give you a good review if you have taken their things.

Report damage to the host

Notice something when you walk into the property? If there's any damage already at the property, document it and let the host know. Housekeepers and even hosts can sometimes miss the most obvious of things. You don't want the blame to fall back on you.

If you break something or accidentally damage it, always let the host know ASAP. Be polite and honest and your host may reward you by waiving the fee. If it is something costly to replace, be prepared to spend the money to return the house to how it was when you arrived.

If the host is not informed, it can be a bit of a nasty surprise when they walk in to do a clean. I can guarantee that the host will not be impressed if they have to chase a guest down to pay for the damage. They will also be less lenient in charging the full amount for repairs, as well as leave an honest, pretty negative review.


Know your check out time

If you are wanting to check out in the afternoon, make sure you let the host know. Most Airbnbs allow you to check out a little later as long as their guest lets them know in advance. If you ask on the day expect a simple 'no' in return.

Most Airbnb hosts send the check out information the day before their guest is to check-out. This will have your check out time in it. If it doesn't, look at the house rules, your booking confirmation or any other connection to your booking. If you can't find your check out time; ask. The host may have forgotten or missed it. Checking out on time is a perfect reason for an Airbnb host to give you a 5-star review.

Not knowing your check out time, or just ignoring it, can often mean being woken up by cleaners ready to change your sheets. Making the housekeepers wait? This can cost the host, which will ultimately fall back on you. If they do come knocking and you've slept through your alarm, don't dawdle. Your lack of urgency could cost their host the next booking, leaving them a good reason to leave you a negative review.

Know the requirements of the check out process

Most of the check out information should include the things you need to do to before you leave. Often this is simple, like turning off the appliances and switching off the lights. Some are more specific, like putting the bath mat in the wash or making sure all the dishes are clean and put away.

The easiest way to think about this is: will the cleaners spend extra time tidying this up if I leave it this way? If the answer is yes, get it done before your check out. Most housekeepers are paid to do the basics - change the beds, wipe every surface, disinfect bathrooms and vacuum and mop. If they're having to wait for a load of dishes or clear the fridge of your leftovers, they will usually charge the host for extra time.

This cost will undoubtedly fall back you. The best way to get a 5-star review from your Airbnb host? Leave the house exactly how you found it. Get everything done the night before so you're not rushing the next morning. Leaving the property sparkling clean is the easiest way to receive a 5-star review from your Airbnb host.

Check where to leave the keys after check-out

Once again, each property is unique and has different methods for check-out. Usually, the host will send you specific instructions on where to leave the keys as you leave.

To ensure you receive that 5-star review from the Airbnb host, read through the instructions the day before. In some instances, you need to organise a time with the host to hand them back. Make sure you organise that the day before to avoid some unwanted wait times. If the keys are not returned to the correct location, guests may have to pay a delayed entry fee or locksmith fee for the housekeepers to access the property. This can lead to misunderstandings, and ultimately, a bad review from your Airbnb host.

If you have misplaced the keys let the host know ASAP. They may need to cancel some fobs or swipe cards to ensure it doesn't jeopardise the safety of the building. The last thing you want after staying in an Airbnb is to have to pay for new keys so please be careful. Lost keys can cost Airbnb Hosts a significant amount of money, which will fall back onto you, either as an added cost, or a very negative review.


Whilst there are many things which can influence the way an Airbnb host may rate their guests - these are the easiest ways to receive a 5-star rating from your host; every time.

Communicate! Before, during and after your stay. Always ask your host if you're confused or concerned about anything. They will always be happy to answer your questions and ensures you aren't getting frustrated or doing anything you're not supposed to. Keep your communication polite and pleasant to receive a 5-star rating as an Airbnb guest.

Read and re-read. Always go through the house rules, check-in and check-out info as well as anything else your host sends you. Each host will ensure you have all the information you need as an Airbnb guest. Calling them and asking questions that can be answered through a little reading might influence a negative review.

Think: will a housekeeper spend more time cleaning after me? Returning the home to the nearest state it was in when you arrived is the easiest way to ensure you receive 5-stars as a guest for cleanliness. Even if you think the housekeepers might have nothing to do, they always will!

Follow these basics, use common sense and have a little empathy and you will always receive 5-stars as a guest from your Airbnb host.

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