8 Replies Latest reply: Aug 16, 2019 9:30 AM by hmmmm RSS

    Are Infants People?

    bonesxxx Active Contributor

      I've read the threads so please don't waste your time posting links to the numerous posts where this has come up - I've read them all.


      Net/Net here is what I know:


      In some jurisdictions people = people and occupancy is defined strictly.  In such cases owners should not risk their permits by over occupancy issues - GOT IT (but it doesn't apply to my area).


      Others have pointed out the issue where guests represent anyone under 18 as children (or infants for that matter) to overbook properties. The guidance here is clear -- use your RA to force the guest to list all members of the party being sure to include entry spaces for more people than your rental allows so guests are 'lured' into being honest.  GOT IT.


      But that leaves my honest question:

      What if these issues don't apply to me?  In other words, what if a young couple wants to bring one set of grandparents and an infant to two?  Technically that's 6 people in a max 4 person rental.  As long as the 'infants' are <2 years old, I am inclined to say yes.  They don't shower or use my toilets... they don't take up any room.  As long as I am clear in my listing and RA the the home is not baby proof and no baby items (crib, high chair, etc) are provided, should I just allow it?

      Or are there good reasons to take a hard line and say no?

      I also don't see a need to charge an 'extra guest' fee for the little buggers... but I may as well ask if anyone does while I am at it.

      Thanks as always!


        • Re: Are Infants People?
          u0999 Premier Contributor

          There may be more water used on bathing infants than on an adult shower. Kids also make messes. Leaky diaper can stain your couch or poo end up on the carpet/rug (recent example in my market), or apple sauce smeared on your walls. So it is not how much "space" they occupy, but what impact they may have on your rental. You may be (unpleasantly) surprised. My approach would not be charge extra per person for infants, but my head count must include everyone ages 1 day and up. So if my place sleeps 6, I do not care if it is 4 adults and 2 infants, 5 adults and 1 infant - I don't care. As long as it is no more than 6. I do not want 6 people PLUS however many infants. Why - see above.

          • Re: Are Infants People?
            hmmmm Senior Contributor

            For my properties they are counted and listed as guests.  We are in earthquake territory and there is an occupancy code.

            • Re: Are Infants People?
              green_mango Active Contributor

              I say infants are under 1 year old. 1-2 years old they are toddlers are can get into a lot more things and makes messes and child proofing is more important (and woah, the food on the floor around the table can be a lot!).  I welcome guests of all ages and am very family friendly, but just putting it out there with regards to 'infant' - I think your idea to allow it and note in listing as you said is perfectly reasonable, but I'd consider limiting to under age 1.

              • Re: Are Infants People?
                margaret CommunityAmbassador

                I count everyone, even newborns. In my location, violating fire code occupancy can result in a loss of my STR license. My HOA also gives fines for over occupancy. I am family friendly and welcome children but they must be included in the max.

                • Re: Are Infants People?
                  wildiris Senior Contributor

                  I also count every human being regardless of age for my maximum occupancy.  Regarding water usage:  Babies and toddlers may be small, but they create a lot of laundry.  Even if they are in diapers, the parents will use the toilet to get rid of the contents in the diaper.  Toddlers and small children tend to leave lots of mess in their wake.  My cleaner once found green peas and corn kernels all over my house after a family with a toddler left.  Evidently, the parents gave the toddler peas and corn as a snack and the child carried handfuls with him all around the house, dropping them as he went.  Also, little hands tend to be dirty or sticky and leave little fingerprints everywhere.  I welcome families with children at my vacation rental but everyone in the family is counted.


                  Added:  This is one of the things about AirBnB that I hate.  They have as their policy that infants and children younger than two years old do NOT count.  Phooey on that.

                  • Re: Are Infants People?
                    feibus Senior Contributor

                    If the person has to be accounted for in case of a disaster... they're an occupant.  Simple rule, no room for fudging it.