15 Replies Latest reply: Oct 9, 2019 2:12 PM by bhorsnround RSS

    Over Occupancy

    bhorsnround Contributor

      Keep getting guest that do not want to follow rules on how many guest they will have.  My little cottage can hold 6 people comfortable.  I even have them sign an agreement and send back to me with the names of the guest that are too stay.  They always have 3 or 4 over the allowed guest.   VRBO/HomeAway/Airbnb will not back us up when we say we charge extra $25 per person per night.  Why have rules and regulations if we are not backed up.  It is so sad to see people that want to be dishonest.

      Thanks

        • Re: Over Occupancy
          feibus Senior Contributor

          Ignore "comfortable" for a moment.  What does the fire marshall say about your maximum occupancy?  That's one way you can take control of the situation.

          • Re: Over Occupancy
            wildiris Active Contributor

            I do as you do - my guests sign a rental agreement and the names of everyone staying are included in the agreement.  Where you and I may differ is that I talk to the guest on the phone after the booking and get the information for my rental agreement in the phone call.  My Vrbo listing is very clear about my maximum occupancy.  If a guest were to tell me in the phone call that more than the maximum number of people will be staying, I would tell him that his rental party is over my maximum and he will need to find a larger vacation rental.  I would tell him that he needs to initiate a cancellation request to receive a refund of his deposit.

             

            My feeling is that talking with the guest on the phone and asking for the names of everyone is more likely to elicit a truthful answer than having the guest fill in the information himself in my rental agreement.  I have language in my rental agreement about maximum occupancy, etc.  After reading my rental agreement, I think a dishonest guest would just omit all of the names and exceed my maximum occupancy limit.  I frequently get requests for more people than my maximum occupancy.  They are only looking at it from their point of view, not the owner's point of view.  Even if the travelers don't mind having people sleep on couches or the floor - I do mind.

              • Re: Over Occupancy
                bhorsnround Contributor

                Yes I do also speak with them even tell them to look for a larger rental unit for their guest; that they can cancel.  They state never mind they will have to get a motel room.  They are not truthful because they want to pay less; they wouldn't want to go to a larger unit to pay more.  So sad

              • Re: Over Occupancy
                calicalling Active Contributor

                Once upon a time I had more issues with this. Back then, I charged a basic rate for 6 ppl plus more per each person above that per night.

                 

                I moved to a flat rate (higher rate) per night.

                 

                We also installed security cameras and added a strict over-occupancy statement in my RA. (my town has cranked down on occupancy limits so I take it pretty seriously)

                 

                Those actions have really helped.


                I won't say that I never have had an issue, but I usually figure this out during the booking/vetting process.


                In fairness to guests, I wrote on the Community a while back about how the VRBO/HA search tool actually coaches guests to put in the right number of guests to fit a property rather than showing the right properties for the guest number. It will actually return properties that are too small with a note that says something like, "reduce your guests to 10 adults to fit this property." Although there was general agreement that it leads to over-occupancy, nothing has changed as far as I'm aware.

                • Re: Over Occupancy
                  green_mango Active Contributor

                  Hmm...  Frustrating for sure.  When you say Airbnb/VRBO don't back you up regarding the extra guests can you explain more?  You are within your rights to require the additional guests to leave.  What does your contract say about guests who are over occupancy?  We have an option for either a large financial penalty or cancellation of the reservation without a refund.  Do you have an exterior camera?  Just trying to help troubleshoot to avoid the over occupancy in the first place. 

                    • Re: Over Occupancy
                      bhorsnround Contributor

                      All is noted in the description and the rental agreement.  For example:  AirBNB this previous one would not back me even though it showed in the conversation trail that they did go over.  I wanted to charge $25 per person over.  They state I had no proof even though 2 people saw and talked to the guest about this.  The person that rented it was not even on site.  This has happened with HomeAway and VRBO also.  I guess I will have to put cameras out to have proof.

                        • Re: Over Occupancy
                          u0999 Premier Contributor

                          I am confused as to what is your goal? That you want $25 pp extra OR that you want prevent over occupancy, period? If former, you are kind of on slippery slope. If latter, state your max occupancy and repercussions for exceeding it in your rental agreement, correspondence, and house rules and stick to your g-u-n-s on it.  I am in latter category and I warn potential renters that we do not allow over occupancy and that we have cameras to monitor it, and they will be required to vacate if they exceed it. And that we price per property per stay - whether 1 person is staying or max allowed number, rate will be the same. But no more, for no kind of additional money, etc. You seem not sure what is that you want  - to get $25 per extra persons or to stop over occupancy.

                      • Re: Over Occupancy
                        ohst8er Premier Contributor

                        bhorsnround  This is why hotels went  away from the single/double/triple/quad rate.  People lie.  As calicalling mentioned, charge a flat rate.  That’s what I do. Our rates are the same whether you bring one people or seven. When there’s no reason to lie people are typically more honest.