Airbnb has been around since 2008 but some hosts still aren't fully getting it, writes Matt Heath.
I'm a big fan of Airbnb. It's a great accommodation option and opportunity to sniff around a stranger's home while they're not there.
Judge their furniture, family photos, Dan Brown books and booze.
But generally guests treat homes with respect and the owners treat guests well too. That's because by far the majority of people are polite and sane. But not everyone.
Airbnb has been around since 2008 but some hosts still aren't fully getting it. Especially the nervous owners. Know them by their punishing house rules.
Recently my family, some friends and I rented a fantastic rural Airbnb. It was a bit expensive but we were very pleased when we arrived.
That was until we found the list of 33 don'ts sitting on the kitchen bench. I'm not talking instructions here. There were plenty of those too. No these were all impolitely written rules. Like a long detailed telling off before we'd even settled in.
As you know Airbnb has an excellent rating system. You are encouraged to post your thoughts on friendliness, cleanliness and hospitality.
So I could easily share this opinion there instead of here. But being a New Zealander I prefer to pretend that things are "fine" directly to the service provider and then go away and whinge to anyone who will listen afterwards. It's the kiwi way.
So here are some highlights from the aforementioned list of rules and why they were annoying.
Rule 6: "Clean showers after every use with squeegee and shower cleaner provided on shower floors (clean after every use!)".
I didn't pay good money to spend my holidays repeatedly shower powering and squeegeeing your stupid showers. How clean do your showers need to be anyway? How dirty do you think I am? Also leaving squeegees and shower power on floors of showers is weird and inconvenient. No need for the brackets.
Rule 8: "Don't adjust shower nozzles they are carefully set for us."
Come on! What if I'm a weird size.
Rule 11: "Don't pull suitcases rapidly down the hall scraping walls."
You don't know my luggage pulling skills. I'm an amazing high speed bag puller, never hit a wall in my life.
Rule 14: "Don't use the beds like trampolines."
Everyone knows not to bounce on beds. No one over 10 does it. Not that kind of bouncing anyway. Every parent who sees a kid bouncing on a bed tells them not to. It's a given. But if you're really worried try "Please don't bounce on the beds". No need for a snarky metaphor.
Rule 16: "Don't break wine glasses."
Everyone tries not to break glasses. Sometimes we slip up. Writing down a 'don't break glasses' rule won't stop it happening.
Rule 19: 'No smoking, not even out on the street.'
Sorry Airbnb tyrant your reign doesn't extend outside your gates.
Rule 23: "Don't trample through the flower gardens."
Yeah that's why we go on holidays, to jump up and down in gardens.
Rule 24: "No parties."
Weren't going to have one but I'll be on the phone immediately after reading rule 24.
Rule 31: "Don't put anything in the toilet but toilet paper."
Really, where do we put our number 2s then?.
It's always a good idea to be polite and sane. Especially in a list of house rules. If you make your guests hate you they will throw all the rules written or unwritten out.
Sure it's scary having people in your house but writing down 33 rules won't help. All it will do is insult the friendly responsible traveller like myself. While the type of person who damages a home doesn't read rules anyway.
As Princess Leia once said "The more you tighten your grip, the more star systems will slip through your fingers".
How about this "We love our house. Hope you do too. Here's the WiFi code. Welcome". People will bend over backwards to look after a loved house for a polite person.
So if after listing your place on Airbnb you find yourself writing down dozens of rules stop and delist. You clearly hate people too much to have them in your home.
Having said that, it was a great place. Beautiful. Would love to stay there again. Hope the owners don't read this article.
If they are, I won't touch your shower nozzles next time — promise.