When I started hosting an Airbnb, I searched the internet looking for a comprehensive list of guest check-out requirements to provide for each of my guests. I wanted to ensure that the house was left in the condition in which each guest found it, in order to keep things easy for the cleaning service and myself.
When Should You Send Airbnb Check-Out Instructions?
We recommend that check-out instructions are sent to the guest the night before their departure day. Some guests check out extremely early, and in order to make sure they see the instructions we send them the night before. Set up automated messages in your Airbnb listing so no effort is required on the hosts’ part.
Items You Should Include in Your Airbnb Check-Out Instructions
- Check-out on time
- Leave all linens on the bed
- Place dirty towels in a designated location
- Leave the air conditioner or heater on a predetermined setting
- Take out all trash to a specified location
- Empty the refrigerator
- Load and start the dishwasher
- Double-check that the oven and stovetop are off
- Check to make sure you are not leaving anything behind
- Lock the door and return the keys
- Leave a review
I use a program called AirGMS to send out this list automatically upon the arrival of each guest. I also leave a laminated copy on the counter in the house for quick reference.
At the top of the list is my established check-out time. Guests should have a timeline for when they will need to have the house restored to its original condition and have the keys turned in.
Bedding and Sheets
I ask guests to leave all bedding and sheets on the bed, so that the cleaning service can quickly strip them and get them washed. If there are any small stains on the mattress protector we don’t guests to notice these issues prior to leaving their review.
You can have your guests leave their wet towels in whatever spot you would like to designate. I use the bathtub. That way, the moisture from the towels is not soaking into the floor, as it might do through a laundry basket.
Adjust the Thermostat
I instruct all guests to leave the thermostat on 70 degrees. Choose the temperature you would like the home to stay at and add this to your check-out list. You do not want a guest leaving the thermostat on an extreme temperature and running your power bill up. You probably do not want it completely shut off either, so that the house will be comfortable for your cleaning service and your next guest.
Take Out The Trash
I have a small building with a barn door, containing a large trash can with a lid. I ask all guests to make sure their trash has been deposited in this can. This makes for less work for my cleaning service and a smaller bill for me. It also keeps the house smelling fresh. Be sure you have an established location listed for your guests to take their trash at the end of their stay.
Empty Refrigerator Before Check-Out
I ask that all guests empty the refrigerator of everything they have brought with them, with the exception of reusable condiments. The next guests coming in should have the shelves free for their own groceries and should not be subject to any unforeseen odors from the refrigerator. In short, if it came with you, then it should leave with you.
Dishes: Load the Dishwasher Before Check-Out
Having your guests load and start the dishwasher takes one thing off the list for your cleaning service to do and may result in you being charged less. There should not be dishes across the counter or in the sink when the guests leave. Starting the dishwasher is an easy task for them to complete and will also help contain odor.
Anything Left Behind?…
I include “Check to make sure you have not left anything behind,” on my list of check-out instructions. The last thing you want to have to do is start mailing items to guests who have forgotten them. It is the guest’s responsibility to do a walk-through of the house and make sure everything that came with them is also leaving with them.
Lock the Door and Return the Keys to the Proper Location
Your guests will need to lock the door when they leave and return the keys to the lockbox. You should have already communicated where the lockbox will be through a program like AirGMS. You have probably included a picture of it. This is the last step guests will need to take before they leave your property.
Lock All Windows
Request that your guests close and lock any windows that were opened during their stay.
Airbnb Review Time
Finally, I ask my guests to leave an Airbnb review for me. This helps build my profile and my business. Hopefully, they have had a great experience, and all guests will leave 5 stars. If not, then I know where I have room for improvement.
When guests are checking out of an Airbnb, they should basically be following the golden rule. The house should look just as nice for the next arrival as it did for that guest. None of the instructions above are terribly demanding or hard to follow. Most of them are common courtesies.
Make sure you have let your guests know where dirty towels should go, where the trash can is located, and where your lockbox is and what it looks like. You want to eliminate any confusion when it comes to checking out of your Airbnb in hopes that the rental will be a positive experience for both you and your guests.
Sample Airbnb Check-Out Instructions
Checkout Procedures: Checkout time is 11 a.m. Please ensure everyone is out on time. Housekeeping must begin on schedule in order to prepare for the next guests. Guests are not to remain on the property after check out time. If guests are not checked out by 11:00, they will be charged a $50.00 late check-out fee.
1. Return all outdoor furniture to their original location.
2. Leave used kitchen/bath towels on bathroom floor.
3. Please do not strip bed linens; leave this for housekeeping.
4. Housekeeping will remove the kitchen trash bag as they will use it while cleaning.
5. You may leave leftover condiments/goods if you think the next guest may find it useful.
6. Double check drawers for any personal items.
7. Start dishwasher; dishwashing detergent is located under sink.
8. Double check stovetop and oven are off.
9. Close and lock all windows. Turn off heat (in winter) and A/C window unit (in summer).
10. Upon exiting, return all keys to lockbox, and scramble keypad numbers. Lock front and rear doors.
Text XXX to (Your Phone Number) as you are leaving.
Thank you and have a safe trip home (or to your next destination)! Please come back soon!
Should You Send a Message to the Guests After Check-Out?
We always send an automated message to the guests about 1 hour after check-out. In that message, we thank them for staying and wish them safe travels. We also remind them how important 5-star reviews are to our business, and ask they the guests leave a review. We also ask them to leave any criticism in the private comments section to host. We tell them that these items will be promptly addressed.
Here is an example of the email:
Hi [guest first name],
Thanks again for staying at our Airbnb! We would be greatful if you would leave us a review.
As Airbnb deeply penalizes hosts for anything less than a 5-star review, we’d appreciate that consideration when reviewing.
Please leave any constructive criticism in the private message to the host, and we will correct any items immediately.
Thanks for your business. Best wishes and we hope you’ll come back soon!