Airbnb house rules go ‘a step too far’, with guidance on how to clean up blood and forbidden ingredients

An Airbnb guest has said she was “astonished” when reading the rules to her rental property after checking in – discovering strict conditions forbidding her from cooking with certain ingredients as well as instructions on cleaning up blood.

Mia Clark and her husband, Ralph, who have asked not to use their real names, had planned a weekend away in Rome, booking somewhere to stay in the Travestere neighbourhood of Italy’s capital.

The accommodation was “a very sweet, elegantly decorated place”, she told The Independent, and it was actually somebody’s real home rather than purely a holiday rental, which Ms Clark said is “always preferable from a local sustainability point of view”.

While encountering odd rules isn’t something that phases the couple, who explained they “travel a lot and have come to expect some quirky little rules on Airbnb listings”, after checking into their Italian bolthole they were surprised by the terms and conditions.

The detailed ‘additional rules’ for this Roman home (Supplied)
The detailed ‘additional rules’ for this Roman home (Supplied)

“We read the house rules in detail and were astonished to see that they stated ‘it is not permitted to fry and cook using garlic, curry and other spices because the lingering smell remains for days’,” said Ms Clark.

“Of course we always try to respect the rules of someone else’s house, but surely it’s going a step too far to tell guests what they can and can’t cook? Especially if you’re renting out an apartment with a full working kitchen?”

It wasn’t just the culinary restrictions that caught the travellers’ eyes.

“What’s more, another rule included very specific cleaning instructions ‘in the event of blood loss’, added Ms Clark.

“I can only wonder what kinds of guests had stayed at the apartment before us.”

The pair found the whole thing “very funny” and would “definitely go back for a short trip” – though admitting the rules around cooking “might have been a pain” if they were staying longer.

A spokesman for Airbnb told The Independent: “We make it easy for hosts to share their rules so guests know what to expect, and any special requirements and local customs can be included as additional rules. We hope there were no cooking injuries on this Italian adventure and trust the guests took up a host recommendation for a fantastic local restaurant.”

The issue of cooking rules has been discussed on Airhosts Form, a website that describes itself as “dedicated to connecting hosts with other hosts”.

One user wrote that they “would not have a rule about not cooking ‘smelly’ food. Does this mean I couldn’t use garlic? What is ‘smelly’ to you might be fragrant to me.”

Another wrote: “The one thing I cannot abide to smell is cooked broccoli. Other hosts will feel differently. And what’s wrong with the smell of curry?”

Peculiar rules when renting a private room or home using platforms like Airbnb have gotten attention in the past.

In May, a post was shared on Reddit of a “crazy” Airbnb host that wouldn’t allow guests to bring more than two suitcases use kitchen appliances during their stay.

Meanwhile, a holiday home host – not a listing on Airbnb – was called out over their extreme labelling displaying rules across the rental property, which a guest said took away the feeling of being on holiday.

In a video shared on TikTok that has been viewed more than five million times, Becky Levin Navarro asked whether “there a cap on how many rules can be displayed”.