Los Angeles Event followup - Deacon's house rules!

Hi everyone, Deacon again!

Sorry for the drop off, it’s been a crazy couple of days, but I got a few emails and messages asking me to post my house rules and so I’m doing so below.

Remember that house rules are very much a “your mileage may vary” type of thing. If you have a big commercial banquet hall, or a photography studio, or even some homes, having such complex rules are not going to be necessary. Everyone’s needs are different.

I want to point out a couple of things:

  1. Notice how I have the list of streets with free parking in the rules? It’s a weird place to put them to be sure, but it’s a GREAT way to get people to read the rules. After redirecting renters to the rules, I’ve gotten perhaps a half dozen cancellations over the months (all during the 24 hour grace period), but this is a positive thing, because it means that they’ve taken a second look at our space and realized that it didn’t align with their needs. It saved a potential issue later on and gave another great renter a chance to experience our space!

Getting folks to read something as dry as a list of rules is often not about making them fun, but creating necessity.

  1. What I didn’t post below are the list of Alexa commands that I provide all of my renters with. These include instructions on how to change the color of the lights, turn them on or off, close the blinds, turn on the tv or projector, play music, etc. Again, it’s a weird place to put smarthome commands, but an awesome way to keep the rules fresh!

  2. I not only have the list of rules in my listing, but I hand each renter a printed copy at the start of their rental. If I feel it’s necessary, I sometimes read them aloud as well (and I won’t bore you with how I determine this, but if your gut says that maybe you should go over the rules, then just take a minute and do so.

Lastly, I’m adding a few annotations in there to explain why certain rules exist:

STUDIO RENTAL RULES
Welcome to our space! Our names are Deacon, Sarah and Maria and we’re completely relaxed and friendly folks. This studio is not only our place of business, but also our home. At least one of us will be on-site during rentals to assist you with questions or concerns, but we do our best to stay out of your way and give you space. If you need anything, please send a text to <REDACTED - PLEEEEASE ONLY PUT THIS IN THE PRINTED VERSION! I ACCIDENTALLY ONCE POSTED THIS IN OUR LISTING LOL!>
Below are a list of rules that will make your time with us that much smoother and enjoyable!

  • Our building is quiet, with working professionals and residences. Our building has a zero tolerance for noise disturbances such as loud music, partying, screaming, stomping on the stairs/railings, etc. To avoid interruption of your rental, please be respectful of our home and our neighbors.

<Deacon: This rule is printed in red, bold letters and will save your life. If you find yourself with a loud party, it helps. I learned from fellow host Tim at our event that the noise ordinance for Los Angeles is 50db. If you go outside and the noise exceeds that, it’s time to turn things down a bit>

  • For your protection and for ours, there are 11 security cameras recording video and audio to cloud servers. Blocking, disabling, unplugging or tampering with the cameras will immediately end your rental. If a camera plug or wire is interfering with your production, come speak to one of us and we can relocate it. There are no cameras in the restrooms and we recommend using them for changing.

<Deacon: Having audio and video documentation has saved us on at least a dozen occasions and it turns a situation from ‘he said, she said’ to a flat fact. I recommend the Wyze or the Ezviz cameras for the budget conscious and the Nest or the Ring for the deeper pockets!>

  • We require a detailed call sheet for all productions, which should include a list of talent and crew, as well as which areas are being used at roughly which times. This helps us to understand your needs and make accommodations for your production (such as where to put the cats, removing our personal items, etc).

<Deacon: Know who is going to be in your home or your place of business. Eventually you may develop a blacklist or a referral list, or you may need a name from that sheet for a variety of reasons. You may need to know where they’re shooting and when they’re shooting there, but please stay safe and collect a call sheet>

  • Your rental end time is your departure time and is a ‘hard out’, meaning that the last person should be leaving at your rental end time. Because of this, we recommend beginning your cleanup at least 30 minutes in advance. Overtime is billed in 30-minute increments at a 1.5x rate and is not guaranteed, as we may have something else scheduled.

  • Your load in and load out must have no impact on our neighbors and surrounding businesses. Equipment must be brought directly to our space, with no staging in the common areas such as the courtyard. Quiet voices must be used.

  • You are welcome to move anything, but please don’t just grab pieces without asking. We have many fragile decor pieces and we must have an understanding in advance (before your shooting date) if you are planning on moving things around or redecorating, as proper steps must be taken to protect our pieces. All pieces must be covered with soft blankets and placed in an area of our choosing (or placed into temporary storage) in order to prevent damage. If you do not have the means to protect them, then they must not be moved.

<Deacon: Oy, we’ve had a few things broken…I highly recommend having delicate or expensive pieces covered with blankets. Please don’t leave your valuables to chance; supervise the use of your home, because an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!>

  • If you unplug something, PLUG IT BACK IN WHEN YOU ARE DONE. Likewise, be careful about what you unplug; there are three white Google wifi routers, several Alexa Echo units and several security cameras which may not be unplugged.

  • Do not jump on our furniture.

<Deacon: SERIOUSLY. This is a less compelling shot than we all think it looks and it just destroys furniture. Holy cow.>

  • Cabinets, drawers and the contents within are off limits, as they contain our personal property. If your filming requires the use of cabinets, we must be made aware of this before your filming dates so that we can make accommodations.

<Deacon: All but two of our drinking glasses were broken over a very short period of time and sadly, I never quite caught who did it, but (to me) it feels weird to have people going through our cupboards. I recommend having disposable cutlery and plates, cups, etc>

  • For larger film productions (with crews of 5 or more) you may cover high traffic areas (that aren’t being filmed) with mats, or wear slipcovers on your shoes.

<Deacon: Save your floors, folks! At our event, I heard from someone who had their poor floors wrecked by furniture being dragged over it. Slipcovers for shoes can be purchases at Amazon and I recommend just buying some and offering them out>

  • Proof of insurance is required for all events and productions with more than five people. We recommend low cost daily insurance at https://www.theeventhelper.com , which covers all events, photoshoots and filming.

<Deacon: We went over why both hosts and renters MUST have insurance. We have had as much as $2400 damaged at a time, so I cannot tell you enough the peace of mind that this brings!>

  • All activities must be kept inside of our loft, or on the patio. The common areas of the building (courtyard, pool, gym, etc) may not be used for filming, staging or storing equipment. If this rule is violated, your rental will end immediately.

<Deacon: Holy cow folks, make sure there’s no mess on your property, as this could get you in trouble with your HOA, building management, or your neighbors! Make sure crews aren’t doing early load ins by plopping all of the gear on your front lawn or in your courtyard and supervise all load ins and load outs whenever you can.>

  • You may not place any signage anywhere outside of our suite (on the building, in the elevator or other common areas).

<Deacon: Yes, folks have put signs all over our condo building and yes, we would get in SERIOUS trouble for this. I recommend doing a walk around your property to make sure there aren’t any signs or anything>

  • The following streets have free street parking: Redwood, Maxella, Hager, Sunnyside, Ida, Tivoli, Michael, Alla. All but one side of Redwood, Sunnyside and part of Ida have unlimited free parking. We have never seen a time when these streets don’t have ample parking, but please be aware that we have no control over parking availability.

<Deacon: ahhhhhh see how I snuck this in here? :D>

  • High speed Internet is provided as a courtesy, but please be aware that we can’t control Internet outages. Traffic is monitored, so please do not download illegal content.

<Deacon: FUNNY STORY! I hadn’t changed our wifi password in a little while and we have this big 8TB network drive. My assistant/friend/family member connected her laptop to our network and it instantly shared our network drive to her laptop. She asks me about some ‘adult’ files that suddenly synced with her PC and I was horrified to realize that someone was using our network hard drive to edit together roughly 100 adult movie clips. Since then, we have added a secondary router (with network logging where we can view ALL activity sorted by Mac address and device names/types) JUST for the guest network. Stay safe and keep a chain of evidence in case some downloads anything illegal in your space>

  • No speakers and amps aside from those already in the unit are allowed.

<Deacon: We have a multi room speaker system in our space and I highly recommend this, because you can control the volume. Those that were at our event saw how I programmed the inexpensive Amazon Echo buttons to stop the music and issues commands or warnings or even turn off the lights just by pressing a button>

  • Confetti, glitter, smoke, fog, feathers or other small particulates are not allowed

<Deacon: All it took was ONE music video where the nice young lady cut open a goose down pillow at the end in order to add this. We are STILL, six months later, cleaning up feathers and we have a Roomba AND a Dyson and clean seven days a week!>

  • Do not sit or stand on coffee tables, end tables, countertops, the dining table, or the kitchen island.

<Deacon: Uh yeah, this happened and it was pretty shocking>

  • The bathroom is upstairs and to your left

  • By the time your rental ends, the location should be exactly as it was when you arrived. We charge a flat $500 cleaning fee plus damages for all instances of rubbish and dirt.

  • Please do not leave the front door standing open unless you are loading/unloading.

<Deacon: Not only does noise escape when the door is open, but A/C goes right out the window and it is a HUGE security issue. Sadly, so many have willingly violated this rule that I programmed our door sensor to sound the alarm if the door is left open too long.>

  • You’re responsible for the conduct of your guests. We don’t tolerate disrespectful comments, pornography or hard drug use. If we feel that our safety is at risk, then we will end the rental.

<Deacon: Guys, I can’t say it enough - you deserve the peace of a respectful rental. Most of our rentals are amazing, but occasionally we get some comments that are just…not great>

  • For religious reasons, no ‘occult’ (witchcraft, Ouija, tarot, crystals, etc) activities are permitted.

<Deacon: Not just that, but our home is so haunted that we’ve begun making appointments with priests. Objects move, there are disembodied voices, lights turn themselves off and on. There is a very very weird and scary story of how this happened, but we don’t mess around here. Check out: https://youtu.be/G8qTE0LlO5Q or https://youtu.be/WdhuELYlF_w or https://youtu.be/UmPMo_j0IIo for some of the less frightening instances!>

  • Always use coasters (or a plate) for your drinks on the wood tables and please do not do makeup on the wood tables.

<Deacon: R.I.P. the $800 Distressed wood cafeteria table from World Market after a makeup artist spilled acetone on it, but on the bright side, it was covered by insurance!>

  • Our computer workstation is off limits, as well as any phones or tablets of ours.

<Deacon: There was a time where I allowed someone to use my computer and it came back with pirated CAD software on it, because it ‘looked cool’ for a background shot haha :)>

I hope that helps, guys! My rules just fit our space’s needs, but yours might look completely different (or copy them - I mean, I’d be honored really).

One addition that one of our attendees mentioned that I thought was just BRILLIANT is to have a list of emergency numbers and addresses (hospital, police, fire, etc). This can actually save lives! Back when my wife and I were foster parents, we were required to have these posted on our wall at all times and I am ashamed that I never considered doing this for Peerspace until a much smarter person than I suggested it!

As always, I’m here if you have questions and stay safe, fellow hosts!

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It was a pleasure meeting you and your team Deacon_T ! What a lovely home/workplace!
Thank you for sharing your experiences and offering such detailed suggestions/advice.

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Very helpful! Do you post this on your listing, or do you send to the guest before booking?

I do both actually! That way, nobody can ever say “you never told me that”.

If I feel that a crew has the potential to cause problems, I go over the rules verbally as well.

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