Debrett's: Seven golden rules for the perfect house guest
21st century etiquette
Put your phone away, resist the urge to post pictures of your dinner to social media - and certainly don't get drunk.
These are the most important rules of being the perfect 21st century house guest, according to a new guide produced by Debrett's and Airbnb.
Debrett's, experts in British etiquette for more than 100 years, has published instructions "to navigate the minefield of modern manners when staying in someone's home".
The guide was produced in collaboration with Airbnb, the website through which 30 million rooms have been rented to holidaymakers and other temporary lodgers.
Its research found that more than two thirds of people thought etiquette was in decline.
Along with playing with gadgets and getting drunk, wearing dirty shoes in the house and "snooping" without invitation were among the five most irritating habits shown by house guests.
A Debrett's guide to "homesharing etiquette" has been published at blog.airbnb.com.
Food is for eating, folks. Don't you know your manners?
Additional recommendations include keeping visits to the bathroom as short as possible and assuming that a smoking ban also applies to e-cigarettes.
"Talking while glancing at a screen looks adolescent and ill-mannered," the guide states, while urging guests to "conduct a brief, forensic examination before unlocking the bathroom door."
The seven golden rules are as follows:
1. Be punctilious about punctuality
"Agree departure times in advance and ensure that they are adhered to. Overstaying your welcome is a good way of alienating your hosts."
2. Make a good entrance
"The muddy shoe question can be addressed with a straightforward and friendly request; alternatively, a shoe rack in the hallway will provide a more subtle hint."
3. Respect shared spaces
"Guests should conduct a brief, forensic examination before unlocking the bathroom door."
4. Leave the virtual world behind
"Talking while glancing at a screen looks adolescent and ill-mannered."
5. Be a considerate smoker
"It is also best to assume that a non-smoking ban applies to e-cigarettes and to remember that vaping is best done in private"
6. Be unobtrusive
"It is always safer to ask first, or wait to be told or invited."
7. Keep tabs on dependents
"Allowing a small child to play noisily outside a guest’s bedroom at 6am with an airy ‘count yourself lucky, he got us up at 5am’ is not excusable."
Vaping is fine. Just do it in private.
Joanne Milner, chief executive of Debrett's, said:
"Etiquette is as relevant now as it's ever been. Shared economy businesses like Airbnb are very clever ... [but are] a relatively new phenomenon, and with that comes confusion regarding manners and behaviours."
"Manners are there to make everyone feel welcome, remove any anxiety, and minimise social difficulties or awkwardness.
"It's not difficult to be a great guest or host – you just need to make sure you're fully engaged with the other person, give them your full attention, be courteous and be respectful."