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Inner Light Guest House

I am delighted to be able to provide a rejuvenative, tranquil and retreat-like atmosphere for guests, as well as a healthy, comfortable and safe environment. The following house rules greatly assist the preservation of such a unique environment.

The setting I am offering will not fit everyone's wants or needs, so please honestly assess if you would be able to follow these house rules without difficulty or resentment. Honest assessment requires knowing your own habits and how capable you are of change in these: so for instance, if you regularly cook dinner at midnight, are you being honest with yourself and with me to assert that you can, without difficulty, stay at my house where no one is allowed to use the kitchen after 10pm?

Note as well that when living with and sharing common spaces with other people, things will rarely be "perfect." Cleanliness will not be perfect. This will not be a perfectly silent environment, and you are likely to hear others moving around, talking, sneezing or getting up to go to the bathroom at night. If you require perfection, consider renting an entire apartment instead of a room.

Due to the Global Pandemic created by the coronavirus, it's important that everyone staying in my house follow county/state guidelines to minimize virus transmission. In the instance that someone in the house should come down with coronavirus, they must attempt as far as possible to quarantine themselves in their room, and minimize use of common areas. I would attempt to assign one bathroom for their use and everyone else would be asked to use the other bathrooms. I would assign one kitchen for their use and request everyone else to use the other kitchen.  

 As not everyone understands what's needed to live in harmony in a shared setting, I need to spell everything out in detail. Considerate persons with common sense will find most of what follows to be obvious/easy to follow.  

House rules:

Kindly remove shoes upon entering the house. 

Please leave things as they are in your room and to protect the floors and avoid damage to furniture, do not move furniture around. Do not take things down from walls or hang things on the walls. Do not remove the mattress protector from the mattress. Please do not put objects or signs in the windows.

To create a pleasant and clean atmosphere, no smoking or "vaping" of any substance inside or outside house, anywhere on my property. If you are a smoker, you can take a walk down the street and smoke.  

Because of its overpowering fragrance, please do not bring more than 2 oz of cannabis/marijuana into my house at any time.  

No pets/animals may be brought to my home. If you like animals, there are some in the backyard who enjoy being visited! I am allergic to many types of animals and so your animal cannot come to my house.  

Due to danger of fire, no candles, incense, space heaters or open flames may be used in the house.

Rooms come already furnished, and guests may not bring additional furniture or appliances. I ask that to minimize damage to rooms, and avoid other problems, renters bring no more than 3 suitcases full of belongings.  

This is a "fragrance free" house in the sense of -- I don't allow strong fragrances (some of which have toxic chemicals) to be used here which will permeate the house such as: perfume, cologne, air fresheners, laundry detergent with perfume, incense. Shampoo with fragrance, hand and dish soaps with fragrance are fine, as is deodorant and small amounts of essential oil that do not result in the entire house smelling of something any one renter is using.  

Please observe hours for laundry facilities.  

To keep the house neat and free of clutter, and to avoid intruding on other guests' spaces, please store your items only in your designated storage areas. Anything you put in someone else's storage area may be thrown away. Do not complain to me if your things get thrown out after you put them in someone else's storage area.  

Use of the tub/shower: please clean out hair from the tub drain screen both BEFORE use of the tub and AFTER use of the tub. Try to leave tub basically clean. Cleaning out hair BEFORE use means that if someone else's cleanup was not adequate, you won't be standing in water while taking a shower. Cleaning out AFTER use means the next person finds clean facilities. Do both.

Note that you must clean out the drain regardless of WHOSE hair it is. If you will balk at cleaning out "someone else's hair" from the drain screen, then my house will not be a good fit for you. The rule is NOT that "I only clean my own hair, and if it's someone else's hair I leave it there." IF you think that through adequately you should realize that such an approach is not workable.  

As the house is oriented to be quiet and retreat-like, rooms are single occupancy, and guests may not bring friends or visitors into the house for any amount of time.  I've had several guests ask if they could have their friend or parents come in "for just a few minutes" to see their room, and feel upset when I say no. To help you understand this, let me explain what can unfortunately happen if I say yes.

In one case, a woman asked if her parents could "come in for a minute to see my room." After I said yes, her parents and sister came in and stayed in her room having tea and dinner for several hours. In another case, a guest asked if his friend could come in "for a minute to see the room." After I said yes, the result was the friend walking into the house without removing her shoes (because she did not know the house rules) and then being given a tour of my entire home by my guest, which felt invasive and rude to me, and it was awkward for me to have to put a stop to this after it began. In several other cases, my giving permission for the friend to come in "for a couple minutes" has led to other extended stays or intrusive-feeling situations. Hence, I have a very clear, easy to follow rule that no one who is not a paying guest at my house may enter my house for any amount of time.  

 House quiet hours are 10pm to 8am, (kitchen can be used 6am to 10pm) and laundry hours are 9am to 9pm. To help preserve the tranquil environment, please keep electronic players and/or voices down at all times, do not use electronic devices in common areas (eg, dont' be in the kitchen talking on your phone: this comes across as unfriendly towards another guest who may be standing there next to you) and do not have cellphone conversations in the house after 10pm to avoid disturbing others. No socializing in the house after 10pm. 

 People will befriend each other and socialize in my house, but I don't want renters to be creating a "scene" or a "regular thing" in my house, by which I mean something like "let's get together every night and sit in the kitchen for 3 hours having dinner and talking." Chatting while preparing dinner happens, some socializing happens, but if you seek very regular socializing get-togethers with another renter in my house, please arrange to do that elsewhere so that you don't disturb others here and disrupt the generally retreat-like setting.  

For security's sake, please always lock deadbolts of exterior doors when passing in/out through the doors. 

Communication: at times a problem may arise in the house, and I dont' know who is responsible: eg, I find the front door left unlocked multiple days in a row. If such should occur, I will need to communicate with all guests and ask everyone to please follow the rule about locking doors. If such communication would be offensive to you, and you will be upset at me for communicating with you "because I'm not the one who did that", and you somehow think that I should have magically known this, then you are not a good fit for my home, because in my house we use communication, not mind reading, to solve problems. I point this out because it's happened many times that guests get offended by such ordinary and necessary communications. 

Heat and "extras": rentals at my house come "as is", without extras. If you want more, you'll need to find another place that offers more, and pay more. I offer budget accomodations and there are some limitations to this. At my house, there are no "extra" services, "extra" storage space, or "extra" heat. With the exception of the Hobbit House, where guests can select a "heating plan" and pay in advance for thermostat settings/programming that they feel will work best for them, heat at my house is available as a "fixed quantity". Heat settings are exactly those recomended by Energy Star. Heat is 68 degrees F for several hours in the morning and evening, and is 62 degrees in the middle of the day and at night. Each guest room has a heat register or vent, and guests are able to open or close the vent. Heat settings or program will not be changed to make anyone more comfortable. My house system does not adapt to individual guest needs: rather, guests need to adapt themselves to what I offer. If you're cold, it's easy and common sensical to put on more or warmer clothes, or put on more blankets at night (I provide additional blankets/comforters in each guest room). If you can't manage to do this, you are not a good fit for my home.  

Mail and packages: I don't allow renters to receive mail or packages at my house. There are several places nearby where you can receive mail or packages, eg a UPS outlet, post office, and an Amazon locker on the UC campus. Any mail/packages which are sent here in violation of this policy, will be returned to sender or disposed of, in accordance with applicable law.  

If you have a bicycle, there is a bike storage area outside where you can put it. But please ask me before bringing a bicycle.  

When departing, you're expected to leave the space in the same condition in which it was found, with the exception that I will launder the linens. This means you need to put things back as found and clean the space so that it resembles the condition in which it was when you arrived.  

Guest agrees to pay Host for damages or loss for any of Host's property damaged/lost by the Guest. Guest will also pay host/property owner for any of their labor required to return the space to its original condition and repair damages. 

Guests who repeatedly violate a house rule, or who cause mail to be sent to my home for them after they depart, may be fined $25 for rule violation. There will be a $250 fine for smoking inside my house, something that should never happen.  

To demonstrate that you have read these rules, please convey this code phrase to me: "Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme."  

30 day's notice required upon departure for longer term stays. This is not actually my "house rule", this is California state law. Most people who've rented a unit in California are familiar with this law but for those who aren't an explanation may help. Renters sometimes ask me "is it okay if I leave in 3 days/2 weeks/etc." That is not the right question. You can leave anytime. You can pay for a stay and not come at all to stay. There's a difference between when you can leave, which is obviously whenever you want, versus what your payment obligations are. The law requires you give 30 day's notice of your departure, so for instance, if you arrange with me to stay for 3 months June 1 to Sept 1, and then on June 30 you tell me you've decided you want to leave by July 15, then you'd be obligated to pay for 30 days from whatever point you "officially" give notice that you are leaving, which in this case is June 30. That means you'd be obligated to pay for the space until July 30th.  

Rule Explanation

I don't include long explanations for my house rules, as those who approach in good faith can simply do as asked, following the rules at face value, without needing to put me on the defensive to explain myself. As well, I don't want to burden you with extra reading. But if you need clarification on anything, I am available.

Most people see that the house rules are fairly straightforward and common sensical. But some people have difficulties or questions with some of the material, thus I have found though that a few words of explanation can help give context.  

First, I do not have a "curfew" at my house, I have quiet hours. The difference is that while certain activities are not allowed during quiet hours in order to avoid disturbing others, you can come and go from the house at any hour of the day or night, so long as you try to be quiet in coming and going.  

Next, as an overall comment, my rules are in no sense "arbitrary", and I don't have a single rule that hasn't been necessitated by someone creating a problem in my house. The rules only exist to try to prevent problems. If you have difficulty believing this and suspect a nefarious ulterior motive, or feel overcontrolled by my attempt to run things smoothly and live comfortably in my own home, then my house is not the best fit for you and you should seek another place to stay. 

Third, several of the rules reflect my intention of making things sufficiently clear so as to minimize the effort, work or communication required by myself as well as everyone else in the house. Eg, if there are two ways of doing something, one being simple and quick, and the other time-consuming and requiring multiple emails to multiple people and many replies, I'm going with the former. Every time.  

Fourth, my house is not run in a democratic way, and I can't be outvoted in my own home. Please don't engage in efforts to subvert my authority, as this is disrespectful and rude. So for instance, if the house rule is that no one is to cook in the kitchen after 10pm, this doesn't mean that you can actually cook in the kitchen after 10pm if "everyone else agrees this is not a problem." My rules are not subject to being overridden because several renters "agree" on anything. It's not up to renters to decide what is and what is not a problem and create the rules. That's for me alone to do. 

Finally, it's your responsibility, from the moment you arrive, til the moment you depart, to be able to follow all rules without needing reminders. Do whatever you need to do to carry out this responsibility: such as reading the rules twice, three times, 10 times, whatever you need. It's on you. It's unpleasant for everyone when I have to speak to people about not following the rules. I mention this because it happens more often than it should, that after someone tells me they've read the rules, has conveyed the code phrase to demonstrate they have done so, they arrive and I have to speak to them 2 or 3 or more times about their breaking various house rules. 

See information related to payments and security deposits here: payments and security deposits

Arbitration. All claims and disputes arising under or relating to this Agreement are to be settled by Binding Arbitration in the state of California. An award of arbitration may be confirmed in a court of competent jurisdiction.

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