These are the top house guest rules we should follow – how many are you guilty of breaking?

Are your following the correct etiquette as a guest? New research highlights the bad habits most likely to irritate hosts...

Could your desire to stay online make you an impolite guest? New research carried out by Virgin Media revealed immediately asking for the Wifi password, when you're a guest, is the most common rule-breaking act likely to cause offence.

Leaving shoes on, leaving the loo seat up and not using coasters were also all found to be unwelcome occurrences.

Related: The Royal Etiquette guide to hosting guests this Summer

'Wherever we are, whatever we are doing, we always have the urge to stay online,' explains Richard Sinclair MBE, executive director of connectivity at Virgin Media. 'When visiting friends and family, research has shown that asking for the WiFi code is one of the first things people do.'

living room with sofa coffee table and fireplace

(Image credit: Future PLC/Simon Scarboro)

More than a quarter of British homeowners consider it ‘impolite’ to ask for the WiFi password at all. Of the 2000 adults surveyed one in 10 have gone to the extreme of refusing to hand it over, reasoning ‘they’ve come for a visit, not to sit glued to their device’.

If homeowners do choose to divulge such information, they believe guests should wait for up to 30 minutes before asking.

As result of the findings a list of house rules were drawn up to indicate how best to behave when in other's homes.

Top 10 house rules guests should follow

1. Taking shoes off on entry

front door with coats hanging

(Image credit: Future PLC/Polly Eltes)

Treat your host's home as if it were your own and remove your shoes straight off.

2. No shoes on the sofa

Shoes should already be off by the time you reach the sofa, if adhering to the first rule. No feet on furniture at all is a good rule to eliminate any problems.

3. Always flushing the toilet

Regardless  if you're on a mission to save water in your own home, take note – not flushing is not welcomed when you're a guest.

4. Not using a cup without a coaster

teapot and cup without coaster

(Image credit: Future PLC/Douglas Gibb)

Unsightly ring marks left on the coffee table is never a good look. To ensure the utmost politeness always ask for a coaster. If the host doesn't have one, at least you've asked.

5. No looking at devices at the table

Take a screen break for mealtimes at least.

6. No swearing

As any Big Brother host would say, 'we are live, please do not swear'. Try to keep the language respectful when in someone else's home.

7. Keeping the toilet seat down

Keep a lid on it, thanks.

8. Washing your hands before dinner

Ensure hands are fresh and clean before breaking bread with friends and family.

9. Putting on slippers and socks when you enter the house

hallway with slippers

(Image credit: Future PLC/Polly Eltes)

Make yourself at home they say, just perhaps not to the extent of slippers? Not that we personally are offended by this one, but who are we to break the rules.

There are always areas that should be off-limits. Reember you're a guest, not presenting 'Through the Keyhole'.

Related: The worst habits of Christmas house guests are revealed!

Richard concludes by saying 'As is courtesy when visiting someone else’s home, you should be mindful and always respect their rules to avoid any awkward situations.'


Tamara was Ideal Home's Digital Editor before joining the Woman & Home team in 2022. She has spent the last 15 years working with the style teams at Country Homes & Interiors and Ideal Home, both now at Future PLC. It’s with these award wining interiors teams that she's honed her skills and passion for shopping, styling and writing. Tamara is always ahead of the curve when it comes to interiors trends – and is great at seeking out designer dupes on the high street.