AirBnB Overly Lenient "Service/Assistance" Animal Policy

But the Airbnb policy also states:

Airbnb recognizes that some jurisdictions may require prohibitions on all animals, including assistance animals, and we do not require hosts to violate local laws or take actions that may subject them to legal liability.

So if there are HOA restrictions, that would appear to override the Airbnb policy.

I was just about to say that, thanks Muddy. :grinning:

Fortunately, “emotional support whatevers” are not recognised here. Turn up with one, we’ll help you find the pavement.

Saying that, we had a French girl (travelling with two friends) message us on the way, she was 6-8hrs out, asking if she could bring her two dogs.

We said “nope”.

By the time she got here she was frantic, so we made a couple of calls and found a place that would accept two extremely large and elderly dogs, and one of her friends took the dogs there.

Ended up a strange stay for them split between two venues, but after our initial irritation of her essentially chancing her arm dissipated, we all got on great. Even ate out with them a couple of times, and my daughter fell in love with one of their dogs, until she touched it. Absolutely stinking! I don’t think they washed it very often…


[quote=“muddy, post:21, topic:45656”]
So if there are HOA restrictions, that would appear to override the Airbnb policy.
[/quote] and @sw

I know that HOAs fancy themselves as all powerful but they are not jurisdictions and they don’t make laws. If an HOA rule overode the Airbnb policy, that’s no different than me saying that my multi-family home is “pet free”. These animals are not seen as “pets” by Airbnb, so it doesn’t matter what an HOA says about pets. It would need to be a local law or regulation.

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It seems that a number of Hosts find AirBnB’s TOS covering “pets” to be a problem.
So, can we return to the original question of this post?

Is that number sufficient to approach AirBnB as a group, explain the issues, and ask for a reconsideration of their policy?

Or, is there a better course of action (since we all know how well AirBnB supports Host requests)?

Worst case scenario is they delete our listings with no recourse!

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Why not get it started and see? This forum only has a small sampling of the Airbnb hosts worldwide but once you have your petition or group ready for action you can let us know about it here.


I would be happy to create a draft document proposing changes to the AirBnB “Pet Policy” for the Forum to review. But first we should establish at least two things:

  • First, is the Forum willing to submit these proposed changes as a united request?
  • Second, precisely to whom should we send the proposed changes?

Additionally, it is true that there are many hosts in countries other than the US. However, since AirBnB is a US corporation it seems reasonable that a US host forum take the initiate. I have no desire to form a separate group as that would be divisive to our needs as hosts. I’m trying to determine if there is a will and a desire among this forum to address this issue. If we work as together we might have some effect.

Otherwise we can decide that it’s not worth the effort to try, stop here, and remain a social site.


Years ago there were many many threads about this on AirBnB’s own forums and I seriously doubt that has not continued. You can ask in the USA questions about Service Dogs, I only ever had on Service Dog, and was pretty sure that was a fake, loads of Assistance Animals and there are no ADA questions you can ask about them as they are not covered.

From what I have seen with US Airlines you can still to a much more limited extent use the ESA line, need paperwork etc but paying $75 on line for a letter that is good for a year seems a better deal than paying $100 for a pet fee.

They have tweaked their terms over the years so it is not that they do not know it is an issue but not really an issue for them.

I reckon that just about sums up Airbnb’s attitude.


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Although a communication officially from the forum might have oomph, the owners would have to change their current hands-off operating rules to one of “taking positions,” and they’d have to set up some sort of governing function to determine those positions. Therefore it is more practical to organize without forum imprimatur.

First, look for other host organizations that are already in existence and see if you can add this to their agenda/list of grievances. There’s been a lot of chatter about “Airbnb Hosts Union” but I don’t think anyone’s yet put in the effort and resources to really get that going.

An alternate way would be to attempt to link up with for-profit Airbnb host training sites and conferences, and leverage off of those organizations and their audiences.

Or set up a Facebook page “Airbnb Hosts For Fair Treatment” or whatever, let us know. Encourage hosts to complain to Airbnb directly, include a complaint template and contact information. Gin up a “Letter to Chesky,” on the the site, collect signatures via PM or by some mechanism. Ask for horror stories of service animal destruction, with photos if available, of hosts willing to be interviewed by media. Best to focus on emotional support animals, which are more viewed as joke while true service animals are respected. When you get several thousand signatures (which will be hard as people’s attention is so scattered), mail the letter. At the same time you mail the letter to Chesky, send a press release to reporters who have written about Airbnb and travel industry. “5,000 Airbnb Hosts Send Letter to Brian Chesky About Unfair Support Animal Policy!”. Reference new airline policies and the juiciest of the horror stories.

This is doable but it will be like a second job.

I just inform inquirers that my dog will not tolerate another animal on the property and out of concern for fights and injuries, I cannot in good conscience allow guest animals.


No idea. I for one, have no problem with the policy at all so am not interested in personally agitating for a change. OTOH, I understand why the policy isn’t good for other hosts and would be willing to lend my name to the cause to assist others.

You need to figure that out, it is your project.


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You seem quite knowledgeable about this. What can one do is they suspect its not a service animal? I think its illegal to request license or w.e, but there has to be some sort of information proving its a service dog.

While it seems odd - there is no documentation showing that a service dog is “real”. Most of the time, if someone shows you a certificate, that is a pretty good sign that it’s a fraud: there is no such thing as a certificate, but lots of places that will sell you one. What you can do is ask the two questions (including what task the service dog performs) and then watch that the dog actually is performing those tasks (when you can - it would be tough to see if an alert dog is actually doing what it should as long as it is paying attention to its handler). It’s easier when the dog is doing something physical - balance, seeing, hearing dogs for example. If you suspect a fraud, the only recourse I’m aware of is calling LE to report it. Perhaps someone has a better answer.

What we have witnessed several times (my wife’s dog is balance trained) is airline staff quietly commenting that it is so nice to actually see a real service dog. That gave us a hint at how widespread the frauds must be.

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Thank you so much for your response and for being so understanding as a service animal owner. As someone who actually has one, it must be difficult to see so many people take advantage of such a necessary assistance. Again, thank you :slight_smile:

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Emotional Support animals are real. While some people might fake it to skirt the system, many people are not. You wouldn’t win if you went to court given you’re in direct violation of Airbnb’s policy.

But they are not recognized under the ADA (in the US)

This is what many hosts are complaining about. We agree to the TOS, but in the end it is our investment and some hosts will do whatever they can to protect that.


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It doesn’t matter though if they aren’t recognized by the ADA. You can say whatever you want about protecting your investment, but that’s ABB’s policies. Also I often find that people are dirtier and more damaging than animals.

They can be but they are also the one paying for the privilege. I have a $15 per night pet charge but wish I could get the $60 I get for my Airbnb room.