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AirBnB shenanigans - don't trust the records, take a copy of your screen!

You don’t need to summarize a long list of ever-changing govt. rules. As another host mentioned, all you have to do is to write prominently on your listing for guests to check govt. regs re Covid, vaccinations, etc ., before booking.

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That being said, I agree to save yourself headaches you need a bold warning in your listing for people to check the government travel requirements & you recommend travel insurance as you cannot be responsible for changing restrictions.

Possibly good advice. However, every time I tried to do so, unless I specifically added in all the allowable exclusions I just ended up with something so weak that it effectively said “you must ensure that your booking complies with the laws in force at the time”, which is of course always trivially true in all circumstances, and should not really need to be said. Also, I wonder how many hosts have actually done this? Because it is clear it should be done by every host in this country, whereas a quick check I have just done in my own area turns up none at all - and I can understand why!

I actually suggested to AirBnB that they add a filter on their site allowing guests to filter their searches by vaccination status. I can filter on whether the place has a hot tub, a hair dryer, or allows smoking or pets or kids, but not on whether guests need to be vaccinated? :astonished:

Well, if I had a dollar for everything I have in my listing and rules and House Manual that should not really need to be said… :money_mouth_face: :money_mouth_face: :money_mouth_face:

As you have found out, common sense and common courtesy CANNOT be assumed these days.

It’s all there for my protection from the listing platforms & guests…to lay the foundation for decisions to go in my favor and to get the kinds of guests I want to host (and it’s still a coin toss at times)

A different can of worms. Plus it is so important in your case (legal) that you need to write it in the listing also. I do the same regarding kids and pets…have it in triplicate…and people STILL ignore it at times. If they allowed you to let guests filter on that criteria, you’ll still get rule breakers (hoping it changes by the time their trip is coming around)

I cannot even imagine the manpower (that we are all clear they have let go of) it would take to keep that accurate. No way they take that liability. And imagine if they end up blocking your bookings that would have been allowable. A different can of worms.

It would be up to the host to keep it accurate according to their local laws. This is what you are suggesting I do anyway - I am just saying it should probably apply to everyone. You could have three options a host could select:

  • vaccination not required
  • vaccination required
  • check your circumstances with the host

Anyway, after this bad experience, we have elected to go down another route. Since we don’t allow instant booking in any case I now have a discussion about vaccination with each potential guest before we accept their booking. The number of times I have had guests try to book even when they were clearly unable to do so is quite astonishing, so I decided in the end that nothing I put on the listing is going to save me from having to do this unless AirBnB makes a change to their site and/or educates their CSRs a bit better.

Why not make sure you require vaccinations? That you only accept vaccinated people?

Those pro-covid folks, why would you want them around anyway?


LOL, yeah, sorry. I deleted that paragraph but you grabbed it before I was finished :slight_smile:

By a different can of worms, I just meant that, at least where I am, vax status is a hot political issue and it’d be an issue to do anything more than say it’s what you prefer. I can’t imagine Air could keep up with where it’s legal and where it isn’t when a guest complains a listing is requiring it where it isn’t required by local government.

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Perhaps not in your area, but there are actually tons of hosts who have now said up front in their listings that they accept vaccinated guests only. And this is happening even where there are no govt. mandates requiring it.

I am so new to this and have trouble working my way around the listing, changing things. Where can one put in these rules? What would be a good way to word it? Also, how can I change the rules about kids? We have a river at the bottom of the back yard and there is no fence between the house and the river. I think people should know that if they are bringing kids.

Perhaps not in your area, but there are actually tons of hosts who have now said up front in their listings that they accept vaccinated guests only. And this is happening even where there are no govt. mandates requiring it.

They no doubt have different rules - we would not be allowed to do anything that easy! :slight_smile:

I will have a wider look at how others here are dealing with the issue, but I think we have reached the only possible solution for our particular case, which is that we now point out the current rules (as we understand them), and ask the guest to disclose their vaccination status so we (i.e not they) can determine whether or not we can accept the booking. We are the ones who will be held liable, so we are the ones who have to make the decision.

Anyway, the main point of this thread was not really about whether or not we should allow non-vaccinated guests, it was about AirBnB changing the message thread to allow them to impose a host penalty that was clearly not justified, and which was possibly done by the CSR to cover up their initial mistake.

Still waiting to hear about the outcome of the review of the penalty. I will give them another day or two, then ask them what happened.

@RockHouse I know new sites can be confusing, especially Airs, but I highly recommend you be on a computer (vs mobile app) and systematically start clicking. You can also do a search and there are short “how to” items on there.

Switch to hosting and then start exploring every menu and section. Change something and see how it impacts your listing via “preview” (you’ll find it eventually :wink: ) or open another window and your listing will show up first if you look in your area. Later you can learn to use incognito windows so Air doesn’t know it’s you and you can see where you show up in the search results…but save that for later.

No one can really handhold you through the basics. You need to dive in and get familiar.


What do you mean, different rules?

What do you mean, different rules?

I mean we are not simply allowed to disallow non-vaccinated guests. In addition to the specific exemptions we have to allow, there is a general provision that we cannot discriminate on the basis of vaccination status. Here is a direct quote from our government website:

A strict rule or condition that requires COVID-19 vaccination as a condition of entry, or as a condition for the delivery or provision of goods, services or facilities, may engage the ‘indirect discrimination’ provisions in the SDA, the DDA and the ADA.

Clear as mud :frowning:

Where are you located?

Hosts can require that guests be vaccinated just like any other house rules- no pets, no children, no unvaccinated.

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@rossh , I hear you. So frustrating!
Last year our government changed the rules about STRs so frequently that I was constantly dealing with guests who wanted to come even though they were not allowed. It would have been impossible to keep my own rules up to date (although I did try), and telling people to check for travel restrictions before booking would have been silly. Their bookings were fine at the time they booked, but then suddenly not fine when another lockdown happened.
I am not currently required to check vaccination status, but I think that is coming. When it does, I will be in the same boat as you. Sure, I think everyone should be vaccinated, but so far I haven’t had to police that in my stand-alone listing. Once I have to start telling everyone who is already booked that they will need to show me their vaccination QR code, one of them is bound to dig in his heels and then I will be at the mercy of a CS rep.
Let us know how it turns out.

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Where are you located?


Hosts can require that guests be vaaccinated just like any other house rules- no pets, no children, no unvaccinated.

It’s not so simple here. Businesses cannot simply refuse their services to non-vaccinated customers - they are obliged to make “reasonable adjustments” - i.e. offer an alternative methods of receiving the service. Here is another quote from the same government web site I quoted previously:

The DDA requires businesses involved in the provision of goods and services to make ‘reasonable adjustments’ for people with disability. … Depending on the circumstances of the case, a ‘reasonable adjustment’ may include allowing unvaccinated customers into a shop or to receive services if they cannot receive a COVID-19 vaccination for medical reasons.

It is not clear what a ‘reasonable adjustment’ would be in the case of short term rentals. Offer them a tent, perhaps? Of course, most businesses do nothing of the kind and simply rely on never being caught out - but I don’t want to be the one to find out! :frowning:

Businesses cannot simply refuse their services to non-vaccinated customers …

Quoting myself here - I should perhaps have made it clear that we are not just renting a room or two for some additional income. We run a short-term rental business, and it is our only source of income - so we have to be a bit more diligent about complying with the rules than some other AirBnB hosts might be.

Let us know how it turns out.

Good news!

I just chased this up and got a different CSR this time who said they would take the issue up for me with “the team” (whoever that is).

It seems “the team” could see immediately that something was not right with this cancellation. It only took them a few minutes to decide to waive all the cancellation penalties. They said “It’s not something we do very often, but under the circumstances, that you did not initiate the cancellation, we’re happy to help.”

I can see that the calendar block has now been removed, but I probably won’t see the money refunded till my next payout.


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That’s rich- “It’s not something we do very often”- what, take responsibility for their own errors? Good of them to admit it. :rofl:

I’m not sure what money you think you’ll get refunded, though. You mean the fine for cancelling?


I’m not sure what money you think you’ll get refunded, though. You mean the fine for cancelling?

Yes, they took this out of my last payout. Which was really the only reason I ever noticed the whole thing!


They’ve given me that line also. Fools. It’s to discourage you in future and to make it seem like they are being generous. Hmph. Mess up again and I’ll be calling again. And again. And again.

Glad you’re getting your penalty fee returned and your record cleared!

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