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Airbnb & Surveillance Cameras

Hi people,
Wanting to open up a new home for Airbnb “entire place”!
For security purposes I’m thinking of placing some external security cameras.
Both would be external cameras and not indoors but they would have sight of two outdoor common areas. The front garden and a rooftop patio.
Does this violate any Airbnb Policies?

This is not covered in the Terms of Service. You would do well to inform guests of the cameras in your listing. They would be an unpleasant surprise. Personally, I would check out immediately upon discovering them.

As long as you make it very clear in your listing and perhaps in the guest book

Put it in your listing. I wouldn’t stay in any place so ‘bad’ that the host felt like he needed security cameras. Not to mention that I’d suspect the host might put some “inappropriate” cameras in the bathroom and bedroom.

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It would not bother me as a guest - I’ve stayed in a place with one outside. As long as it’s very clear.

It’s a good way to make sure they don’t bring non paying guests back.

I don’t understand the objection to the cameras. Cameras are everywhere!! I was trying to select the right brand of calcium supplement at my local store last night, looked up, and there was a camera pointed right at me. Every time I take my employers deposit to the bank, buy groceries, drive down the street, goi into the metro system, there is a camera on me! I hate it. I’ve considered always wearing a broad-brimmed hat but I don’t think that’s going to change a thing.

Personally I would like to know there are cameras on the outside; I’d feel more secure.


I have external security cameras in some of my listings as well as use the Ring doorbell that has a motion/ring camera on other listings. I indicate in both the description, in picture captions and in the house manual that the entryway has security cameras (I don’t call them surveillance). I agree with dcmooney, security cameras are now everywhere, and expected in many environments. I wouldn’t expect a security camera in an Oregan treehouse or on a private island, but I would expect it in any kind of urban environment.

I personally think that outside cameras are fine. Extra protection for my goods. Some London hosts have been know to have indoor cameras facing towards the entrance.

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What a mad discussion. We have multiple homes and all have internal cameras in the common areas for security. We don’t flag it in Airbnb.

Every single half decent hotel you stay in has the same.

Your comment made me laugh.

Our larger homes are all very high end and fully staffed. We are required by our insurance to have common area internal security cameras for certain items.

Every single half decent hotel has the same.

Perhaps homes that have security cameras are too ‘good’… Smiles

Lol - Why would you check out? What would you be planning to do there?!
Gotta ask…!?

What is a common area to you though? the living room or the front door landing?

If any cameras are inside it should be clearly listed. There was another topic on few a couple of months back when guests noticed the internal cameras in the kitchen/internal hallway - complained to Air and got their money back.

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Nothing of note. There are privacy-minded people and there are those who would trade privacy for perceived safety. Your starting the sentence with an “LOL” tells a lot about you.

As Kirsty said, the definition of a common area is also up for debate.

Lol means ‘lots of laughs’ so I have no clue what you are implying, other than announcing my attempt to be light hearted.

If you really think that owners want to sit around watching guests in their sitting rooms you are very mistaken… they do not, it is an insurance requirement for high value items. All of our homes are staffed so one could also say the staff were surveilling guests if one wanted to be really pedantic :slight_smile:
smiley face being nice

… again in any high end home and almost every single hotel you will find cameras, so I do not understand the difference.

Common areas are all non-private areas - so all bedrooms and bathrooms are of course camera free.

Thank you for your note though - I am very surprised at this, as all high end homes will have similar levels of security - certainly in Cape Town and Mykonos where we have our homes - I wonder if it makes any difference that our homes are fully staffed or not as of course our staff also see what guests are up to too…!!

Every decent hotel will have the same levels of camera security.

On the reverse - I really wouldn’t want guests who objected to it though (…as what an earth could they possibly be planning to do?!) and I would suspect they would not be a sophisticated traveller if they had a problem with it, so would not be suited to the properties.

So meantime I will certainly ask AirBnB’s advice and report back when they reply.
Thank you!

I am a remote host. I recently put up a cheap Foscam Wifi cam outside my front door looking down my front steps and out to the parking area. I mention it it my listings and since I put it in nobody has said a thing about it. I have monitored it live a few times and have snapshots of people walking by it a few times and nobody has seemed to have even noticed it. I am pretty sure anyone with nefarious intentions would notice it though, it’s not hidden at all. I personally would not put one inside the house or position one to see inside the house. When I rent a whole house I expect the inside to be my private area. A sharing place, which I have never tried, I think would be different.

Thank you for these insights. I’ve been thinking about having a security camera in my laundry room and linen closet area, after a housekeeper nabbed over $500 worth of linens. I also plan to add one outside the main entrance, at the carport, and inside the main entrance, facing the entrance. These are mainly for those instances where a guest says they’re at the house as part of a group and can’t get inside (I can check whether I recognize the person before asking someone to let them inside). Your note about how common they are in hotels helps me feel more comfortable about it. I will mention them in my listing to avoid surprises, but hardly anyone reads the listing, anyway, right? Any recommendations for affordable, unobtrusive ones that are easy to install and use? Thanks Katie.

I actually have a security camera on my parking area just so it makes a “Ding Dong” noise when someone arrives. Usually the day of a guest arrival I was constantly looking out the window to see if they had arrived. Now I just get the Ding Dong on my cell phone and stroll out to meet them! I use a wireless Foscam Camera and “Blue Iris” software.

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