There is no way on the AirBnB platform to have guests pay anything upfront. The “security deposit” isn’t actually collected unless there is damage done, and then you have to prove that damage to AirBnB beyond a shadow of a doubt to collect.
Also, I don’t think there’s a way to collect that “security deposit” from only specific guests. I may be wrong though. But I think it would apply to all your guests and you might not end up with any bookings.
The AirBNB representative identifies himself as Charlie. From my point of view AirBNB’s demands just aren’t worth it. We received a barrage of emails from Charlie this morning advising we can’t charge more money for cleaning or other palliative remedies, such as a higher security deposit, and that we are in violation of AirBNB’s policies. Violation or not we are not married to AirBNB.
Okay, not the same guy. Yeah, as I see it, we really don’t have an option to continue with Air because I can’t compromise my family’s health.
As much as I hate going to VRBO with their crazy fees, I just chatted with their customer service, and they don’t have the same policies in regards to ESAs. (Actually, not even in regard to service dogs. I guess they figure you will have to deal with the consequences if you violate federal law, but it’s not on them to police you.)
And they actually encourage people with service animals to find pet-friendly properties!
Hmmmm looks like I may be switching to VRBO despite their fees. It’s too bad Air insists on running a nanny state. Guess they figure the make more money forcing people to accept animals than they lose when/if hosts list elsewhere.
Just to clarify, no documentation is required nor can one ask for it for a Service Dog in the United States. However, documentation can be required for an Emotional Support Animal. In order to claim ESA one has to have a written note/prescription from their doctor to make it official. Check the ADA site for further clarification on this issue. I deal with it daily at my regular business.
I would disagree with this. There is no “official” anything for ESAs. You can have a doctor write you a note. Or you can go online and google ESA certificate and buy one for like $20. Neither one gives a person any kind of guarantee of anything because ESAs don’t require any training. ADA doesn’t consider ESAs to be service animals, so they don’t have any requirements for them.
OK, to clarify in order to claim the need for ESA you need a written note from your doctor. It’s in the rules regarding housing discrimination.
That may be true for long-term rentals under the Fair Housing Act (I’m really not sure), but that’s a completely different thing than ADA rules and would not apply to short-term rentals.
Are you an attorney? Asking for information purposes, not snarkyness. Please point me to current case law that changes ADA Regulation on this. I have spoken directly with folks in the DOJ’s office (the administration that deals with ADA issues) and this is the information they have given me. Are you telling me that since you are, in my estimation here, claiming that an Airbnb is not a public place, we don’t have to follow the same rules and can ask for certification that doesn’t exist in the first place, generally speaking, for service dogs?
There is actually no such thing as a guaranteed pet-free room at a hotel in the US. Service dogs can legally use pet-free rooms because they are not considered “pets.”
eta: But I totally agree it’s not black and white. Because the laws were written before short-term, private vacation rentals were a thing, they really don’t address the issue.
Thank You. I see where you are coming from. As a business person that has had to deal with this on a regular basis, I strongly feel that service dogs should require some kind of certification. However, it needs to be provided free of charge and be a fairly simple process for the handler, rather than just another barrier they have to deal with regarding their disability. It is quite the Gordian Knot and fakers make it extremely difficult for the folks with genuine service dogs. As for the ESA’s as far as I can tell, only long term rentals and public transportation (planes, trains and busses) are required to allow them. I could be wrong but that is all I could find.
that is your regular business not Airbnb which has it’s own set of rules as it is allowed. There are no rules regarding ESA. There is no training, there is no registration and businesses are free to ban them as many grocery stores do - it is their choice.
Air chooses not to ban them and requires those who do business with them to abide by their choice. Like it or lump it.
We seem to have two opposing sides here and they are never going to gel. On the one hand we have hosts saying:
This is my property and I can choose who (or what) I want to stay here. I can make whatever rules I prefer to have.
Then on the other hand Airbnb saying:
This is our website and our service so we can decide what rules we prefer to have.
No matter what, there is always going to be conflict between Airbnb and some hosts.
I’ve been thinking about this “shared space” idea with regard to my whole house rental. No I don’t live in that house. The rental and my house are not connected per se but do share a driveway. They are situated 60 feet apart on the same property. Even though I don’t live in the house my outdoor cats treat it as part of their territory and have a few favorite hiding spots under shrubs by the back door where they like to sleep. If a dog were to come and stay over there it would be invading their home and displace them and that doesn’t seem right.
Not that I’m going to go to battle over this but I’m wondering what others might think about this - the fact that I have animals that live on the property.
Okay, here’s another thought/question:
Is there a limit as to what kind of animal a guest can claim as a ESA? What if they have something exotic? I don’t see mention on Airbnb that it is limited to dogs or cats.
Federal law does not require hosts to provide accommodation to people who have assistance animals where the owner of that animal is not disabled. My point is that the requirement by AirBNB is an AirBNB thing and not the federal goverments, and this is clarified on the ADA website. AirBNB obviously can’t come out state they are going to require owners to accept animals for fear that owners won’t sign up with them so they sneak it in under assistance animals.
The best thing for all of us is to go get our own website and dump AirBNB. A good website can get you just as much traffic as AirBNB does.
Firstly guests will already be on the Airbnb website, so our own won’t get a look in. Secondly it’s actually really expensive and difficult to get page 1 of Google with SEO. I suppose it might be mildly possible with a holiday let.
There is actually a way around this. You can use the “request money from guest” function. Then you click “extra services”. I only get deposits from weekend bookings which are more likely to have a party (I’m in a party area). I explain that the deposit is going to be sent straight back the day of checkout and had no problems so far. I request the deposit to be sent at least the day before arrival so they dont have to miss their money for so long. One reservation had a party and never asked for their deposit back even though they did no damage.