Disappointed with airbnb's new no indoor camera policy

I think this new policy is unfair and unsafe to hosts.

Here in NYC we are only permitted to do STR where we live. We have to share the space with our guests. So as much as we don’t want to have personal stuff in our spaces, there’s only so much we can put away.

I only feel comfortable doing airbnb STR because I have ring cameras in the hallways, the kitchen and my daughter’s art room.

I do not want to remove it from the hallways because:

  1. My outdoor cameras are not reliable. It picks up every passerby and every car but doesn’t always pickup when there’s a guest at the door. I rely on my hallway camera for accurate notification when someone enters my house. As much as I try to pick good guests, at the end of the day, they are strangers in my house & around my family. So many have tried to enter doors they no they shouldn’t enter. God forbid something goes wrong, I need proof.

  2. so many guests leave my doors wide open & never say anything. I only know when I get an alert from my indoor camera. The outside camera always misses it. If I have to remove my hallway camera, anyone passing by could just walk in.

  3. When I 1st started airbnb, I had damages & theft. I only received reimbursement for a tv stolen by a guest because I had proof from the hallway camera (the outside camera missed it).

  4. Too many guests have tried to sneak in unregistered guests. I have to be careful with this because NYC maximum guests is 2 or risk getting fined.

I do not want to remove the camera from my daughter’s art room because:

  1. it can’t be closed off & there are too many guests touching her belongings. They only stop because they remember I have the camera. I have nowhere else to move her stuff.

  2. I get a notification when they try to open the door to my daughter’s bedroom. There’s big sign on the door so they know it’s off limits but, the still try to open it.

  3. If someone goes in her bedroom, or damages her stuff or takes something, I want to be able to look back and see who did it.

The kitchen camera helps:

  1. to see if the burner has been left on.

  2. when people forget stuff in the fridge, I can go back & see if it’s my kids or if it was a guest.

  3. When I found a bunch of food in the sink, I was able to go back & see who did it (it’s not a garbage disposal).

  4. When I saw slimy stuff in the sink drain, I was able to go back & see, someone hacked up thick spit in it. I knew I had to take extra precaution, clean/disinfect/sanitize even more than usual.

  5. more importantly, if I need to, I can see when someone is trying to access the bedroom right next to the kitchen, it’s off limits to guests.

I don’t know what to do. This new policy will just give guests freedom to break house rules.

I’m ok getting rid of the kitchen camera. I’m not ok getting rid of the camera in my daughters art room. I don’t feel safe getting rid of my hallway cameras.

03-14-2024 update: I got a call back from airbnb support team. I am able to keep the cameras in the 1st floor hallway to monitor my entry doors since my airbnb room is on the 2nd fl. The person I spoke with said she was also surprised with the new policy. She think maybe if enough host complain they might possibly amend it :crossed_fingers:t4:


Camera issue side, I am astonished at the litany of abuse you have suffered at the hands of your guests. We’ve been at this almost 10 years now, and have not had one incident that comes anywhere near this behaviour.

I don’t know if you are in touch with other hosts in NYC – is this typical?


I am also rather shocked. I’ve been homesharing since 2016 and I never get disrespectful guests. I don’t even ever lock my bedroom door and have never had a guest go in there.
Hard to believe homeshare guests would try to sneak in extra guests.

How do you try to pick good guests, @jenm ? Can you not get a more reliable camera for the front door? That it doesn’t pick up people entering or leaving sounds strange. And you can get door hardware (spring-loaded things) that will ensure the front door closes when someone goes out.

As for guests entering areas clearly marked private, I don’t know what to say.


I only have 4 years of hosting experience but it is only due to the surveillance cameras that we became aware of disrespectful behavior of guests.

We’re located in France near the Swiss border and I would consider this area civilized and “normal” but this business brings us hosts in touch with folks from all over the world and sometimes Airbnb “guests” reserve our space for other people (usually family members when they come to visit) which is allowed but almost every time they never provide the actual guest’s details which, by law, we have to collect anyways if they come from a foreign country.

Disrespect towards our house rules like this is an ongoing issue not to mention that some guests blatantly try to break our no-pet rule by checking in without their dog but trying to sneak it in later at night.

I think you guys have been very lucky and surely there will be hosts who never have any issues. But after having had a few hundred guests I can assure you that no matter how well you screen your guests, there will (usually) always be some odd ones :sweat_smile:


There are hosts who say they could never share their their own home where they live with guests, but I’m the opposite- I would never want to host an entire place where guests were free to do whatever they want and you’d only know about it by seeing it on a camera or finding out after they check out that they had a party or stole things.
Sure, I’ve gotten a few “odd” guests- people who seemed to have few social skills, and one disrespectful incident (a guest bringing some guy home with her in the middle of the night), but I have hosted about 70 guests and none of them except for that one girl have ever caused any problems.


I guess we provide what, we ourselves, feel comfortable with. As a traveller, I prefer to have a space to myself, having unobstructed access to the facilities for example is a must have - not because of any medical conditions but just to have my ‘freedom’. Same goes for any spaces where I would not want someone else to see me without a shirt on etc.

In all fairness, not all guests that rent an entire place trash the place or break rules. We’re usually fully booked with same day check-out and check-ins so plenty of people seem to have the need for a place to themselves alone and so far we have not lost our faith in humanity :sweat_smile:

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I’m assuming you are dependent on Airbnb income. You don’t say how long you have been doing this but if you have been doing it very long you probably have repeat guests. You could move those trusted guests to direct booking.

You could try Furnished Finder to find people who need medium term rentals.

You can just violate Airbnb policy until they shut you down.

Getting Airbnb to change their policy just for you for the reasons you’ve listed is going to be impossible. Unfortunately, not all hosts are trustworthy and have abused their camera’s uses. Many have posted stories here over the years that are borderline creepy. Sure, we want to protect our stuff, but as guests, we don’t want to be watched all the time.

In your situation I’d just leave the cameras until Airbnb shut me down and then I’d find another income stream.


I would just hate staying in any tented accommodation that has surveilance cameras dotted all around the premises.

I am hosting for 12 years now and truthfully have never experienced a serious problem with ovetseas guests, mind you I do clearly recall an Irish mature family who visited Dec. 2023 last through booking directly on our web site with no reviews, and totally disrespected our place. They were originally locals from the Clifden area now working in London. Never again.

Anyway, we have now replaced many items of furniture and replaced curtains, throws, small carpets etc. etc. and had a professional valet carried out.

Cameras, well, after my rant, I still feel they are an invasion of one’s privacy.

Airbnb banning them, it is simply an economic matter for them.

I dont think they really care a jot about these other than a reflected drop in income commissions from properties where these cameras are installed.

Best of luck everyone hosting in 2024. Our Airbnb bookings have fallen through the floor this year so its probably not an economic option for us going forward. Airbnb has totally saturated the market with properties and room to let thus driving the STL business into the sheds, just being polite.


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My property has been ‘in compliance’ with this new rule for years and this publicity will only help us to attract guests. Airbnb hosts who do not know that putting a lock on a door does more to help their security than a camera facing inward will possibly leave the platform (there’s always someone who comes to this forum to say they are leaving due to that ‘last straw’ rather than solve a problem) and I will possibly get that guest next time. Win/win.


I don’t doubt what you say, but I do not recall reading any of this. Are you talking about “creepy” stories when the hosts posting to this forum were travelling, or when describing their own property/guests?

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I’m talking about this. I’m not going to go searching for anyone now although I could probably recall a few forum ID’s if I tried. And if I did find them I wouldn’t post who it was. And it’s subjective in any case. What I find creepy someone else might think was just fine.

Keep in mind I’ve been an active participant here since 2015 and reading before that in 2014. I’ve also read virtually every post here in that time, LOL. So I’d say “Trust, but verify.” You could probably search threads and find some posts that would illustrate what I’m referring to if you were bored. Really bored.


Not that bored!


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when I 1st started I would accept guest that were ID verified even if they didn’t have reviews & never really asked any questions. Now I ask if the booking is only for them, if they’ve read through & looked at all of the pictures & their descriptions. Sometimes I even ask what brings them to the area or what attracted them to my listing. Most people are happy to answer they questions & are great guests. Some get angry and well do me a favor because, i they anger so easily I don’t want them as guests lol

I only been doing this close to 1 year. I was contemplating selling my house before I started airbnb. I have a full time job. The extra income has been helping pay down debt in hopes of keeping my house.
I signed up for Furnished Finder last year & I don’t know if I will sign up again this year. It didn’t work out for me because most people want the entire apartment or want a room for way less than what I get on airbnb.
I’m trying very hard not to do MTR nor LTR because here in NYC after 30 days they get tenant rights. If they decide not to pay rent I have to deal with a long court process. I had issues with a previous LTR tenant and I don’t want to go through that again.
Yes, I’m hoping there are enough complaints that they will allow us to at least keep the hallway cameras.
Yes, I might just continue until I get shut down for having cameras in the hallway lol


lol I never said anything about leaving lol I haven’t decided what I’m doing. maybe I’ll just rent 1 room instead of 2. I don’t know yet. I still have debt to pay off lol
Making a blanket statement for the entire airbnb platform is a bit unfair. Every country, state, city, house is different and not all places have the same laws.
I have locks on my door. Unfortunately, some guests just don’t care enough or are just are too much in a rush to paying attention to closing the door behind them.

Well, it sounds like you have a better vetting process in place now. I never even paid much attention to whether guests were ID verified. All it means is that they submitted some official ID, but plenty of people you wouldn’t want as guests have valid driver’s licenses.

I’ve accepted guests with no reviews, some who showed as having had accounts for years. A lot of hosts think that’s suspicious, but it actually wasn’t at all. One guy said he joined planning to take a trip, but the trip fell through, one had had a couple stays but the hosts didn’t bother to leave a review, and one said she’d stayed at Airbnbs a lot, but had been with her husband, booked under his account. All of those folks turned out to be lovely guests.

And I recently had a guest whose profile said she had joined in 2022 and she had no reviews. In her booking request message she told me there had been some big tech glitch and she went into her account to find that her 22 5* reviews had completely disappeared and her join date of 2015 suddenly said 2022. No amount of back and forth with Airbnb was able to restore her correct profile info. She stayed with me for a week, so I got to know her well enough to be quite sure she isn’t someone who would make up a story like that.

I find the best way to get a feel for the guest is by their communication and I try to exchange a couple of messages with them and establish some measure of rapport. And of course it’s always easier when a guest has a page full of great reviews, which a high percentage of my guests do.

It sounds like you do communicate quite a bit with guests before accepting, so I’m curious- these guests you get who overstep boundaries and disrespect areas clearly indicated as private- they didn’t send up any red flags in communication, they just seemed fine to accept?

BTW, I’m a single female homeshare host and only rent to one guest at a time. They have their own private bathroom and share my kitchen (some cook at home, but some eat out and only use the kitchen to put sone beer or milk in the fridge). I think your idea of only renting one room, while it would mean less income, might be worth trying out to see if it’s less stressful.


Thankfully, here in France the hosts are required by law to collect the traveller’s details including a copy of their photo ID. Only after experiencing damage to our property caused by a guest we enforced this requirement without having any severe issues after that. Nor did any guest complain or have a problem with providing their info.

However, even though this requirement is stated in our listing, it doesn’t refrain from guests NOT declaring who will actually stay with us (e.g. family member or company workers). But since we collect their personal information we’re a little more at ease, should there be a severe issue that would require the identification of individuals who caused a problem.

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I had called Airbnb on Monday morning and complained about not having indoor cameras in my shared space where I also reside. The rep told me to disregard the letter if you have private spaces in my home which guests do not have access to and I can have cameras in my shared hallways if its part of my space too but do not point cameras at the guests private bedroom. I asked the rep to send me an email concerning this conversation and she did. Another Airbnb rep also sent me an update on the topic at hand for the shared hosts in their private spaces.


That’s huge news.
I hope everyone sees it.


This article may have something to do with the decision:

TLDR - A survey was done and one in four travelers that stayed in a vacation rental found an illegally-concealed camera.

I was astounded at that percentage. A hidden camera is a lot worse than a revealed cleaning fee, so it’s no surprise to me that AirBnB is doing this.