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Getting the ID of a guest for police report

Hello,

I just have had my worst experience with a dangerous guest which I must report to the police.

For anonymity reasons I can’t go into much details, but I have contacted Airbnb who escalated the topic to their “safety team”, but for the last 24 hours the person in charge of my situation has ignored my request to send me the ID details of the guest. I can’t report nomitaively to the police without a full ID. The guest has its ID verified on the platform.

Have you had experiences like this, and how did you recover the full ID of the guest?

Has the guest moved out of the property? Are you safe?

Are you pressing charges?

Why don’t you let the police to do the police work and get the ID?

This is one reason I get ID myself, Air says I cannot, but the loophole for me is my county requires it as a condition of my permit. If someone objects and brings it up with Air the TOS says we must obey the law.

RR

1 Like

Ditto, except it’s national law here and we have to upload the data to the policia database within 24hrs of check in. No ID, no bed. Simples.

JF

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I don’t think Airbnb will release the full ID details to you at all. I think they have to release them to the police if requested.
Do not wait for Airbnb to respond- if you are in an unsafe situation, explain to the police that Airbnb is not responding to this emergency situation and see if the police will do something to ensure your safety.

3 Likes

Exactly. Airbnb will not provide a guest’s ID to a host, nor should they. Would you want Airbnb to give your ID to a guest if they called Airbnb with some story about you being “dangerous”? If the ID is needed by the police, then the police can request it from Airbnb.

Honestly, I wouldn’t mind. I think hosts have the right to my ID if I’m going to rent their property. I’ve always had to show an ID to stay at a hotel or to rent an apartment. I’ve had to hand over my passport to stay in hostels. I think it’s completely odd (maybe even atrocious) that Airbnb has created a situation where it’s become acceptable that property owners don’t know who is staying in their property.

I don’t ask for IDs of my guests and I understand the Airbnb ropes, but it is precisely why I limit the duration of stays and go to great lengths to vet my guests. It’s worked out okay for me so far, but I do worry about some issue coming up where I might need the guest’s actual ID information, if for nothing else to have their actual name.

As Airbnb more fervently encourages long term stays, I believe this issue will become bigger and bigger. In a different post today, a host has been put in the position to deal with a guest who has legally become a tenant. I gave her several options of notices to send and forms to file, but then realized she might not be able to because she doesn’t have the guest’s ID or home address and may not even have the guest’s real name.

When hosts have long term stays, numerous laws, regulations and procedures clash with Airbnb’s policy of not giving hosts legal information about their guests. I am confident that there will be more and more issues as they press hosts to do long term stays. They are ultimately asking hosts to be landlords and to operate locally under landlord-tenant law but to do it without any of the information or tools that is expected for landlords to have.

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I’m not saying a guest shouldn’t provide his/her ID directly to a host, but rather that Airbnb shouldn’t provide the guest’s ID to a host.

Why shouldn’t Airbnb provide a guest’s ID to the host? Without ID, and not knowing how much info Airbnb has on this person (they admit that they don’t even have full name and birth date for some guests) it’s no different from having some complete stranger knock on your door and you letting them enter and make themselves at home.

2 Likes

Because of the legal liability in most countries. A guest should provide the info directly to the host if the host requires it before booking. Personally, I don’t think the Airbnb needs the guest’s ID at all. They should allow hosts to get it from guests and they should simply tell hosts to follow their local regulations regarding handling of that data. However, I suspect they’re still worried about getting into legal trouble when hosts handle the data improperly, and with good reason. I would bet the MOST hosts would not handle the data properly, not to mention the higher incidences of hosts using the data for nefarious purposes than would happen in competing industries (e.g. hotels, professional property management companies, etc.)

What nefarious purposes do you think “most” hosts would use the ID data for?

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I don’t really see this. You say professional property management companies but any other scenario anyone with property to rent collects people’s identification. Besides, what could someone do nefariously with someone’s driver’s license number? Lots of people have it printed on their personal checks. Most everyone gladly hands it over to a bartender. A lot of bars actually scan IDs when you order now. I think you are thinking of social security numbers, that is data that has to be handled in a certain way to protect people from identity theft, etc. However, any and every landlord (not only property mgmt) can and usually does collect it.

Someone’s ID does not need to be “protected”. The whole point of an ID is so that you can prove you are who you say are - showing it to other people is implied, it’s why people have them. The function of an ID is to show it to other people. You don’t need it for yourself, lol. There’s no reason Airbnb hosts shouldn’t see guests’ IDs.

That’s not what I said. I said those incidences would be higher than the competing traditional short and long-term rentals.

What I think most hosts would do wrong is handling of the data. Meaning where they store it, how they store it, how long they store it, how they protect it, etc.

I don’t understand why. Airbnb is the only place I do rentals where I do not get the person’s ID. It is the norm when renting property. Besides, there’s nothing to do nefariously with someone’s ID - unless you’re underage and want to go out :wink:

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Because Airbnb doesn’t vet hosts the way that companies (hotels and property management companies) vet employees, and the sheer number of people with access to identification data is so much higher than traditional platforms (i.e. all 650,000 hosts), so there’s just higher chances of having a bad apple.

Identity theft and burglary come to mind.

No one vets landlords. And airbnb hosts are basically just landlords. And landlords even take social security numbers. Really, we’re not talking about 2 different groups of people (airbnb hosts and landlords). Anyone renting their property is a landlord.

I really think you are confusing ID with Social Security numbers. People give out their IDs for all kinds of things. Things that have much less risk to the person asking for ID than hosts have with strangers staying in their properties. When I go bowling, I have to leave the kid at the counter my ID so that I can rent the shoes. And my ID and probably yours too has been handled by 100s of waitresses, bartenders, grocery store clerks and gas stations. It’s realy not a big deal. An ID is so you can prove who you are. There is absolutely no reason that hosts shouldn’t see a guest’s ID. Guests, of all people, should have to prove who they are. Because hotels and bed-n-breakfasts look at IDs, Airbnb is basically creating a safe haven for people who have something to hide.

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No, I’m not, and there’s a huge difference between showing an ID and giving someone a permanent copy of it.

I have to provide the airline with my ID in order to book a flight. What’s the difference?

Federal regulations.

Hi,

a quick update, the guest left. Fortunately nothing bad happened, but the person was quite scary. He modified the plumbing of the apartment to create a water damage for insurance scam, tampered with the security cameras of the building and even stole one, modified electricity installation of the heater in the apartment… No need to mention the state of filth in which I found the apartment when he left.

He let weird strangers in the building, which would bring him large bags of I don’t know what. I was mainly worried because I had teenage girls guests in the apartment next to his and a couple with a young child in the apartment upstairs, and didn’t want him to cause them troubles.

He is a verified guest (ID verified) but it turns out his displayed name was not his real name. Also, he had several and only 5 stars ratings. I really didn’t see that one coming. He still harasses me on the Airbnb messaging now and then.

I am still in touch with Airbnb for the damages he caused (which of course he refused to pay, despite having a “security deposit” handled by Airbnb), and will let you know.

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