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I host a whole house rental and posted that I do not accept pets. I am a pet lover but do not want them in my rental for various reasons. From my research as a new host, I have learned:
That even though our house is listed as No Pets, any guest may bring their Emotional support animals and service dogs without telling me in advance of booking. I am not allowed to discriminate-I get that.
The guests must bring the animal with them if they leave the property otherwise it is not an ESA or Service dog.
Since they haven’t told me they are bringing an animal, I cannot prepare the house such as remove area rugs, or warn them of the natural known predators in my area (hawks, coyotes).
Nor am I allowed to charge them for the additional time and expense in housecleaning. The flat fee housekeeper charges me $125 each departure cleaning. She and her team spend double the time cleaning after the guests with pets have left.
I can charge for the pet’s damages only if I can provide receipts.
What else have I missed? Please correct me where I have misunderstood. Your help is much appreciated.
Seems reasonable to me. I imagine there is some way of “phrasing it correctly” so that there is no violation of Air review rules, but do not feel comfortable suggesting what such language might entail.
If you have coyotes (or bears), hawks, eagles, condors, or other predators, you should list that as a reason you don’t allow dogs. If there have been recent pet attacks by predators (check with your humane society or dog rescue, they would know), that’s even better. You want something like this in your House Rules:
"Because our home is located at the urban/wildland boundary, we cannot guarantee the safety of any emotional support or service animals that you may bring. Black bears, coyotes, eagles, hawks, and other predators attack pets in our area frequently, so you must keep your animal on leash any time it is outside.
We require that guests notify us in advance if you are bringing a service or emotional support animal with you, so that we can ensure that we have time to cover furniture and add animal related items.
Per AirBnB’s rules, animals may not stay in the unit without the owner. If you leave, you must take the animal with you. You must pick up, bag, and dispose of animal waste in the container we provide for that purpose."
Very good perspective And helpful, thank you. I like making the point that I am concerned about the welfare of their animals which I am. We do not have bears. I will check with the Humane Society about what else goes on near me and for recent attacks.
I did not know that I could state that we require guests notify us in advance …
Thank you for helping to write the description out.
No, you totally do. Just like the “our insurance requires it” fib.
Also, did you know that Airbnb will not force a host to put up with a severe dander allergy even with a claimed ESA because it’s a safety issue?
Does that apply to hosting a whole house? I do not live in my Airbnb vacation house but I do stay there once a month.
Would likely be a tough sell. A host would have to present a compelling safety issue relating to themselves or, say, their mother-in-law’s impending visit there, that can not be resolved with a thorough cleaning before re-occupancy.
Edit: I do know that it works for a Guest Suite that is advertised as an “Entire Place” because, even though there are no shared areas, the air flow and A/C is shared.
For a whole-place listing, the problem is that even if you put the requirement in your house rules that guests need to notify you in advance, what would actually happen if a guest still showed up with an “assistance animal?” I just don’t believe Airbnb would back you up and if you refused to host the reservation, the best case is they’d force you to do a host cancellation; the worst case is they’d give you a 1-year ban for discrimination.
Be careful of using the terms “pets” and “animals” or “dogs” interchangeably. If you say no pets, that means they can bring their ESA. Working dogs are not pets. If you say no animals, you’re covered. You are allowed to NOT allow animals across the board if you also use the property yourself and you’re allergic to animal dander.
And while it’s illegal to collect a deposit up front for someone bringing a working animal with them, it’s perfectly fine to charge them extra housekeeping (with receipts) after the fact. The ‘pet’ didn’t make any mess, however the ‘guest’ required extra cleanup of hair and urine/feces. Yup, if you blame it on the animal it is not covered by Airbnb.
Show me the reference you have for this, because I don’t believe it and the logic doesn’t hold. If Airbnb actually cared about the health of people using the listing AFTER a reservation with an animal, then their policies would be very different. E.g., in a whole-home listing that is a rental only, there could be guests that stay with assistance animals and guests that stay with pet allergies. There’s literally no way for the guest with allergies to know that at listing is allergen free for them and the host has no “rights” to say no to the other guests with “assistance animals.”
I’m not sure Airbnb would back you up. We had someone posting here 2-3 years ago. She had a separate home listed on Airbnb. She was quite keen to keep dogs out and said that her daughter who helped her do the turnovers was severely allergic. If I remember correctly she said Airbnb said that wasn’t a legitimate reason. She quit hosting when a tree fell on the house. I’ll see if I can find the post.
Definitely a grey area then. Especially if the health and safety issue is for a cleaner, not a part-time resident or an owner who also uses the listing as a vacation home. I admit I may not be the best person to be giving my thoughts here since my own policy is to just allow pets and bake in a slightly higher price … way less hassle than trying to do paw patrol, and I get responsible pet owners who actually search for and book pet friendly listings. The only memorable cleanings I’ve had to do haven’t been because of pets … toddlers and teenagers, by far the worst. I’ve only had one inquiry from someone concerned about allergens (a cat allergy, why she would want to stay in my listing I don’t know) I told her I had a cat staying two weeks before she’d be coming, and also told her that all soft surfaces were laundered between guests and I’d do the air filter before her arrival. She booked, stayed, and said she had no issues. I don’t know if I’ve lost other bookings because I allow pets, but I know I get tons because I do.