I'm pretty sure this is BS about the pet she wants to bring to my NO Pets space

Guest when I expressed concern about her ignoring my policy and IB’ING me:

"Hi Julie,

There are two categories of dogs allowed under Airbnb’s policy - registered service animals (under ADA, usually provided for a permanent physical disability like blindness) and registered ESAs / support dogs (often provided because of a mental or medical condition). He falls into the second category of a registered ESA. To more directly answer your questions -

  1. The dog is a registered ESA who has been certified by a medical provider
  2. The dog has been trained to offer support for my medical condition.

I’ve always had a great experience with my stays and my hosts consistently comment that I leave their homes spotless - see some examples in my guest reviews. That said, I’d rather stay with a host who is truly comfortable having me so if you want to cancel please go ahead. As long as I’m refunded in full I won’t flag because I want this to be a great experience for both of us. Please let me me know as soon as you can so I can find a new accommodation if needed. Thanks."

If I cancel I’m dinged, right?

Unfortunately, you have no way of knowing if the “registered Esa” is genuine, or if it’s simply someone who wants to travel with their pet.

Your listing has “central air” listed as an amenity, and if that central air is shared with a part of the property you or your family would generally access, it could be argued that any members of your household who are allergic to pet dander could be put at risk.

Just a thought :wink:



As it’s an IB you can cancel without penalty. I would suggest doing it online and choosing the option that your place doesn’t suit her needs. You will get some standard questions and reminders.

I would not call Airbnb and I would not engage in discussion with her. I’d just do a quick clean cancel as permitted in the IB process.

At the end of the cancellation you need to add a message to the guest, so think about what you will say— maybe, “Thank you for your inquiry. I am unable to accommodate your booking.”


I agree with mica that you can just cancel because it’s IB. If for some reason you didn’t want to cancel I’d remind them of the Airbnb policy that ESAs cannot be left in the house alone. That seems to weed out all the folks who don’t have genuine ESAs.

You don’t say what your concern or your policy is so it’s hard to know what the best advice here is. If you are only worried about being dinged if you cancel then go ahead. That’s what I love about IB, you get 3 online easy to do cancellations a year.


Dr. Google says:

" Do ESA get registered?

If you are considering ‘registering’ your dog as an Emotional Support Animal, you should know that there is no official registry. What you need in order to make your pet your official Emotional Support Animal is an ESA letter written by a licensed therapist."

I read the policy yesterday. Airbnb has softened the wording.

Excerpts from article
For guests

You don’t have to disclose the presence of an assistance animal before booking,”

Health or safety concerns

If your listing includes a shared space and an assistance animal would create a health or safety hazard to you or others (EX: allergies or potential issues with other animals), you don’t have to host the guests with the assistance animal. Please share this information on your listing to avoid any potential disappointment and be clear and polite when communicating with guests about this.”

“ And given their role in providing service or emotional support, assistance animals shouldn’t be left alone at a listing.”
Shouldn’t is not a hard & fast rule.
Airbnb stating disclosing the animal prior to rental is not required is in conflict with my HOA requirements.

Since we’re talking about it, I’ve been meaning to run this by y’all.

I have regular homeowners on my STR w/ an STR amendment policy added on top. This is our personal vacation home & we rent it out when we aren’t there. We are a actually required to stay a min of once per year by the insurance company.

So, in my listing I say it’s our personal rental home & due to allergies, we cannot permit animals.


@Txjuju I’m sorry about this mess. Why she wouldn’t just find a place that accepts animals is beyond me. & that “registered” stuff is BS. Her even mentioning flagging you puts her in the “working the system” category for me.

Since she says this herself, I’d definitely take advantage of the IB and cancel saying you aren’t comfortable with the stay either. Or, let her stay and then mark “would never host again” and then she can’t IB anyone. I don’t care how well the stay goes, manipulation & threats are a :-1:t4: in my book.

She’s a “work the system” person who feels entitled to have what she wants regardless of how it impacts you. If she were legit I’d think she’d have a better approach. But who knows. I’ve been ESA-jobbed in the past so I’m sensitive about it :sweat_smile:

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I definitely think you can state that. It’s like anything though, you can state it and maybe Airbnb will back you up, maybe they won’t. Every host who sees Airbnb as a booking and payment platform and nothing more will be the most satisfied. Have your rules and enforce them yourself. Too many hosts seem to live by the exception rather than the rule.


As I said above, I’d put it as my rule. I’d tell the guest that and if they want to parse the meaning of shouldn’t then deal with it as it arises.

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Your place is gorgeous. Love it!
What liars. Honestly, I don’t care if the dog might actually be ESA. I HATE the preachy “Hey Host here are the AIR RULES I fall under, for Your Property”!
You get 3 FREE IB Cancellations a year. IMO, this is a perfect time to burn one of those, with only a month left in the year.


You may get more. From the Airbnb help articles they don’t restrict your ability to cancel a reservation BUT the cancellation must be for specific reasons and after 3 in a 12 month period, to not be penalized, the host must involve a Customer Service Rep.

The 12 months is not defined as a calendar year or rolling 12 months. I would guess a rolling 12 months because that is more restrictive.

Following are boring links to Airbnb help articles & screenshots of information…too many.

I can’t find any reference to only 3 free IB cancellations. Updated: found it.

It’s on this page and probably other places.

It’s also interesting that this page says very clearly that " If a host cannot fulfill a reservation because of an extenuating circumstance or similar conditions beyond their control, it is their responsibility (and not the guest’s) [emphasis mine] to cancel in a timely manner to allow their guest time to adjust their plans."

So the frequent advice given here to never cancel and always make the guest cancel is bad advice.

Edit: I see you corrected your post.


Our posts crossed. I posted an update. Just before yours posted.

Yes-looks like as long as customer service rep is involved, it doesn’t affect the host’s 3 penalty-free cancellations.

I’ve asked Airbnb to cancel a guest reservation. The CSR saw the message from the guest saying they needed to cancel due to required Covid isolation. The CSR handled it. No penalty to me.

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The problem is that you never know if the CSR is going to know Airbnb policy or not. Using messaging or chat so that it’s all in writing and knowing Airbnb policy so you can link to it in your messages to them seems prudent. I haven’t had any interaction with Airbnb CS in well over 2 years so I can’t say that I know from personal experience though.

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Same. CS saw the thread and offered to cancel penalty free. I hadn’t even been wise enough at the time to ask. I know better these days.

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I think the golden ticket for @aelilya & me was the in-box messages from the guests indicating their desire to cancel. It was not the host cancelling.

I think @kkc is correct, if it is a host cancellation, texts (Facebook or Twitter) with Airbnb so written record is the best way to do it.

Even if OP’s guest is legit, Air policy forces us to not “enforce our rules” w/o the threat of punishment. :neutral_face:

Yeah, the way it works is that if you are going to list on Airbnb, their policy comes first, your rules second, if a guest knows to complain, as the guest in the OP clearly does. That’s why finding ways around the policy like saying you have to take the dog with you when you leave are worth trying. There’s also the better than 50/50 chance that a dog in the rental isn’t going to cause major problems. Some things probably aren’t worth the host’s time to fight.

There are circumstances which clearly fall under “host can’t fulfill a reservation”, like the plumbing bursts, the host accidentally double booked, or the host has a serious accident or illness, but if the guests can’t get to the listing due to no fault of the host or guest, it seems to me to be a grey area as far as whose responsibility it is to cancel.

The place is clean and stocked and everything is working, so the host can “fulfill the reservation”, the guests just can’t get there. If they were rich and hired a private helicopter, they could get there, right? :thinking:

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