It could be risky to say "no children" in your Airbnb listing

Exactly, it’s the Mrs Murphy exception, but really, anyone can exclude anyone else for any reason-- as long as you don’t run it in an ad or tell anyone why they are being excluded. Of course. Airbnb has created this legal problem for hosts because they don’t know landlord law and are just making up their own as they go along. It’s not safe to work with them any longer.

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Oh they know the laws. It’s just a matter of them figuring out how to deal with the laws and who, if anyone, is going to bear the legal brunt when lawsuits start cropping up.

Keep in mind, this whole issue is not only about whether one uses Airbnb’s ‘no children’ check option, but about any expressed preference, which could be subject to discrimination laws; as that lawyer (which made my mind think immediately of a cockroach) mentioned on that video. The US is indeed a complicated world.


Wow! Interesting discussion. There are some scary repercussions noted here. @cabinhost you’re very well read and I appreciate your insight! I’m looking forward to reading those links that you’re looking for.

It seems to me that Airbnb would be considered a broker because they are accepting money and then dispersing it. In effect, they are renting property from us as hosts and re-renting it to the guest, along with their mark-up/commission.

On the other hand, if someone finds a property through VRBO and books directly with the owner then VRBO wouldn’t be considered a broker.

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A broker or agency IS what they are! They find the clients, facilitate the bookings, remove their commission and pay the owner. If that is not a broker, what is?


This is not legal advice but I did find this excerpt in an FHA document:

The FHA does not apply to:
 “Transient occupancy,” such as a brief stay in a motel.
 A building that is home to four or fewer families, if its owner lives
there. (In Iowa, dwellings with three or four units may be covered.)
 A dwelling owned by certain religious organizations or private clubs.
 A single-family home that its owner rents or sells without using a


Note the bit about transient occupancy. I wonder if city/municipality/state regulations requiring Airbnb owners to pay occupancy taxes–and paying them–aids in the classification of one’s airbnb unit as on par with a motel, exempting one from FHA. I’m concerned about longer term occupancies for more reasons than just FHA.

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So, I just tried to uncheck the box indicating my listing is not family/kid friendly. Either it’s not there or I can’t find it. In my listing, if you look at “more” under the amenities category, the family/kid friendly amenity is grayed out, and I don’t appear to have the ability to change it!

Chloe – if you go to “manage listing” and then to “booking” , and scroll down, just under where it says “house rules” are the check boxes that you can either check yes/no , or leave unchecked. I recommend that any hosts who haven’t already checked off the boxes that pertain to children, leave those boxes UNchecked.

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My switch for family/child friendly is gone as of today. I listing still says may or may not be suitable for children 0 to 12 but I think that’s going to go away soon too.

@Forestsprite [I was on my phone and Siri did this! For a sprite], have you been able to change it today? And if so, what country are you located in?

So glad I’m in Europe and we don’t have this kind of b**t! No risk here of being sued because you state you want your home to remain “child free”!
This thread shocked me out of my socks and prompted me to write my first comment…so BTW hello everyone!


@marika Welcome!

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Hi – I’m in the United States, and yes, I was able to switch the toggle on the “suitable for children 2-12 years” and “suitable for infants” choices. However, I left them at “NO” for now because I don’t like the idea of people with children searching specifically for places that are child-friendly and finding mine coming up with that designation. WHen I have time, I plan to call Airbnb and ask them to set the toggle so that it’s neither set at yes or no…which is how it is initially, on every listing. It is unchecked, and it only says yes or no if you select yes or no. But once you check yes or no you can’t go back to having it unchecked.

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@Forestsprite Found it! This toggle [which isn’t a toggle as you note, but a three way switch] is under Booking, even though it appears on our pages under Amenities.

Right now, Safari [which knows who I am on AirBNB] has reverted to simply number of guests, while my anonymous browser continues to give me the option enter number of adults, children, babies. They are churning over there at the AirBNB offices.

Also legal to refuse if you are resident in the house where you rent rooms.

My unit is part of my house. I dont take children because I have dogs and a large pond and I dont want drownings or my dogs terrorized.

Thanks for this @Forestsprite. I did find the section. I only have the option for on or off. I am going to leave things as they are for the time being, with no kids under 12 and not family friendly.

Thank you for the laugh marika…I needed one today…lol.

On my listing it’s either yes or no. There’s no way to leave it blank.

Reader99 did you read what I wrote above? I said that once you check the box yes or no, you can no longer return to the unchecked state of that category.

Once again – everyone sing together now…"when anyone creates a new listing, all these boxes are UNCHECKED. Once you CHECK a box, selecting yes or no, you cannot return to the unchecked status. "

At least, not without help from Airbnb…

This is alarming. I have both boxes checked, the one for infants and the one for children 2-12. I also recently added a house rule that says “please do not book with us if you are traveling with children, our condo is not child-friendly”.
I did this because we were receiving so many inquiries from people with children despite the boxes already being checked. And our condo is in fact NOT child-friendly. But what are my options to avoid being sued?! I un-check both boxes and take out that house rule and turn off IB and just hope people don’t bring children or babies with them? It’s ludicrous. This is our home! How is it that the homeowners seem to have little or no say about whom they let stay in their homes?! Air is becoming increasingly undesirable as a platform for renting our home. It seems to be perfect, however, for people who do NOT own and are renting in an illegitimate/illegal way. Ugh. Where do we go from here my fellow legitimate hosts?

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