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

Can you provide the language that you use here?
Also… Doesn’t Air TOS supersede anything legal you require the guest to agree to?

Something like this can be used in your house rules:

> Mandatory Binding Arbitration. All claims and disputes arising under or relating to this contractual agreement are to be settled by Mandatory Binding Arbitration in the state of (insert name of your state here). An award of arbitration shall be confirmed in a court of competent jurisdiction.

You can also Google “binding arbitration, contract” to find other possible ways of phrasing this.

I really don’t know the degree to which our own terms, rules and contract, versus those of Airbnb as stated in their TOS, apply to any given reservation with a guest. That is an excellent question and one that we would all benefit from finding out the answer to! I would guess that where Airbnb does not address a particular issue, you as the host could address that in your contract. Since Air handles all the payments and fees, however, and applies their own rules to those (eg – they wont’ allow hosts to charge fees for violating house rules --) hosts are limited in that respect. But as far as settling disputes under the contract – it’s not clear. It would be excellent if Air’s own requirement to use binding arbitration actually applied to all contracts between hosts and guests on the platform, but I am not sure if that is true.

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Airbnb’s Binding Arbitration Agreement refers to guests and hosts not being allowed to sue Airbnb. In a case where the dispute was with the host and not with Airbnb, I don’t think Airbnb has jurisdiction to decide how it can be settled. If they dictate things like that, they will become employers.

We need a lawyer to look over the TOS and tell us whether we can add our own TOS to the house rules and whether or not we have standing to do so and whether or not this would be binding or would be superseded by Air’s TOS.

So…any attorneys reading on the forum willing to do the above?

I think you are saying you don’t understand my post to mean that you don’t agree with me. The article you referenced details 40+ lawsuits. To me, that is not a large number. I also don’t believe discrimination to be frivolous or without merit. I disagree that there are many attorneys who will take frivolous lawsuits on a contingency. That would be agreeing to work probably for free which is not characteristic of attorneys.

I will never ask anyone to sign an Binding Arbitration Agreement. I hold them in the contempt that you and @Mearns hold the American system of lawsuits. I believe that Americans are being forced to give up basic legal rights constantly via Binding Arbitration Agreements. Also, I don’t understand how it would cost the guest to go to arbitration. Every Binding Arbitration Agreement I’ve seen has included the provision that the party that required the agreement would pay the arbitrator.

The way I see it, konacoconutz, is that it doesn’t hurt for any host to simply add whatever terms or conditions they want, to their house rules, and hope that in the event of a dispute or problem, this contract will stand. If the terms dont’ stand, you’ll find out at some point, and there wont’ be much you can do about it. So to act “as if” your own terms and conditions will stand, doesn’t cost you anything and could end up providing you protections.

Ellen if you think it’s reasonable that one person, who suffered no injury whatsoever, (except the ridiculous idea of being injured by reading a couple words) , filed 40 lawsuits over the exact same thing – then there’s no point in us arguing as I just flat out disagree with you, as I suspect most hosts would.

I do agree with you regarding Americans being forced to give up basic rights via binding arbitration – as far as these Americans are the “little guys” facing powerful large corporations or governments who do them wrong or remove their rights.

However, in the situation of a host and a guest, that I don’t see in the same way as a little person at the mercy of a large corporation. A host and a guest are both “little people”, there isn’t a huge power imbalance, and hence the issue of “basic legal rights” does not, to my mind, come into play here. Your experience may be different, but my experience has been that I have seen countless property owners victimized by unscrupulous, malicious or scammer renters or tenants, and so I am eager to find and advocate ways to end this victimization of property owners. If binding arbitration helps that way, then it’s welcome. As far as who bears the costs of arbitration, I have not seen any info that points to what you’re saying that it’s the party who requires the arbitration that pays all the costs. Rather what I’ve seen suggests that the two parties bear the costs equally.

See also this site where it says "According to a survey by Public Citizen, a consumer watchdog group, the cost of initiating an arbitration is significantly higher than the cost of filing a lawsuit. On average, it costs about $9,000 to initiate a claim to arbitrate a contract claim worth $80,000 (versus about $250 to file that action in state court). Keep in mind that the people in the dispute pay the arbitrators, and arbitration fees can run to $10,000 or more. Add in administrative costs and your own attorney fees (if you hire one) and the process might even cost more than litigation. "

Or — "In fact, arbitration can be more expensive for a plaintiff than a civil suit because instead of a small filing fee in court, the plaintiff will have to pay half of the arbitrator’s fee, or sometimes all of it if the arbitration clause includes a “loser pays” provision. "

THis is just what we as hosts want. We want it to be prohibitively expensive for renters to try to take legal action against us, so requiring arbitration is a good deterrent, if it is in fact more expensive to initiate. I’m saying that as a host who treats renters very well and knows other property owners who treat their renters and tenants very well, and have been victimized nonetheless. I dont’ want to be an American who has no legal rights in the face of scammer renters.


Yes, unfortunately people seem to have developed the view that discrimination doesn’t do real harm as they haven’t suffered as much because of anti-discrimination legislation. Similarly, many people don’t realize the gains that were made by feminism, Roe vs. Wade and inoculations, all of which people take so much for granted that they want them reversed.

Here are some examples of discrimination:

My husband’s mother and uncle were put in to an orphanage. This is because their parents divorced and their mother had to get a job. At that time it was legal to deny employment to women with children. She believed her only choice was to put her children in an orphanage where they stayed for many years.

When my father was a child, his mother would stuff rags that had been soaked in sugar water in to his mouth. This was to keep him quiet as it was legal to deny renters with children.

I had a client who had to change his name in order to get a job because his name was Nathan Cohen.

My grandfather was blacklisted by the House Unamerican Activities Committee. He had to sell his blood to feed his family.

Discrimination causes real injury. I believe that people who are ferreting out and stopping discrimination are heroes.

So you think this guy who is going around, scrolling through listings - looking for hosts who “naively” thought it was okay to select “not suitable for children” - he is a heroe in your mind?


I definitely agree with you Ellen regarding the problems shown in the examples you gave, those are horrendous incidents. Two things come to mind with regard to those examples. Both have to do with taking context into consideration. I think context is so important in all these things…but often laws apply regardless of context…there’s a big problem in itself.

One is that it isn’t 1950 any more and, far from living in a society which doesn’t take discrimination seriously, we now live in a setting where it is taken SO seriously that the slightest suggestion that one has been discriminatory, is sufficient to get one’s account shut down by Airbnb, or to have a lawsuit filed. And the fact that people are becoming vexatious litigants in pursuing “discrimination” claims, demonstrates that the pendulum has swung too far in the opposite direction from where it was in 1950. In 1950 and the pre civil rights era, the victims of “discrimination” were those you described. At the present time, one could say that the host victims of the vexatious litigant, are the “new” victims of the “discrimination” furor in our society.

People can be victimized just as much by unjust legal actions against them, as by inadequate legal redress when they are wronged. Perhaps even more so, as the person who is denied housing in one place, may easily find it somewhere else – but the person who is sued in a baseless suit, could end up losing their home if they are unable to pay the court judgement or a settlement demand.

Second issue is that as I see it there is a huge difference between people seeking permanent housing or jobs – which they arguably have more need for, and more of a right to – and those people seeking short term housing, sublets or room rentals in someone else’s home, which I would argue, they have much less of a “right” to obtain. I feel that discrimination laws shouldn’t apply to private homes, since by applying them there, government is suggesting that others have some sort of “right” to reside in someone else’s home.


I don’t think it’s really been settled whether it’s legal to exclude children or not, so I don’t know if his lawsuits even have merit. I have seen hosts on Reddit post that they don’t want African American guests. There was someone who posted here that he/she will not allow transsexual guests. Yes, I think that people who stop discrimination are heroes. You can ask me a million times in a million ways and I will always want to err on the side of stopping discrimination over permitting discrimination. I believe that society has become exponentially better as a result of anti-discrimination laws.

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I believe that the only reason we have less discrimination is laws against discrimination. I also believe that they aren’t enforced vigorously enough. Have you tried being over 50 years old and applying for a job lately?

The fact that 63% of Airbnb listings are whole houses/apartments negates your point about private homes. Also, when you ask the general public to pay money to stay in your home, it is no longer private. I believe that hosts who don’t want gay people, African Americans, transsexuals, people with different political opinions, etc. to be guests should not be permitted to host. To use your logic, what real harm will they suffer?

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Eeek… I also thought the same? You really think this troll/scammer has a right to do this???

Of course he/she has a right to do this if it is illegal to exclude children (which is not a settled question). That is one of the ways that anti-discrimination laws are routinely enforced.

We’re tallking about two different things here. Some Airbnb hosts do have the right to discriminate and not allow children into their private homes. Other Airbnb hosts may not have the right. There are so many factors to consider in each case. This is not a blanket law.

The issue here is that even though a person may have the right to discriminate (behind closed doors) and not allow children, it is “supposedly” illegal to advertise that you do not allow children. So for argument’s sake…let’s just say hypothetically that is the case. And hosts are even encouraged by Airbnb to advertise illegal statements. And these hosts have no earthly idea this is illegal. I do not find the person targeting these hosts to be any sort of heroe whatsoever.

You’re comparing apples to oranges here. I most definitely am not going to put this guy and his attorney in the same category as Martin Luther King Jr.


These bottom feeders are only after settlement money. They have not been wronged or damaged by the hosts they targeted.


I wouldn’t condone people discriminating in such ways…I think though that there’s a big difference between saying that we find such discrimination distasteful, and actually making it illegal, or setting up laws such that mere allegations of such discrimination could cause people to lose their means of income.

Eg – there’s a difference between someone not being accepted at a place they request to stay (but eventually able to find another place to stay – studies on the subject havent’ shown that 100% of hosts would discriminate against any given type of person…), versus putting an end to someone’s small business enterprise.

The hypothetical person who’s subjected to discriminatory treatment in seeking a place to stay, will eventually find another place to stay.

The host whose AIrbnb account is shut down, may find that this action causes the loss of their small business.

These aren’t comparable levels of harm. The person who loses their income is harmed more than the person who simply ends up staying somewhere else.

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Wow. I am shocked…

So the fact that no hotels in New England would allow any Jews or African-Americans to book or stay was okay with you because the Jews could go to the Poconos, and the African-Americans could head to North Carolina never enjoying the coast of Maine or the mountains of New Hampshire?

There are very good reasons that these laws exist. Thank goodness those “others” didn’t want to play golf or go swimming. We might need to let them join clubs too!


There’s a universe of difference between getting to play golf with the WASPs and scamming someone in another state whom you never even stayed with or enquired of. On every level that is so wrong and shows malice a forethought.

Did everyone actually READ the links Forest posted above??
It’s something we all need to be aware of… Change your wording now, uncheck those boxes or you may find yourself the recipient of a summons and complaint from this lowlife con artist and his attorney!

Yes, I read the links including the part that it’s in dispute whether the “con artist” made any money after his time and expenses.