Not accepting children is now considered discrimination!

Our home is not child proof. We also have a swimming pool. It’s not safe for children. Also, we have other rooms we rent in our home and other guests expect that there will be no children running around. They expect peace and quiet.

Earlier today, I had a request from someone wanted to come last minute and bring two children ages 7 and 9. Since the beginning, we state no children under 12, I answered no and explained why. I did not accept or decline. The clock kept ticking as if I didn’t respond so I refreshed the browser as I always do now but it still kept ticking.

I signed off and later signed on again to answer another request which I accepted (coincidentally for the same date). It showed my response for the first request still pending, as though I had not answered at all. I didn’t want to hurt my response time so I declined the request. It made me explain why so I said because of the children. Later I get this message from Airbnb;

Hi Michael,
I’m writing to let you know that another user recently reported a potential violation of our Nondiscrimination Policy, specifically as it relates to not accepting guests under the age of 12.
We are aware that local laws around this issue can vary. With that said, as a company that exists to create a world where everyone can belong, we are reaching out to ensure that you are aware of both our Nondiscrimination Policy and your corresponding duties as a host.
Our Nondiscrimination Policy states that hosts may not impose any different terms or conditions or decline a reservation based on the guest’s age or familial status, where prohibited by law.
Keeping this in mind, we encourage you to take steps to ensure that the operation of your listing and the standards you have set comply with your local laws on this subject.
For more information related to the Nondiscrimination Policy, do not hesitate to familiarize yourself with some frequently asked questions here:
Thank you for your time and attention, and please do let me know if there is anything else that I can clarify for you.
Best regards,
The link they provide says nothing about children. This seems like a new policy. Once again, Airbnb changes policy and doesn’t bother informing the hosts. Has anyone else run into this?

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You have 24 hours to respond, so if this was last minute ie same day then you could just let it run and it would have expired by itself. Or the guest found somewhere else to stay and lapsed interest in your listing.

Yes but we are "graded"on our response time. So by not responding it can hurt your time and possibly search ranking.

You only have to reply within 24 hours to avoid being knocked, most of my replies are pretty quick, I doubt the odd one where I need to let the clock run down is going to be material. My response rate is 100%. In your case you got another booking which basically cancelled it anyway. I remember somebody trying to low ball me high season, I was driving and was not going to stop to respond to it, by the time I got back unloaded etc somebody else had asked to book at the full price which I accepted and then had the greatest pleasure in responding. Sadly nowhere else I could suggest they try.

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@KKC made some good suggestions, perhaps they wanted the Swimming Pool, you can make it sufficiently onerous by playing the game, no need to go head to head.

The law as I unnderstand it does not apply to someone living in their home. This rep is wrong.

It might have been better to decline and give the reason as waiting for another more attractive reservation. The less said the better.

We are not all suitable for children!!! I’m not!


Are they daft? Protected class for illegal age discrimination in US is over age 40 (for job promotions and such). Maybe respond (in Air system of course) “This listing is unsuitable for children due to (open stairways, unsupervised pool, proximity to street traffic, unfenced cliff, what have you). Guests bringing a child under age 12 agree to accept full responsibility for any injuries or harm occurring to such child upon booking with no liability on the part of the host.” Include in your house rules.

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Just because hosts/homeowners disclaim all liability for any accident or harm, it doesn’t absolve them from responsibility and/or liability if it can be proven that there was neglect in providing a safe environment or conditions to visitors and guests. So why chance it? It is better to say no if you’d rather have no pets, kids…whatever, and come up with another reason when declining.

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That was my understanding as well.

Is this a more acceptable way to decline? I didn’t think they would like that reason. I felt I had a valid reason to decline.

Meant to be discouraging, not legally bulletproof. And I’m continually confused about this – I thought you just had to respond to an inquiry (with a message) and could let the accept or decline buttons just sit there with no negative effects.

Yep, that is correct unless they’ve changed the rules. As long as we respond in some fashion to the Inquiry (as opposed to a Request), we are not required to select either the Pre-Approve or Decline button. The clock will still run for the 24-hrs and expire naturally.

(Of course, I don’t know how ignoring the two selections affects Air’s secret metrics.)

Airbnb may have different discrimination standards compared to local jurisdictions.

“Hi Michael,
I’m writing to let you know that another user recently reported a potential violation of our Nondiscrimination Policy, specifically as it relates to not accepting guests under the age of 12.”

This is quite bizarre seeing as they have a tick box to say that your home is not suitable for children.

I have just had a look at the setting and from memory it has changed. It is now asking for an explanation. I am going to leave them blank for now.
By coincidence I did have an enquiry from another host today to ask if she could stay at my home and allow her granddaughter to visit in the day time. I was going to decline and then changed my mind. I said no problem at all as long as she was comfortable with my two 35kg dogs. They are huge, soft as anything but just massive. It did the trick.


@cabinhost I’m sure ABB can argue that there’s a difference between saying a space isn’t suitable for children and saying that you won’t accept children. Saying it’s not suitable can be a warning. But does the app allow people to add children to a reservation that isn’t marked as suitable for them?

This would terrify me if I had a pool, but as it stands I don’t mind kids in our listing.

AirBnB used to allow you to say no children and they changed it to not suitable as people who are subject to FHA were selecting that and getting sued.


Air wants to comply with local laws and regulations but anti-discrimination laws don’t apply when its strictly transient (short term/vacation) rentals in your own home. In fact, most of us are not governed by those laws.

What we’re doing ~ as individual owners of transient rentals ~ is referred to as “soft discrimination” and it’s a grey area in the law. I would be more concerned with whether Air is skittish with our policy of picking and choosing, so to avoid any confrontation be creative in declining.


Oh, d’oh, fair housing, I wasn’t thinking. I take back my discriminatory house rule proposal listing things dangerous to the kiddos.
Although my county permit only allows two people per bedroom, and there’s no age cut off in their regulation defining a “person.” I think that would override, say, a couple bringing an infant?

Cabinhost, do you click the “Suitable for children” box then? I feel like I’m be saying my account is childproofed if I check “suitable for children/infants.” I have mine set, “not suitable for infants” and in the box next to it explain that “infants” (toddlers) need to be supervised because the suite is not baby proofed.

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I had my first strange run in with this last night, this morning. “Michael” (on ABB since 2016 but with no pictures or reviews or verification except a phone number) sent an inquiry at 11:49 last night. I got it at 6am. His message was:

Howdy. You have a lovely home. We have three children ranging from 4-9 but see that you say it’s not suitable for children. I do see you have decks with large inclines but we have stayed with them in other cabins before. Please advise and thanks for your time

I’m assuming he couldn’t book bc my listing requirements call for ID?

I responded that we have kids of our own but wouldn’t stay in this house with the setup because of the decks and the bedroom with twin beds is at the top of the stairs with no door. I didn’t say I don’t allow kids bc I would take older kids (mine is 11) or ones that had a place to sleep.

Maybe it’s because I was just reading this post last night but I feel uneasy. 2 years on ABB, no pic, no review, no verification and asking about bending rules on a house he isn’t even eligible for?


We have had guests like that before and all went well. I don’t understand it either. Why would you join Airbnb and then never use it? Maybe they were guests under someone else’s name.