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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: www.airbnb.com/help/article/1435
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?


I don’t think this is new (it seems like there are old posts here about this), you’re just hearing from them because someone complained. The part that also should be noted is

Multiple hosts posting here say they discriminate based on age in that they don’t accept guests under a certain age. As long as no potential guest complains, fine.

I think your best bet for not hosting children is to not provide anything and just discourage but not discriminate. For example one man wanted to bring his 11 year old daughter. He asked if I had an air mattress and I said no. “You can bring your daughter but the space is small and I don’t have an air mattress.” Another couple wanted to stay with their child for a month. Again, I said yes but also mentioned all the things that might not be suitable like no bathtub, a bookcase that isn’t secured to the wall, small size of room for 3 for that amount of time, no kitchen.


I can’t believe this guy complained to Airbnb that I was discriminating! We’ve always welcomed guests of different races, religions, sexual orientation, etc. We do not discriminate against anyone ever. Our home simply isn’t safe for children. I know I wouldn’t want to stay at a home that was unsafe for my children or even stay at a place that didn’t want children. I’d just move on and find another place that does. I wonder now if this will hurt my search rankings.


We are getting more and more guests who expect us to be like hotels and Airbnb is encouraging that. Hotels and restaurants don’t say “no children.” BTW, when I had guest coming through my house I said “no children” due to the guest dogs. Maybe you should get a dog? LOL.


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.


I think I’ll just have to make it more clear in the listing that it is unsafe for children. I just looked and there are LOTS of listings in our area that take children. I don’t know why this guy just didn’t choose one of those.


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.


@K9KarmaCasa 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.


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.


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.


That is what I do. The apartments aren’t kid-proofed in any way. The building is on open water with no fence or railings between the dock and the canal. The upstairs apartment has a drop from the balcony that most adults could probably jump from with no ill effects but not a kid. The floors are hard tile which could be disastrous for a small child simply falling out of bed.

(Quite apart from these issues, our homeowners’ association doesn’t allow kids under 12).

I hope that when I tell parents about the dangers for their child, they look elsewhere.


People who live in America should educate themselves on FHA law. (Fair Housing Act). I am saying this because it seems long forgotten that innocent hosts were being sued for clicking on a checkbox of not allowing children, under a certain age, etc. According to the FHA, it DOES NOT matter if the FHA applies to you in regards to who you accept, etc.

What does matter is that it is illegal to state anywhere that you will not allow under a certain age. There are a couple of exceptions to this law. Look them up if interested. ABB is the least of your
worries if forced to settle. ABB also is not looking out for your best interest because they KNOW it is illegal to make this statement, yet they must do it because lawyers advised them of impunity for being considered “3rd party.” The laws have not been adjusted to take into account the popularity of sites like ABB. But for now they do exist on the books.

ABB is breaking federal law in the U.S. and claiming they aren’t. OK…so technically their lawyers must have advised them it is on the host. Just another reason I know that ABB is full of it when they say they fight discrimination. They were not there to back up the hosts who were sued. Oh…and it can be you who is sued tomorrow…


Let me edit that statement. They may technically not be breaking federal law, but they will let the hosts take the fall for breaking it.

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