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Not accepting children is now considered discrimination!


#21

@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.


#22

It would terrify me too. My point of my post was educating Americans that they can be sued by the DOJ - Deparment of Justice, or any unscrupulous attorney. I agree that vacation rentals are often times not suited for families with children. I have seen it with my own eyes. Parents who let their kids climb my slick rock waterfall and just run out of the vehicle. The parents do not bother to even investigate the property. However, I am aware that I cannot legally advertise no children, or children under certain age. This isn’t really an ABB issue though. They don’t care about that. They do not care if someone is legally sued by someone else who did not even inquire. My point is that I can legally go sue the OP or anyone else on this forum for advertising something that is illegal. It doesn’t matter how much sense it makes. They might be forced to settle with me. So warning for everyone…be careful and understand laws


#23

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.


#24

Not suitable still counts as violating FHA. ABB changed it to make it more palatable. Doesn’t change the violation.


#25

@Mike_L

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.


#26

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?


#27

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.


#28

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?


#29

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.


#30

I occasionally have guests who message me like they have made an enquiry but have actually booked, never assume Guests know what they are doing.


#31

We get that often - “we hope to book with you” when they just have booked, through instant booking. Odd when they’ve just paid.


#32

Yes. I checked is suitable and made notes in description to explains that ABB defines “suitable for children” as children being allowed. But the home is not child proofed, does not offer toys, etc. LOL.


#33

@Jamjsco re:

“we hope to book with you” when they just have booked, through instant booking.

I get this a lot from guests who seem to turn out GREAT. I take that as elegant, Old World courtesy, in that they have Instant Booked but are being gracious and essentially asking the host’s leave just to be kind of sweet and respectful.


#34

The FHA has the “Mrs. Murphy exception” which reduced to its essence, basically means that if you share space in your home, you can discriminate until the cows come home, against children, seniors, Antarctic researchers, Nobel Prize winners, serial killers or any other dang category or individual that you do not feel like associating with.

SO IMO, AirBNB goes waaaayyyyyy too far in its requirements of hosts WITH SHARED SPACES to take all comers, including children.

@Mike_L is your listing whole-house or private room? Actually that’s not my real question. I just would like to make the point, if it is a PRIVATE room or room with shared space, AirBNB is acting extralegally to push you to accept anyone as if the FHA applied here. It doesn’t.

In fact, it doesn’t apply if your unit is part of a duplex, triplex or four-roomer.

The “Mrs. Murphy” Exemption to the Fair Housing Act


#35

I had several guests whose accounts go back a couple of years, yet no reviews. When asked, one said she opened an account but then traveled outside of Air; another said she and her boyfriend opened accounts but just utilized his up until now - reasons like that. They were all great guests.

I’ve never had an inquiry without a pic and only a phone number as verification. I wonder if CS can explain how such an inquiry came through?

BTW, your response to “Michael” about not allowing children under a certain age was perfect. You supported it by stating that the dangerous conditions pose potential risks to your young children as well which precludes even your own family from staying there. There is no better come-back!

If you should get a similar inquiry again, I might also add something along the lines of, “I’m so sorry to disappoint you but the good news is that there are a number of cabins in the area that don’t have the same potential risks as ours, and I’m sure you will have no problem finding a suitable alternative.”


#36

I have had a personal account since more or less 2013 and I have never travelled with it. I opened it, because I didn’t know what AirBnB was and I wanted to see how it worked and what it could do for me. I contacted two hosts for my trip in Argentina that year, but in the end just booked a hotel because communication wasn’t very swift and I didn’t trust the whole situation yet.
This week me and my hubby have travelled for the first time with AirBnB, but through his account. We still needed to spend our USD 100,00 voucher. So my personal account is still going unused.

So no, having an account for years and not using it, should not be considered strange or suspicious :angel::blush:.


#37

Yes, I am aware of the Mrs. Murphy exception. That’s why I explained above, that there is a clause in the FHA stating even if the law does not apply to you, it still illegal to advertise it.


#38

Ah yes I see your point now.

Apparently Air has decided (per the FHA) that you cannot “advertise” no kids. But the Mrs. Murphy exception means, to me at least, that you can’t “advertise” groups you won’t take, but you CAN refuse whoever you want.

Interestingly enough, booking.com DOES let you say you won’t accept children.


#39

No, it’s not about Air trying to enforce laws from the FHA. If they cared about that, they would remove all options to select to discriminate against children. They may do it in future under the guise of following FHA, but I believe they still allow the options to exist because they don’t want to lose too many hosts.

A lot of these internet sites may be covered under a specific act that provides them with immunity, (it’s been a long time since I wrote about this and can’t recall) - so sites like booking .com and Air, etc. just allow the host to take the fall.

The Mrs. Murphy exception means that the FHA law does not apply to you. However, keep reading further in the law - it explains it is illegal to advertise who you won’t take (even if the law does not apply to you). That’s the most important part. And hosts have been sued over it.

Another thing to consider with Mrs. Murphy - I am not convinced that using sites like Air, etc. will allow people to qualify with that exemption. I would be if there was a real test court case, that Air would be considered a real estate broker, etc.


#40

This is a really good read from Craiglist regarding advertising and complying with the FHA.

Notice it mentions that even those who are allowed to discriminate behind closed doors, they cannot advertise it. There are just a few exceptions to this.

https://www.craigslist.org/about/FHA?lang=en&cc=us


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