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Not accepting children is now considered discrimination!


#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.


#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:.


#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.


#41

No, it’s not about Air trying to enforce laws from the FHA.

@cabinhost then what IS it about?


#43

It is an interesting subject; many grey areas. This article discusses discrimination in general and how it relates to Airbnb and the “Mrs. Murphy” exemption.

So it seems to me that I don’t have to accept children since I rent out 4 rooms in the home where I live.


#44

This is what I thought too!
I would still Simply decline them for another reason. The less said the better.


#46

@guthend:

I have the same situation about not traveling. ABB member since 2014 (I think) but never traveled. I used VRBO instead. Gasp! Haha!

The part that I found more strange was that I require ID and they only have a phone number verified so they couldn’t book anyway. Strange to ask me to bend the rules starting out? I love my house but, even so, I’d just check out other listings. :wink:


#47

Airbnb already gives me the option, so for me it should be okay to say “Not suitable for children under 12 due to safety concerns”.


#49

Is it illegal to say, “this property is not wheelchair accessible?”. To me that’s kind of the same as saying “Not safe for children.” It doesn’t mean you won’t rent to people in wheelchairs, it just means that they may have to maneuver stairs.


#50

I guess so. I also think that they have a VERY Bay Area outlook on how to over- and under-interpret federal law. In other words, they REALLY think they are doing the “right” thing, under law, vs. being self-serving, as you suggest.

To what extent though can Air “partly” follow federal laws? In other words, forcing people to accept kids even if they might fall into an on-site wood chipper … at least fed law as kooky as it often is, attempts to fairly balance the interests of both parties to the contract.

The biggest Air gets, the more the feds will probably not let them get away with nutty over-reach.

p.s. And don’t get me started on its search algorithm … favoring new hosts … screwing up locations … removing keywords … essentially steering certain guests to certain hosts … At some point, the Federal Trade Commission might force some changes.


#53

I understand what you’re saying. The problem comes with the choice Airbnb gives you. You can’t leave it blank. Either you agree to accept children or you agree you won’t. If you agree to accept children then they also want to know what you’ve done to safeguard your home. It’s a no win situation.


#54

I wonder what your responsibility as a host really is. I saw a case recently where a 1 year old left his apartment and fell off the balcony. His mother was arrested, of course, for neglect, etc. But as far as I know the apartment complex isn’t liable. The mother made the decision to live on the second floor of an apartment building and not supervise her child. Similarly, you wouldn’t expect an apartment complex to provide socket covers, baby gates, etc. You would expect them to not have exposed electrical wires or leaky gas lines, but these dangers apply to people of all ages. Really, what is a host’s expectation and liability?

When I travel with my 2 year old and stay in a hotel, I feel like I am responsible for keeping him safe. I don’t expect the hotel to cover sockets or monitor the swimming pool for me.


#55

AirBnb, is the advertising and booking medium for hosts. It presents hosts with an assortment of pre-worded options from which to choose for the basic version of our “advertised” House Rules.

A couple of those optional rules are “No smoking” and “No parties or events”. A couple other options are: “Not suitable for pets“ and “Not safe or suitable for children (0-12 years)”.

There is a difference between the two sets of rules. Two are absolute prohibitions because they use the word “No”; the others are not as stringent and declaratory. The words “not suitable” does not mean forbidden, it means not “appropriate” or “fitting”. It is not discriminatory advertising and it’s Air’s template, written by attorneys.

No worries folks.


#58

@SandyToes Do you not allow instant book?


#59

No, never have. I’m the vetting type. :smile:


#64

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