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Not accepting children is now considered discrimination!


#81

I said in my listing i do not accept children < 2. My house is not child proof, stairs are a hazard, I don’t have a crib or a high chair. Yet people approach me and ask if they can bring their infants. I tell them all of the above and they say they are happy to bring their own. I don’t have a problem with that. I hope this written acceptance would absolve me of anything in the court of law because they assumed the responsibility, if touch the wood, something were to happen.


#82

We also have a pool and in addition a garden full of stone steps. From our experience with our own grandchildren, these act like a magnet for just-walking toddlers! In the past we accepted some guests with small children, but quite frankly the damage to my blood pressure when I saw them anywhere near the pool was just not worth it …

I don’t think we have such draconian anti-discrimination laws here. I check the “not suitable” box but say in the listing that we will accept an older child who can swim and I ask parents to confirm this if they book. I know that In France every in-ground pool must by law have a safety device (fence, alarm or cover) even if it’s privately owned and I believe that there is a possibility this might be introduced in Spain.


#83

The law discriminates against under 18s all the time. For good reason in many cases. Anyway is ABB applying this to themselves? Do they allow people who are under 18 to register as guests and make bookings in their own name? I think not:

2.1 You must be at least 18 years old and able to enter into legally binding contracts to access and use the Airbnb Platform or register an Airbnb Account.

So you can’t belong to the ABB community if you are under 18. Discrimination!!!


#84

The Federal Fair Housing laws protect families with children: The Fair Housing Act protects people from discrimination when they are renting, buying, or securing financing for any housing. The prohibitions specifically cover discrimination because of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability and the presence of children.


#85

You’re mixing issues here: contract law isn’t the same thing as Fair Housing or Civil Rights law.

People under 18 can’t enter into legally binding contracts (at least in the US). A 15 year old can’t book a vacation rental any more than they can lease a Porche.


#86

So it’s not that children are protected, it’s that adults with children are protected.


#87

with the Mrs. Murphy exception for on-site landlords w/ 4 units or fewer.


#88

It’s worth reiterating that Airbnb can have a policy that is different than the law and that if someone decides to complain to them or sue you it could be painful. The best strategy is to “accept” children whenever possible but to dis-incentivize the parent wanting to book your place whenever possible.


#89

Yes, and it’s really a tricky spot!

Somehow we have to accurately describe our place without running afoul of anti-discrimination laws and Airbnb policy. So when does “I know what’s best in my home” become discrimination?

In my listing I say “Stairs to the second floor and a narrow bathroom may make this listing a poor fit for those with mobility issues.” I don’t think that’s discriminatory; it’s just stating what obstacles someone may find. Likewise, “NOT CHILDPROOFED: Laundry chute drops 14’, open stairwell and windows not easily secured. Pack n Play won’t fit. Best suited for adult guests.” Communicates that I’m not a toddler-friendly place.

As someone who doesn’t have children, swears a lot, and hosts wine-sodden dinner parties I’d like to outright say “Neither host nor property are child-friendly” but I think that may go too far. I’ve hosted people with mobility issues and I’ve hosted young children. In both cases I’ve felt “on edge” because Airbnb has put me in the unenviable position of ignoring my judgement of suitability (and resulting liability if someone gets injured) in favor of the guest not feeling discriminated against. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t. :grimacing:


#90

You also need to know what your state laws say as not all states recognize this exemption.

http://www.mondaq.com/unitedstates/x/235406/real+estate/The+FHAs+Mrs+Murphy+Exemption+A+50+State+Guide


#91

They all recognize it as a starting point. As your valuable link notes, some have more stringent provisions. But you’ll see owner-occupied room sharing is pretty universally recognized.


#92

I am screeching with laughter and spluttering gin everywhere.

I am thankful that we don’t have these issues in the UK. If I say my house is unsafe (and why) for children, then that is accepted by most. I do get requests from people to bring their very special, well behaved children, who will not be left unsupervised for one minute, or fall down the stone garden steps, or the 250 year old staircases. I feel like Maggie Thatcher sometimes; “no, no, no.”


#93

Please also keep in mind , that not being legally liable for children getting hurt, does not save you from a potential lawsuit.

For any injury, there are lawyers contacting the victims, offering their services. Anyone can sue anyone for anything and regardless on whether the suit has merit, it costs a lot to defend yourself against a lawsuit. And lawyers are used to insurance companies rather settling than going through a prolonged lawsuit.


#94

The US federal Fair Housing Act does not apply to small owner occupied buildings. https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/does-the-federal-fair-housing-act-apply-your-rental-property.html


#95

My experience has been that charging the ‘extra guest’ rate for any child, regardless of age, does a lot to discourage people from bringing children. Additionally, I make it a point to list, in great detail, why my space is not ‘child safe’ and then subtly suggest that anyone who would bring a child into that unsafe environment is obviously a bad parent.

It’s worked well so far.


#96

How did that go over? I would see people being upset when you collect outside of airbnb policies,


#97

Notice in the article it discusses that even if FHA does not apply to you, you still cannot advertise discriminatory statements. The FHA has this included in their law. There only a few exceptions of groups that can advertise discriminatory statements - senior housing being one example


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