Question about frequency of background checks by Air

Hi, first time poster! I hosted a guest in Oct. who had over 30 PERFECT reviews. When she left my house with nasty candle wax all over the kitchen counters, floors, patio and garage floors, I was shocked. She also took my key, key fob to the community pool/tennis courts, and stole a bowl I had sugar in for the coffee pods. She also smoked in my home and left butts in the INSIDE trashcan, not even trying to hide it! (no smoking policy)

Wondering why she trashed my home and no one else’s, I Google’d her; she was arrested 3 wks later in her hometown for 4 felony charges ranging from possessing to manufacturing meth with intent to distribute. Explains why beds weren’t touched and the weird waxy substance all over my house which could have been BLOWN UP by making meth!

My question is, how often (if ever) does Air re-check people’s backgrounds once they’re initially cleared?? I jumped thru hoops to become a host with FAR LESS of a ‘record’ than this guest has, yet she sailed thru with a felony assault charge also 10 years ago that was easily found w/a Google search of her name/town. Any insight? Thanks!

As far as I know, Airbnb doesn’t do any background checks. I believe they care about a functioning credit card and some type of identification. I don’t know that they even verify the ID.


I suspect that her former reviews were probably given to the people that made the bookings. When the person that makes the booking gets reviewed, that review is also given to everyone in their group (that have Airbnb accounts) which truly is unfair to hosts.

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I’m the same as @RebeccaF - I don’t think that they do background checks at all. It’s pretty expensive to do them too, so the cost would have to be passed on in the fees somewhere along the line.

Depending on the country, certain types of checks aren’t allowed.

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The problem is that they are inconsistent. They do background checks, sometimes. And they ban you for having some kinds of arrests/convictions, sometimes. It’s a combination of incompetency and pushing their own agenda. Drug convictions definitely aren’t a priority. I’m not sure they do background checks outside of the US at all.

BTW, if you think a guest actually manufactured meth in your listing, you need to have it checked. Renting it out to other guests after knowing about it could be a HUGE liability for you.


Airbnb site says “we run hosts and guests against regulatory, terrorist, and sanctions watchlists. For hosts and guests in the United States, we also conduct background checks”
But background check can include various things as selected by the client, maybe only a check of federal criminal records.

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@Bella88 When a guest has 30 perfect reviews, I don’t think most hosts would bother to dig any deeper.

But when I see reviews that just say “Great guest!” or something equally non-commital and non- informative, I cross reference to see how the host has reviewed his other guests. What I find, 90% or more of the time is that the host leaves that same review for all the guests, in which case I discount that review entirely.

The host either doesn’t fault any guest unless they burn the place down, it may be a remote host or property management company who never meets their guests and expects the cleaners to deal with any mess, no matter how bad, without complaint, or, in the case of a guest like you describe, hosts may leave a decent review simply because they are afraid of some sort of scary retaliation from the guest, especially if she is a local.

Or, of course, she may have once been a good guest, but drugs like meth have a way of turning even the nicest person into someone quite different.


I believe (correct me if I’m wrong please) that in the US, background checks can only legally be done with the permission of the checkee?

@Bella88’s story is a good example of why hosts should give honest and truthful reviews of their guests. Over the years reading here, there are hosts who automatically give good reviews to all guests or don’t review guests who were not good.

Once again, my plea to hosts, please review honestly!


It’s in the Airbnb TOS. I doubt they do anything through or expensive but a lot of information is public record and is easy to get if you know how.


I have a go to review that I reuse all the time.

Muddy was a great guest, she left the place clean and is welcome back anytime.

Of course you would have had left the place clean and been a good guest.

Often I am doing two reviews in the same day, I always review the day of checkout so I do not forget the guest.

That being said, if a guest sneaks in extra guests, or leaves a big mess the review would be different. Thankfully most of my guests get the welcome back anytime review.


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There’s nothing inherently wrong with leaving a somewhat generic review for good guests, and I can understand that hosts who do a high volume of business don’t have the time or interest to sit down and compose a more personal review. Plus it gets hard to find new things to say.

But at least in the review you leave, you say the guest left the place clean- it’s some pertinent info. Not just “Nice guest”. And if I cross referenced to see how you review your other guests, I would see that you aren’t just some faceless property manager with scores or hundreds of listings, so if you say the guest would be welcome back, I’d believe it.

But I do like to see reviews with a bit more info re the things most hosts care about- did they communicate well, respect house rules, are they quiet, etc.

And home share hosts might be interested in more or different info than hosts of entire homes. Whether a guest is socially easygoing or quiet wouldn’t matter to an entire home host (unless they were so noisy they disturbed the neighbors), but to home share host it would.

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I wonder if that’s true because real estate agents use background checking apps all the time before meeting customers to show property.

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She was nice enough when I met her, but my Spidey senses should have told me no ‘normal’ person stays in a diff. STR EVERY weekend for months on end. The hosts gave specific reviews, mainly about her cleanliness and rule-following, so I wasn’t worried at all… But when she took my house key and ghosted my calls, I began to see the err of my ways in allowing her to stay. Never again (of course she’s in prison now, so it wont’ be a problem).

I did alert Air as to the whole circumstances and as usual, they were laissez faire about it and gave me no refund for my maids since I couldn’t prove th cash I gave them. Nor did they care about the documentation I provided about her arrest/felony charges. Air cares not about hosts from what I’ve experienced.

Really?? I’ve never experienced that! That’s a bit overkill IMO.

I blasted her in my review, I didn’t care if/what kind of review she was going to give me; she violated many rules and other hosts needed to know! Surprisingly she didn’t leave me a review at all, but hopefully no one ever experiences what I went through. Honest reviews are the ONLY reviews worth leaving.


They def. do SOME sort of check because they ‘banned’ me from listing once my innocuous record of a DUI 10 years prior came up!! I had to jump thru several hoops to get it expunged from my record and be ‘reinstated’ as a host. Ridiculous, now I realize it wasn’t worth it as they side with guests over hosts EVERY time; sticking with Vrbo going forward, they ALWAYS have the hosts’ backs over guests.

Again, it depends where you are and the law in that region. I’m pretty sure that here anyway they would need a full name and date of birth to do a proper background check.

In the past ten years I have twice had to sign legal documents (at real estate closings) to certify that I am not the person with the same name as me who lives in the same city. She has a criminal record.

My name didn’t put up any flags for Airbnb as it did for the real estate lawyers so I imagine that I wasn’t checked out. Also, I look after an apartment for a neighbour and I know that he didn’t give Airbnb his date of birth. (I’m not sure I did either.)

So it must vary a lot.

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