Service Dog reservation... interesting one

I can only speak to the US and UK and there are no local laws that would run against AirBnB’s Assistance Animal Policy.

Seems unlikely there would elsewhere but who knows.

What law are you referring to @Coho?

I was suggesting you ask the guest what activities the ‘service animal’ helps the guest with which Airbnb says you can ask.

If it is a genuine service animal, the guest will need to have the animal with them at all times.

I cannot see why you can’t ask for a service animal not to be on furniture.

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Well, try getting a service dog into a hotel in Saudi Arabia… or even into the country.

Well Saudi would certainly be an unusual one and I could never understand how AirBnb can spout their ethos and do business there but that is another subject.

So back to well you can ask a Service Dog owner what they do, sure you can under ADA so I suppose we are talking about US situations only, as I have mentioned I have yet to have a real Service Dog stay with me and AirBnB policy allows Assistance Animals which are mainly not ADA and do not have that requirement so what is the point.

Yes the Airlines are having issues with US Federal law requirements and are trying to crack down but as AirBnB hosts we do not have the options they do, Assistance Animals are basically anything a guests says is an Assistance Animal.

I have gone about this as ‘requesting’ and not ‘requiring’. I have to update my rules now. All the talk of legality has me gun-shy. Ughhh, never knew this would be an issue when doing an ABB.

Agree with River. Just decline the booking. Don’t say it’s because of the dog. Just say something like ‘sorry we are unable to accommodate you. Best of luck with your travels…’ If he asks why, just ignore.

You don’t owe anyone an explanation. It’s your house. Just say no. Problem solved.


In the USA you can ask 1) is the dog a service animal required because of a disability 2) what work or task has the dog been trained to perform. They have to have a specific answer re: specifically trained tasks. Emotional support animals and therapy dogs are NOT service animals and are NOT protected by the ADA. Many people buy fake service dog vests online. You can tell a fake ‘service’ dog because they are not meticulously trained and are often on long leads and treated like pets (because they are!).

According to AirBnb my ESA is not a pet, and we are I think talking about bookings made through the AirBnB system.

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I guess Airbnb can say what they want but the ADA federal law is clear. ESA are NOT service dogs, they are pets that provide comfort and they do not have protected access to public places.

If you are living in the US yes, in all other countries no.
I do not have to accept any “service” animal, if the guests cannot supply documentation.

It is mainly a US problem because there is not proper certification system, so any idiot can call his pet a service animal. Within Europe most countries have proper certification systems, even for “Therapy Dogs” as we call them.

So, according to local laws, I am allowed to ask the guest for proof.

I do not think AirBnB will ban you as a host for sticking to local laws. Imagine the headlines “AirBnB bans host for refusing guest with emotional support Lama”.

I accept dogs, so that is not a Problem. But I require an extra fee per dog. So the only discussion would be if the dog can stay for free.

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As long as you obey the Law you can do what you want with non AirBnB bookings.

If you use AirBnB then you sign up for their terms and conditions, I suppose you can get away with ignoring them until somebody complains and then you have a choice to delist or comply.

But that goes for any of AirBnb’s non discrimination policies, well all their policies.

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So about 99% of dogs.

I agree some people do abuse ESA’s but others do not, and you can snuff out the abusers pretty easily. Anyone that is leaving a dog alone ALL day while they are at a concert is questionable.

After one incident, they were coming up here hiking with their dog, never occurred to me that they would leave their dog in the room all day, one of my few rules is no dog left behind.

As you say if the Dog is an Assistance Animal then they need the dog with them.

I couldn’t read through all of these, but the subject of service dogs has been a great concern to me because (1) my HOA does not allow dogs. I am on the board so we have acknowledged that we have to allow service dogs, but they MUST have documentation. Still unsure how to deal with the HOA if a guest arrives with a service dog with no documentation. (2) I put in my listing that my HOA does not allow dogs and that my daughter, who cleans for me (yay!!! worth every penny) is severely allergic to dogs and has been in the hospital twice because of dog allergies. So far (4 years), I have not had any “service dogs”, but I’m pretty sure one guest snuck in their fur child (dog hair everywhere). I’m still not sure how I should react if a guest shows up with a service dog without notifying me. What should I do? I know that I have a couple of “get out of jail free cards” with Airbnb regarding instant bookings (already used one this year), so I can use one if they let me know ahead of time (I’ll just not mention the dog), but what if they just show up with the dog?

That is why you should always ask for documentation when living outside the US.
Even AirBnB mentiones this in the help article you posted.

Is it okay to request documentation for an assistance animal?

Airbnb does not require documentation when traveling with an assistance animal. In the United States, guests are not required to provide documentation for a service animal …

If you are traveling outside of the United States, please be aware that the requirements may differ.

Actually it does not say that, just that other Countries may have different requirements, no legislation I can think of for example in the UK that requires hosts to ask for documentation.

It does.
You are not required to ask, but you are allowed according to UK law.

AirBnB says US hosts are not allowed to ask for documentation, but in other countries hosts are allowed to ask for it.

It does not say that, say the requirements MAY differ, US and UK law does not have any provisions that cover AirBNB’s generous policy.

Fo example there are many laws in non western countries that would b clearly in contradiction with AirBnb’s policy, same sex issue in Russia with the World Cup comes to mind. Now there is a get out for Russian Hosts as there are laws they have to obey, no such laws on this issue in the UK.

You are mixing up different kinds of laws.

You are talking about a law that you have to obey. I am talking about a law that gives me rights.

According to our local law, I have the right to refuse pets, unless the guest can prove that they have a registered assistance animal. AirBnB cannot take away that right with their general policy.