As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
There has been a lot of talk lately about Airbnb background checks. Some people say that they do, and some people say that they don’t. So, does Airbnb background check guests? The answer is yes…and no. Allow us to explain.
Does Airbnb Background Check Guests?
The answer to this question is a bit complicated. On one hand, yes, Airbnb does background check guests. They have to in order to comply with the law in many countries. On the other hand, no, they don’t always in every instance and there are limitations when they do.
In theory, Airbnb does background check guests. They have a system in place where they are supposed to check the IDs of all guests, and they are supposed to run a criminal background check on every guest. However, in practice, things are not always so simple.
There have been some reports of people with fake IDs being able to book rooms on Airbnb. Additionally, there have been reports of people with serious criminal records being able to book rooms on Airbnb. While Airbnb does background checks on guests in principle, it isn’t perfect.
The Airbnb Background Check Process
Per Airbnb’s published info, they state their background check process begins with checking the following 2 items (but only in India and the United States) :
- Guests: Usually about 10 days prior to check in, sometimes less if the booking date is less than 10 days.
- Hosts: When the Host logs in after creating a listing, or when a stay or experience is booked—whichever comes first
So how do they do it? If they have at least a first and last name and date of birth – they’ll submit that info to one of their background check providers. They are looking to verify the person’s identity against some databases that provide background info such as:
All people who transact on Airbnb: They compare their identity against the OFAC list, which includes terrorist designations.
All who live in the US: They compare against several public state and county criminal records as well as state and national sex offender registries.
Those living outside US: If a background check is allowed by the local law, and if it is available, they may obtain a local version of the background or registered sex offender checks.
Limitations of Airbnb Background Checks
Background checks are an important tool for ensuring the safety of guests and hosts, but they are not foolproof.
While a background check can reveal a person’s criminal history, it cannot predict whether that person will commit a crime in the future.
For example, someone who has never been convicted of a crime may nonetheless be inclined to break the law while staying in another person’s home.
Similarly, a guest who has an extensive criminal history may nonetheless be well-behaved and respectful while staying in a Airbnb.
In other words, background checks are just one factor to consider when deciding whether a guest or host is suitable. Ultimately, it is up to hosts and guests to use their best judgment when interacting with each other.
Additional Gaps in Airbnb Background Searches
Public records are an important tool for anyone looking to do a background check. However, it’s important to keep in mind that there may be gaps in these records due to the way they are maintained.
Online databases might only be updated periodically by local governments—which Airbnb doesn’t control or direct. As a result, these database checks may not reveal comprehensive or recent criminal record activity.
That being said, Airbnb does conduct its own background checks on some hosts and guests, which include sifting through national and local databases, as well as sex offender registries.
In other words, while there may be some gaps in public records searches, Airbnb is still doing working to provide a safe and secure experience for all users.
Effects of Background Checks on Airbnb Accounts
If Airbnb finds issue with a background check they have conducted, there are a number of potential consequences for the individual in question.
For example, if someone is found to have a fake ID, their account may be suspended. If someone is found to have a criminal record, they may be removed from the platform entirely.
In either case, it is important to note that Airbnb does not proactively share information about an individual’s background check with other members of the community.
So, if someone has been removed from the platform due to a failed background check, it is not something that other users will be made aware of.
Reinstatements & Appeals
It’s critical to remember that Airbnb does enable guests who’ve had problems with their accounts because of a background check to potentially reinstate their accounts.
There is an appeals process in place for guests who believe they have been unfairly removed from the platform.
The following are some of the most important criteria that Airbnb uses when evaluating a reinstatement appeal:
- Age at time of conviction
- How many previous convictions there are
- How long it’s been since it occured
The following are examples of offenses that typically result in ineligibility regardless of appeal:
- Sexual assault / Trafficking
- Hate crime Offenses
- Terrorism Offenses
Safety Tips for Hosts & Guests
Whether or not you have had a background check, there are always steps that you can take to ensure your safety while using Airbnb.
Here are some safety tips for both hosts and guests:
- Check the reviews of guests and hosts beforehand
- Require that their ID, Email be confirmed in order to book
- Use the Airbnb Messaging on the platform to communicate, to keep you email address private
- Review the house rules
- Hosts can require a profile photo in order to book
- Consider doing your own web search
- Report potential people who ask you to send money outside of the platform or you believe to be a security risk.
So now you see why the answer to the question “does Airbnb background check guests” is yes and no. Airbnb does conduct its own background checks, however, there are still gaps in public records that they rely on.
As a result, it’s always important to use your best judgment when interacting with other members of the Airbnb community and follow suggested safety tips as well.
Have you had any experiences with Airbnb background checks, good or bad? Let us know in the comments below!
P.S. Did you find value in our article “does Airbnb background check guests” – then make sure to check out these: Airbnb Ranking Algorithm: The Ultimate Guide for Hosts and An Overview of the Airbnb Review Policy – 3 Smart Rules to Follow
Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc, or its affiliates.