I received an inquiry from a guest today. After she asked for a discount she then began to tell me that she has a small dog ESA. I graciously replied and told her I could not accept her request as we advertise our property as allergen free property. I apologized and wished her well in finding suitable accommodation.
Within 15 minutes she booked on instant book, which was never turned on. This has happened to me now three times since I’ve been a part of AirBnB. So, some issues here with AirBnB policies and their integrity as a company. 

Montana Law does not require public accommodations to allow emotional support animals into their business. This is a matter of choice for the business owner. Only service animals specifically trained are required to be accommodated. Montana Law code 49-4-203 (2) “service Animal” means a dog or miniature horse individually trained to provide assistance to an individual with a disability. The term does not include an emotional support animal. Enacted 71-1305.1 by Laws 1975, ch. 

 

This particular guest does not have a service animal but a pet that she travels with all the time...per her email. However, she continues to mention AirBnB’s policy regarding Service animals and ESA. Any input would be appreciated on how to handle this peculiar situation. I have talked to AirBnB with literally no help. Just keep telling me about their high call volume. 

39 Replies

Re: Emotional Support Animals/instant book turned on without my consent

in
Columbus, OH
Level 2

Adding this to the discussion: HUDAsstAnimalNC1-28-2020.pdf

 

These are guidelines from HUD for complying with the Fair Housing Act requirement to accommodate service animals.  It is within the Host's rights to request documentation.  Labeling a pet an "emotional support animal" is not enough to override a no pets policy.  A person actually in need of this service should be able to easily comply.

Re: Emotional Support Animals/instant book turned on without my consent

in
Sayulita, Mexico
Level 10

@Michelle2578  It doesn't matter what the HUD rules are, Airbnb has their own rules and has the right to delist you for contravening them. 

 

Of course I agree that this business of everyone claiming their dog is an emotional support animal so they can take it with them everywhere is absurd, but if you choose to list with Airbnb, they can decide to delist you for any or no reason, and good luck trying to fight it.

Re: Emotional Support Animals/instant book turned on without my consent

in
Saugus, MA
Level 2

Hi Ellie, just wanted to let you know I feel your pain. I got a booking for a guest, who is also a  host on Airbnb and didn't disclose a pet. Way later, like 3mos I got a text,  oh bye the way my daughter is bringing her emotional support dog.  So, I truly understand your frustration,  and I'm not so sure that it even really is an emotional support dog. Why would another host be so uncaring? I also have anxiety, and a disability so why do I have to get more anxious about a pet being in my house when I have a no pet policy. is airbnb verifying these emotional support animals???

Re: Emotional Support Animals/instant book turned on without my consent

in
Sayulita, Mexico
Level 10

@Karen2798  There is no "verification" for emotional support animals. It doesn't exist. Anyone can say their oet is emotional support and 9 times out of 10 it's simply a pet. Read the Airbnb policy on this- the animal has to be housebroken, can't be left alone, etc. So make sure to tell the guest this has to be adhered to. 

 

Do not expect other hosts to be better  than regular guests. They can be just as good or bad as the general population. I've had several guests who were also hosts and they were all great, but some hosts have experienced other hosts to be their worst guests.

Re: Emotional Support Animals/instant book turned on without my consent

in
Dallas, TX
Level 4

ESA Animals. I have had emotional support animals most of my adult life, even before lawyers came up with the term, Emotional Support Animal. Most pets ARE emotional support animals. But I don’t throw that term around so that I can fly my pet free or dodge fees that a responsible pet owner should pay. Really…pet owners should take responsibility. There is no difference in poop, urine, or damage from an ESA or regular pet. Own up people.

Re: Emotional Support Animals/instant book turned on without my consent

in
Riviera Beach, FL
Level 2

I now have two ESA pit bulls in my house.  Airbnb's policy is contrary to Federal and Florida law.  What the heck is the limit on these Emotional Support Animals?  There is NONE!  Imagine a dog breeder coming to your house with 15 puppies all with ESA fake papers and ZERO pet fees.  This is an outrageous policy.  We lose control of our own property and our own business.  Interestingly enough, this comment has been vaporized by Airbnb two times but when I do a test response with something innocuous, it posts right away.

Re: Emotional Support Animals/instant book turned on without my consent

in
Sayulita, Mexico
Level 10

@Jamie653  See my response to your other post claiming your posts are being censored- they're not. It's a tech issue.

Re: Emotional Support Animals/instant book turned on without my consent

in
Florida, United States
Level 2

I commiserate with those of you who want to keep your guest accommodations allergy free. I do, too, plus I worry about dogs interacting with my two dogs which are very large and friendly, but would not appreciate a strange dog on their property. I have found a way to dissuade emotional support dogs which is part of Airbnb‘s rules.

 

When I get a request for booking with an emotional support dog, I reply that I would be happy to welcome them if they agree with three stipulations. First, according to Airbnb regulations, the emotional support dog cannot be left alone in the apartment for any length of time. Second, went outside the apartment, the dog must be leashed to avoid interactions with my dogs.  And third, if the dog causes any damage whatsoever to furniture, walls, doors, or carpet, the guest must pay to have the item repaired or cleaned.

 

So far, not one of those inquiring guests has actually booked. I also thought about requesting a copy of their emotional support animal certification, and I may do that in the future. Onward!

Re: Emotional Support Animals/instant book turned on without my consent

in
Alberta, Canada
Level 10

@Angie108 That’s a great strategy however, if you have your own dogs on the shared property, you don’t have to accommodate ESA’s at all. See the assistance animal policy.

 

Health or safety concerns

If your listing includes a shared space and an assistance animal would create a health or safety hazard to you or others (EX: allergies or potential issues with other animals), you don’t have to host the guests with the assistance animal. Please share this information on your listing to avoid any potential disappointment and be clear and polite when communicating with guests about this.

 

Your listings are ‘no pet’ but you may be inadvertently encouraging guests with pets by using a profile photo of you and your dog, and mentioning “I love dogs!” in your ‘about me’ blurb. Just a thought. 

 

Re: Emotional Support Animals/instant book turned on without my consent

in
Florida, United States
Level 2

Thanks!  I hadn't thought of that, but you're right!  Time to change my blurb. 

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