I recently learned about Airbnb Assistance Animal Policy (for US users) and was shocked. Did you know that as a host (unless you fall under certain "extenuating circumstances") you are required by Airbnb to allow any assistance animal into your home? We are talking about emotional support cats, pigs, goats, chickens; you name it, it's welcome in your home.
"Airbnb defines assistance animals to include Emotional Support Animals. These are animals that are used as part of medical treatment and/or therapy to assist with an individual’s daily functional tasks, but are not limited to a specific type of animal and are not required to be trained to assist an individual in a particular task. These animals are sometimes referred to as comfort animals or therapy animals."
So, how do we as hosts know our guests have brought a real, "comfort animal" into our homes? We don't. According to the policy:
"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 and there is no legally recognized certification process for service animals."
There is no legally recognized certification process because anyone can go onto the internet and purchase a "certified document" from a "real therapist" for less than $200. Just google "how to get an emotional support animal". So, if a guest comes to your home and claims they have an emotional support turkey, according to Airbnb policy, you can't ask for documentation to prove what they are saying is true. And if your home does not fall under the "extenuating circumstances", you are not allowed to ask them to remove the animal from your home.
Unless you can prove the following:
A host may ask a guest to remove a service animal if:
Want to know the worst part (yes, it gets worse)? The guests do not even have to tell the hosts they are bringing an animal into their home.
Do guests have to disclose the presence of an assistance animal before booking?
No. While guests are not required to disclose the presence of an assistance animal before booking, we always encourage transparent communication to ensure a smooth experience for all.
So, if you have a guest sneak their emotional support cat into your home without your knowledge and the next guest staying is severely allergic to cats, you will not even know your house is contaminated to warn the next guests. As well, how can you assess if the animal is out of control or not house broken if you do not even know it is in your home during the stay?
Now for the extenuating circumstances:
However, if your listing includes a shared space and an assistance animal would create a health or safety hazard to you or others (e.g. allergies and pets who are unable to share space with other animals due to a safety concern), we will not require you to host the guests with the assistance animal.
As far as I understand the policy, that is it. If your listing is for the "entire home" you do not qualify. Even if you do have shared spaces in your listing, you still may not qualify if you can't adequately explain why you can't have pets in your home.
I am hoping this helps to educate hosts and guests alike on the current Airbnb Assistance Animal Policy. There are many more reasons that this policy is unnecessarily strict. If you wish to learn more visit the Airbnb Community posts and search assistance animal, and read Airbnbs policy. I do want to be clear that I appreciate and acknowledge that there are individuals who require assistance animals, and that those animals help with those individual’s quality of life in many valuable ways. The thoughts above are my interpretation of the policy. Please read it for yourself if you wish to learn more.
I disagree. According to strata, they would be a visitor. Anyone who is not an owner or registered tenant with the strata council would be considered a visitor. Just because they are paying doesn't take away from that fact. In my opinion.
@Kati18, I believe if you would be violating the policy of your building you would be excempt from the Airbnb policy. I would ask support about it though, to be sure; get it in writing in an email preferably so if there were ever any issues you would have it documented.
David126 is exactly correct AND those "rules" you speak of do not apply to service animals and in most places/states emotional support animals as well.
Is there a social trend (aka possible new hustle) that Airbnb doesn't instantly and automatically champion? It is like they want to be at the forefront of anything that is simply 'new'.
I can imagine someone showing up at Airbnb Headquarters with a Tasmanian Devil and claiming the creature is their ESA.
Perhaps a group of us hosts should round up our Noah's Ark of emotional support animals and pay a visit to Airbnb HQ to see how they like the taste of their own policies.