As a host are we, or are we not, allowed to verify at check-in that the person IS the guest who was verified in the reservation?
Can we ask to see/verify ID at check-in?
Since ABnB can't seem to implement face recognition software to prevent the babies, dogs, and flowers posted as guest photos... how do I even know whom to expect at my front door?
I see opposing answers in various posts. PLEASE, what is the definitive answer.
YES, I do instant book and require Gov ID... but that qualifies the booking. It leaves the actual security check to me.
I want to verify who is checking in. Especially after reading the various dissapointing and scary host stories here. Even the flea-bag motels ask to see Gov ID and a CC at checkin.
And what if the Gov ID DOES NOT MATCH the res?
Then what do I do?
I know the majority of folks are wonderful people. I've had wonderful guests ... with the exception of one that I cancelled before arrival. But those are not the folks who take advantage of the many loopholes ABnB has in their system. My antaenna are up now.
Any and all safety ideas from Hosts welcomed.
@Julene2 In some areas, the host is required to registered the guests by checking and recording the government ID. Most of the US does not require that, but since you have a doorman checking, you would need to ensure that all registered guests can provide a government ID to the doorman. In your welcome message you could advise of the check in procedure and if the guest is unable to comply with the requirement, then the guest can cancel within 48 hours at no charge. Also warn that the doorman is not authorized to allow any unregistered guest so any change in guest identity must be cleared through you. Guests that are legit will not have a problem but those who want access that is not registered will object.
Hi @Julene2. You’ve probably read threads which vary due to local legislations etc. in Australia we do not need to check for Govt information, but I have a few ID requirements written into my house rules under compliance.
Generally I don’t need to check the I.D. In fact it’s been extremely rare. But where I have not received good communication from a gjest, or something feels “off”, I have called on my house rules and communicated this via the Airbnb message board.
In fact, when I have stated I will sight and make a copy of ALL IDs on arrival, guests have cancelled.
So I see that as a win - win.
Remember it’s your homestay space, your rules,...
@Cathie19, that's a great idea when your alarm bells are ringing for upcoming guests that you will be sighting and making a copy of their ID. Like you, I feel comfortable with 99% of my guests, but the odd one does raise a red flag for me. I think I'll do the same.
I agree with @Cathie0 I also communicate in first chat prior to approval that I would require to site photographic ID on checkin, None of my guests have ever had a problem with this. and usually send me an email with copies of their drivers licenses. And at my cabin park they are also required to give card details for security if they wish to use any of the unlisted facilities, and I have never had an issue there either. So I think you would need to be very aware of your own local situation and your own requirements.
In all honesty while ABB is not a bad platform sometimes the CS can be horrificc so it certainly pays to protect yourself, Someone that is on the other side of the world that dosnt always speak your language dosnt really give a dam if something goes wrong.
Do what you feel is right for your safety and circumstance at the time.
All the best
I have a home in FL 50 miles West of Panama City Beach, which was devastated y Hurricane Michael. I called and asked if they verify the ages of the guests if I ask for a government ID. They only thing they do is confirm that they are the age they stated, but do not look at your rules to see if they meet my 25 or older rule.
I get a booking from someone who says they are 25 but look like they are 18 years old. If I go to cancel, Airbnb has a note that there are only so many cancellations they will allow without a penalty. Just doesn't seem fair. The last group of men, not boys, that I rented to, left $2000 in damages to my home. Fortunately, the company they were employed by paid all damages, but had I had to get any funds via airbnb, it probably would have been very difficult. They did call me a lot to check and see when I would forward all my photos and receipts, but I had been speaking with the company in the interim.
Airbnb needs to protect their hosts better.
@Julene2 You have a really good question AND I had a situation and I asked for the ID of the young man and I took a picture of it (he got afraid) and I went inside my home and called Airbnb. He was lying to me at check in - and he left and cancelled quickly and I got paid without a struggle. I quickly did as the CS told me.
I was informed that IF you are going to check ID's - YOU MUST put on your listing That Identification will be necessary upon check in......of ALL Guests.
If you don't put that on your listing you can NOT check. It's like having a house rule and not listing it. YOU must give the guests a warning that ID will be checked.
I never check but just incase, I have it written.
Good luck, happy hosting, Clara
The safety and security of my house in Mexico it's very important and vital issue to me.
If guest will learn who I am and where I live, then I want to know the same thing about them. I only ask in return what they are getting from me. If They have a problem and want to remain anonymous, then they need to stay elsewhere where they can do that. Am not about to host mr. and ms. No body in my house. I require picture profile that matches their picture government ID.
I wish Airbnb would just get on board with this issue and quit the non sense. We host are all require to deliver our identities, address, banking information etc.
To be fair we need to be even.
I just started hosting, and my small town requires that I check for government ID and keep a record of all guests for three years. Where on my listing should I post this requirement? In the house rules? Thanks for any advice!
We are certainly allowed to ask for ID in New Zealand before guests enter our property, but there is no legal requirement to do so. Our insurance company, however, will not cover damage from guests unless we have the full name of the guest on the claim form, so it’s in our best interest to verify ID and be sure we have the right person in case we need it later.
Interestingly, in New Zealand if people attempt to enter our property without a clear invitation (which can be rescinded on the spot), it’s considered trespassing and therefore a criminal offence. So technically we could call the police if someone refused to show ID on arrival and tried to muscle their way in. Same applies if they show up drunk and disorderly - it doesn’t matter what Airbnb booking they have, the law here says we can rescind an invitation to enter our private property.
So far we’ve not had to ask (it’s been obvious), but we have the following in our rules page just in case. We did this mostly to ensure Airbnb would support us if a question arose. From what I have read it is easier to get them to support a situation when rules are clearly documented.
The Guest responsible for the reservation must be present at the time of check-in. If we are unsure, we reserve the right to ask to view government issued ID.
You've asked questions that show you understand the situation and many hosts have given great advice.
You've asked "And what if the Gov ID DOES NOT MATCH the res?
Then what do I do? "
Possession is nine tenths of the law. Do not have self-checkin.
See their Identification BEFORE you let them in. If the guest is not the reservation holder, Do not let them in.
This is standard in Hotels - they match ID to credit card to face, before they give out the key.
If they are not the reservation holder and give you a song and dance, just say "I'm sorry, I don't know you. My business is with the reservation holder. Thank you"
I ask guest to text ID upon booking so I will know who to look for when I meet them at the building.
One guy didn't like this at all--he complained to airbnb. He ended up bringing 6 people and doing thousands in damages which airbnb refused to help. In the end, I was banned for a while because the building's security caught the pack of freeloaders on camera--but I didn't disclose all camera details.
There is a huge problem with checking government IDs on arrival. The problem is that Airbnb does not let you know even the first name of the person who is a registered member of Airbnb, nor does Airbnb send hosts the profile photo that members have to submit that is matched with their government ID. Guests can change their names and put up whatever profile photo they want to (even stock photos). If you don't believe me, just do a chat with Airbnb Support. It is shocking. We recently had our second problem with a "guest" who was dealing drugs all night long out of our apartment. He booked the place as Quinton Johnson and posted a photo (in retrospect I think it was a stock photo). We only realized what was going on when our internet went out temporarily and we noticed that the remote lock on the gate and apartment were opened 73 times in 24 hours. We got a call back from Airbnb who only ridiculed our concerns. Then when we got an email to rate Quinton, and clicked on it, it switched to a completely different name. This was the verified guest and Airbnb was adamant that this was the guest who was in our home. My husband is a criminal lawyer and he has a theory: The Airbnb "member" was someone who lost his wallet, criminals copied the front and back sides, and went to his facebook page to find something that could be used as a selfie. They set up an Airbnb profile, put in another credit card for payment (so the identity theft victim would remain clueless), put in another email address and phone number. And viola! They can edit the name and put in another profile photo (the original ones remain with Airbnb and are not shared with hosts even after booking). They book our place for a week, pay for it with their own credit card, and then repeat until someone complains bitterly to Airbnb. In our case, Airbnb simply removed the profile and gave the drug dealer's credit card a refund. So we were out over $700, missed other potential bookings, and had to clean up the brown shoe polish that was all over the apartment (an internet search indicated that shoe polish is used to cut Mexican brown heroin). We now require government IDs and put in our rules that we require advance notice if someone works graveyard shift or plans to attend a special event after midnight, and we also specify no refunds for anyone who breaks our rules. This still is not enough protection because Airbnb does not send hosts even the first name or (ideally) the actual profile photo that would match the Government ID. Our city (Little Rock, Arkansas) is considering clamping down on Airbnbs because others have complained about all night activities--drugs and whorehouses. Disgusting! And so much for the Airbnb "community." Hosts BEWARE!