Airbnb asking guests if they have a pet, service animal, ESA.

Heidi639
Level 2
Charlotte, NC

Airbnb asking guests if they have a pet, service animal, ESA.

Huge problem for me and for many others.

Airbnb is now asking guests if they have a pet, service animal, or ESA.

People do not realize that an ESA and a service animal are two totally different things.

ESA's do NOT have the same rights as a service animal.
Anyone that is familiar with the law (ADA) knows this and knows that ESA's are a bogus excuse to bring their pet.

Granted, there are legit ESA owner's, BUT they also have to provide a legal letter from a licensed doctor stating that the pet needs to be with it's owner.   Many do not know this!

It is clearly stated on the ADA website.

Plus, what happens if a pet is not up to date on it's shots and it bites someone?  
Does Airbnb ask for proper documentation of the vaccines for the pet??

What if you have a strict policy "No pets allowed" and a guest lies and say's "Oh he/she an ESA" and provides no documentation? 

What if the pet destroys your property?  

Is Airbnb going to handle this?

For instance, our resort does not allow pets, period.
Service animals by law have to be accepted at any establishment.
ESA's are pets, and if us owners/hosts get caught with having a "pet" in our property, the HOA will fine us owners, $250.00 PER DAY for as long as the pet is in our property.

Is Airbnb going to stand behind the host/owner and pay this fine??  
I bet not!
Is Airbnb going to ask for a legal letter from a doctor stating that this pet needs to be with the owner???
I'm 99% sure they will not.

Anyone knows, AND can tell the difference between a service animal and a pet. 

Service animals are trained and stay by the side of the owners.
ESA's wonder off or go off far on a leash.  They bark,  jump on people, get distracted easily and personally, I really do hate when people use their pet as an excuse that they are an ESA. 

Tons of hosts are now in a dilemma.  
Tons of hosts are going to be leaving Airbnb because of this new question they are asking guests.

We have strict policies for a reason.

How to we address this to Airbnb?
I've already talked with them on the phone and messaged them.
Guess what?
NO response and the case has been closed with no comments.

6 Replies 6
Emilie
Online Community Manager
Online Community Manager
London, United Kingdom

Hey @Heidi639 and @Karla533

 

I have mentioned it somewhere else, but just to make sure you both see this update I'll let you know here as well! Our policy has been updated to honour your concerns in regards to ESAs, giving you more control over pet fees. You can find more information here. 

 

Thanks you both again for all the feedback 🙂

 

Emilie

 

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Emilie
Online Community Manager
Online Community Manager
London, United Kingdom

@Heidi639 My apologies, it seems I misunderstood what you meant by damages. I appreciate your honest feedback as well as @Karla533's, and I'll pass on all those comments to the team! 

 

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Emilie
Online Community Manager
Online Community Manager
London, United Kingdom

Hi @Heidi639

 

Thank you for sharing your experience and feedback with us. Other Hosts have recently been discussing this here as well, which you might find interesting. 

 

To answer your point about damages, this is something that AirCover would indeed cover, whether it's a pet, an ESA or a service animal, as it includes overall pet-damage protection. I understand this was only one of the questions you raised though, and we've passed on the rest of your feedback to the teams. How do you think this would best be improved for you and the wider Host community? 

 

Thanks 🙂 

Emilie

 

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Heidi639
Level 2
Charlotte, NC

Hi Emillie,

So you are saying the AirCover would pay the $250.00 fine that the HOA will be issuing me if a pet is in my property, per day?

I am not speaking of "damages" that are caused by the pet, I am speaking of the fine because our resort has a strict "No Pet Policy".
I also have this stated in my listing.
Many of the resorts/hotels in our area are not pet friendly.
I have seen guests being escorted out of several resorts by security because of them breaking the rule of the "No Pet Policy".


People will lie and say their pet is an ESA, when in fact they are not or the guest doesn't need one.
This is an excuse for them to bring their pet.

I do NOT think that it is right for Airbnb to include the word/term ESA in the questions to the guests when they book.
This opens a can of worms to all us owner's.

Airbnb ALSO SHOULD BE asking for proper up to date vaccinations for the pet from the owner, FROM a veterinarian. 
Someone gets bit, and the pet is not vaccinated against Rabies, this could cause a law suit.

Thank you!


Karla533
Level 10
Santa Fe, NM

I agree with you on the ESA (Emotional Support Animal). You have a right to be unhappy about this. Your HOA could also shut you down for a pet violation if they wanted to.

 

I'm wondering, do you meet and greet your guests or is it self check in at your place?

 

Also, do you have, or could you install, a security camera on the front door (or a video doorbell)?  Arlo makes a wireless video doorbell and we like ours a lot.

 

And, I think this is a new ABB thing--I now have a $500 security deposit for all new bookings.

 

In the event of a violation I believe you can cancel the reservation and impose a fine on the person if you state this policy in your house rules. How you collect, I'm not sure.

 

I have a $50 fine and reservation cancellation if they bring in any extra people. My city requires a license to do STR and I could lose mine if people exceed occupancy limits.

 

 

Heidi639
Level 2
Charlotte, NC

Cannot install a camera at the resort. 
HOA will not allow it.

Now, I do have instant book on, for the moment, but will be changing that soon.

If instant book is on, and they book, how do I ask for a security deposit if they already booked?

I am 4 hours away from my property, so meeting them is a no go.

Thank you for your input.

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