As a relatively new market in the hospitality field, Airbnb provides an exciting new opportunity for people to travel all over the world, while still staying in a homey atmosphere. This model attracts all different types of people, but is there a limit as to who can rent out an Airbnb?
As a matter of fact, there is when it comes to age. Because of the Airbnb business model, renters do have to meet age requirements in order to rent out an Airbnb space. So, you may be wondering, how old do you have to be to rent an Airbnb?
Airbnb Age Limit for Guests
How old do you have to be to rent an Airbnb?
In order to rent an Airbnb, the primary renter, or the individual who creates the Airbnb profile, must be at least 18 years old. As long as the primary renter meets the age specifications, Airbnb does not ask for the ages of anyone else who may be accompanying the guest on their stay.
How does Airbnb Verify Your Age?
It is against Airbnb’s Terms of Service for anyone under 18 to create and use an account on the platform. This is because minors under the age of 18 cannot legally enter into a rental contract.
When you first create an account on Airbnb, whether it be as a guest or a host, there is the option to verify your identity by uploading a copy of your ID.
While you do not need to be verified to use the Airbnb platform, there are many rentals that do require a guest to be verified before booking. By checking your ID, Airbnb is able to verify that you are a real person and that you are at least 18 years old.
Can Hosts ask for your ID to verify age?
It is perfectly fair for a host to request to see a guest’s ID when checking in to the rental. When checking in to a hotel, they will always ask to see your ID in order to make sure you are who you say you are, so many hosts take a similar route.
A host can only ask for an ID to verify your identity, though. If you are over the age of 18, a host cannot turn you away for being under their preferred guest age (usually 25).
It is against Airbnb policy to discriminate against guests based on age, along with many other important factors such as sex, gender identity, race, ethnicity, etc.
Airbnb Age Limit for Hosts
Can I set a minimum age limit for guests?
The short answer is no. Due to Airbnb’s Non-Discrimination Policy, a host is not able to set an age limit for their own rentals past the initial 18-year old requirement.
This is a widely debated topic amongst hosts, as young guests tend to have a bad reputation in the Airbnb community for partying and trashing rentals.
In addition to this, many other short-term rental websites do allow for hosts to set a minimum age for renters, such as HomeAway/VRBO, another popular hosting platform.
Depending on where you live, local governments have started to take action against young guests renting Airbnb spaces for parties, as many of them have recently ended in gun-violence and casualties. This has resulted in Airbnb testing new age restrictions for the renting of entire houses.
At this time, there is no straight-forward way to restrict a certain age group on Airbnb. With that said, there are a few steps you can take to keep yourself and your guests as safe as possible by discouraging young partiers from choosing your rental.
How to discourage guests under a certain age from booking your Airbnb?
There are a few different ways you can strategically build your rental’s listing page in order to discourage younger visitors from booking: 1) with your Listing Description, and 2) with your House Rules.
As the description is usually the one (and only) part of the listing that most guests read, this is a perfect place to start. A few points you can mention in your description are:
It is very common to have quiet hours in shared apartment buildings or neighborhoods. Be sure to note yours here if your area has quiet hours, or feel free to make up your own quiet hours to keep partying and noise to a minimum during the night.
If you have neighbors close to your property, let your guests know. Guests are more likely to be respectful of your space if they know that neighbors can see or hear them (and potentially call the cops!).
If your building or neighborhood has security, use it to your advantage! The presence of security is sure to discourage any guests with less than ideal intentions for your rental.
This is a big one! If you live in the same home that you are renting out, or live in a closeby apartment, it is important to make your presence known to your guests. For young guests, just knowing that you are in the vicinity will most likely keep them from booking your rental as a party place for the fear of being caught by you.
If you find your rental constantly being used for parties against your wishes, it may be time to threaten fees for party related damages: unannounced guests, ruined linens, noise levels, evidence of smoking, damaged furniture, and the list goes on.
By placing a dollar amount to specific damages that may occur, mischief-minded guests will be more cautious about booking your rental for fear of extra charges.
All of these points will not bother the average visitor, but they will definitely discourage a guest who is looking for a place to party for a few nights.
It may seem silly at first, but trust me. As someone who has had to clean up and pay for party after party in my rental, these additions make all the difference in stopping the problem at the source.
Another way to discourage potential troublemakers is by writing very clear House Rules for your property.
I mention the House Rules second because, even though they are the rules of your property, many guests do not take the time to read a listing’s House Rules.
With that said, it is still crucial to have very clear House Rules for how you expect your guests to behave on your property.
When writing out your House Rules, be sure to mention the points you wrote in your description. These will give you something to fall back on if a guest breaks a House Rule, as they have to agree to all your House Rules in order to book your rental.
How to make sure underage guests are not fraudulently booking your Airbnb
An issue I have not run into myself, but does happen in the Airbnb community is the fraudulent booking of rentals.
Some examples of this would be an underage minor using their parent’s identity to book a personal travel, or guests booking the listing for their children, family members or friends with no intention of accompanying as the primary renter.
The reason this is a problem is that unaccompanied minors, as well as third-party family bookings, do not follow Airbnb regulations. Due to this, anything that goes wrong, such as damages or complaints, will not be legally covered by Airbnb since the primary renter was not present.
To both discourage and catch fraudulent bookings, add to your listing description that you may check identification during the guest’s check-in process.
This statement will work to deter people trying to get away with fraudulent bookings, as they may fear being caught. This will also work for the host, as checking identification will allow you to confirm that the primary renter is present at check-in.
Another tool available to hosts is ID verification through the AIrbnb platform. As a host, you have probably already had to verify your own identification to list on the platform.
To require ID verification for all guests, hosts should enable the Reservation Requirement “Require guests to go through verification.” This will require all your future guests to submit their government ID to Airbnb to keep on file.
As with any other field of business, different people will choose to run their businesses as they see fit. If you desire to rent to only a specific age range of guests, wording and set-up of your rental’s listing will be key to helping you attain that.
With that said, the bottom-line is that Airbnb hosts cannot legally discriminate against guests for any reason, age included.
If a guest is over the age of 18 and requests to book your listing, you are required to proceed, as there are serious consequences to breaking Airbnb policy, such as warnings, blocks, and the removal of your listing from the platform.