Making the decision to rent out your home can be a tough one for many people. Trusting that the guests will take care of your things (and, of course, pay their bill) can take a great deal of faith sometimes! For this reason, many hosts find themselves seeking additional reassurance that their guests can be trusted. One determining factor that is often requested is a credit score.
Does Airbnb Do Credit Checks?
Airbnb does not perform any kind of credit checks. They do conduct criminal background checks on both guests and hosts using the Verified ID program. Airbnb guests are required to pay in full at the time of booking, so a credit check is not typically helpful anyways.
Want to know more about Airbnb’s vetting process? Keep reading!
What Kind of Background Checks Does Airbnb Do?
Airbnb conducts criminal background checks on its users who submit a valid photo ID in the United States. Background checks can be conducted in other countries (where permitted), but Airbnb doesn’t specify where or how these checks are done.
The background checks that Airbnb does on its US users go through criminal histories and flag users with offenses that they deem to be serious. These are typically violent offenses like murder, sexual crimes, and even terrorist associations. Obviously, people with these offenses on their record would make the majority of people uncomfortable sharing a home with them.
While Airbnb does not specifically disqualify felons from having a profile, felony offenses of a certain severity can result in permanent profile suspension. Less serious (usually nonviolent) offenses typically don’t result in any action being taken by Airbnb.
Check Out Our Other Articles on Rental Recon:
- When Does Airbnb Send Check-In Instructions to Guests? (2024)
- When Do Airbnb Hosts Get Paid? (2024): It Depends On Several Factors
- What to Leave for Airbnb Guests: 5 Ways to Impress Guests
Do You Have to be 25 to Rent an Airbnb?
Unlike most hotels or rental cars, you only need to be 18 to rent an Airbnb! This is great news for younger travelers who might run into some roadblocks finding accommodation due to their age.
You have to be 18 to agree to Airbnb’s terms of service, meaning minors are unable to rent an Airbnb for themselves. Any minors must be listed as guests under an adult who books the reservation themselves.
An issue that some might run into is hosts screening for younger guests or guests with children. While Airbnb doesn’t allow discrimination based on age alone, hosts are able to have discretion with who they accept as guests.
This could mean that an 18-year-old gets filtered out of a lot of bookings for various reasons. First and foremost, many hosts associate younger guests with house parties. While we all like to have fun, it isn’t ideal to have to respond to a police call for possible underage drinking at your home. This can be a big liability for hosts, as the homeowner can be on the hook if there are minors consuming alcohol (or, well, other substances).
Additionally, an 18 year old might not have enough reviews on their profile to be able to prove they are a reputable guest.
This is an unfortunate self-fulfilling prophecy where someone might keep getting denied due to lack of reviews, but also not get any more reviews due to being denied all the time. Ultimately, many hosts just feel more secure with more mature guests.
Rental Recon Tip: Worried about not being able to book a reservation anywhere? Be proactive! Contacting hosts explaining your situation (whether you’re new to the website, on the younger side, or have an outlier bad review) is the best way to help things along. The worst they can do is say “no” anyway, so keep trying and eventually, you’ll get some momentum!
Can I Rent an Airbnb for Someone Else?
It is absolutely not allowed to rent an Airbnb for someone other than yourself. While you are more than welcome to add guests onto your booking so your host knows who will be staying with you, you cannot misrepresent who will actually be there.
Some people might feel pressured to help out a friend who either doesn’t have an Airbnb profile or has one but (for whatever reason) wouldn’t be able to book successfully. Resist the urge to be a “good” friend and instead be a good member of the community! Nobody likes to be lied to, and it’s also a big no-no in the eyes of Airbnb.
A common misconception about Airbnb is that the burden of the booking falls on one person’s shoulders alone. While one person technically has to book the reservation themselves, the other guests are an equal part of the equation!
They can share the cost of the booking (privately, as Airbnb sadly discontinued this feature on their payment system), share the responsibilities of being good guests, and share in the review process as well.
If you feel you’re being deceived (whether as a host or a guest) you are entitled to cancel your reservation and can even dispute cancellation penalties with Airbnb. Bad behavior on the platform is always discouraged, so don’t be afraid to stand up for yourself! Read more on cancellation policies HERE!
How Does Airbnb Verify Your Identity?
Airbnb has a feature called Verified ID which serves to (you guessed it) verify user’s identities. This is mainly available in the US, and is super simple to use. I highly recommend making Verified ID a requirement of your Airbnb! All people need to do is upload a photo ID, such as a driver’s license, and Airbnb will match the name with connected social media profiles to ensure that you’re dealing with a real person.
Once Airbnb has verified the identity of the user, they conduct a criminal background as mentioned above. By requiring Verified ID, you’re adding an extra layer of protection to your booking process and helping things to go that much smoother.
Your host can (sometimes) come in to check in on guests, especially in case of an emergency on the property. While Airbnb isn’t entirely clear about their rules on the matter (mainly because laws can differ significantly from state to state), it is generally considered to be very bad practice to barge in unannounced.
Your guests should definitely know if and when to expect you to stop by. Even in a shared home space, guests should still have the expectation of privacy. If you want to keep tabs on things happening at your Airbnb without seeming like an overbearing host,
I would definitely check out a Ring doorbell. You can keep track of who comes and goes without violating anyone’s privacy and without even being on the property!
Does Airbnb Require Payment Upfront?
Airbnb does require payment up front, which is the main reason why credit checks are unnecessary. Since things are paid in full from the get-go, checking a guest’s credit score won’t really mean anything.
Only one person is able to pay for the Airbnb, so you may have to get creative with cost-splitting strategies if you’re traveling with multiple guests. Your fees might be higher with multiple guests as well, since Airbnbs are charged per person. Depending on your host’s pricing structure, sometimes fees can be negotiated or refunded (especially in the case of security deposits). More questions about how Airbnb payments work? Check out this article!