Airbnb Inc is a hospitality company that operates in 191 countries. This company was created in 2008 and its headquarters is in California, United States. Airbnb provides a platform where Individuals who have an extra room or apartment can post their adverts. Then, a guest who is looking for accommodation can search through the listings to find one that suits his/her needs.
After the guest books for a room, apartment or house using the platform, Airbnb received a percentage from the accommodation fee. The presence of Airbnb has become useful for people who do not like staying at hotels or individuals who need the facilities of an apartment while traveling. In some cases, the Airbnb is cheaper than a hotel.
The issue is that using the Airbnb platform means that you may have to stay with a stranger. If you are a host, you will be opening your home to a potentially dangerous person.
To ensure that the users of the platform are safe, Airbnb conducts a background check on the users. However, these checks are not guaranteed and sometimes are incomplete.
In this article, we will list everything you should know about Airbnb background checks. Afterward, we will explain the steps you should take to ensure your safety while using Airbnb
Everything you should know about Airbnb background checks
1. Airbnb does not always conduct a background check. Before you accept a guest or pay for accommodation, you should remember that this company does not always run background checks. For this reason, you may need to take extra measures when using Airbnb in order ensure your safety.
2. Airbnb has a strategy for conducting background checks. When Airbnb chooses to run a background check, they may follow this routine.
– The company crosschecks the name of the User against the state and federal database for criminal records.
– The name or details of the Airbnb user is then checked against the sex offenders registry.
3. When Airbnb does not run background checks, they may try to verify the identity of the user.
4. Background checks can only be conducted if the Airbnb user supplies the correct information. Because Airbnb uses the name and birthday of the user to run a background check, sometimes the company may be unable to verify their identity or run a background check.
6. Airbnb can run background checks in the United States. However, Airbnb does not run checks in other countries. The reasons why the company has decided to forgo checks in other countries are:
– The laws concerning background checks in the United States differ from that of other countries.
– Many countries do not have an updated database of criminal records and sex offenders.
– There is no way to guarantee that checks run in other countries are accurate and up to date.
7. The background check is not always accurate. Background checks can provide you with information that has been recorded in a database or public record. If a guest/host has committed crimes without being caught, the background check will not include his criminal records. Therefore, while a guest/host may seem like a safe choice on paper, the individual may be dangerous.
8. Airbnb uses third-party companies to conduct background checks. When Airbnb decides to run a background check, they use the services of background check companies. The name of the companies Airbnb uses is not available on their website.
9. The background check includes a criminal history check. Some crimes can cause Airbnb to remove users or suspend their accounts. The gravity of the crime will determine how long the user is suspended from the Airbnb platform. Crimes such as murder, assault and sex-related offenses can attract a lifetime ban from the platform. Crimes like theft, fraud, and possession of drugs will attract a shorter period of suspension.
The information on criminal history may be incomplete. This is because Airbnb cannot access information on events that occurred more than 7 years ago. Therefore if an Airbnb user was convicted for murder 8 years ago, this will not be available on the background check.
9. An ongoing background check can cause Airbnb to delay your booking or reservation. If you pass the background check, your booking will be processed fully.
10. Airbnb states clearly that despite the fact that they run a background check, you should depend on your judgment when using the platform.
If you would like to use the Airbnb platform safely, there are steps you can take to ensure that your host or guest is not dangerous.
Steps you should take to ensure your safety while using Airbnb
1. Try to confirm their identity
If you are a host, confirm that your guest is who they say. Similarly, the guest should do the same.
There are a few ways to achieve this:
– Ask the other party involved for a means of identification. Check for the individual’s name on social media or public databases. You can also check for the name in the sex offenders registry, federal and state criminal database.
– Reverse search for the image of the other party. If there is an identical picture online, it could link you to the individual’s website or social media page.
2. Call the other party involved
Always talk to the other person involved before going to their home or accepting them in your home. Ask important questions such as:
– How many people will be coming with you?
– Do you have a pet?
– Why are you visiting?
– Do you have have a reference that I can speak to?
While you are asking these questions, avoid getting too personal. Also, try to make it into a conversation so that it does not sound like an interrogation.
3. Inform the other party of any preferences or rules
This will prevent any disagreements in the future. If you are the host and you do not allow smoking in the house, reiterate this to the guest. Similarly, if you do not house pets or children, you should state this early on.
4. Before you host an individual ensure that they sign a rental agreement and pay a security deposit.
By taking a security deposit, you will have protection if your guest damages something in your home. If the damage cannot be repaired using the security deposit, you will be able to take the guest to a court.
5. Keep your valuables properly
It is better to be safe than sorry. Before you rent a room or apartment, ensure that all your valuables are kept properly. If possible, valuables should not be kept in the house.
6. Inform friends and family of your whereabouts
When you are using Airbnb services as a host or guest, ensure that you tell your family and friends where you are and what you are doing. If possible, provide your family with the name of the other party and your address.
7. Review the user and report any worrisome issues. By doing this, you will be protecting future Airbnb users.
Read also: Does Walmart Do Background Checks?