Nashville, Tennessee is reported as one of Airbnb’s top five most common tourist destinations, with Fourth of July bookings totaling an estimated $1.3 million+ in costs. As a short-term lodging service, Airbnb provides tourists with a variety of options, savings, and experiences outside of the typical hotel stay, but a significant concern for many is the vetting process for guests as well as hosts who use the service.
Owner-Occupied Versus Non-Owner-Occupied
Owner-occupied Airbnb lodgings are often more palatable to locals because of the added oversight provided by the presence of the Airbnb hosts. Non-owner-occupied Airbnb lodgings create concerns for locals about the presence of criminals and sex offenders who are not registered with the local authorities.
Although Airbnb is upfront about the limitations of their background checks, they do check public, state, and county criminal records of hosts and guests, as well as the Office of Foreign Assets Control.
- Those accompanying the booking guest, however, are not checked.
- The accuracy of the checks are dependent on the accuracy of the information provided (full, correct legal name and date of birth, for example.)
- Checks are performed once per user, which means that offenses committed after a user is vetted may not be reported.
Airbnb bans persons:
- convicted of violent crime
- serious sex offenses, including prostitution
- felony drug-related offenses
- identity theft
Another vetting process is the built-in rating system for hosts and guests. Hosts can cultivate excellent reputations and became verified superhosts, while hosts may also rate guests so that future guests and hosts can choose wisely when they’re booking the next stay.
What do you think?
Do the advantages outweigh the drawbacks with Airbnb’s system of background checks?