Platforms such as Airbnb, Vrbo and Booking.com are ideal for travelers and renters alike, and as we know, are one of the top ways people choose to find their short-term rentals. Being aware of Airbnb’s policies before putting your property up to rent or renting as a guest is vital. One of these policies is on the issue of age restriction.
Let’s get into the whys, the whats and the hows of Airbnb’s age requirements.
How old do you have to be to rent an Airbnb?
The short answer is 18.
You must be 18 years old or over to rent out your property, and equally, must be over 18 to rent out a property. This isn’t to say that all guests renting out a property must be over 18, just the account owner. So, a group of varying ages can rent out the same property, a family and kids for example, but whoever makes the booking must be over 18 and must be prepared to take responsibility in case anything goes wrong.
In certain countries (Canada, the US, the UK, France and Spain) there are further restrictions for those 25 and under. Guests looking to book an Airbnb rental in these countries will be denied from booking an entire home in the area of their permanent residence if they don’t have a minimum of three positive reviews. They must also have no negative reviews.
What is the Airbnb age limit in place for guests?
All airbnb guests must provide proof of age with one of the following when booking a stay:
· Driver’s license
· National identity card
This can vary from country to country, so it’s best to check up on Airbnb’s help center to be sure. Some hosts in certain European countries, such as Germany and Portugal, will ask for ID upon check-in, according to local laws. You’ll remember, as mentioned earlier, that there are restrictions for how old you have to be to rent an Airbnb for guests under 25 in countries such as Canada, the US, the UK, France and Spain.
It’s also important to note that there are no upper age limit booking restrictions. As long as you’re over 25 with a healthy airbnb account, you’re good to go!
A ‘perfect storm’: why Airbnb’s new policy for age requirement was formed?
When asking ‘how old do you have to be to rent an Airbnb?’, you have to keep in mind the various issues that have come into play over recent years, creating calls for limitations to be put in place. Airbnb has inevitably run into problems with certain guests, seeing as it is such a large platform with extending reach.
Many unauthorized house parties in Airbnb properties have led to expensive damage, and hosts and neighbors have been looking to Airbnb to resolve the problem. An infamous incident was the 2019 Halloween incident, which left five people dead in a mass shooting in an Airbnb property during a party.
When the pandemic took hold of the world, it fueled the need for social distancing, which extended to Airbnb’s own policies. In the summer of 2020, Airbnb announced a ‘global party ban’, coinciding with public health mandates across the world, which caps the number of occupants to 16 people and bans house parties in Airbnb listings.
The age restriction did not come as a surprise. It falls in line with many other travel policies that hotel rooms already have adopted. Certain age groups have always posed a risk for the travel industry as they have historically had issues with partying and noise.
Can Airbnb hosts themselves set age restrictions?
Airbnb hosts cannot change and set age restrictions as they like. Airbnb has an overarching age restriction policy that must be adhered to. Small details can change according to local law, but the resounding answer is no.
Instead, you can try tailoring your property description to attract certain demographics, and provide additional resources to your guests, such as guidebooks, that will make them feel as though they are staying at a friend’s, rather than a rental.
How hosts and property managers can protect themselves
There isn’t a clear way for hosts to check for age unless you ask for ID, which in some countries is actually a legal requirement, which makes life easier!
There are also insurance providers available to Airbnb hosts, such as Safely, Insuraguest and SUPERHOG. These providers work by asking guests to complete a pre-check-in portal, while also running profiles against their database. This will catch any fraudulent youth that has already tried and failed to book a vacation rental while underage.
And if you’re not interested in insurance but want screening options, you can mitigate the risk of bad guests or guests booking for the wrong reason with a screening service like Autohost. These automated services help put you at ease when it comes to your guests’ rental stay habits and provide insurance coverage for a small fee. And the best part? You can integrate them with most top-tier property management systems—literally set it up and forget about it.
In any case, if someone underage does manage to book and then damage your property, you’ll be covered by insurance either route you take.
Our quick guide to commonly asked questions
Property management requires following guidelines, and sometimes you may have questions. To that end, we’ve compiled a list of the most commonly asked questions regarding Airbnb age requirements.
Does Airbnb have an upper age limit?
No, there is no upper age limit to the Airbnb age requirement. There are certain measures a host could take to encourage a demographic of guests to book, though a guest’s age is not always an indicator of how they will treat and leave the property at the end of their stay.
Can a guest still stay at an Airbnb if not 18?
Yes, the Airbnbminimum age requirement only extends to the person booking the Airbnb. As long as the person who created the booking is over 18 years of age, all additional guests can be under 18. But make sure your guests know that whoever made the reservation must also be at the property for the duration of the stay.
And if your guests include a younger demographic, we suggest developing a clear set of house rules. A detailed description of how you expect your property to be respected and an emphasis on your neighbors can be surefire ways to discourage rowdy guests.
What are other options for traveling if a guest doesn’t meet the Airbnb age requirement?
If your guests are under 18 (or 25 and don’t meet the requirements), they have other alternatives. If you’re okay with younger guests booking your property, ensure they can find your property via other available platforms including VRBO or Booking.com. Advertising your properties at scale will help maximize your bookings, especially when your potential guests don’t meet the age requirements specified on Airbnb. Read more about enhanced multi-channel distribution for vacation rental owners.
Airbnb age requirement: a help or hindrance?
There are good reasons why Airbnb’s age policy is in place. As a host, it helps to ensure that your property is not being used for unwanted events and can help keep damage to a minimum, although that isn’t to say guests over 18 can’t do the same.