Top Security Tips for Airbnb Hosts

Are you on the fence about becoming an Airbnb host? Concerned about security? It’s certainly an understandable consideration—you're letting strangers into your home after all.

While some rental debacles have made the news since Airbnb started, for every one guest who may cause an issue, there are hundreds (if not more) of well-meaning, well-paying vacationers that make Airbnb a success worldwide. 

It's in Airbnb's best interest to ensure their hosts and guests are as safe as possible. Rest assured they take security seriously. They run hosts and guests against regulatory, terrorist, and sanction watchlists, and they also conduct background checks for hosts and guests in the U.S. 

We’ll discuss other protections Airbnb offers as well as additional measures you can implement for security at your Airbnb house.

Require IDs

Every guest booking on Airbnb must provide their full name, date of birth, phone number, email, and payment information. You also have the option to require guests to provide Airbnb with a government ID before booking. This links users to a location and helps Airbnb confirm the guest’s identity.

Protect your ID

Be sure to remove sensitive information like your passport and social security card from your rental property. It’s also a good idea to stop by the post office and put a hold your mail delivery when you’re expecting guests.

Talk to an insurance agent

All Airbnb hosts are automatically covered under Airbnb’s Host Protection Insurance. The coverage provides up to $1 million in coverage in the event of a third-party claim of bodily injury or property damage related to the Airbnb stay. If let’s say, your guest slipped and broke his arm when your stair rail came loose, the coverage would likely kick in.

Airbnb also offers a $1 million Host Guarantee, which is designed to protect damage to a host’s property—home, unit, rooms, and possessions.

Of course, certain conditions and exclusions apply, so it’s best to see how these programs work with your existing homeowner’s or renter’s insurance. Check with your insurance provider and ask if they recommend any insurance riders or other policies to insure your rental property—also be sure to ask about securing your valuables.

Keep your payments and messaging within Airbnb

Before you decide to make an extra buck by directly accepting payments, remember that you’d be forfeiting the terms and conditions Airbnb enforces to protect its hosts. Sure, the downside of hosting through Airbnb is that they get a cut of your rental payments, but the benefit is that you have an additional layer of security in case something happens.

We'd argue it's a red flag if a guest proposes paying or interacting with you outside of Airbnb's established channels. Consider their motives and proceed with caution. 

Make a list of house rules

Complete your “house rules” on the Airbnb site. Are certain areas off-limits? Can guests smoke in the home? It’s important to set expectations and security measures with your guests. And establishing these boundaries also gives you grounds to terminate the stay of a guest who’s violated the rules.

Consider getting a video doorbell

If you’re concerned about unwanted pets, parties, or additional overnight guests, consider getting a video doorbell. It’s less pervasive than installing cameras throughout your home, but it still helps you monitor who's coming in and out of your property. The technology can also offer a nice fail-safe if your guests forget their phone or access code and need help unlocking the door.

Understandably, any device that can record or share video, audio or images must be disclosed in your listing, so make sure to share that you’re using a video doorbell.

Feeling ready to take the plunge? Get our guide on becoming an Airbnb host