Is an AirBnB host required to accommodate a service animal?

Posted by Neil Shouse | Feb 11, 2018 | 0 Comments

Most of the time, yes. According to Airbnb's Nondiscrimination Policy, hosts in the U.S. are expected to provide reasonable accommodations to guests who require service or emotional support animals.

Nor are hosts allowed to charge extra for guests with service or emotional support animals. And guests are not required to disclose to hosts ahead of time that they have assistance animals (though it is recommended).

support animal
Airbnb hosts may not discriminate against guests with assitance animals.

Guests also are not required to provide any medical documentation regarding the service or emotional support animals. All hosts may ask are:

  1. Whether the assistance animal is required because of a disability
  2. What work or task the animal has been trained to perform

The above rules apply even if the hosts' listing specifies, “no pets allowed.” The only exception is if the accommodation is a shared space, and the co-occupant has pet allergies or other health issues exacerbated by pets.

Hosts can ask guests to remove their animals from the premises if they are out of control or if they are not housebroken. And hosts can keep part or all of the security deposit if the animals cause damage.

The most common types of assistance animals are seeing eye dogs and dogs that help during seizures. Some of the other tasks these animals may perform include:

  • Detecting allergens
  • Retrieving medicine
  • Retrieving a telephone
  • Alerting deaf people to sounds
  • Pulling a wheelchair
  • Providing comfort

Guests with assistance animals who believe they have been discriminated against by hosts can report it to Airbnb via this form.

Learn more about Airbnb's assistance animal policy.

About the Author

Neil Shouse

A former Los Angeles prosecutor, attorney Neil Shouse graduated with honors from UC Berkeley and Harvard Law School (and completed additional graduate studies at MIT). He has been featured on CNN, Good Morning America, Dr Phil, Court TV, The Today Show and Court TV. Mr Shouse has been recognized by the National Trial Lawyers as one of the Top 100 Criminal and Top 100 Civil Attorneys.


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