Airbnb is one of the easiest and most affordable ways for just about anyone to travel the world. Locals lease out their rentals—whether it’s a guest room or a full home—to travelers seeking a different experience from the usual hostel or hotel stay.
Sometimes guests want a place to stay for a week, or sometimes someone will stick around longer-term. For most guests, it’s a way to really get to know a neighborhood.
Plus the Airbnb platform is super user-friendly, and it’s easy to make a reservation (or to change your reservation). There are tons of different ways to search for properties. You can even search via the map view.
But like most businesses, Airbnb has an age requirement for renters. And if you’re still in high school, it doesn’t work in your favor (but we’ll get into the reasons why shortly). Let’s break down Airbnb’s age limit for guests as well as Airbnb hosts.
Airbnb Age Limit for Renters
Whether you’re a guest looking for a property in San Francisco or a swanky place in Tokyo, you’re subject to Airbnb’s age requirement. So how old do you have to be to rent an Airbnb?
What Age Do You Have to Be to Rent an Airbnb?
All Airbnb users must meet the 18 years of age requirement before renting a property on the platform.
But there’s one important caveat: as long as you’re the person making the reservation, it doesn’t matter how old the other guests are. This works for any parents looking for a spot to stay with their children, but it also works for guests of varying ages.
So, for example, even if you’re renting a 3-bedroom apartment in a luxurious New York condo or a spot in one of the city’s many fine apartment buildings, as long as you’re 18 years old minimum, the age of the other Airbnb guests doesn’t matter.
Are you 18 years old but traveling with friends who are still in high school? If you’re the primary account holder, it doesn’t matter. No parents required…as long as you’re willing to take the rap if things go wrong.
It’s unfortunate that the age minimum exists, but sadly, Airbnb has its reasons. In Airbnb’s experience, an age minimum makes it less likely that someone will trash the house or cause trouble. (Is it a little ageist? Maybe. But it’s not against the law.)
What Information Does Airbnb Need to Verify Your Age?
As a guest, you can verify your age information using one of the following types of government-issued ID:
- Drivers’ license
- National identity card
Setting up an account on the Airbnb site is easy. It’s against their policy and terms of service for anyone not meeting the age limit to create a profile. You’ll still be able to peruse Airbnb search results, but that’s about it until you can prove you’re at least the minimum age of 18 with an ID.
The requirements may differ depending on what country you’re from, though, so be sure to search Airbnb’s Help Center if you’re stuck.
Other than your ID, Airbnb will ask all guests for other personal information before you can send a reservation request, such as your full name, email address, phone number, etc. (But only if those details weren’t listed on your ID.) You’ll also have to agree to the house rules.
Once those steps are done, sit back and wait for the news of your application being accepted. It’s pretty quick!
Can Airbnb Hosts Ask for Your ID to Verify Age?
Airbnb hosts can ask for an ID to verify your age, but you are not required to show one.
Sometimes, when you check-in, a host may ask for ID to verify your age. It’s not unheard of, especially when people are treating their Airbnb rental like a business. Hosts obviously don’t want a bunch of underage “children” crashing their home during spring break, although we can confirm that parents are often just as rowdy as their offspring, right?
Plus, some countries in Europe require management companies to collect identification if their properties are technically classified as vacation rentals.
But Airbnb already has your ID and all of your details, so, no matter what, you’re not required to show ID to prove your age to your host. Airbnb policy makes it clear in their terms that the company will not share a photo of your ID, your photo verification, or your address with your host or anyone else who uses the platform.
Privacy is important to Airbnb. It’s also completely against any discrimination law for a host to turn you down for things like nationality, sex, or race. This is something to keep in mind if your host starts asking you any uncomfortable questions.
That being said, if a host asks to see your ID, sometimes it’s easier to just show them. In my own personal experience, this has happened (though not often), and the easiest way to just get on with my check-in was to show them my ID. After all, I had nothing to hide.
Airbnb Age Limit for Hosts
Let’s flip the coin here and talk about what it’s like for a host who wants to attract guests of a more “mature” status. While the age minimum is built into the Airbnb platform, there are a number of other things you can do to ensure you end up with the right travel guest.
This might be a touchy topic for some—Airbnb isn’t supposed to be an ageist or unwelcoming place—but we all have our preferences about what kind of guests we welcome into our homes.
Is There a Way to Set a Minimum Age Limit for Airbnb Guests?
No, hosts cannot set a minimum age limit for a guest. Hosts might prefer someone who is 25 years or older to stay in their homes, but setting a minimum age goes against Airbnb’s Non Discrimination Policy. As long as your guest is the minimum age of 18, they can book your spot.
Is it Possible to Discourage Someone Under a Certain Age From Booking My Airbnb?
There are a few ways a host can discourage people of a certain age from booking their property. It’s not against the rules to do so, although it’s a touchy topic because it involves being very presumptuous about certain age groups. But let’s start with the property listing.
Write a Great Listing Description for Your Potential Guest
As a host, your Airbnb listing description will go a long way to weed out any unwanted guests. Your listing is just as important as positive reviews!
Take the time to carefully craft a welcoming and informative listing that also covers all the bases. Airbnb users should know that your rental is an awesome place to enjoy, but only while respecting your rules.
Guests should know exactly what the experience is going to be like, from check-in to check-out. They’ll want to know everything from how to use your appliances to how to use the public transit in the area. Use colorful, upbeat language and write an enticing story about your home. Treat it as if you were writing a fun newsletter about your rental to all your family members. Be personal!
But make sure to describe your Airbnb as a sanctuary—a spot that is meant to be respected. Lay it all out there.
Showing that you’re a serious landlord rather than just including a few short tidbits about the rental gives the impression of professionalism and will definitely remind guests that your place means so much to you.
Be Clear About Quiet Hours in Your Area
Most places, especially in cities, have quiet hours. This is ideal for an apartment in an apartment building with tons of people surrounding you. Setting quiet hours will certainly discourage people from throwing parties and being disruptive to your neighbors. Nobody wants the police called on them for unruly behavior!
Be Upfront About the Neighbors in Your Community
Speaking of neighbors, make sure your Airbnb listing announces that you have neighbors. People are more inclined to respect the rules when they know there’s other people nearby.
Mention Any Security in Your Area
Inform your potential guests of any security onsite. If someone knows about security before actually booking your rental, they’re less likely to book if they plan on bending the rules a little (like having any extra guests around).
Be an Upfront Host
Let your guests learn a little bit about their host! (Or hosts.) If you’re in town or even living close to your rental, guests should know that someone might have an eye on them. They’ll definitely be on their best behavior knowing that their landlord isn’t too far away.
(But don’t be too overbearing. Your reviews will reflect it.)
Include Fees For Property Damage
You can definitely mention any fees associated with damages or major clean-up. Someone is much less likely to throw a wild party knowing that it could potentially cost them tons of money.
Lay Out Your Airbnb House Rules
Clearly outline the house rules for your rental. That includes things like:
- No smoking
- No parties
- No pets
- No extra guests
- No food or drink in the bedrooms
- No loud music at 11 PM
You can add or remove items to this list as you please.
How to Make Sure Underage Guests are Not Booking Your Airbnb
Sometimes sneaky guests might try to get away with a fraudulent booking; for example, a teenager may set up an Airbnb account using his/her parent’s name. It has happened before!
To minimize this risk, you can adjust your settings so that you’ll only receive reservations from users that have already been verified by Airbnb. Airbnb will already have their ID and information on file.
If You’re 18 Years Old, You Can Search For Airbnbs Now
At the end of the day, Airbnb is an excellent booking platform for finding unique accommodations or long-term stays. Follow the rules, treat your accommodations with the respect they deserve, and enjoy every second of the experience! And if Airbnb doesn’t appeal to you, there are lots of Airbnb alternatives out there to keep you busy.