Airbnb Camera Policy: What Hosts Need to Know

airbnb camera policy

By The Hospitable Team

As an Airbnb host, you must make your rental space safe for guests and ensure a comfortable stay for each of them, all while protecting your property. So many Airbnb hosts use surveillance cameras and other security devices, which can be great if you follow Airbnb’s policies and the law and respect guest privacy.

Airbnb Security Cameras: Why Should You Install Them?

There are many legitimate reasons why hosts use security devices. Many install security cameras to protect their homes when they aren’t home.

Owning an Airbnb means opening your home or apartment to strangers, so having security cameras installed can give you peace of mind. Video surveillance may also help you identify if your guests are trying to sneak in more people than they have paid for and discourage guests from throwing large parties.

Other Airbnb hosts use disclosed security cameras to have solid video evidence if something happens, for example, theft or other criminal activity on their property. It could be helpful if you need to file a complaint or even pursue prosecution.

Having video surveillance can also be a crime deterrent. Most people will think twice about committing a crime if they know they are on camera.

New Airbnb Camera Policy

The Airbnb camera policy is about balancing keeping your place safe and secure and your guest’s privacy. To help provide hosts and guests peace of mind, Airbnb allows security measures such as noise monitoring devices and exterior video surveillance cameras. Still, such devices must be clearly disclosed in the listing description, and you must ensure they don’t infringe on another person’s privacy.

It’s critical to inform your guests that cameras are on site and any other house rules they need to know. You should provide this information in your Airbnb listing and remind your guests about security cameras and other home automation features in a welcome message.

Creating something brand new each time for each guest would require a lot of time and effort, so it makes sense to automate guest messaging using vacation rental software like Hospitable. Our AI-powered tools will help you automate personalized conversations with your guests, keeping them happy and making them feel special.

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Historically, Airbnb allowed indoor security cameras in common areas of listings, such as hallways and living rooms, and hosts were required to disclose these devices on the listing page. Airbnb also required the cameras to be clearly visible and not located in bathrooms or sleeping areas.

However, in March 2024, Airbnb updated its camera policy and banned indoor security cameras in listings globally to enhance guest privacy and trust within its community. The new rules took effect on April 30, 2024.

So, what exactly does Airbnb allow now? Hosts are allowed to have exterior security cameras and recording devices as long as they do not monitor areas where guests have a greater expectation of privacy, such as inside an enclosed outdoor shower or in a sauna. You can install, for example, a security camera in your front yard or patio and a doorbell camera to monitor your front door.

Remember that hosts must disclose the presence and general location of any outdoor cameras to ensure that guests know what to expect during their stay before they book. For example, you may say, “I have a security camera over my pool.”

According to the new rules, Airbnb hosts aren’t allowed to have security cameras and recording devices that monitor any part of a listing’s interior regardless of their location, purpose, or prior disclosure. That means you can’t have security cameras in your listing’s hallway, living room, bedroom, bathroom, or guest house, even if turned off or disconnected.

Hidden security cameras are strictly prohibited in Airbnb listings. These prohibitions also apply to the common areas and shared spaces of private room listings, such as a living room.

Airbnb said that reported violations of this new policy will be investigated, and penalties may include listing or account removal. So, if you feel monitoring is necessary, it’s important to comply with Airbnb rules and the law and do your best to find a balance between guest privacy and security.

Having security cameras on the exterior of your Airbnb is a smart choice that can help you protect your STR property and your guests without violating their privacy. Another smart decision you can make as a host is to automate your routine tasks using vacation rental software like Hospitable.

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How to Disclose Your Security Camera

Airbnb emphasizes that transparency helps build trust and set clear expectations between hosts and guests. Here’s what you need to do to disclose your camera in your Airbnb listing.

Select the listing you want to edit, and under Listing Editor, click Your Space. Then click Guest Safety, choose Safety Devices, and then click Security Cameras Or Audio Recording Devices Present. Click Add Details and describe each exterior device, location, and whether it will be switched on or off. Click Continue and, finally, Save.

Bottom Line

The new Airbnb camera policy prioritizes the privacy of Airbnb users. It bans indoor security cameras in all properties listed on its platform and introduces new restrictions on outdoor cameras. Remember to disclose any exterior security cameras to your Airbnb guests before they book.

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Airbnb Home Safety: Best Practices for Hosts

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