Considering airbnb? Understand the rules
From the community center at airbnb
Please remember that rules frequently change and you should check the link above for any updates. This is for information only, and you should not make any decisions based on this information.
If your listing is in Buncombe County, Airbnb collects and remits occupancy taxes on your behalf.
Responsible hosting in the United States
We encourage hosts to think carefully about their responsibilities. Hosting offers rich experiences, but it comes with a certain level of commitment. In addition to the basic requirements that we expect of all hosts, here are some ways you can be a responsible host. *
Indicate local emergency numbers and the nearest hospital. Provide a clear emergency contact number for yourself, as well as backup, for easy guest reference. Also make clear how you should be contacted if the guest has questions or issues arise.
Make a first aid kit easily available.
Ensure you have a functioning smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detector, and that your property meets government safety guidelines for your area (e.g., International Building Code). Ensure you provide a functioning fire extinguisher and complete required maintenance.
Ensure you have a clearly marked fire escape route, and post a map in your home.
Always be mindful of your guests' privacy. Fully disclose whether there are security cameras or other surveillance equipment at or around your listing. Make sure you are aware of and comply with applicable federal, state, and local laws.
Establish safe occupancy limits - your local government may have guidelines.
Go through your home to identify any areas where guests might trip or fall and either remove the hazard or mark clearly. Fix any exposed wires. Ensure stairs are safe and have railings. Remove or lock up any objects that may be dangerous to your guests.
Ensure your home is safe for children, or else notify guests of potential hazards.
Ensure your home is properly ventilated and that temperature control is clearly marked and functional. Ensure guests are clear about how to safely use the heater.
How can I be mindful of my neighbors?
Ensure you relay your building's common area rules to your guest. You may want to even notify your neighbors that you will have guests, and remind guests not to bother your neighbors (e.g., don't knock on their door or buzz them to let you in).
If you don't allow smoking, we suggest posting signs to remind guests. If you do allow smoking, ensure you have ashtrays available in designated areas.
Ensure you relay parking rules for your building and neighborhood to your guest.
Remind guests about keeping noise down. You may want to consider whether you allow babies, pets, or parties. Develop a policy about guests inviting other people over, and ensure your guests are clear about your 'party policy.'
If you allow pets, ensure guests are educated about things like local parks and local customs (e.g., cleaning up after your dog). Have a backup plan in case a guest's pet upsets the neighbors (such as the number of a nearby pet hotel).
To avoid surprises, you may want to include the information covered above in your House Rules in your Airbnb listing profile.
Whom should I notify that I'm hosting on Airbnb?
Check your HOA or Co-Op Board regulations to make sure there is no prohibition against subletting--or any other restriction against hosting. Read your lease agreement and check with your landlord if applicable. You may consider adding a rider to your contract that addresses the concerns of these parties and outlines the responsibilities and liabilities of all parties.
If you have roommates, consider a roommate agreement in writing which outlines things like how often you plan to host, how you'll ensure guests follow House Rules, and even whether you'll share revenue if that makes sense for you.
Consider whether you should notify your neighbors about your plans to host, along with your plan for how to make sure your guests are not disruptive.
If you live in public or subsidized housing there may be special rules that apply to you. The manager of the property may be able to answer questions about this.
What local regulations apply to me?
Ensure you look up any local taxes or business license requirements that may apply. This may include things like hotel/transient occupancy tax, sales, and other turnover taxes such as Value Added Tax (VAT) or Goods and Services Tax (GST), or income tax.
Permits or Registrations:
Ensure you look up any permitting, zoning, safety, and health regulations that may apply. The governing authorities that regulate the use and development of property in your area may have useful information on such regulations.
Rent Control/Rent Stabilization:
If you live in rent controlled or stabilized housing, there may be special rules that apply to you. Contact your local Rent board to ask questions about this topic.
I'm a host. What are some safety tips I can follow?
Being a host comes with certain responsibilities. Here are some resources to help support you along the way.
Always pay and communicate on Airbnb. Use Airbnb’s messaging system to get to know your guests and share expectations about the trip or your space.
Read profiles and reviews of your potential guests, and look for verified phone numbers, connected social networks, and references. If potential guests don’t have any profile verifications, you can ask them to complete some.
Trust your intuition: If you don’t feel right about a reservation, don’t accept it!
Fill out your House Rules, Home Safety Card, and House Manual
Completing your house rules and house manual helps guests know what to expect. Include anything you’d like people to know before they book—for example, whether (or where) smoking is allowed, whether certain areas are off-limits, your Wi-Fi password, or if guests should take off their shoes before coming inside.
If a guest encounters an urgent or emergency situation, it's important they know who to call, what, and where to go. To help make this information clear and easy to display, all hosts will see the option to fill out a safety card online in the Home Safety tab of their listings. This card includes important information that hosts can provide guests, like emergency phone numbers, locations of fire extinguishers and fire alarms, and emergency exit routes.
If a disaster affects your area and you’d like to help, you can list your space for free.
Make sure you're insured
Airbnb's Host Protection Insurance program provides primary liability coverage for up to $1,000,000 per occurrence in the event of a third-party claim of bodily injury or property damage related to an Airbnb stay. Learn more.
You may also want to talk to your insurance provider about adding an extra layer of protection with your own renter’s or homeowner’s insurance.
Set requirements for your listing
You can require guests to complete certain verifications before they book, such as Verified ID.
Adding a security deposit to your listing can also help protect you in the event of an accident, like spilled wine on a rug.
Read Airbnb’s Responsible Hosting page
We encourage hosts to think carefully about their responsibilities. Hosting offers rich experiences, but it requires commitment.
Important Things to Check
Taxes can be complicated, and you should take time to understand the rules as they apply to you and your particular situation.
Ernst and Young (“EY”) has prepared an overview of tax considerations for Airbnb hosts relating to the US taxation of rental income, which can be found here. This information provides an overview of how to complete your tax return as well as some of your tax responsibilities regarding the revenue you derived from your hosting activity on Airbnb and other hosting platforms. The information provided by EY relates exclusively to US income tax and does not include any guidance relating to occupancy taxes, hotel taxes, value added taxes, or other taxes.
Disclaimer: Airbnb's presentation of EY is not an endorsement. Tax advice is complicated and you should do your own diligence when receiving advice. Airbnb is not responsible for any tax or other advice provided by any outside entity.
What insurance should I get to cover my home?
Airbnb offers you our Host Guarantee, but note this does not take the place of homeowners or renters insurance.
Review your renters or homeowners policy with your insurance carrier to make sure you have adequate coverage.
Ensure you have adequate liability coverage as well as property protection.
For more information on how Airbnb works, visit our FAQs.
* Please note that Airbnb has no control over the conduct of Hosts and disclaims all liability. Failure of Hosts to satisfy their responsibilities may result in suspension of activity or removal from the Airbnb website.