Laws on Discrimination in the USA Jul 11, 2016 22:08:03 GMT
Post by High Priestess on Jul 11, 2016 22:08:03 GMT
I am copying this post here, which was also posted under "How to Host Issues". This can help hosts be aware of some of the complex details related to this topic.
Many hosts wonder about how issues of discrimination factor into hosting. Or what about issues of disability, or service animals? For instance, what if you get a request from a disabled guest. Can you decline? Do you have to make your place accessible to the disabled? HOw do discrimination issues factor into hosting?
Airbnb does have some FAQs on these issues, which reflect the laws in the USA -- see here:
Americans with Disabilities Act: www.ada.gov/regs2010/titleIII_2010/titleIII_2010_regulations.htm#a102
THere are some parts of the law missing from/misrepresented by the above Airbnb help articles. Generally, if you are hosting guests in your own home where you also live, you are not subject to the same requirements that apply to those renting out separate units where they don't also live. As a host living in the home where you have guests come and stay, you have the right to discriminate on any basis whatsoever, including on the basis of "protected categories." HOwever, what you may not do, is make statements (in your advertising or elsewhere ) which are discriminatory in nature. THis is what Airbnb refers to as "content" which is discriminatory. So, what the Federal FAir Housing Act states, is that while you may privately choose to discriminate on any basis whatsoever, you may not make statements to this effect.
This is not conveyed in the Airbnb articles on the subject, but you will find that info in the Craigslist Articles on the Subject.
I believe that it is really not necessary to discriminate on the basis of any category of individual, since the problems that hosts have with guests, don't have to do with outward categories they fall into, but with their inner attitudes or qualities. Also, I believe that hosting is a way for both host and guest to have their worlds opened up, to learn new things about new kinds of people, and the best way to do this is to rise above one's own fears and prejudices, and to be open to a wide variety of types of people. This kind of openness makes your world larger and builds community and understanding around the globe.
I would also like to make hosts feel comfortable in knowing that they may choose to decline any guest, for any reason whatsoever, or no reason at all, at any time. No reason need be given for declining a guest. In fact, I believe it is generally better to NOT provide the guest a specific reason why you are declining them, but instead say the place is not available. This helps avoid hurt feelings and avoids getting into arguments. It doesn't matter if guest can see that your calendar is open for the days you say are unavailable. You simply say that the calendar is inaccurate, the days are not available -- or just repeat the bland and boring statement, I'm sorry the space is not available for the dates you want. If guest tries to argue, do not respond. It is a very poor quality guest, who you definitely do not want, who would try to argue or bully their way into being invited to stay in your private home.