As a new AirBnB guest, it can be quite strange booking a place you don’t know the address to, and as an AirBnB host it is equally a security concern to have your address publicly available for anyone to see.
Having your AirBnB address publicly available opens the host up to:
- Competitor vandalism
- Target for Criminal activities (theft)
- Litigious actors
- Marketing spam
Airbnb has become an increasingly popular business over the years, and they have adopted some policies that seeks to accommodate both guests and hosts.
So when do AirBnB guests get the hosts address? Airbnb guests get their host’s address after they have confirmed their reservation. Before that, they will only be able to see the general area. The host can choose whether to share the general location (the neighborhood and nearby points of interest) or the specific location (a pin on a map).
Read on to learn more about the process of booking an Airbnb. By the way, if you’re a new guest you can get $40 off your first booking and $15 off an Experience.
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How Can the Host Share Their Address?
Of course, in order to stay at an Airbnb, you need to know where it is. However, this might present a problem for some people since it may not be safe for the host to share the address of an Airbnb to the entire public.
The host can actually choose how they want to share their listing’s location. They have two options:
- they can either share the general location
- or the specific location.
If they choose to share the general location, when a guest is browsing through Airbnb listings they can see the general area of the host’s building. You will be able to see the neighborhood, as well as how close it is to points of interest that you would find on a Google map.
These will often include public transportation stops and landmarks in the area.
If they choose to share the specific location, you still won’t be able to see the exact address and location when you are just browsing the listings. Instead, you will see a circular pin that gives you an idea of the location without telling you the exact address when you are searching.
Additionally, guests will have the opportunity to communicate with their hosts through the message thread when they are making the decision about the listing. The host can give you some more information about the location and answer any questions that they feel comfortable answering before you make the reservation.
Regardless of what the host chooses, when you have a confirmed reservation, you will be able to see the exact location and address.
At this point, since you have provided your identification, paid for the room, and committed to staying there, it is deemed safe for the host to share the address so you can make other plans for your trip.
What Do You Need to Do in Order to Confirm Your Reservation?
Since you need to have a confirmed reservation to know the exact address of your listing, you would understandably want to know what you need to do to reserve an Airbnb.
This is typically up to each host to decide what requirements a guest must meet. However, at a bare minimum the host is going to want a verified identity.
Profile Photo Requirements
In some cases, a host can require you to have a profile photo before you book their listing. This isn’t always going to be the case, but the host can edit their own settings so that they are able to require this of guests before the booking takes place.
If you aren’t comfortable uploading a profile photo, you won’t be able to book any of these locations.
It is important to note that regardless of what the host requires, they won’t be able to see your profile photo until after your booking has been confirmed.
It’s also very helpful to actually upload a picture of your own face. If your profile photo is an avatar, a cartoon, or a picture of something other than yourself, the host will have the option to contact Airbnb and cancel your reservation without incurring a penalty.
Hosts have come to learn that many unwanted AirBnB guests typically don’t have a profile picture, or if they do then it’s either an icon or graphic, not the photo of the person booking.
Verified Identification Requirements
It’s possible for a host to require guests to complete the verified ID process in order to book a place, and in some cases building management will require simple background checks for each guest. In order for the host to require this, they will need to verify their own identification with Airbnb. This process protects both the host and the guest.
Of course, it is much safer to stay in someone’s home when their identity is verified and registered with Airbnb, and it is much safer for them to have you in their home when yours is as well.
In addition to the requirements set by any individual host, Airbnb wants to make their community as secure as it can be for everyone who uses it. It may not be the host who requests your identity verification but Airbnb itself.
In order to verify your identity, you will need to take the following steps on the Airbnb website:
- Enter your legal name and address into the website, or a photograph of a government ID. This ID could be either your passport, driver’s license, or your national identity card.
- Use your computer, phone, or other mobile devices to take a photo of your ID.
- Upload a photo of your ID that you already have.
- Enter your legal first and last name.
- Enter your address, which should be the same as the address that is on utility bills and banking documents.
- You might also have to provide a brand new photo of your face. This is not the same as your profile photo.
In some cases, a host will require guests to go through the identity verification process in order to book the place. In others, Airbnb will ask you to go through the process in order to verify that you are the person you say you are.
You can rest assured that your identification and personal information will not be shared with another Airbnb user, and is actually not shared with the host themselves.
If you have to share a government ID, your information won’t even be shared with your host fully. All they will know is the first name on your ID, whether you are under or over the age of 25, whether your identification has been successfully verified, and the name and photo on your profile.
The photo of your ID will not be shared with your host or anyone else who uses the site, nor will your address.
No Guarantee of Safety
Although Airbnb does use verification and other mechanisms to protect hosts and guests, there is no guarantee of safety for either one. Having people register and confirm their identities in the system will provide accountability if any mishaps are to happen, but it doesn’t actually prevent the mishaps.
The fact that a person has gone through the verification process is not an endorsement of that host or guest. It is actually not even a guarantee of that person’s identity in every single case.
You should not take for granted that interacting with this individual is going to be safe. They are, after all, strangers.
Obviously it would help if you used your own judgment when you are interacting with a guest or host that is a part of Airbnb. If you perceive any potential threats to your safety, you should definitely act in your own best interests, regardless of what you see about the individual on the Airbnb website, or what other people might say.
In fact, if you’re a host then we have created a post on security devices you can use to protect yourself and your property.
It makes sense that you would want to know when you’ll be able to get the address of the Airbnb location where you’ll be staying.
You might need this information to plan your trip; for example, you might want to know if your room will be close to the landmarks you want to visit, by any train tracks that will wake you up at 4am, or near an event center you will be attending.
In some cases, being on the wrong side of the highway can make the difference between getting stuck in traffic or not.
You might want to know some of this before you make the reservation. While it may not be possible for you to have the exact address, you’ll likely be able to make your decision based on the information the host elects to share.