Travelers seeking rented spaces through Airbnb may wonder where their host stays during the rental period. Is Airbnb like a hotel with minimal or zero host interaction, or like a hostel, where two or more people share private spaces?
The host does not stay with you at an Airbnb unless the host chooses to list their property as one with shared spaces. All private areas and belongings remain off-limits to hosts during the stay. Guests can filter Airbnb search results to include or exclude listings that come with a host.
The rest of this article will explain the different rental listing types and what level of privacy each one offers. We will also look at Airbnb policies regarding hosts and their guests. Thankfully, Airbnb travelers enjoy many options for finding their preferred guest-host interaction levels.
Airbnb Private and Shared Spaces
To ensure guests receive their desired level of privacy, Airbnb lists rentals under three main space option categories. These categories are:
- An entire place.
- A private room.
- A shared room.
Of the three options, an entire place compares to a hotel room or house rental. The host may stay somewhere on the property, similar to overnight hotel staff, but does not occupy any rented spaces. During these stays, you should not see the host unless you agree to meet before or during your rental period.
A private room signifies a personal space within a larger, shared area. A rented bedroom remains private to guests, but other guests or hosts share bathrooms, living spaces, or other rooms.
In a shared room arrangement, all areas on the property are shared. That means that other guests or the host may be sleeping and living in the same places as you during your rental period.
While each category entails a set of guidelines for defining it, listings differ in their execution of these guidelines, providing myriad options to suit individual preferences. This way, vacationers can search beforehand for the kind of Airbnb space they have in mind.
Private spaces like bedrooms and bathrooms remain off-limits to hosts and anyone not invited in by the renting guest. These arrangements allow renters to have private places within the rental property while they are expected to share other spaces.
Suppose a host is on the property at any time during the rental period. In that case, Airbnb requires that the host disclose this information in the listing description. If the host needs to visit the property, they must obtain permission from the guest.
In entire place rentals, the guest has complete privacy in all spaces on the property, so the host does not stay in any areas unless specified by the listing or the host.
The host or guests will likely occupy one or more shared areas on the same property in a private room and shared room rental.
A private room guarantees a personal bedroom space while other areas, such as a bathroom and kitchen, are shared. For example, in a two-bedroom space, the host may still stay under the same roof but in another private room.
A shared room guarantees sharing the bedroom and other areas on the property with the host or another guest. Similar to a hostel, a shared room may mean multiple beds in one room or a couch in a living area.
Airbnb’s Privacy Expectations
When short-term renting any space, we want a guarantee that our rental environment and belongings remain private. Airbnb makes privacy a high priority.
In addition to requiring all hosts to comply with local ordinances and laws regarding short-term rental, Airbnb conducts background checks on all hosts and guests. Also, hosts and guests must comply with Airbnb privacy policies, which the company provides on its website.
Airbnb has several policies that serve as layers of protection for the host, the rented spaces, and the guests. The guidelines cover individuals as well as host and guest property.
Rented Space Privacy
Official Airbnb policy states, “Hosts and guests must not restrict another individual’s ability to enjoy a private space (unless in a pre-disclosed shared space) […].” This policy precludes the host from staying with the guest without prior agreement.
Further, why and when a host may enter rented space hinges on whether sufficient, objective reason exists for doing so, such as in emergencies. The host must also give advance notice to the guest if they enter the rented space.
Sufficient reason from the host and explicit permission from the guest is required for the host to enter any rented space. Likewise, Airbnb holds other guests to the same standards for respecting the private areas of hosts and guests.
Privacy extends beyond the rented space to individual guests and their belongings. Whether or not a guest is present in the room makes no difference. Hosts must respect guest privacy at all times.
In shared spaces, hosts and guests cannot expect complete privacy; however, this does not allow for the use of another’s property. Even in a shared space, guests should expect the same level of respect for privacy.
Airbnb prohibits anyone associated with a rental listing from using anyone else’s property.
Airbnb hosts do not stay with guests except when guests seek rentals explicitly listed as having shared spaces. For entire place rentals, guests can expect total privacy from hosts. All hosts must obtain permission even to set foot on their property while a guest is renting.
For private or shared rooms, guests can expect some company in designated areas while also expecting that privacy for their personal space and belongings is respected. Airbnb performs host and guest background checks and requires that hosts abide by several explicit privacy policies.