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Airbnb uses background checks to weed out sex offenders

… With so many guests coming in and out of neighborhoods there are concerns about criminals, including sex offenders renting homes next to families who do not know the sex offender is there.

Tennessee law requires sex offenders to register with the Davidson County Sheriff’s Office within 48 hours of “establishing a physical presence at a particular location.” If that person is only in town for 24 hours, they could fly under the radar. Full Article

Join the discussion

  1. AlexO

    Even though this is not a law, the fact that more and more private companies are discriminating against RC’s puts more and more holes in the 2003 ruling that “there’s no evidence that RC’s have more difficulties living than any other citizen would otherwise”. All these things should and will be considered next time things roll back around to SCOTUS.

  2. JB

    “News 2 checked with Airbnb to find out what their website does to insure sex offenders are not booking rooms and homes.”

    The sky is falling!!! Someone who committed a crime years ago, and in my case, there was no victim, can not rent a room or home, even if I am with another adult. lol… Oh my God, the 19 yr old who had sex with his 16 yr girlfriend and caught got (20 years ago) – we can’t rent a room or home to this hypothetical person.

    To be on the safe side, whenever I stay at a hotel or motel, I usually book the room under the name of who I am traveling with, whether it be my dad, girlfriend, etc… and I do not stay at places that are not a hotel or motel.

    I am afraid we will never change public perception. And unless we are a protected class, which I never see happening, then I guess we have no legal standing to sue for discrimination.

    • Chris F

      Our legal standing to sue isn’t at the individual businesses or people, but to sue our own government. The businesses have a right to protect their clients from anything that could be harmful, and could theoretically be sued for negligence if they let something bad happen that could be prevented.

      Our own government is at fault for creating this “scarlet letter” list disguised as just valid public record. Though initially found constitutional for not being anything but a public record, it has morphed a thousand times over into being used as a list of people that MUST be assumed dangerous. Hence, the governments own laws preventing government housing assistance, and the EEOC saying it is ok for business hiring decisions to discriminate based on the list separate from the criminal background checks that should only go back 7 years for any other former criminal.

      If it is now a list of people considered “dangerous” then it has to be narrowly tailored to include only individuals that can realistically be said to be currently dangerous and have had proper Substantive Due Process protections to be heard and represented fairly before a judge with restrictions tailored to that individual and the circumstances. That hasn’t happened, and that is what must be challenged.

      No list for any crime should exist, and no laws against those convicted of a past crime should be constitutional. It is the Judiciaries job to punish and protect the public during the fair sentencing phase where both sides can be heard. It is not the job of the legislature. The legislature creates laws pertaining to protecting the public in all other cases, but should only be providing guidelines and tools to judges to allow them to do their job and not interfere with it.

    • But it is only regulatory

      Best Value Inn does the same thing and they are a major hotel chain. I agree the argument that registry is punishment and is beyond regulatory is mounting. How is it regulatory for hotels, etc to deny services to those who have completed their time, etc? I don’t see it.

  3. Bruce Ferrell

    The article is about Tennessee, but I’m going to presume Airbnb uses uniform policies in every state.

    If so, in because the 290 statute says that registration information may not be used to deny housing (is lodging the same as housing?), it SEEMS to me that this policy is in direct conflict with California statute law.

    But maybe I’m wrong.

    • pgm111

      Excellent point and just cause for a lawsuit. Janice?

      • HOOKSCAR

        This is one thing that I do not understand. 🤔 Why is it only Frank gets all the fun? I want to be listed as a Doe, but I will use my real name also. I have all the time in the world. Disabled, so I don’t work. Live in San Diego.
        On another note. Senator Joel Anderson is having a town hall meeting, Community Coffee, on the 25th of July. A Tuesday at 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm.
        VFW Post 5867
        1250 Lindo Lane
        Lakeside, Ca. 92040
        Who drinks coffee at that late an hour? Lol.
        I have issues with a few property issues as a culvert and brow ditch are on my property.
        I am also curious as to his position on SB 421. Anyone else care to join me?

    • AJ

      There may well be a case for those in CA. Synonyms for lodging: apartment, hostel, hotel, inn, lodge, motel, resort, shelter abode, address, camp, castle, chambers, cover, domicile, dorm, dwelling, habitation, harbor, home. lodgment, palace, place, port, protection, quarters, residence, roof, room, bed and breakfast, boarding house, pied-à-terre, room and board, rooming house. (

  4. David

    For two years, I was an active member of AirBnB, booking rental stays in U.S. and European cities, before AirBnB sent me an email cancelling my membership. *Annoyed* 😡

    • Rich

      Apparently I didn’t notice any disclaimer on airbnb’s website when I signed up more than a year ago and booked a stay when my partner and I traveled to visit my mother who is in an Alzheimer’s care facility. That host gave me a five star rating, so this afternoon we booked an overnight stay with another host in two days time to visit Mom.

      The new host approved my two small dogs and even offered to drop the extra normal cleaning charge so I booked the room and went off to my part-time minimum wage job assuming my plans were written in stone. When I got home this evening I discovered a nasty email from airbnb, “We regret to inform you that, at this time, Airbnb, Inc. has made the determination to permanently deactivate your account due, at least in part, to the following information contained in that consumer report: – Registered Sex Offender Match…” Thanks for calling that to my attention, airbnb.

      Even a “low risk” on my background check didn’t help.

      Sorry Mom. Fortunately, she forgot about my past. Unfortunately, she forgot about just about everything else, too.

      • David Kennerly, "In the long list of all of your problems, I'm the least of them"

        I’m trying to figure out how to get around their prohibition on being an AirBnB HOST, as well. I believe that I have figured that out although I’m not going to publicize it. Yes, it is maddening to see how thoroughly integrated into society the Registry has become at the expense of our dis-integration from society. I’m sorry to hear about your mother. I went through the same thing until she died earlier this year. It’s pretty awful to see them gradually disappearing behind an ever-growing incomprehension.

      • Sam

        I’m not sure how they even check. I actually still have my account and have used it every time I’ve gone to stay somewhere. I though they were just doing it for people who host air bnb. Anyway to avoid this just have the wife book instead or if you get lucky just book one night and pay the rest in cash. I did this in Korea when I was there. Found a lot of places I could stay for free so long as I worked the front desk for 3-4 hours a day

        • AJ

          They ping the DOJ with user info, and if there’s a match, the DOJ tells them of the RC. It’s plainly and clearly in AWA, though I don’t have it at hand.

      • PK

        “Airbnb, Inc. has made the determination to permanently deactivate your account due, at least in part, to the following information contained in that consumer report: – Registered Sex Offender Match…”

        This information is actually contained in a Consumer Report like TransUnion?

  5. Clifford Ray Irby II

    They rent rooms to murders, r they not considered dangerous? Yet there r no restrictions r registry for them so why is it for sex offenders? What about armed robbers? Kidnappers? Only sex offenders r dangerous?!?

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