Can an Airbnb Have Cameras?-The Answer May Surprise You

can airbnb have cameras

When selecting a vacation rental from an online travel agency, one may not think about all the details related to the terms and conditions of their stay. One question that you may ask is “Can an Airbnb Have Cameras?”. This article will examine Airbnb’s policy regarding cameras and other surveillance devices. It will also give tips on how to detect hidden cameras.

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Does Airbnb Allow Cameras?- Airbnb Policy Regarding Cameras and Surveillance Devices

The surprising answer is “yes”. Before you reconsider using Airbnb, just note that there are terms and policies that hosts ought to abide by in using cameras and other surveillance devices. According to Airbnb’s policy, it is a requirement for hosts to disclose on their listing whether or not a camera or surveillance device is present. Read the questions and answers below to learn more about Airbnb’s policy.

Is It Ok for a Host to Disclose the Presence of Some Cameras but Not Disclose the Presence of Hidden Cameras?

Airbnb’s policy strictly prohibits the presence of hidden cameras and recording devices. A host should declare and disclose all cameras and recording devices to guests.

Excerpt from Policy

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airbnb cameras hidden

Can an Airbnb Host Place a Camera or Recording Device in a Bedroom or Bathroom?-Cameras Inside

The use of cameras or recording devices are not allowed in certain interior spaces which are considered private such as bathrooms and bedrooms. If a camera is found in the interior space such as a bedroom or bathroom, the host would be in breach of Airbnb’s policy.

Excerpt from Policy

does airbnb have cameras hidden

Excerpt from Another Section of Policy

Is a Host in Breach of Airbnb’s Policy if a Guest Finds a Camera or Recording Device but the Host Says It’s Not Working or Turned Off?

The host of an Airbnb would be in breach of Airbnb’s Policy if a guest finds a security camera or recording device that is not working, which was not disclosed in their listing. Even if a security camera or recording is turned off its presence should be disclosed to guests.

Excerpt from Policy

does airbnb have cameras

Can a Host Record Guests on Camera When They Are Outside?

A Host can record guests when they are outside. However, if there is an active recording, it must be disclosed to the guest.

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Where in the Airbnb listing does it indicate the presence of cameras or recording devices?

The presence of cameras or recording devices is noted under the section ‘Things to Know, Health and Safety“. It can also be indicated under the ‘Amenities” section. In the Things to Know, Health and Safety Section, the show all button should be clicked. This button will give a pop-up, which will list all the Heath and Safety details, including the presence of a camera. Please see the pictures below.

Things to Know, Health & Safety, Click ‘Show All

Can Airbnb have cameras 5

Pop-up for Health and Safety

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Amenities Section Indicating Cameras

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Can a Guest Use a Security Camera and Record a Host or a Third Party on the Property?

Airbnb does not allow the use of security cameras for the recording of other guests on property, hosts, or a third party. As it relates to rules regarding the use of security cameras and recording devices, it is subject to local laws and regulations. In instances where a guest is doubtful of the circumstances under which recording devices may be used, contact should be made with the Airbnb support team via messaging for advice.

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How to Find a Hidden Camera in Your Airbnb or Vacation Rental-6 Tips

No one likes their privacy to be invaded. There is a growing concern amongst vacationers who rent private properties whether their actions are secretly being recorded by hosts. In light of this, here are a few tips on how to find a hidden camera in your Airbnb or vacation rental. If you feel that you have enough proof of a recording, the matter should be submitted to Airbnb.

Read the Property Description Carefully-The Devil is in the Details

A random search online for Airbnb host complaints shows that in some instances, guests do not read the listing details in their entirety. This can lead to frustration for both guests and hosts in terms of expectation. It is very important that guests read ALL the details of a listing so that they are completely satisfied with what is offered.

Turn the WiFi On and Off

This tip can only work if you are certain that the Wifi modem serves only your accommodation on the Airbnb property. Additionally, the Wifi modem needs to be accessible to you in your space for you to try.

  • Locate the Wifi modem
  • Plug it out for a reasonable amount of time
  • See if your host contacts you that it is off

This tip is ideal for entire place rentals. If the Airbnb property is solely rented to you and its functioning seems independent, then if your Airbnb host contacts you regarding the wifi being off, this may be a red flag that a recording device is present. It is good to politely ask the host, how do they know that the Wifi is down. If they are not able to give a plausible explanation then this may be cause for concern. Wifi may be used with a security system or air conditioning units, which the host may have access to details on the internet to indicate whether it’s on or off. The main aim of this exercise is to get a conversation started if your suspicions are intensified.

Ask the Host if There Are Any Hidden Cameras

Sometimes getting an answer is as simple as asking a direct question. Some people will just tell the truth when such a direct question is asked.

Get to Know What a Spy-Cam Looks Like

Spy cameras or nanny cams can be undetectable as they are often hidden in regular objects. To have an idea of what a spy camera may look like, please see some that are available on Amazon in the main categories for which these devices are often hidden.

Smoke Detectors

Stuffed Animals

Miniature cameras like the one below are often placed in stuffed animals or inconspicuous places to spy on persons.

Photo Frame Camera

Light Bulbs

Clock Radio

Wall Clock

USB Wall Plugs

Inspection on Arrival-Search the Vacation Rental for Unusual Devices or Fixtures That Seem Out of Place

Upon arrival, search the property for devices or anything that seem out of place. Use a flashlight on all surfaces to see if there is a reflective light from a camera. Check wall clocks, fixtures, decorative pieces, electronic devices, behind vents etc for cameras.

Use an App to Detect Hidden Camera

There are several apps available that can detect hidden cameras, some that you could try include: Don’t Spy, Detectify, and Glint Finder.


The right to privacy is something that should be honored by hosts. We hope that this article was informative. Please share your stories regarding the use of hidden cameras in our comment section below.

Lori Lewis

Chief Traveling Officer(CTO), The Travel Virgin

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