Can Airbnb Deny Service Animals?

Service animals are essential for some individuals to live a healthy and independent life. But can Airbnb deny service animals from staying on their properties? This is a controversial and important topic, as it has implications for the rights of people with disabilities and the rights of property owners. In this article, we’ll explore the legalities of Airbnb denying service animals and the potential consequences for people with disabilities.

Can Airbnb Deny Service Animals?


Can Airbnb Discriminate Against Service Animals?

Service animals are an important part of the lives of many people with disabilities, and they deserve the same rights and protections as any other pet. Unfortunately, not all businesses are aware of this, and Airbnb is no exception. Despite laws that protect the rights of individuals with disabilities and their service animals, many Airbnb hosts have attempted to deny service to those with service animals. This article will examine the legal issues involved in denying service to service animals, the potential consequences for Airbnb hosts, and what steps the company is taking to ensure all guests are treated fairly.

Legal Issues

Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), it is illegal to deny service to someone with a service animal. This includes refusing to allow the individual to use the accommodation or charging extra fees for the service animal. Additionally, businesses are not allowed to ask questions about the individual’s disability or require proof that the animal is a service animal. The only exception to this rule is if the animal’s behavior poses a direct threat to the health or safety of others.

Under the Fair Housing Act (FHA), it is also illegal to discriminate against individuals with service animals. This includes denying an individual the right to rent an Airbnb or charging extra fees for the service animal. Airbnb hosts must also make reasonable accommodations for service animals, such as providing a space for the animal to stay and allowing the animal to accompany the guest in common areas.

Potential Consequences

If an Airbnb host is found to be in violation of either the ADA or the FHA, they may face serious legal repercussions. This could include fines, court costs, and even jail time. Additionally, the host could be liable for any damages caused by their discrimination, such as lost wages or medical expenses. Furthermore, Airbnb could be held liable if they are found to have been aware of the violation and did not take any action to address it.

Moreover, Airbnb may take additional punitive action against the host. This could include suspending or banning the host from the platform, or even terminating their contract. It is important for hosts to understand the potential consequences of denying service to individuals with service animals.

Airbnb Policies

Airbnb is taking steps to ensure that all guests with service animals are treated fairly. The company has a policy that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities and their service animals. Additionally, Airbnb has a 24/7 customer support team to help hosts and guests with any issues related to service animals.

Airbnb also provides resources to help hosts understand their rights and responsibilities when it comes to service animals. These resources include information on service animal laws, tips for accommodating service animals, and best practices for interacting with guests who have service animals.


Discriminating against individuals with service animals is a violation of both the ADA and the FHA, and can have serious legal and financial repercussions for Airbnb hosts. Airbnb is taking steps to ensure that all guests with service animals are treated fairly, and hosts should familiarize themselves with the company’s policies and resources.

Few Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Service Animal?

A service animal is a type of assistance animal that is specifically trained to perform tasks or work that is directly related to a person’s disability. These animals provide assistance to individuals who have physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disabilities, and are individually trained for each person.

Does Airbnb Allow Service Animals?

Yes, Airbnb allows service animals in its rental properties, as long as the guest can provide medical documentation or other proof of the animal’s need. Airbnb hosts must also comply with any applicable local laws and regulations related to service animals. Service animals must be trained to behave properly and not cause any damage to the property.

Can Airbnb Deny Service Animals?

Yes, Airbnb can deny service animals if the guest cannot provide adequate proof of the animal’s need, or if the guest does not comply with the applicable laws and regulations related to service animals. Hosts may also deny service animals if they can prove that the animal poses a direct threat to the health or safety of others.

What Should I do if Airbnb Denies my Service Animal?

If Airbnb denies your service animal, you should contact the company to explain your situation and provide any necessary proof or documentation. You may also contact a local disability rights organization or a lawyer for assistance.

Are There Any Laws that Protect Service Animals?

Yes, there are several laws that protect service animals and their owners, including the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Fair Housing Act (FHA), and some state and local laws. These laws prohibit discrimination against people with disabilities, and require public accommodations and housing providers to make reasonable modifications to accommodate service animals.

What are the Penalties for Violating Service Animal Laws?

The consequences for violating service animal laws vary depending on the jurisdiction and the severity of the violation. Penalties may include fines, jail time, or both. In some cases, a business or property owner may be required to pay damages to the disabled person in addition to the penalties.


In conclusion, it is clear that Airbnb does have the right to deny service animals. However, it is important to note that it is in the best interest of the company to comply with the ADA, and to make sure that customers with service animals are not discriminated against. Therefore, it is recommended that Airbnb always be aware of their legal responsibilities when it comes to service animals and ensure that they are treating customers with disabilities in an equitable manner.

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