Security Experts Warn: Hidden Cameras Are a Growing Problem in Airbnbs

Traveling is a great way to get out of your comfort zone and see new parts of the world. Whether you’re headed thousands of miles away from home, or you’re just driving a little out of town to a nearby destination, you’ll need a place to rest after all of your sightseeing.

There are several options for short-term rental properties that offer an alternative to hotels. Though hotels have been the default travel lodging option for years, short-term rental propertieswhich allow you to rent entire homeshave been rapidly growing in popularity. They tend to be more cost-effective for large groups or families who need multiple beds.

One of the most popular short-term rental services is Airbnb. While Airbnb does have a system that allows users to check and see how other travelers have rated a particular residence and host, an increasing problem is the proliferation of security cameras installed by the owners. Airbnb hosts are supposed to disclose any security cameras installed in their homes; unfortunately, this doesn’t always happen.

Why Hidden Cameras?

Having people that you don’t know stay in your home while you’re away can be concerning. If you rent your property through Airbnb regularly, you could have strangers sleeping in your home nearly 365 days out of the year. For many owners, just one or two bad apples who damage the property, take belongings or have wild parties can spoil the whole cart.

 

This costly damage and violation of Airbnb renter policies is exactly what drives some owners to install cameras. That way they can catch any vandalism or unapproved behavior. Of course, most renters wouldn’t agree to being watched 24/7 in a hotel room, so why would they agree to it in an Airbnb?

 

Are Hidden Cameras Allowed by Airbnb?

Cameras are allowed to be placed in Airbnb residences in areas that are obvious and conspicuous like the front door area. Property owners may also install other security cameras as long as they disclose this to the renter clearly.

 

However, Airbnb does not allow hidden security cameras. Unfortunately, it seems like more and more of these are popping up in Airbnb locations across the United States, much to the chagrin of renters who simply want to have a relaxing vacation or undisturbed rest while they’re away on business.

 

What You Can Do

Hidden security cameras are becoming more of a nuisance, that is true. Fortunately there are options for you if you are concerned about them. One option is to stay at a hotel. Another option is to be very thorough when researching your Airbnb.

 

Before you book any Airbnb, make sure you closely read all of the information provided to see if there are any security cameras and where they are located. Airbnb also offers you a chance to contact the renter before you book to ensure that there are no hidden cameras. If they don’t disclose these and you find them at your destination this should immediately be reported to local law enforcement and Airbnb.

 

Hidden cameras shouldn’t be part of your travel plans. Do your homework when you choose an Airbnb and always pick a location with high scores from previous renters. Then you can rest easy at night.

If you plan on traveling over the summer, don’t forget to secure your home while you’re away. Learn more about the many smart home monitoring solutions offered by SafeTouch Security here.