Short-Term Rental Guest Screening: Don’t Put Your Home at Risk

Comprehensive guest screening that won’t scare away your best guests.

Question: How do you know who's using your short-term rental home?
Answer: Simple, effective, guest screening from Safely.

For most homeowners, one of the biggest sources of anxiety surrounding their short-term rental is the question of who is sleeping in their bed, using their dishes, and occupying their home. 

Safely makes it easy to turn internet strangers into trusted guests with our comprehensive guest screening offering. All we need is a name, birthdate, and address to cross-reference court records, county and national databases, international agencies to identify and alert you to reservations made by undesirable guests. We even check The List – our proprietary database of guests who have previously caused damage to a short-term rental due to negligence. 

And because we’re screening guests in an objective manner, following regulatory protocols, your homeowners are protected legally if they decide to cancel a reservation based on our findings.

Give your homeowners a peace of mind and turn internet strangers into trusted guests.

Why use Safely to screen your short-term rental guests?

  • Have peace of mind knowing your guests are who they say they are
  • Protect your home and contents from guests who are flagged during our guest screening process
  • Be confident your guests have no record of causing damage to other Airbnb or Vrbo properties

Isn’t guest screening intrusive?

Safely’s guest screening process only requires your guest’s name, date of birth, and address to perform all our background checks

If you have a guest’s photo ID, you’ve already collected everything we need—and, best of all, your guest will never feel they’ve had to answer too many questions.

 

How does Safely screen guests?

Safely scans county and court records, national and criminal databases, checks credit history, and runs every guest through The List—a record of guests who have caused damage to vacation properties in the past.

We then give each of your guests a risk score, so you can make an informed decision about which reservations to confirm. And if any specific concerns arise during a guest’s background checks, we’ll contact you to put you back in control.

If you choose to deny a guest based on the findings we share, we’ll follow the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) to inform them. This way you’re covered legally and are able to cancel the reservation without repercussions. 

What are the limits of Airbnb and Vrbo guest screening?

Airbnb and Vrbo are not dedicated guest screening services and so simply don’t have the tools in place to carry out comprehensive background checks. Plus they don’t always run a background check, anyway.

And even if Airbnb or Vrbo do run a check and highlight an issue in your guest’s background, you may never even know about it. Despite this, at present, most owners and property managers rely on guest profiles filled out on OTA sites for an idea of who has booked their home. 

 

How is Safely different?

We connect with your PMS so any time a new booking comes in, we cross-reference your guest’s data with multiple databases, international agencies, watchlists, and other key sources of information to mitigate risk, keep you informed, and give you confidence in your decision.

The List

We cross-reference your guest’s details with The List to make sure they have no record of previously causing problems for short-term vacation rental owners, hosts, and property managers.

Criminal Records

Safely checks criminal databases, court, and driving records to see if your guest has any kind of record.

International

Our software scans Europol, Interpol, and other international watchlists to protect your home from high-risk stays.

Sex Offender Lists

Safely’s automated screening process scans sex offender databases with the information your guests provide to see if there are any matches.

Frequently asked questions

What is guest screening?

Guest screening is the process of running background checks on your guest to establish to what extent they may represent a risk. With a dedicated guest screening tool, you can help protect your home and belongings from parties, fraud, and other types of criminal activity.

 

What is the average cost of guest screening?

It’s impossible to give an average cost of guest screening since the depth of service provided varies so much from platform to platform. In the case of Safely’s comprehensive guest screening process, the service comes free with its short-term rental insurance plans, while a stand-alone service costs just $8 per screening. 

 

What are some things that may be in the guest screening process?

Guest screening methods and information may vary depending on the service you use. Most screening services ask a series of questions and verify your guest’s ID. At Safely, we not only cross-reference court records, county and national databases, and international agencies, but we also run every primary guest through The List—our database of guests who have previously caused damage to a home due to negligence.

Here are some of the background issues our checks have helped protect property owners from:

  • Theft by deception
  • Kidnapping
  • Unlawful distribution/furnishing of a controlled substance
  • Burglary, first degree
  • Grand Larceny
  • Fraudulent use of a credit card

 

If I already screen my guests by checking out their social media profiles, do I need additional guest screening?

Yes! Relying on social media profiles to screen your guests is not only a very subjective process but a potentially dangerous one as well. If you can even find your guest’s profile, making a decision as to whether or not you accept the reservation based on assumptions you’ve made is not legal—and, oftentimes, not accurate. 

Just because someone appears to be a good renter or you get a bad feeling from someone does not give you all the information, you need to make an objective judgment. If you’re not following FCRA guidelines, you could open yourself up to a lawsuit and face consequences from OTAs for canceling the reservation.