We’ve put together this article to help Hosts on Airbnb become familiar with hosting responsibilities, and to provide a general overview of different laws, regulations, and best practices that may affect hosts. You’re required to follow our guidelines, like our Hosting Standards, and to make sure that you follow the laws and other rules that apply to your specific circumstances and locale.
We recommend that you do your own research as this article isn’t comprehensive, and doesn’t constitute legal or tax advice. Also, as we don’t update this article in real time, please check each source and make sure that the information provided hasn’t recently changed.
Table of contents
Health and cleanliness
Key recommendations on cleaning
- Recommendations on cleaning and disinfection from the Australian Department of Health
- An explanation on how to read chemical labels from the Australian Department of Health
- COVID-19 resources issued by the Australian Department of Health
Tax is a complex topic. Your own tax obligations can vary based on your particular circumstances, so we recommend that you research your obligations or consult a tax professional to get more specific information.
In general, the money you earn as a Host on Airbnb is considered taxable income that may be subject to different taxes like rental tax, income tax, or GST.
Tax forms for Australia are due by 31 October each tax year. Check with the Australian Taxation Office to find out if you need to declare the amount you earn from hosting, which you can find in your host earnings summary. It’s also a good idea to find out if you’re eligible for other credits like tax reliefs and allowances.
SERR - Australian data reporting
SERR refers to the Sharing Economy Reporting Regime, which requires Electronic Distribution Platform operators such as Airbnb to report information on certain platform users who earn income on the Airbnb platform. If you have a listing for a property located in Australia, SERR impacts you.
Free tax guide
We want to make it easy for you to understand your tax responsibilities as a Host on Airbnb, so we’ve partnered with an independent third-party accounting firm to provide you with a free tax guide that covers general tax information in Australia.
Regulations and permissions
It’s important to make sure you’re allowed to host on your property. Some examples of restrictions include contracts, laws, and community rules. Check with a lawyer or local authority to learn more about regulations, restrictions, and obligations specific to your circumstances.
You can use the general info in this article as a starting point around hosting regulations and permissions.
Contractual agreements and permits
Sometimes leases, contracts, building regulations, and community rules have restrictions against subletting or hosting. Review any contracts you’ve signed or contact your landlord, community council, or other authority.
You might be able to add an addendum to your lease or contract that can provide clarity about concerns, responsibilities, and liabilities for all parties.
If your property has a mortgage (or any form of loan), check with the lender to make sure that there aren’t restrictions against subletting or hosting.
Social housing restrictions
Social housing usually has rules that prohibit subletting without permission. Check with your housing authority or housing association if you live in a social housing community and are interested in becoming a Host.
If you share your home with others, consider making a formal agreement with your housemates in order to outline expectations. Housemate agreements can include how often you plan to host, guest etiquette, whether you'll share revenue, and more.
We’ll take appropriate action if anyone notifies us of potential misuse. We have guidelines to help local authorities report housing misuse.
We care about the safety of hosts and their guests. You can improve your guests’ peace of mind by providing a few simple preparations like emergency instructions and noting any potential hazards.
Emergency contact information
Include a contact list with the following phone numbers:
- Local emergency numbers
- The number for the nearest hospital
- Your contact number
- A number for a backup contact (in case guests can’t reach you)
It’s also a good idea to make sure guests know the best way to contact you in case of an emergency. You can also communicate with guests using messages on Airbnb as a safe alternative.
Keep a first aid kit and tell your guests where it is. Check it regularly so you can restock supplies if they run out.
If you have gas appliances, follow any applicable gas safety regulations and make sure you have a working carbon monoxide detector. Provide a fire extinguisher and remember to maintain it regularly.
Ensure you have a clearly marked fire escape route. Post a map of the route so it’s easy for guests to see.
Here are some ways you can help prevent potential hazards:
- Inspect your home to identify any areas where guests might trip or fall
- Remove the hazards you identify or mark them clearly
- Fix any exposed wires
- Make sure your stairs are safe and have railings
- Remove or lock up any objects that may be dangerous to your guests
Some guests travel with young family members and need to understand if your home is right for them. You can use the Additional notes section of Listing details in your Airbnb account to indicate potential hazards or indicate that your home isn’t suitable for children and infants.
Working appliances, like furnaces and air conditioners, can greatly affect your guests’ comfort during their stay. There are lots of ways you can make sure your guests stay comfortable:
- Make sure your home is properly ventilated
- Provide instructions on how to safely use the heater and air conditioning
- Check that the thermostat is working correctly and make sure that guests know where to find it
- Service the appliances regularly
Part of being a responsible Host is helping your guests understand best practices for interacting with your community. When you communicate local rules and customs with your guests, you’re helping to create a great experience for everyone.
If your building has common spaces or shared amenities, let guests know the rules for those places.
You can include your house rules on the Additional notes section of Listing details in your Airbnb account. Guests usually appreciate it when you share your expectations with them upfront.
It’s usually a good idea to let your neighbors know if you’re planning to host. This gives them the chance to let you know if they have any concerns or considerations.
Guests book through Airbnb for lots of reasons, including vacations and celebrations. Let your guests know how noise impacts neighbors early on for a smoother experience.
If you’re concerned about disturbances to your community, there are different ways you can help limit excessive noise:
- Implement a quiet hours policy
- Don’t allow pets
- Indicate that your listing isn’t suitable for children or infants
- Prohibit parties and additional unregistered guests
Communicate any parking rules for your building and neighborhood to your guests. Examples of possible parking rules:
- Only park in an assigned space
- Don’t park on the west side of the street on Tuesdays and Thursdays due to street cleaning
- Street parking is only available from 7pm-7am
First, check your lease or building rules to make sure there isn’t a restriction on pets. If you allow guests to bring pets, they’ll appreciate knowing good places to exercise their pet or where they should dispose of waste. Share a backup plan, like the number of a nearby pet kennel, in case a guest's pet upsets the neighbors.
Always respect your guests' privacy. Our rules on surveillance devices clearly state what we expect from our Hosts, but some locations have additional laws and regulations that you’ll need to be aware of.
If you don't allow smoking, we suggest posting signs to remind guests. If you do allow smoking, be sure to provide ashtrays in designated areas.
Work with your insurance agent or carrier to determine what kind of obligations, limits, and coverage are required for your specific circumstances.
AirCover for Hosts and your existing insurance
AirCover for Hosts includes:
- Host damage protection, where Airbnb reimburses you for damage caused by guests to your home and belongings when a guest does not pay;
- Host liability insurance, which protects you in the rare event that a guest gets hurt or their belongings are damaged or stolen; and
- Experiences liability insurance, which protects you, if as an Experience Host, you are found legally responsible for a guest getting hurt or their belongings being damaged or stolen during an Airbnb Experience
However, AirCover for Hosts does not take the place of homeowner's insurance, renter's insurance, or adequate liability coverage. You might need to meet other insurance requirements as well.
We strongly encourage all Hosts to review and understand the terms of their existing insurance policy coverage with your insurance agent or carrier to make sure your listing has adequate liability coverage and property protection. Not all insurance plans will cover damage or loss of property caused by a guest who books your accommodation.
Learn more about AirCover for Hosts.
Host liability insurance and Experiences liability insurance
For the purposes of the Host liability insurance (HLI) and Experiences liability insurance (ELI) coverage, Airbnb is a group purchasing body and has arranged this HLI and ELI coverage through group insurance policies issued to Airbnb by Zurich, one of the world’s largest insurance providers. General factual information about the HLI and ELI coverage is set out in the Host liability insurance summary page and Experiences liability insurance summary page. Should you require it, Aon will provide you with a printed copy of the HLI or ELI terms and conditions free of charge. You can request a copy of the relevant terms and conditions here.
Airbnb does not hold an Australian Financial Services License (AFSL) and is not authorized to provide any financial advice in respect of the HLI or ELI coverage. You may consider obtaining your own financial product advice about HLI or ELI coverage from a person who is able to give such advice under an AFSL.
Airbnb will give you prior written notice if either policy ends, but does not need to notify you if substantially similar cover applies or will apply for such period (or remainder of such period) as stated in the summary pages. If you are not provided with such notice, Airbnb is liable to compensate you for any loss or damage you may suffer as a result of Airbnb's failure to notify you. You can verify the status of the HLI or ELI coverage by contacting Aon at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Other hosting information
Check out our hosting FAQs to learn more about hosting on Airbnb.
Please note that Airbnb has no control over the conduct of hosts and disclaims all liability. Failure of hosts to satisfy their responsibilities may result in suspension of activity or removal from the Airbnb website. Airbnb isn’t responsible for the reliability or correctness of the information contained in any links to third party sites (including any links to legislation and regulations).