A statement from Airbnb on Kenya

Over the past week, Kenya has witnessed two heinous crimes in the city of Nairobi. We are saddened and shocked to learn of these events, and our thoughts are with the victims’ loved ones during this difficult time.

We can confirm that neither of these events were connected to stays on Airbnb. We have today shared the following information with local police:

  • The properties in which these crimes took place did not have reservations booked on Airbnb for the dates reported.
  • We do not have accounts registered to the names of the accused. 
  • We stand ready to support local law enforcement with any ongoing investigations. 

Airbnb in Kenya

Airbnb is now a noun and a verb, and for many, a term used to describe an entire industry which is what we have seen in the reporting in Kenya over the past week. As a business built on trust, safety issues on Airbnb are incredibly rare and we implement measures to maintain safety on the platform in Kenya.

  • Strict rules on who can use Airbnb: We require everyone who uses Airbnb to represent themselves authentically, and we enforce strict policies governing who can have an account. Where concerns come to our attention, we investigate and may remove the user from the platform.
  • Information on how to safely book a stay on Airbnb: In order to use Airbnb, users must abide by our strict policies, Terms of Service and Community Standards. Guests can then visit www.airbnb.com to book a stay. Before booking, we recommend that guests read Host profiles, listing descriptions and House Rules, check ratings and reviews left by previous guests, and contact a Host through our secure messaging tool to ask any questions. Guests can also filter listings by Superhosts, experienced Hosts who offer the top rated stays Airbnb. 
  • Secure payments, meaning users never handle cash directly: Airbnb processes payments – which must always be made via credit cards, bank accounts or other digital processes. Airbnb does not accept cash payments.
  • Identity verification: Our aim is for guests and Hosts on Airbnb to be able to trust that people on our platform are who they say they are, and identity verification is an important part of building that trust within our community. All booking guests and primary Hosts getting booked on Airbnb need to complete the identity verification process.
  • Connecting users to our 24/7 Safety team: Available in English, our 24 Hour Safety Line is available in-app for users who feel unsafe during an Airbnb-booked stay, and provides a direct line to our specialised Safety team for support. We also share safety tips when interacting with others offline.
  • Working with law enforcement: We have zero tolerance for illegal behaviour on our platform and we take action on issues brought to our attention, including working with police on criminal investigations through our Law Enforcement Portal and removing bad actors. If anyone is concerned about their personal safety at any time, we strongly encourage contacting the police right away.

Airbnb supports registration for short-term rentals

Airbnb supports the introduction of an online register for all short-term rentals in Kenya, across every online platform and traditional operator. A central, national register ensures local authorities have the information they need to know who is renting out a property, and how often.