I'm an American and I'll be going to Italy in July. Is it common for my AirBnB hosts to ask for our passport information? My host asked me about for my passport info and the others who will be staying with me. I have seen on a couple of travels sites that do confirm it but I can't find any official statement. The closest statement I found is the following on a non-official Italy tourism site

Generally, a copy of your hotel registration will suffice if you are staying at a hotel. Otherwise, however, you will have to go to a police office to complete the form (dichiarazione di presenza). Failing to do so may result in expulsion. Travellers staying longer than 90 days do not need to complete this declaration, but must instead have an appropriate visa and must obtain a residence permit

Because he has asked this question, some of his other requests are odd. He has also said that I need to pay about 70 euros, in cash, for a traveler tax while staying on the Amalfi coast. This was also confirmed by other tourist online on other sites. I'm still skeptical though. My host also asked me to pay another 70 euros, in cash, for a final cleaning cost. This last one doesn't sound right. I would imagine that it would be added to my bill. Does anyone have any insight?

Edit: The final cleaning cost was NOT included in the AirBnB costs. Once I booked it they messaged me directly with this information.

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    There are local tourist taxes to pay in certain cities in Italy, which the host will normally collect on arrival - make sure you get a receipt. It’s also normal to provide passport details at that time. Final cleaning costs are at the discretion of the host, and should be shown on the listing details on AirBnB, if they’re not it means the host won’t have to pay the relevant AirBnB service fee. – Traveller May 15 '18 at 17:28
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    Report the host to AirBnb, he's breaking the terms and services of the site by asking you to go around the platform to make a cleaning payment. For the tax, I assume the host won't be collecting that amount, right? If so, that's fine. In the US, if I went to Yosemite and told them I'd be spending a few days inside the park, I would expect to pay something at the entrance of the park. For the passport info, that's fine too? They can make a copy of it too, just don't let them keep it. Some hosts want to keep the passport, but that's against EU law. – Stephan Branczyk May 15 '18 at 23:25
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    Sorry @CHJ but your comment is incorrect. In large parts of Europe (and possibly elsewhere) it is required hotels/AirBnB hosts to take a copy of your passport. europa.eu/youreurope/citizens/residence/documents-formalities/… "Some EU countries require you to report your presence to the relevant authorities (often the town hall or local police station) within a reasonable period of time after arrival and may impose a penalty, such as a fine, if you fail to do so." – skifans May 17 '18 at 8:20
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    @skifrans. Hotels are required to write down surname and passport nr. It is against the law for them to copy a passport. They do it often, but it is really illegal! – RHA May 17 '18 at 14:01
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    Traveller's tax in amalfi is in the order of a few euros per person per day depending on the type of accommodation: comune.amalfi.sa.it/sezione.asp?IDS=134 How long are you staying for? – JoErNanO May 18 '18 at 6:11

Asking for a copy of a passport is quite common. Whether it's legally required I can't answer, but the more problematic part is asking for the cleaning charge in cash. This is against Airbnb's terms.

If a host asks you for more money than what you paid on the site and the extra charge wasn’t stated in the listing or in the message thread, you can dispute the charges in the Resolution Center. Never pay a host directly for these charges.

You should tell the host to request the money via the "Resolution Center", and then dispute it if the charge wasn't stated on the listing. Furthermore, you should make sure you only communicate with the host on this matter via the Airbnb messaging facility, to ensure you have evidence.

Airbnb have added an exception to this policy for local taxes. If the tax is disclosed on the listing, the host may ask for it to be paid in cash on arrival.

This host is essentially charging you an extra €140 beyond what the listing stated. This is gaming the system, and Airbnb will likely ban him for doing it.

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    @HankyPanky Even if it’s common practice, it’s still against the rules. There’s no reason it can’t be collected via Airbnb. The fact that the host is collecting cleaning fees in cash too underscores that he’s gaming the system. – MJeffryes May 17 '18 at 11:42
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    @HankyPanky Here's an example from my recent booking. Taxes and cleaning should be charged via Airbnb, not in cash. The only reason for charging in cash is to conceal the true cost of the booking. i.imgur.com/x7bTjn0.png – MJeffryes May 17 '18 at 11:48
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    @HankyPanky If Airbnb didn't care about it, then the help page I linked would say so. It doesn't. Airbnb is unequivocal: "Never pay a host directly for these charges". And incidentally, OP hasn't stated whether the charges were mentioned in the listing. Just because you've observed and accepted some hosts breaking these terms, it doesn't mean that it's allowed. – MJeffryes May 17 '18 at 13:18
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    Asking for a copy of a passport can't be legally required, it is exactly the opposite: copying a passport is against the law in Europe. Only Police, customs and employers may (and must) copy a passport. Hotels do it often, but in fact they are only required to write down surname and passport nr. – RHA May 17 '18 at 13:58
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    @RHA I focused my answer on the fees aspect, since this is most easily actionable, and clearly against Airbnb's terms. I agree that photocopying passports contravenes data protection regulations, but it's much harder to complain about this. – MJeffryes May 17 '18 at 15:11

Asking for passport info: it's legal and actually required of them

Asking to submit photos of passports: not very legal

What I generally do is just provide the passport info, saying that they can verify those on arrival when we check in. I do not submit photos of my passport to anyone.

The final cleaning fee should be included in the AirBnB total. Refuse to pay it if they are asking for it outside of that.

The tourist tax is outside of the AirBnB total.

  • "not very legal" what does it mean? – LEQADA Jun 5 at 13:35
  • GDPR comes to mind for one thing. They're legally required to register your stay, thus why they need the info on the passport, but not a photocopy of the passport itself. You can present that upon checking for verification. – Carlo Jun 6 at 19:51
  • Not sure if they are affected by GDPR. Is it considered as a business? – LEQADA Jun 7 at 14:37

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