I booked a property through Airbnb in Budapest. I checked the whole listing for any specific requirements and duly asked the host for it. He said none. But when I reached there he asked me to provide my details (Passport number, DoB, address etc). I asked him why did he need this information and he said tax purposes and mentioned hotels do so. My main concern was with those details he can, if he wants to, impersonate myself and get me into trouble wrt credit, fraud. I did submit the details when I book in a hotel, but the hotel has a prerogative to protect it's customers and their details which affect their reputation.

My main query, are these details required by laws applicable in Hungary or the host was trying to make a mickey out of me ?

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    There are some countries, India in particular that keeps a photocopy of the passport front page of guests and that is a standard procedure in many other countries as well. Most likely that he is trying to be safe by keeping your information just in case something happens. But do not give them your credit card number.
    – AKS
    Sep 4 '15 at 8:50
  • @AyeshK - If he asks for credit card number, I am going to run. My main concern was I know nothing about him(her) just something from Airbnb. In my case it wasn't even the original host but a representative of him. What stops him(her) from taking my details and disappearing after doing something illegal impersonating me. I can do nothing to get it rectified or have him caught in a foreign country or sue him.
    – DumbCoder
    Sep 4 '15 at 8:58
  • @Tom Yes but do they have the right to ask for one before you check-in? Moreover is it safe to send such details over the internet?
    – JoErNanO
    Sep 4 '15 at 9:08
  • @Tom Have you used Airbnb before ? The host can easily get reimbursed from Airbnb who hold the card details. For hotels read my question on why hotels would protect my details but somebody who I have just met, not so sure. And you conveniently made me a criminal and made the host a saint.
    – DumbCoder
    Sep 4 '15 at 9:16
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    You obviously aren't interested in explanations, only want someone to commensurate with your paranoia. Outta here, along with my comments.
    – user13044
    Sep 4 '15 at 9:55

In Hungary, if you run an Airbnb legally there's a ton of legalities you need to adhere to as you are basically running a very small hotel. Among other you must have a formal guest book which contains

  • First and last name of the guest, in case of a guest from abroad citizenship (or stateless status).

  • in case of a guest from abroad date and place of birth

  • Address of the guest

  • for guest from abroad/stateless the passport number, number of visa or residency permit, for Hungarians # of id card

  • when and where did the guest enter the country

  • check in/out date and time

  • Signed by the guest.

Your host asked these so they can fill out for you ahead of the time. They just want to save time for you. Once again: this the law and you can't avoid giving this data to them. Of course, if you want, you can wait until you check in but that's all you can do. You can't check into any kind of hotel, big or small, airbnb or hostel or anything without giving out this data. See 4. § (2) in 110/1997. (VI. 25.) Korm. Rendelet and also 4. számú melléklet in there for yourself if you speak Hungarian.

Of course, this data is not for everyone: only the tax authority, immigration authority, police, and the various intelligence agencies can look into it / request data from it ( 4. § (4) ).

  • Cool that is what I was looking for. If it is required by law, that is fine. I did indeed give those details to the hotel, but I wasn't so sure about the Airbnb hosts need these details so was quite apprehensive to give it to him.
    – DumbCoder
    Sep 5 '15 at 11:43
  • "I checked the whole listing for any specific requirements and duly asked the host for it. He said none. But when I reached there he asked me to provide my details" NONE is NONE. It's not his problem if the guy didn't specify in advance. He is not breaking the law, the host is Sep 7 '15 at 8:16
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    @Noldor130884 "Specific Requirements" is too vague to ensure that the host's interpretation of the term matches the booker's interpretation. The host could have thought of things like "smoker/non-smoker" or "no late arrivals". Also, providing your data upon check-in may come so natural to the host that he/she didn't even think about it. In more than one European country, providing such data is a legal requirement, so the host may simply not know that elsewhere it isn't.
    – DCTLib
    Sep 7 '15 at 12:10
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    @Noldor130884 Not a crime, but he won't get the room either. Refusing to show the documents and refusing to leave at the same time will get him some trouble, independent from where he is from. ... How did you get the idea that ignoring the rules is ok as long as he's allowed to be in the country?
    – deviantfan
    Sep 7 '15 at 12:40
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    @Noldor130884 And no, the tax thing is not "bullshit". Just because you don't understand it, it's not wrong. Hungary isn't the only country where guest data is actually used for tax stuff, and this tax stuff is one of the reasons it's required by law. (And about the visas: Did you know that some guests don't need a visa at all?)
    – deviantfan
    Sep 7 '15 at 12:52

It seems to me your main concern is with the credit card. If he asked you the credit card number you should definitely be concerned.

Other than that he won't be able to access it. The advantage of airbnb is exactly the fact that you pay to an entity (airbnb) that is, in principle worthy of trust. They are in the end a broker that than deal with the host and his payment. They will not reveal payment details. In other words, the host does not get your CC number. He sure can use your info to impersonate yourself, but not with the CC number.

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