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Airbnb Goes Viral On TikTok For Cameras In Bedroom

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An Airbnb guest recently posted about her experience with hidden cameras on TikTok, which has amounted to over 1.3 million views. TikTok user Lyssiemento explained her story in two parts; where she booked an Airbnb with her friends in a familiar area located in her old college town. The guest had checked the reviews ahead of time and thought everything “checked out” before booking it.

CCTV Security Camera

Things started to get strange when Lyssiemento reached out to the host for the check-in information for her registered friend arriving earlier, but the host didn’t have the information. She was advised to call the property manager for the details, but the property manager refused to give the code until her friend arrived at the property.

@lyssiemento Replying to @Lyssiemento pt 2 of hidden cameras in the #airbnb ♬ original sound – Lyssiemento

Her friend was finally able to get into the property (after initially being given the incorrect code) and sensed something was off when she began exploring the accommodation. The guest then received two text messages asking her to “take her sneakers off,” and this was when Lyssiemento realized her friend was being watched. The listing provided a rule for no shoes in the house, but the friend had kept her sneakers on. Lyssiemento caught on quickly that there must have been a camera because the property manager specified “sneakers” not shoes, claiming that “maybe it’s the true crime in me.”

The guest continued to scan the property for hidden cameras and found a hidden one in the bedroom and another one behind a sheer curtain in the living room. Although the Airbnb listing said that the property contained outdoor cameras, there was no mention of cameras inside the house.

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Webcam hidden in a stack of clothes for covert surveillance of the house.

Despite Controversy, Cameras Are Allowed

Unfortunately, this instance is not an isolated incident, as there are other reports of Airbnb guests coming across hidden cameras in their accommodations. Although Airbnb lists its camera policies on its website, the line is often blurred, and ownership is put on the host to be truthful and to provide clear and accurate information about the cameras’ locations. This can be a concern for travelers choosing Airbnb as their accommodation.

Outdoor security camera

According to Airbnb, hidden security cameras are not permitted, especially if they are intentionally concealed, but they are allowed if you follow the platform’s policies on location and how to disclose them. For example, cameras are not permitted in private spaces such as sleeping areas and bathrooms. Airbnb asks that hosts “describe each device, its location, and if it will be off or on” in a host’s listing, but not all hosts comply with this, and many give vague descriptions.

Man monitoring modern cctv cameras on smartphone indoors, closeup. Home security system

Hidden Cameras Violate Airbnb’s Policy

In Lyssiemento’s case, none of the cameras were disclosed besides the outdoor one. Once they were able to share a picture of the camera’s location with Airbnb support, the situation quickly escalated Airbnb offered to pay for their hotel and refund the first part of their trip, and the second half was given after the investigation concluded. Although Lyssiemento got a full refund since the host broke a policy, she noted that she has “seen other listings from the same property management company.”

You might be surprised to find that suspended properties can still make a comeback. Despite violations occurring, the hosts may not be banned from the platform entirely. When a violation has occurred, Airbnb will carry out an investigation and suspend the listing until the host has rectified the situation. Since Airbnb does not have anyone to physically check the cameras have been removed, they would need to take the host's word for it.

Close Up Object Shot of a Modern Wi-Fi Surveillance Camera with Two Antennas on a White Wall in a Cozy Apartment.

What Are Your Rights When Policies Are Violated

Aircover is a protection plan included on Airbnb that protects both hosts and guests. If you find that your host has violated one of Airbnb’s policies, such as hidden cameras or other things, such as the accommodation not being as advertised, you have 72 hours to report the problem.

As the website states, Airbnb will figure out the next steps and if the issue is covered by Aircover, they’ll make it right, “either by finding you another home or giving you a refund.” You’ll just want to make sure you’re documenting the issue through Airbnb’s proper channels. Make sure you follow these tips to help ensure you get the issue sorted, and you get a full refund:

Woman is installing Airbnb application on Lenovo tablet.
  • Keep communication between you and the host on the app so Airbnb support can quickly assess the situation.
  • Collect evidence of the violation. If you notice hidden security cameras, make sure you take close-up images as well as wide images of their location so Airbnb support can clearly see the violation of its policy
  • Airbnb offers support 24/7 for its guests, so get in contact with them as soon as possible (within 72 hours) to resolve the issue

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This article originally appeared on

Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.


Sunday 5th of March 2023

Airbnb has no choice but to pay for physical inspections meaning a legitimate walkthrough on violations. And any host who is found to have hidden cameras must be permanently banned from their website. If they are not willing to make that a policy. Then you know it's all about profits. I have had good hosts with Airbnb. But if a camera was found by me in an Airbnb I would sue and expose that host to the local community and make sure it reaches the media. And yes, blame Airbnb as well if they did not do anything about it. The Airbnb host should be put out of business. These owners feel they have rights above any other business. They DO NOT! IT is a crime and they will pay for it and be humiliated in a court of law.

Robyn Marks

Saturday 4th of March 2023

Just stay at motel/hotel.

Matthew E

Saturday 4th of March 2023

If AirBnB doesn't have someone physically check a reported violation, then they are in no way conducting an investigation. An investigator never takes an accused's word for anything.

"You're not going to do that again, right?" "Oh no, never. Of course not. Trust me."

That's not an investigation. That's a company doing just enough to have plausible deniability for the next time the host gets caught surreptitiously recording their guests...and there will be a next time. AirBnB should be doing unscheduled spot inspections to look for this sort of thing, but I suspect they aren't.

In the story, one of the hidden cameras was found in the bedroom. What, exactly, do you think the host intended to monitor with that one? You have a reasonable expectation of privacy in your accommodation, even a rented one, so that spy camera is a Fourth Amendment violation and, in an increasing number of jurisdictions, a criminal offense under the local state code. And anyone so violated has a winnable civil case as well.

The advice about documenting such a violation is good. That will come in handy when you sue the host, which you should do. Their concern about people wearing shoes inside their property does not abrogate their guest's constitutional rights. Having evidence will also come in handy when you call AirBnB and tell them that you will be placing a chargeback on your credit card as soon as you hang up with them, and that they WILL be putting you up in a hotel of your choosing, and doing it now.

And don't ever, ever use AirBnB again.


Saturday 4th of March 2023

Ok first, I think it's extremely ridiculous and very selfish to put cameras in a airbnb (and I am not even talking about hidden cameras.). I'm so sick of these people who do not assume their business to the end. Do you want to make money with airbnb? No one forced you. It's your decision, so shut up d and remove the cameras. You can't control everything, especially at the expense of basic ethics, of minimal respect for human beings. So, YES, any business requires taking risks. So stop watching people just to reassure your little peace of mind... That's selfish and stupid.

Second, in a case as SERIOUS as a hidden camera, you shouldn't rely on airbnb. We are talking about a misdemeanor, even a crime. So you don't just call airbnb, you go to the police. A little common sense.

John B

Sunday 5th of March 2023

@Elan, I think cameras on the outside are perfectly fine. I would not stay at any place that listed any cameras inside. I think you owe your guest a bit of privacy, if they can't handle that then they should be removed.

Regardless, I don't find myself ever going to a Airbnb as it is. I am planning a trip to Yellowstone this summer for my 6 and 8 year old kids and just their dad(me) as my wife is on a deployment and an Airbnb didn't even cross my mind to stay at.