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Home / Tips and Tricks / Hidden cameras are prohibited in your vacation rental, but some still exist. Here's how to find them

Hidden cameras are prohibited in your vacation rental, but some still exist. Here's how to find them



This clearly violates the policies of Airbnb and other rental companies, but does not prevent some hosts from including hidden, unpublished cameras in their leases. The host has the right to use surveillance equipment to protect its property, provided it is used in public areas and clearly identified in the listing. Unfortunately, there are occasional hosts who do not follow the rules.

This is not intended to scare or deny the idea of ​​staying in a vacation rental, but merely to give you the tools you need to protect it you need. (It may also be helpful to be aware of other common problems, such as bed bugs, which may cause IP addresses in your Airbnb account .)

The Guidelines

The Most Important First: Airbnb and other resorts require this The hosts inform the guests that they are using surveillance equipment. They also strictly forbid the hosts to use them in private rooms, including but not limited to bathrooms, bedrooms and other sleeping areas.


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A monitor is anything that can record or transmit audio, video or still images. This includes technically even a webcam on a computer or a smartphone, which is kept in the rental.

Airbnb has made it easier for hosts to note in their list that the units have monitoring devices. This will help you (the guest) to know before you book.

Read more: The things to look for before you book .

Know Before You Go

Someone who will probably hide a camera from you I will not let you know. However, if you ask the question before your arrival, the answer may be meaningful.

Try, "Is there home electronics I should know about?" or "Do you use cameras in any part of the house?" If they do not give you a clear answer or you feel they are trying to hide something, you can move to another entry.

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A nest cam is easy to find, but the scariest surveillance cameras are hidden in a normal environment.


Chris Monroe / CNET

How to Find Hidden Cameras

Visual Inspection

Okay, you have booked your rental property and have arrived. Your first line of defense is a visual inspection. Because they are relatively large and eye-catching, you can easily spot an Amazon Cloud camera or a Nest camera.

What is darker are the seemingly innocent-looking devices. It is sad, but true, that surveillance cameras are so disguised nowadays that they look like everything. Think of motion detectors, a smoke detector, baby monitors, USB charging plugs and wall clocks.

Using a Radio Frequency Detector

If you are particularly worried about hidden cameras in your rental property and are willing to spend more than $ 80 for a reassuring sensation, consider purchasing a radio frequency detector.

They search a room for devices that send radio signals, and then light up or beep to indicate that something is there. Anything that uses Wi-Fi or Bluetooth to send or receive data (which most security and hidden cameras do today) triggers an RF detector. However, they are not fail-safe because they do not record cameras that record but not send.

This Brickhouse Security RF detector is one of the cheaper and compact enough to carry on any trip. No matter which RF detector you buy, avoid the cheap ones on Amazon. Many have many complaints that they do not work at all.

Read more: 9 Devices Any Airbnb Host Should Lend .

What to do if you find a hidden camera? hidden camera in your apartment, there are several actions that you can take.

If you have booked your rental property with Airbnb, contact them immediately. In a statement to CNET, Airbus Global Trust & Risk Management Nick Shapiro said:

"We take reports of violations very seriously and will investigate and take action in rare cases where problems arise Should anyone feel uncomfortable about anything in their listing, our worldwide customer service and trust and safety teams are here to help you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, in 11 different languages. "

Next You may call the police as the person you are hiring may violate the law if their hidden camera is in a location where reasonable privacy protection is expected, such as: In a bathroom or bedroom. The exact laws vary from state to state and from country to country. However, it is worthwhile contacting the authorities to find out what kind of legal remedies you have.

Try to enjoy your vacation.

Look, do not drive crazy through your rental space and look for a hidden camera. Part of the risk we take when we leave home is surveillance in the world. Of course, you do not want to deal with hidden cameras during your vacation, but do not let this option ruin your trip before you leave.

Establish a relationship with your host before you arrive to get a sense of how helpful and honest you are. Arm yourself with the knowledge of where cameras might hide and trust your intuition when something does not feel right.

Finally, you should weigh the risk and benefits of having a holiday apartment opposite a hotel (which, incidentally, is definitely recorded in the lobby or in the hallways). Ultimately, this beautiful villa on Crete or in the Parisian loft is worth the risk.

$ 149

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