Responsible hosting in the Philippines
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We’ve put together this article to help hosts on Airbnb become familiar with hosting responsibilities, and to provide a general overview of selected laws, regulations, and proposed best practices that may affect hosts. You’re required to follow our guidelines, like our Hosting Standards, and to make sure that you follow the laws and other rules that apply to your specific circumstances and locale, such as Nondiscrimination Standards.
We recommend that you do your own research and/or seek external legal or tax advice, as this article isn’t comprehensive, and doesn’t constitute legal or tax advice in the Philippines. Also, as we don’t update this article in real time, please check each source and local requirements to make sure that the information provided hasn’t recently changed.
Table of contents
Health and cleanliness
In the context of the COVID-19 health crisis, the implementation of appropriate health and safety measures will be at the heart of the recovery of the tourism sector. Hosts need to follow the health and safety requirements for Airbnb stays.
Covid-19 related protocols and regulations
The operation of accommodation and lodging establishments in the context of the COVID-19 health crisis is subject to various safety, health and precautionary measures, restrictions and regulations depending on the quarantine status of the particular locality of your listing.
Generally, all accommodation and lodging establishments authorized to operate in areas under community quarantine must comply with the health and safety guidelines of the Department of Tourism, including, among others, the mandatory wearing of masks, face shields, contactless transactions, screening of guests, capacity limitations, the accomplishment of health declaration forms, and other reporting requirements. You can refer to the Department of Tourism website for more information on the applicable health and safety, cleaning and disinfection guidelines.
The COVID-19 related measures of the Philippine Government change from time to time. Hence, we recommend that you regularly check the COVID-19 related measures from the official page of the Philippine Government, or consult the Department of Tourism or a local attorney regarding your obligations.
Tax is a complex topic. Your own tax obligations can vary based on your particular circumstances, so we recommend that you research your obligations or consult a tax professional to get more specific information.
In general, the money you earn as a host on Airbnb is considered taxable income which may be subject to different taxes like income tax, VAT or percentage tax.
Income tax returns for the Philippines are due on a quarterly and annual basis. For individuals, income tax returns for the first three quarters are due on May 15 (1st Quarter), August 15 (2nd Quarter) and November 15 (3rd Quarter), while the annual income tax return is due on April 15. VAT and percentage tax are due monthly, which is usually the 20th day of the month following each month. Check with the Philippine Bureau of Internal Revenue to find out if you need to declare the amount you earn from hosting, which you can find in your host earnings summary. It’s also a good idea to find out if you’re eligible for other credits like tax reliefs and allowances.
Regulations and permissions
It’s important to make sure you’re allowed to host on your property. Some examples of restrictions include contracts, laws, and community rules. Check with an attorney or local authority to learn more about regulations, restrictions, and obligations specific to your circumstances.
You can use the general info in this article as a starting point to learn about hosting regulations and permissions.
Accommodation establishment registration
Hosting may fall within the definition of operating an “accommodation establishment” which includes, but is not limited to hotels, resorts, apartment hotels, tourist inns, motels, pension houses, private homes used for homestay, ecolodges, serviced apartments, condotels, and bed and breakfast facilities.
The Department of Tourism provides general information about the accommodation standards rules for accreditation of accommodation establishments . You can manage your accommodation establishment registration, including activation, changes, and account closure on the Department of Tourism online accreditation portal. We have outlined a list of documents currently required by the Department of Tourism for the accommodation establishment accreditation as follows:
- Letter of intent to operate, indicating whether operations will be for accommodation, food services, or both;
- Accomplished Application Form which need not be notarized;
- Accomplished Self-Assessment Form ;
- Valid Mayor’s or Business Permit ; and
- Sworn Statement of Undertaking
Meanwhile, renewing establishments will need to submit almost the same documentary requirements, except the self-assessment form.
The Department of Tourism also provides specific regulations on how private homes near tourist attractions, or “homestay”, may be used to provide accommodation for tourists.
There are also applicable requirements for persons with disabilities (PWDs) under the Magna Carta for Persons with Disability, as amended. This act imposes mandatory benefits and incentives, such as a 20% discount, in favor of PWDs. You can review the consolidated laws, rules and regulations relating to PWDs in the National Council on Disability Affairs’ website.
National and local government regulations
Depending on where you will be operating, there are a number of different regulations that might impact you as a host. Generally, hosts will have to obtain a business registration with the national government, either through the Department of Trade and Industry or Securities and Exchange Commission. Locally, depending on the province, city or municipality that you will be operating in, you may also be required to obtain the following permits from your local government unit:
- Mayor’s permit
- Barangay clearance
- Occupancy permit
- Sanitary permit
- Fire safety insurance certificate, building, plumbing and electrical permits, zoning approval and locational clearance, etc., as the case may be
You may contact or check the relevant websites of the local government unit concerned, or contact a local attorney, to learn more how these requirements apply to you.
Hosts aren’t allowed to engage in any activity that violates the laws and regulations of the Philippines. Airbnb isn’t responsible if a host violates any laws. If you have any questions about how these laws and regulations apply, contact your local government agency, or ask a local attorney for advice.
Contractual agreements and permits
Sometimes leases, contracts, building regulations, and community rules have restrictions against subletting or hosting. Review any contracts you’ve signed or contact your landlord, community council, or other authority.
You might be able to add an addendum to your lease or contract that can provide clarity about concerns, responsibilities, and liabilities for all parties.
If your property has a mortgage (or any form of loan), check with the lender to make sure that there aren’t restrictions against subletting or hosting.
Subsidized housing restrictions
Subsidized housing usually has rules that prohibit subletting without permission. Check with your housing authority or housing association if you live in a subsidized housing community and are interested in becoming a host.
If you share your home with others, consider making a formal agreement with your housemates in order to outline expectations. Housemate agreements can include how often you plan to host, guest etiquette, whether you'll share revenue, and more.
According to the Philippine Consumer Protection Act, when you commercially offer goods or services online, you’re required to provide your customers with specific information. When you host through Airbnb, it’s considered a service. You may review the various Philippine consumer protection laws and regulations from the Department of Trade and Industry website for more information.
If you live in rent-controlled or rent-stabilized housing, there may be special regulations that apply to you. Specifically, the Philippine Rent Control Act imposes rent control requirements on lease contracts of at least 30 days, where the agreed monthly rent falls within the thresholds imposed by the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council. You may contact or check the official website of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council or your local housing office for more information.
We’ll take appropriate action if anyone notifies us of potential misuse. We have guidelines to help local authorities report housing misuse.
We care about the safety of hosts and their guests. You can improve your guests’ peace of mind by providing a few simple preparations like emergency instructions and noting any potential hazards.
Emergency contact information
Include a contact list with the following phone numbers:
- Local emergency numbers
- The number for the nearest hospital
- Your contact number
- A number for a backup contact (in case guests can’t reach you)
It’s also a good idea to make sure guests know the best way to contact you in case of an emergency. You can also communicate with guests using messages on Airbnb as a safe alternative.
Keep a first aid kit and tell your guests where it is. Check it regularly so you can restock supplies if they run out.
If you have gas appliances, follow any applicable gas safety regulations and make sure you have a working carbon monoxide detector. Provide a fire extinguisher and remember to maintain it regularly.
Ensure you have a clearly marked fire escape route. Post a map of the route so it’s easy for guests to see. Identify any steps to take for power failures including location of a flashlight.
Here are some ways you can help prevent potential hazards:
- Inspect your home to identify any areas where guests might slip, trip or fall
- Remove the hazards you identify or mark them clearly
- Fix any exposed wires and other electrical systems (e.g. circuit breakers)
- Make sure your stairs are safe and have railings
- Remove or lock up any objects that may be dangerous to your guests
Some guests travel with young family members and need to understand if your home is right for them. You can use the Additional notes section of Listing details in your Airbnb account to indicate potential hazards or indicate that your home isn’t suitable for children and infants.
Working appliances, like furnaces and air conditioners, can greatly affect your guests’ comfort during their stay. There are lots of ways you can make sure your guests stay comfortable:
- Make sure your home is properly ventilated
- Provide instructions on how to safely use the heater and air conditioning
- Check that the thermostat is working correctly and make sure that guests know where to find it
- Service the appliances regularly
Establish safe occupancy limits. Your local government may have guidelines.
Part of being a responsible host is helping your guests understand best practices for interacting with your community. When you communicate local rules and customs with your guests, you’re helping to create a great experience for everyone.
If your building has common spaces or shared amenities, let guests know the rules for those places.
You can include your house rules on the Additional notes section of Listing details in your Airbnb account. Guests usually appreciate it when you share your expectations with them upfront.
It’s usually a good idea to let your neighbors know if you’re planning to host. This gives them the chance to let you know if they have any concerns or considerations.
Guests book through Airbnb for lots of reasons, including vacations and celebrations. Let your guests know how noise impacts neighbors early on for a smoother experience. You may want to remind Guests of Airbnb’s Guest Reliability Standards and their obligation to the surrounding community.
If you’re concerned about disturbances to your community, there are different ways you can help limit excessive noise:
- Implement a quiet hours policy
- Don’t allow pets
- Indicate that your listing isn’t suitable for children or infants
- Prohibit parties and additional unregistered guests
Communicate any parking rules for your building and neighborhood to your guests. Examples of possible parking rules:
- Only park in an assigned space
- Don’t park on the west side of the street on Tuesdays and Thursdays due to street cleaning
- Street parking is only available from 7pm-7am
The local government unit in your locality may also have specific regulations or ordinances restricting or allowing street parking. You may contact or check the relevant websites of the local government unit concerned for more information.
Companion animals and pets
First, check your lease or building rules to make sure there isn’t a restriction on pets. If you allow guests to bring pets, they’ll appreciate knowing good places to exercise their pet or where they should dispose of waste. Share a backup plan, like the number of a nearby pet kennel, in case a guest's pet upsets the neighbors.
Always respect your guests' privacy. Our rules on surveillance devices clearly state what we expect from our hosts, but some locations have additional laws and regulations that you’ll need to be aware of. In particular, the Philippine Anti-Photo and Video Voyeurism Act prohibits the unconsented taking of photos or videos of certain activities under circumstances in which the said person has a reasonable expectation of privacy. The National Privacy Commission has likewise issued guidelines on the use of CCTV systems in public and semipublic areas.
If you don't allow smoking, we suggest posting signs to remind guests. If you do allow smoking, be minded that smoking in public places, including accommodation establishments, which are accessible or open to the public, is currently prohibited. Smoking may only be allowed in designated smoking areas which are compliant with Philippine regulations. For more information, you may refer to Executive Order No. 26.
Work with your insurance agent or carrier to determine what kind of obligations, limits, and coverage are required for your specific circumstances, or to what extent any insurance coverage is obligatory.
Host Guarantee and Host Protection Insurance
Airbnb’s Host Guarantee and Airbnb’s Host Protection Insurance provide you with basic coverage for listed damages and liabilities. However, these don’t take the place of homeowners insurance, renters insurance, or adequate liability coverage. You might need to meet other insurance requirements as well.
Liability and basic coverage
Review your homeowners or renters policy with your insurance agent or carrier to make sure your listing has adequate liability coverage and property protection.
Other hosting information
Check out our hosting FAQs to learn more about hosting on Airbnb.
Please note that Airbnb has no control over the conduct of hosts and disclaims all liability. Failure of hosts to satisfy their responsibilities may result in suspension of activity or removal from the Airbnb website. Airbnb isn’t responsible for the reliability or correctness of the information contained in any links to third party sites (including any links to legislation and regulations).
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