Alternatives to indoor cameras for Airbnb: Privacy-friendly solutions

See what Airbnb’s policy change on guest privacy means for your STR business with recommendations on noise monitors & other IoT devices.
Minut News
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May 10, 2024
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Alternatives to indoor cameras for Airbnb: Privacy-friendly solutions

Airbnb has made an important change to its policies on cameras and recording devices. While these changes are designed to increase transparency and guest privacy, it means you can no longer have security cameras inside your Airbnb properties.

In this article, we explain the details of this policy change. We also look at why exploring alternatives to indoor cameras for your Airbnbs gives you the chance to enhance the guest experience, improve your measures for party prevention, and automate your internal operations.

You’ll also learn what devices you can implement instead for noise and occupancy monitoring, as well as what other features to look for. Plus, we share three recommendations on doorbell cameras you can integrate with your short-term rental tech stack.

Airbnb banned indoor cameras: What does this mean for your business?

As of April 30th, 2024, as per Airbnb’s latest rules on security devices:

“Hosts are not allowed to have security cameras and recording devices that monitor any part of a listing’s interior, such as the listing’s hallway, bedroom, bathroom, living room, or guest house, even if they’re turned off or disconnected.” Airbnb Help Center

Therefore, if you currently have any such devices within the interior of your Airbnb property, you’ll need to remove them.

Why this is a good thing for your Airbnb guests and homeowners

Any incoming rules and regulations that change how you manage property security are likely to be a source of frustration, and, if you manage properties for third-party homeowners, you’re going to have to communicate these updates while reassuring them their property and contents are safe.

That said, these policy changes also present an opportunity to improve your services and operations in three key areas: Guest experience, property protection, and internal efficiency.

A 2023 survey of over 1,000 Airbnb guests revealed that 42% of renters would be less likely to book a property if it contains indoor cameras and 34% of renters said they would feel less safe in a property with cameras. 

Besides, many jurisdictions have laws governing the use of surveillance cameras in private properties. Installing cameras without disclosing this information to guests puts hosts at risk of legal action that could lead to downtime and a diminished vacation rental brand. 

So, by replacing your indoor cameras and recording devices with a more transparent and privacy-safe alternative, you could be better placed to compete with other short-term rentals and hotels within your local market.

Meanwhile, Airbnb states that:

“Hosts are allowed to have noise decibel monitors in the listing’s interior as long as the Host discloses their presence and are not allowed in bedrooms, bathrooms, or sleeping areas. Hosts are not required to disclose where their noise decibel monitors are located.” Airbnb Help Center

So, if you install a noise monitoring device that includes automation technology and integrates with your property management system (PMS), you can streamline key processes to reduce your workload and have more scalable processes across your business.

What you need in an Airbnb camera alternative

Taking into consideration all of Airbnb’s latest restrictions and guidelines on property security, you should look to replace your indoor Airbnb cameras with a privacy-safe noise monitoring solution that has:

  • Privacy-safe occupancy monitoring to increase visibility across your Airbnb portfolio and to improve your party-prevention measures
  • Triggered messaging so as soon as your monitoring device detects excessive noise, an automated message is sent to your guests to address the issue
  • PMS and smart lock integrations so your automated processes for property access and guest communication are synchronized with your latest booking information
  • Scheduled messaging so you can automate a message flow throughout the guest journey, including for pre-arrival, check-in, and check-out
  • Additional security and home protection features like cigarette smoke monitoring, climate monitoring, window break detection, and home alarm

By implementing a solution with all these features, you can stay aligned with Airbnb’s policies on security and guest privacy while increasing the protection you provide for guests and homeowners.

Airbnb camera alternatives

Here we look at three privacy-safe noise monitoring solutions: MInut, Roomonitor, and Noiseaware. All these solutions comply with Airbnb policies—they don’t record conversations or listen in on guests, but they do tell you when there’s excessive noise at your properties.

In all cases, you’ll need to disclose their use within your Airbnb listings, which you can do by following this process on your desktop:

  1. Click the listing of the property whose information you want to update
  2. Click Listing editor > Your space > Guest Safety
  3. Click Safety devices > Security cameras or audio recording devices present > Noise decibel monitors
  4. Now click Save

For mobile apps, you follow the same process, but first tap your profile, then tap Switch to hosting.

Minut: Airbnb noise, occupancy, and cigarette smoke monitoring

Minut mobile app
The Minut app gives you a real-time view of your entire portfolio and lets you manage decibel thresholds, automated guest messaging, and property access.

Minut provides fully customizable indoor and outdoor noise monitoring and occupancy monitoring—so you can set daytime and quiet-hour noise and occupancy thresholds for each unit.

The party prevention system includes a range of other home protection and guest experience solutions, including:

The devices can be powered by a rechargeable battery (lasting up to 12 months) or connected by cable to a plug socket. You can also fix the device to a wall or ceiling via a magnetic mounting plate, allowing you to replace batteries or the device in just a few seconds—simply swap out the used device with a fully charged one.

Minut’s PMS integrations allow you to streamline key management processes, including guest communication. For example, you can include shortcodes within your automated message templates to auto-fill stay-specific details like guest names, property names, and check-in dates. 

Minut also integrates with smart locks, so you can easily manage the sharing and management of property access codes.

As well as the in-built features of Minut’s standalone device, you can use Call Assist and Guard Assist for a fully scalable security solution that relieves you from the pressure of dealing with guests. 

With Call Assist, a trained operator will call guests when the device picks up on an issue, while with Guard Assist, trained security guards visit the property in person. This saves you and your team from a potentially confrontational situation and ensures continued property care outside of office hours.


Roomonitor dashboard
Noise and occupancy monitoring help you prevent parties without compromising guest privacy.

Roomonitor offers real-time noise detection, occupancy monitoring, climate monitoring, and tobacco smoke detection. You’ll receive a notification letting you know there’s a ‘loud event’ taking place in your property or if smoke has been detected. 

Similar to Minut’s Call and Guard Assist, the Alarm Assistant feature allows Roomonitor’s team to intervene on your behalf via a team of mediation experts. Note that this service is currently available across locations in Spain, Portugal, France, and Belgium.


NoiseAware dashboard.
Automated STR monitoring devices help keep your properties safe and prevent neighbor complaints.

NoiseAware is a noise and occupancy monitor with automated guest messaging when your preset thresholds are exceeded.

As with Minut and Roomonitor, occupancy monitoring works by tracking the number of wireless signals at the property and you can track unit status using the app.

There is talk of a cigarette smoke detection feature, but this currently remains in development for the short-term rental market.

Other IoT devices for your Airbnb home security system

Airbnb’s policy on external security cameras states:

“Hosts are allowed to have exterior security cameras and recording devices as long as they do not monitor areas where users have a greater expectation of privacy, such as the inside of an enclosed outdoor shower or in a sauna.” Airbnb Help Center

Note that you must disclose the locations of these cameras. For example, you can say “I have a doorbell camera monitoring my front door and porch.”

Here are three options you can consider integrating into your smart home.
Ring doorbell security cameras, made by Amazon, detect movement when someone approaches your property, automatically alerting you to the event, and allowing you to monitor and record the activity.

Nest Doorbells, made by Google, offer similar functionality to Ring, can be wired or powered by a rechargeable battery pack, and include a familiar faces feature, which notifies you when it detects people it doesn’t recognize.

Blink smart security cameras connect with the Blink Home Monitor app alert you when motion is detected, stream live video, and allow you to have two-way conversations with visitors.

Prioritize guest safety with privacy-safe monitoring

Updating your property protection measures to comply with Airbnb’s latest policies may sound like extra work, but it gives you the chance to implement processes that better align with the expectations of your guests.

It’s also an opportunity to take advantage of automation, enabling you to be more responsive to cases of excessive noise and occupancy, which will reduce your workload as you prevent parties and disturbances.

For the best guest experience and home security, implement a solution like Minut, which lets you set customized noise and occupancy thresholds for every unit, alerts you to cigarette smoke, includes multiple home safety features, and automates guest communication.