Criminal Background Screening

Criminal Background Screening has always been one of many standard security measures at Frontdesk-managed rentals. We’ve always taken safety and security very seriously at Frontdesk. Today, we want to dive deeper into what Criminal Background Screening is and why it’s a part of Frontdesk’s 12-point standard.

What is Criminal Background Screening?

A criminal background screening provides a look into a guest’s criminal background looking for charges that aren’t aligned with Frontdesk policy.

Why Does Frontdesk Perform Criminal Background Screenings?

As a short-term rental company, Frontdesk obtains leases in multifamily apartment communities alongside other tenants as neighbors. Frontdesk strives to accommodate the best guests and want our tenant neighbors to feel safe and secure. Additionally, criminal screening decreases the risk of theft, damage, and/or criminal activity.

Who is a Criminal Background Screening Conducted on?

The primary guest on all Frontdesk reservations, regardless of the booking platform, is screened for criminal background.

How is a Criminal Background Screening Performed?


All of our listings on Airbnb require the guest to be ID-verified with a satisfactory background screening. Airbnb’s verification process checks multiple facets of a guest’s identity.

  • A guest’s first and last name and date of birth
  • For United States residents, certain databases of public state and county criminal records are checked, as well as state and national sex offender registries for criminal convictions and sex offender registrations. For a guest who lives outside the United States, to the extent permitted by applicable laws and to the extent available, they may obtain the local version of background or registered sex offender checks.
  • Multiple FCRA-compliant vendors are used to conduct felony conviction checks, national sex offender searches as well as global sanctions reviews including OFAC and terrorist watch lists. These checks cover digitized criminal court records, department of correction records, wanted lists, global watchlist records, and all available state sex offender registries that exist online in the U.S. In addition, they also cover domestic and foreign watch lists and sanction lists, such as domestic and international fugitives, FBI lists (i.e., terrorism, most wanted, white-collar criminals), Interpol, politically exposed persons, U.S. Dept of Treasury lists, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) lists, and many others.

Non-Airbnb Listings (Booking.com, Expedia, HomeAway, Vrbo, Zillow):

Upon making a reservation the guest Frontdesk automatically sends an email requiring the guest to verify their identity and submit their information for a criminal background screen.

  • The link provided takes them to Frondesk’s ID verification tool. We have partnered with Stripe for its secure identity verification technology. Stripe handles billions of transactions with world-class security and identity verification.
  • The guest must verify their identity by taking a photo or uploading a copy of their identification.
  • The guest is asked for their full legal name and date of birth.
  • The information is sent securely to Frontdesk where a member of our OTA team verifies each entry.
    • The name on the ID must match the name of the guest making the reservation.
    • The guest’s name and date of birth must successfully pass our criminal background screen.
  • If any charges appear on the criminal background screen, our Trust & Safety Manager analyzes the results and makes a decision based on Frontdesk’s screening policy. 
    • Frontdesk’s screening policy takes several factors into account, such as the severity of the charge, when the charge was placed, and the type of offense.
  • A guest must successfully pass all levels of Frontdesk’s screening process or their reservation will be canceled.