The Importance of a Sex Offender Background Check in Vacation Rentals

As a property manager or host, you need to make informed decisions about who you’re letting into your property to keep your community safe. Host requirements are changing along with short-term rental regulations and legislation, so Know Your Guest by Superhog now provides the tools to perform an up-to-date Sex Offender Background Check on guests. 

With our risk management platform, you can host safely and prevent a registered sex offender from staying in your holiday rental home. 

In this product article, we’ll explain how our sex offender product works, how to set it up and how it can help property managers and hosts accept bookings confidently. 

The ever-tightening legal requirements for vacation rentals 

While sex offender checks may not be legally mandated in all areas, many responsible property managers voluntarily adopt these checks as part of their due diligence to ensure the safety and security of their guests and the surrounding community. 

In a world where short-term rentals are being put under more scrutiny, it is important for property managers to keep abreast of any legal developments, or changes in their jurisdiction, that may impact guest screening requirements or obligations.

We recommend consulting with local authorities or signing up with short-term rental associations to ensure compliance with applicable laws and regulations and adopting best practices in screening guests for vacation rental properties.

Short-term rental regulation discussions are currently at the forefront of industry news and changes to come. Formulating a compliance strategy will ensure the safe and successful operation of your short-term rental business. 

Why should property managers consider implementing sex offender checks into their screening journey? 

With the continued rise of the use of short-term rentals, tighter restrictions and regulations will continue to come into play regarding the safety of communities.

Take Arizona. As of February 2023, it is against the law for you, as a property manager or host, to continue with a booking if the lead guest is a suspected match on the sex offender register

It is also illegal for anyone to book a property for a registered sex offender, even if they are part of a group booking. In this case, it will be the lead guest making the booking who is breaking the law.

We predict guest screening and sex offender checks will no longer be a ‘nice to have’ feature but a requirement by law across the industry and condition of use for short-term rental operators. 

But, besides tighter regulations, there are some other compelling reasons to consider implementing sex offender checks for your guests. This includes: 

  1. Property Protection: Screening guests for potential sex offences will help protect your property. It minimises the chances of any illicit activities or incidents occurring within your vacation rental, which can prevent damage, theft, or other undesirable situations.
  1. Reputation Management: Prioritising guest safety through sex offender checks enhances your reputation as a responsible property manager/host. It shows that you are proactive in ensuring a secure environment for your guests and can even attract more bookings from safety-conscious travellers.
  1. Community Relations: By taking measures to screen guests for sex offences, you contribute to the well-being of the local community. This can foster positive relationships with neighbours, local authorities, and regulatory bodies and demonstrate your commitment to being a responsible member of the community.

While sex offender screenings are not legally mandated everywhere, there are definitely pros to incorporating them as part of your guest screening process. 

Sex Offender Checks CTA

Let’s talk about Know Your Guest’s Sex Offender Background Check feature 

Why did we add the sex offender check functionality to our feature offering? 

At Superhog, we aim to provide property managers with all the tools they need to efficiently manage their business while keeping their properties safe. We listen to our clients and adapt our risk management platform to their needs.

We got the idea of building a sex offender functionality into our Know Your Guest product from one of our client’s requests.

As a professional property manager using Know Your Guest and operating in Arizona, I don’t want to be affected by the new ordinance when it comes into play. I want to be able to screen my guests and know they’ve been through a sex offender check without any manual input from my side. If Superhog can provide a sex offender screening tool as well, it will really streamline and automate our operations for an easier experience for both us and our guests too.”

With many properties and lots of bookings coming in, they needed a solution for checking every booking that wasn’t manual. 

We welcomed the feedback and implemented the request so that this new local law would not affect our property managers and hosts businesses operations going forward. 

How they work and what they entail

Now let’s go through our sex offender checks, how they work with our Know Your Guest products, and how you can set them up to bypass unwanted guests. 

Our sex offender check works in tandem with our guest screening product.

From the details they filled in, we will take the following: 

  • First name
  • Last name
  • Date of birth.

The above details will then automatically be submitted to our sex offender API software, which will then run hundreds of checks on the person’s identity against public records or available databases, as outlined below:

For those who live in the US:

We check specific databases of public state and county criminal records, as well as state and national sex offender registries.

What happens when a guest fails the Sex Offender Background Check?

If the guest fails this check and is flagged as a suspected match, Know Your Guest will perform a manual review, whereby we will closely examine all the information provided before we can confidently say the guest is on the sex offender register. At this point, further information may be required by the guest if ID verification has not been previously provided.

This will be on a case-by-case basis and performed according to the latest GDPR standards by a Know Your Guest expert trained to handle sensitive and confidential data. The details of the manual review and further checks will not be shared with you. 

If we determine that this guest is a suspected match and is on the sex offender register, we will flag the user and the status next to your guest’s booking details in your dashboard will appear as rejected. 

Am I required to cancel a booking if the guest fails the Sex Offender Background Check?


Please note we will only perform our Sex Offender Background Checks on the lead guest on the booking. We do not run checks against other guests if it is a group booking, as the law does not require this. 

However, it is illegal for anyone to book a property for a registered sex offender (or even for them to be part of a booking group in some States). 

Host requirements and short-term rental regulations are changing. Please ensure you are staying up to date with your local laws at all times. 

How to add Know Your Guest’s Sex Offender feature

We hope you are as excited about our latest product update as we are. At Know Your Guest, we see our Sex Offender Background Checks as a huge step towards building a trusted, safe and secure community. 


The Know Your Guest Sex Offender Background Check is $0.50 per booking. 

Getting started

If you are already a Know Your Guest customer, please reach out to your account management team and they’ll happily get you set up with the add-on product.

If you currently do not use Know Your Guest and you’d like to know more about our Sex Offender Background Checks, please book a demo with one of our experts. Our team will be happy to walk you through the tool and how this will benefit your vacation rental business.

Professionalise your business. Stay up to date with regulations. Screen your guests. Perform a comprehensive check against sex offender registries today.

Speak to us today!

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