Guests now required to surrender IDs at Airbnbs

Guests now required to surrender IDs at Airbnbs

A file photo of Kenyan ID cards.

Guests of hotels, accommodation and lodging establishments will now be required to surrender their identification documents for recording and withholding during the time of their stay, the government has directed.

The Private Security Regulatory Authority on Monday said this is in response to the alarming increase in reported criminal activity, including cases of murder, within residential apartments, especially those under online booking platforms such as Airbnb.

“At the entry of any premises or property within the jurisdiction and care of a private security service provider, a security guard or a security officer, the private security service provider, security guard or officer shall require a person to identify themselves, register the time of entrance and exit of the person and retain temporarily the identification document of such person,” read a statement from the authority.

Further, the security personnel shall be required to record the identification details of all individuals accessing such premises in a register, documenting the time of entry and exit for each person.

A log of all vehicles, rickshaws, and motorcycles entering and departing from the facilities shall be maintained, while the security personnel shall be required to ensure the CCTV and security cameras are in proper working condition and recording of footage is up-to-date.

“Maintain an updated Access Control Policy; a copy of which should be strategically displayed at the point of entry and exit at the guarded premises; and maintain a security occurrence book to record daily significant incidents and notable events relating to the safety of residents and guests within the premises,” the statement added.

The identification documents surrendered at the point of entry shall be returned to the person at the point of exit and not be used for any other purpose save for identification, the regulator said.

“A private security service provider who violates Section 48 of the Act, uses the identification documents/details surrendered by individuals at the entry of any premises or property for any other purpose save for identification, and/or wilfully fails to comply with this directive, commits an offence and shall in addition to the cancellation of license, be liable on conviction to the penalty prescribed under the aforementioned Act or any other written law whichever is higher,” the regulator said.

The directive comes in the backdrop of Sunday’s incident where the dismembered body of an unidentified woman was discovered at an Airbnb residence in Nairobi’s Roysambu area, just a week after city socialite Starlet Wahu was found murdered at another Airbnb in South B.

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