Finding real B&Bs can be difficult. You can be easily confused by AirBnB.com listings, for example. Some of them are real B&Bs, meaning they are legal, licensed, insured and pay taxes like good citizens. But many are part of a new fad called “home sharing.” They operate under the radar of local laws that require protections for you — little things like fire safety, health safety and insurance. They would like you to think they are legitimate, but they are copycats riding the coattails of a legal and regulated bed and breakfast industry built on quality hospitality, superior service, cleanliness, luxurious beds and baths and the best breakfasts in the world.
If you are looking for real B&Bs, you’ll know you’ve found them when you see this or something close to it in their directory listings, their advertisements and on their web pages. This particular statement below is from the website home page of The House on the Hill B&B:
The logo indicates this B&B is a member of the state association, which routinely inspects its members to ensure they meet exceptionally-high standards of safety, cleanliness and professionalism, to name a few. Like Michigan, most states have B&B associations and most of them have an inspection or review process. If you’re looking to book at a Michigan B&B that displays the association’s logo, you know it’s legitimate and law abiding. It signifies a guarantee of satisfaction. Look for a state association’s logo on a B&B’s website wherever you travel.
Finding real B&Bs means finding their state association’s “seal” of approval…
“Real” B&Bs are not always licensed and inspected if they are in rural or unincorporated areas. That’s where the association’s seal of approval comes in handy. But in most cities and towns, B&B’s are required to procure special land-use permits and be regularly inspected by the various departments of health and safety to continue their licensing from year to year. They must show proof of insurance — specialized insurance that applies to the commercial lodging establishments they are. Illegal home shares may call themselves “b&bs,” but they can’t declare themselves legitimate.
Now you know why it’s important to make sure the bed and breakfast inn you are booking clearly states its legitimacy. If it doesn’t, how do you know it’s a “real” B&B? Now that you know their dangers, you won’t want to stay at a fake.