Man uses Airbnb to rent out a house he doesn’t own

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A a professional house-sitter fromSan Francisco offered the house he was sitting up for rent on Airbnb while the couple who hired him were away making around $2 000 for a five-day stay, says The Guardian.

The only reason he was busted doing it, was the people who paid him to stay there knew the couple, and let the cat out of the bag when they phoned to say thanks for the stay. Oops.

I really shouldn’t laugh, I know, but this is great. What a cheek!

Airbnb is basically a hotel service that owns no hotels, and instead lets people list spare bedrooms or even their homes as places for people to stay, for a price. Travellers can search for a bed in their price range, and everything is arranged and paid for online. In other words, Airbnb is like Uber in that it provides a particular service without owning any of the infrastructure typically required to do so.

My initial chuckle aside, it’s actually quite a serious issue as the cheeky move has raised some rather uncomfortable questions about AirBnB’s security mechanisms and vetting processes. The Airbnb website emphasises that the business only really works because of the trust established between owner and guest – IE that the person offering the accommodation has the right to do so.

AirBnB, when asked for comment, sent us this:

“We have zero tolerance for this sort of fraudulent activity, and this host and this listing have been permanently removed from Airbnb. When we receive complaints about fraudulent activity, our team works quickly to review them. We regret that we did not review this more quickly, and we have reached out to these individuals and apologised.”

Clearly, they’re taking this sort of behaviour quite seriously, and hopefully they’re stamping it out as quickly as they can.

Deon du Plessis

Deon du Plessis

Deon got his first taste of PC gaming at the tender age of 11 when his father bought an 8088 XT, ostensibly to "help him with his homework". Instead, it introduced him to Leisure Suit Larry, King Graham, Sonny Bonds and many more, and Deon has been a PC gamer and hardware enthusiast ever since. He landed his first professional writing gig in 2006 at a prestigious local PC magazine, a very happy happenstance as he got to write for a living about things he loves - tech, PCs, gaming, and everything in between. He's been writing about it all ever since, and loves every minute of it.