Airbnb Passes the Buck on Rule-breaking Hosts

Click to view NBC4’s investigative story.

After an elderly homeowner found out her tenant was renting her property on Airbnb, resulting in raucous late-night parties and out-of-control guests, the NBC4 I-Team in Los Angeles took a closer look.

What do you know? It turned out he was renting at least eight additional apartment units on Airbnb, in buildings that forbid subletting on short-term rental sites. And he was doing it all under a fake name.

True to form, when the NBC4 I-Team asked an Airbnb spokeswoman if Airbnb “is okay with a host listing units on Airbnb in buildings that don’t allow short-term rentals” Airbnb shifted the blame solely to its hosts.

“We don’t get involved in issues between the tenant and the landlord. This is between the tenant and the landlord,” said Connie Llanos, Airbnb’s flack.

Later, in a statement, Airbnb added, “If these buildings do not allow short-term rentals, we believe it is the landlord’s responsibility to enforce the rules.”

That’s the Airbnb we know. Always ready to shift the blame and deny responsibility.

So, which is it? Does Airbnb not believe that its users are running illegal hotels (as it has asserted previously)? Or does it just not care?