Woman Surprised to Find Her Own Condo Listed on Airbnb

No, that headline isn’t from the Onion. Cautionary tales for Airbnb users aren’t hard to find, but some horror stories are even more unbelievable than others.

A woman in Canada was heading out of town for six months and decided to sublet her apartment. It wasn’t until her brother sent her the Airbnb listing that she found that out her tenant had rented it out to over a half dozen people.

According to CBC, “despite long-standing language on tenant sublets, the growing popularity of short-term rentals through Airbnb has been a concern for landlords” around British Columbia.

Surely the short-term rental site went to work to clarify its user agreements or apologize for the insufficient oversight? Nope. As usual, Airbnb took no share of the blame and just reiterated its lame “encouragement” to hosts to follow the law. In a statement to CBC, Airbnb said it “encourages hosts and potential hosts to check with their landlords and condo boards to get permission before renting a home through the service.”

Cities and states around the country should take note and take steps to close the illegal hotel loophole that allows these bad actors to operate with impunity. “Encouragements” not to break the law seldom work.

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