That being said, I guarantee you were violating your lease when you used AirBnb. And, you approved the person to stay in your house. If anyone should be mad, it's your neighbors and apartment owner -- they followed the rules. This is really unfortunate, but it's not all AirBnb's fault.
(a) This could never happen a hotel room.
(b) Since Airbnb is illegal in NYC, it's not Airbnb's fault someone is trusting them and their vetting system in NYC.*
Both seems false to me.
* Obviously it's not their "fault", but they should take responsibility, just like an insurance company / hotel chain would.
ADDITION: What's the purpose of Airbnb's vetting/trust system? Is it not the same as the purpose of hotel regulation? Should they not both serve a similar function?
And I didn't say (b). Rather, I said AirBnb didn't force them to let strangers into their home; it was their decision. AirBnb approved the people, sure -- but so did the apartment owner.
EDIT: In response to your addition -- AirBnb doesn't verify they won't do something bad (they can't see the future). Rather, it means that AirBnb has verified they are who they said they are. So, AirBnb can now go to the police with that information.
It is true it was their decision, but they did it under a false impression. Who facilitated this impression? Who ultimately allows Airbnb to stay in NYC? Airbnb.
I agree Airbnb can go to the police, but in the meantime it doesn't seem unreasonable that they help the person out, just like it doesn't seem unreasonable that a hotel chain is helping out a local hotel when a prostitution ring is uncovered.
That is a very common knee-jerk response which appears any time new and disruptive industry challenges one with entrenched regulation that had already captured the law and the regulatory agencies. Every time something wrong happens - and eventually something wrong always happens, nothing is perfect - we get a knee-jerk "that's why we need all that regulation". Never it is examined if the said regulation would actually prevent the said bad from happening (usually not) and whether the costs of this regulation is worse overall than the bad thing happening. This is so basic logic fallacy that it just boggles the mind how so many people insist so much on not seeing it.
What the OP reported was that a business fronted its way into a residential building (using AirBnB) to hold a commercial event in an un-sanctioned venue.
This is exactly why places like NYC have regulations of various types, of which a multitude are applicable.
It is incredibly inefficient economically to have consumers "due dilligence" every potentially manipulative market exchange with a limited liability c-corp. So, we can either ban limited liability c-corps outright (forcing liability onto biz owners) or we can allow them within a regulatory framework that forces "structured" liability onto them.
The idea that this is some kind of logical fallacy is hillarious. It is quite sound, and is in general acceptable trade-off. It allows capital concentration/formation which is required for MES projects, whist not allowing abuse of power driven by such scale variance.
Hotels are staffed and better prepared to deal with such situations.
Also if a hotel room gets trashed, that's just a business expense. Most people don't have their bed bolted to the wall, and tend to have nicer furnishings and appliances, etc, than you'll find in a hotel. Ignore the value even: we're talking someone's property, someone's life. If a room, a floor, or even the entire hotel gets shut down due to destruction, it's inconvenient and an expense. If I get evicted, that's a crisis, at least for a time.
The "OMG! DISRUPTING!" crowd seem to hand-wave these situations away, as if destroying "evil" business models is far more important than the impact it has on individuals. If someone's life is ruined 1 out 1000 AirBnB rentals, that's too often.
shouldn't you as an apartment owner think about that before signing up to airBnB?
Either it happens often enough that AirBnB needs to be regulated or it's rare enough to chalk up to unpredictable freak events, in which case they ought to bend over backwards to spend the little bit of money to make people whole again.
No they're not. Hotel regulations are actual regulations, enforced by the state. Airbnb's "vetting" system is just a marketing device, enforced by no one, and that you trust at your own expense, as these stories show.
And, as far as I know, the regulatory agencies do not have actual legal obligation to consistently enforce their regulations - they have a very wide discretion, so if they want to ignore you, you don't have a lot of recourse. In fact, lately we have a lot of instances of executive powers modifying and plainly abandoning enforcing the laws they don't like. You don't have a lot of options in such case.
Perhaps with rules? Of the type one might describe as "regulations"?
At what point does it morph into a corrupt regulation?
Seriously, you're excluding the possibility of any legitimate government taking action in the public interest.
will mitigate the issue that this particular host encountered.
any condominium, townhouse, co-operative, apartment, or other unit within a multiple-dwelling structure, complex, or similar type development to the extent owned in whole or in part by anyone other than you
Since he mentioned a landlord, I'm doubtful that he owned his apartment.
You make it sound like OP was running a crime syndicate there. He just let people stay in his place for a couple of nights. People do it all the time. I did it many times for my friends and was the beneficiary of the same many times. One time he trusted wrong people's recommendation and it didn't work out. It could as well happen to anybody - you could trust your best friend's friend and let him stay at your place and he could invite his pals and turn the place upside down. Nothing to do with fire codes.
I don't want it happening next door to my apartment, with strangers inside my building
The problem is what "verified" means.
It seems it only means that AirBnB only checked that the person is who they are and they have some credit card on file.
The problem is the way it appears conveys more trust than it should because verified appears in way that says "secure". I agree it's not what it says, but still, that's how it "appears". It sounds as if there's some sort of insurance.
Speaking of insurance, does AirBnB offer insurance (for a price or not) to its customers? Does the lack of regulations and the gray area prevent this?
Let's not forget in the end the victim is the OP. He's probably been careless, but he remains a victim.
How can you guarantee that? Plenty of places let you sublet. Hell, in reasonable jurisdictions you can't legally prevent someone from subletting.
So all and all the grandparent's guarantee is pretty solid. This guy isn't a victim, he's one of the co-conspirators, as are AirBnb. His landlord and neighbors are the victims.
N.Y. RPP. LAW § 226-b : NY Code - Section 226-B: Right to sublease or assign
- See more at: http://codes.lp.findlaw.com/nycode/RPP/7/226-b#sthash.y9ORKJ...
2. (a) A tenant renting a residence pursuant to an existing lease in a dwelling having four or more residential units shall have the right to sublease his premises subject to the written consent of the landlord in advance of the subletting. Such consent shall not be unreasonably withheld.
(b) The tenant shall inform the landlord of his intent to sublease by mailing a notice of such intent by certified mail, return receipt requested. Such request shall be accompanied by the following information: (i) the term of the sublease, (ii) the name of the proposed sublessee, (iii) the business and permanent home address of the proposed sublessee, (iv) the tenant's reason for subletting, (v) the tenant's address for the term of the sublease, (vi) the written consent of any cotenant or guarantor of the lease, and (vii) a copy of the proposed sublease, to which a copy of the tenant's lease shall be attached if available, acknowledged by the tenant and proposed subtenant as being a true copy of such sublease. ...
(c) Within ten days after the mailing of such request, the landlord ...
5. Any sublet or assignment which does not comply with the provisions of this section shall constitute a substantial breach of lease or tenancy.
6. Any provision of a lease or rental agreement purporting to waive a provision of this section is null and void.
Even if there's nothing about subletting (which I doubt), you can't do illegal stuff without violating a lease.
This is speculation and not true. Not to mention that the criminal code and the civil code are distinct bodies of law. In general, it would be more likely to be evicted for a "quality of life" violation (such as that citation) than for any ramdom infraction of the criminal code. Furthermore, to the extent relevant, a landlord usually reserves "the right, but not the oblication" to take action or not. And crap like this is more likely to warrant eviction than a mere legal infraction (which need not even be disclosed).
Not only does this demonstrate lack of integrity in the direct relationship, it creates problems with thrid-party contracts and service providers. Ie, insurance claims etc. So, yeah I would be making you sign an open ended imdeniication for any breech such as this. And you're lawyers wouldn't like that.
Also, there is repuataional damage to my brand. Again, if you did this in breech of my contract, I would put you on the hook for this via the terms of the contract.
Of course, we might never sign a deal If I was this well protected and your intentions were not above board.
Update: I am not entirely correct. It is only illegal if you are not present in the apartment at the time, so people renting out rooms in a multi-room apartment can do so legally, although they are likely still in violation of their lease.
Even then, I kind of suspect "a person I've never even met in person, have no personal access to his id, have not vetted his references, and I don't even know what he looks like for sure" probably gives a landlord plenty of reasonable grounds to object.
Basically, you can't just sublet. You still have to inform the landlord. And in the case of informing him that you are operating through Airbnb, illegal in NYC, an objection would be reasonable.
AirBNB is not legally compatible with New York City's housing/hotel laws. It very easily could be fine elsewhere, just not NYC.
- "AirBNB is great! Will revolutionize the world! Stupid hotels just take your money for no reason! Regulations are only there because governments hate you and want to oppress you! By next week, 7 billion people will be using AirBNB to rent their homes to each other! And it's totally safe, because AirBNB stands behind each and every transaction!"
-- "Stupid poster, she should know that AirBNB is absolutely unsafe. She bore 100% of the risk and of course she should never have used this service. She was violating her lease and deserves everything that happened to her. Shooting is too good for her; hanging is too good for her. None of this is AirBNB's fault; they had literally nothing to do with the transaction and it's impossible to understand why the poster would ever have thought they did."
How does the lease terms even matter in this incident? It's not like David vandalized her apartment because he figured the host is violating lease terms and he deserve this? Do you really think that David would have cancelled his XXX fest if the host's lease terms allowed subletting? This would have happened to him even if he was 100% compliant with lease terms and local law.
AirBNB should take responsibility for it and do the right thing. AirBNB should caution their hosts and customers about risks like these instead of lying them about 100% guarantee.
Moreover, it should be AirBNB's responsibility to ensure that every single listing and transaction is 100% compliant with the local laws. Ebay doesn't let me sell drugs or other illegal items. AirBNB should do business
The other part of "blame the victim" is "the victim did X, and bad thing happened. I would never do X, therefore bad thing would never happen to me". Of course, nobody thinks it explicitly, but it's how the mind works - bad thing happens, the mind automatically thinks "omg, this is terrible, it could happen to me, I should worry" and then another part of the mind thinks "no, the bad thing happened because lease said don't do it, and she did it, so if I never do what lease says to not do, it won't happen to me, so I should not worry". And the mind is happy again.
>>> Ebay doesn't let me sell drugs or other illegal items.
Drugs yes, but you probably can sell tons of illegal (in some places) items on Ebay. Ebay has no possibility of tracking the local law in every locality, and a lot of things can be made illegal. For example, selling medals and order signs are illegal in many countries, still ebay has a lot of them for sale.
You rented out your apartment to a stranger on the internet based upon what other strangers on the internet said about them. You almost certainly broke the terms of the lease in the process and probably deserved to be kicked out even if you hadn't had an "XXX freak fest" thrown.
Sure, AirBnB should try and figure out the damages, charge the accounts credit card(guarantee that won't work) and the pursue damages(good luck).
This is why people have renter's insurance(doubt you thought of it as you were probably trying to do this illegally anyway).
This is also why this industry is regulated, because when it's not humans get pwnt by their own stupidity combined with the malice of other humans.
At the end of the day for a lot of people AirBnB is a way to make easy money under the table, that's why there's little to no regulation; yeah that regulation comes with taxes/overhead, but it also comes with protection from the hazards of the business. It's pretty fucked logic to take such a huge risk with your property, give it zero protection, and then be not only surprised, but furious(with the site connecting you to the offender not the offender themself), when shit goes down. How dense can you be.
TL;DR- AirBnB pays for these situations anyway, this drama post is made by someone who took a huge risk in renting an apt without insurance, without a face-to-face, and probably not in accordance with his/her lease. The post will probably result in a faster payout, but the entitlement is slightly annoying considering the circumstances.
On the one hand, this is not AirBnB's "fault", the guy should have known that if you rent your apartment out to strangers there's risk involved, and additional risks if you are violating your lease and/or state law by doing so.
On the other hand, AirBnB's business model depends on people not really recognizing these risks.
Honestly, I think in the revision process I moved a sentence fragment astray.
On the other hand it is these vast parades of dense people who keep voting for less regulation as a whole. So I can appreciate the need to come down hard on them. But this guy doesn't seem like the guy honestly.
AirBNB is a business model used by millions, they take a huge or even really huge cut just for being the middle man. You expect a tiered amount of "XXX Freak Fests" rolling through your apartment.
Although, if this happened to someone and I heard about it by word of mouth,(or even through a less entitled post)I would immediately be sympathetic.
That said, the entire post is one long diatribe directed AT AirBnB as if it's their fault for not hand-combing literally every renter's reviews for validity.
He gambled and got burned, he's guaranteed up to a million USD so as far as I'm concerned, eat your loses and move on; don't blame the company that was both making you under the table money AND is about to pay you 90k in damages.
Maybe everyone in this story is doing something wrong except the door guy.
What I meant by under the table wasn't "without taxes", but rather "without your landlords consent/against the terms of your lease".
Sorry about that, the understood meaning of under the table is definitely "without paying taxes", so 100% my fault.
AirBnB does pay federal and local taxes, when the state gets on them to do so :).
There isn't any regulation that can fix people being jackasses. This isn't AirBNB's fault, and it isn't the OP's fault. It's the jackass who held the party fault. Could the OP have done things differently? Sure. It's likely the sublet wasn't entirely legal, and it's likely he could have renter's insurance. That being said, his insurance still probably shouldn't have to pay it. That is what AirBNB's cut should be covering. And I'm sure they will in fact cover it, as this is really bad publicity for them. The only reason for this post is to make that money get there faster.
2) when things go wrong, hotels have staff on hand to deal with the situation.
3) hotels have insurance for when things go badly wrong.
All of these things cost money, which is partly why hotels are more expensive than AirBnB. The author assumed a lot of risk when subletting through AirBnB and is now complaining when the risk went wrong. I have very little sympathy for him / her.
The people I do have sympathy for are fellow residents of the apartment block, who had a reasonable expectation that their building wouldn't be turned into the site of a free for all sex party. They didnt get any say in this, and didn't receive any compensation. That is unfair.
The reason this vertical hasn't been disrupted in this manner is the inherent liability of dealing with humans.
An institution like a hotel chain can both:
-React to a situation like this immediately instead of letting it play out.
-Take the losses in the event that damage occurs and the guests credentials were fake.
To an individual renting out less than 5 properties a loss like this is crippling.
Also agree that the real victims here are the fellow tenants +landlord, they won't be seeing any of that 90k+ or their shitty past tenant.
Yes, and the reason they can buy insurance (or risk self-insuring) is that they have processes designed to limit the frequency and severity of these incidents.
I'm curious how much AirBnb pays for insurance. How much would you charge for an insurance policy if someone said they were going to let random strangers stay in their apartment, based on a few semi-anonymous comments on the internet?
Regulations which say that hotels should be hotels and apartments should not be hotels are as much about containing the effects of bad actors as anything else.
This is why there isn't a hotel right in the middle of my single family block in a relatively dense neighborhood in SF. If someone wants to open up a hotel, they have to go through the process of obtaining the proper licenses and permits. Then don't get to just create an account on a website and hit the "create hotel" button.
It kind of sounds like this person never even bothered to meet the people who were renting his apartment (I was always shocked when someone rented me their apartment without meeting me, personally).
Nothing airbnb can ever do will guarantee something like this won't happen to you. That's why you have to also do whatever you can to protect yourself. If you wouldn't be comfortable with the precautions you took had you found the renter on craigslist, you shouldn't be doing it.
Of course, airbnb will probably pull out from their own insurance on this for this person because the likely result of not doing so enough times for them is that more places make it clearer that it's largely illegal to do it and start enforcing more zealously.
The point is simply that if you abdicate all effort to ensure your house is kept well to a corporation that barely knows either of you are people, you're more likely to get this stuff happening. No one makes anyone be an airbnb host.
And if you met a potential guest and thought they might be planning to host an orgy in your house as soon as you left, I'm gonna say you might want to risk getting kicked off airbnb rather than risk having your house trashed. That's just me, though.
Color me cynical, but I don't have a lot of sympathy for the blogger. If you have a landlord (i.e. you don't personally own the building), and you aren't there to personally meet and be around the guests, then you are knowingly taking on the risk that the guests will be sketchy and that you will be evicted, even if you are allowed subleses (not to mention that you almost always aren't).
Not quite. AirBnb specifically excludes things you don't own. So, while they would be responsible for the original poster's stuff, any damage done to the apartment itself, paint, floors, appliances, walls, hallways, doors, bathroom, fixtures, any furnishings that were already in the apt, etc would not appear to be covered.
> PLEASE CAREFULLY REVIEW THE DEFINITIONS OF “COVERED ACCOMMODATION,” “COVERED LOSSES,” “EXCLUDED ACCOMMODATION,” AND “EXCLUDED PROPERTY” BELOW. THESE DEFINITIONS ARE ESPECIALLY SIGNIFICANT IF YOUR ACCOMMODATION IS A CONDOMINIUM, TOWNHOUSE, CO-OPERATIVE, APARTMENT, OR ANY OTHER UNIT IN A MULTIPLE-DWELLING STRUCTURE, COMPLEX, AND/OR DEVELOPMENT. TO THE EXTENT THIS HOST GUARANTEE COVERS REAL PROPERTY, IT COVERS ONLY REAL PROPERTY THAT YOU OWN.
I wonder how many would still continue listing if they knew that AirBnbs insurance doesn't actually cover them.
The page continually uses the term "hosts", and emphasizes that you are covered up to $1,000,000 so should relax. It does also say that the guarantee is not insurance or a replacement for "homeowners or renters insurance". But to me that phrasing strongly implies that the AirBnB Host Guarantee covers both the kinds of hosts who might also have homeowners insurance, and the kinds of hosts who might also have renters insurance— just that it is not to be properly considered insurance in either case. Wording the page this way, and then excluding paying for damages to rented property in the legalese leads to results not in keeping with the expectation I got from this summary.
I think it's pretty hard to use AirBnB without breaking some kind of law, unfortunately.
Of course never mind that some of the people doing this in bigger cities like SF are already illegally subletted themselves to someone who's probably paying a rent controlled price.
To illustrate, in 2004, early days of e-commerce in India, someone put up a certain CD to be sold on e-Bay. The police just arrested the CEO of eBay India. When something goes wrong police here arrests biggest possible names either to show its working or extract maximum corruption money. Any wonder why Indian startups cannot go beyond providing services to foreign businesses for cheap? To be fair, many startups are innovating in India, but the point is the kind of challenges they have to deal with are just unknown to the more developed world.
eBay news link from 2004:
-- You sent an “XXX Freak Fest” into my home
By which joshmn means "I invited an XXX Freak Fest into my home in exchange for money."
-- As such, I’m going to be evicted.
Its subtle enough that you miss it the first time you read it until later when you get to 'my landlord is certainly going to make me move after an “XXX Freak Fest”'. Yup, joshmn has in fact not been evicted.
So, lets summarize. You went on a website, found a stranger, accepted money in exchange for your keys. Then they messed with your furniture. Now you want $87k. Oh, and you have trouble looking at people in the eyes.
I am checking with my attorney to see if there is any legal recourse I can take to recover the last five minutes of my life.
> "You went on a website, found a stranger, accepted money in exchange for your keys. Then they messed with your furniture. Now you want $87k."
Try re-reading that phrase in the context of a standard long-term apartment lease. What's strange or stupid about that?
A standard long-term apartment lease situation is considerably different.
I'm most interested in the final paragraph.
All because I trusted AirBNB that this individual was a “Verified” member with multiple positive reviews...
AirBnB has pioneered some of the workflow for establishing and communicating social proof. P2P requires trusted reputation.
If the story is as described, it appears AirBnB failed to provide a trustful counter-party. And it went very wrong as a result.
Sure, but hotels are regulated and licensed and zoned so they keep those bad situations away from residential areas.
> AirBnB has pioneered some of the workflow for establishing and communicating and social proof.
It's really an open question of whether "reputation economies" are workable at all. I continue to be disappointed by user ratings on services like Yelp. I wouldn't trust anything more substantive than a new restaurant pick to such ratings.
The only way to have sure reviews is to have some kind of receipt verification or pass the payment through the service so that you know for sure this person is paying for this service which AirBnB does. So there is a big difference from AirBnB reviews and reviews on Yelp and other sites that let you post without real proof.
Is it any better that hotel guests might have to stay near this sort of behavior?
A year ago it was a woman, under almost the same circumstances that had her apartment vandalized. You all rallied behind her.
Now since it seems its a man and and ranted online under pretty much the same circumstances, but different type of people, you say its not airBnBs fault?
that's truly disappointing.
Two, how the AirBNB user the blogger rented to is "Verified" with multiple positive reviews needs to be investigated. Whatever weakness they are exploiting in the AirBNB review system needs to be eliminated.
Lastly, I am sorry this happened... but the reality is...
this is the reason you shouldn't be using AirBNB. This could have turned out much worse to be perfectly frank.
Who has ideas on how to handle customer service and public perception in an industry where the downside of a single bad event is the mix of horrific, intimate, and very newsworthy?
Even if the rate of AirBNB disasters was only 1 disaster for every 1 million successful rentals, you'd still get very sticky disaster stories coming out regularly. Similar to how the evening news covers all the murders and trauma in the world, potentially inflating our perception of how often it happens..
Any general thoughts on what's required to thrive if you're in an industry where things will go wrong even if you do best practices conservatively everywhere, and the "going wrong" scenario is both quite bad and quite public?
AirBnB's core market is people renting out their homes when they aren't there. This problem is inherent to providing unsupervised hospitality. If no one is there to verify customers beyond meaningless internet reputations, no one is there to prevent your possessions from being destroyed. Fixing this problem quickly turns you into a business with employees, running a hotel.
Regulations are about more than just taxes.
Is there a kind of insurance that AirBnB sets up or is it completely on the renter's dime?
... you will not:
...offer, as a Host, any Accommodations that
you do not yourself own or have permission to
rent as a residential or other property...
Edited to add: I would change "don't care" to "have consciously decided that limiting their business to places where it is legal, while feasible, would limit their profits and their relevancy in ways they do not want to do."
Case 1) is essentially making vacation home exchange totally fungible. By definition (at least for most people), a vacation is infrequent and has significant cost, in part due to paying for 2 dwellings concurrently (the vacant home, and the vacation accommodation). AirBnB solves this by having a large market of people who may want to pay you for your empty home.
Examples of case 2) would be huge conventions and university graduations. These are cases where it would be inefficient to build hotels to satisfy peak demand, and sometimes it becomes impossible to find (conventional) lodging at any price. AirBnB solves this by providing elasticity in the form of non-conventional lodging only available during the peak.
In both cases, the difference with the current situation is that these cases are limited in time. I think AirBnB would be a good thing if it limited the rental of any property to a maximum of 1 month per year, with a limit of 4 guests per year. That would eliminate people running residential businesses, which is my main objection (and probably the company's whole profit and growth strategy). In other words, AirBnB would be a great but small niche player.
If I were in or interested in city government, here's what I would do: pass a city ordinance that A) limits residential short-term leasing (<30 days) to a maximum of 4 events with a maximum of 28 cumulative days (allows for vacations and special events, as detailed in my post above); and B) requires any company offering or brokering or representing such properties (such as AirBnB, VRBO, etc.) to enforce A) and report actual usage to the city for tax purposes.
To me, this is a sensible compromise to regulate the residential homestays enabled by the AirBnB model, to get the benefits of this model and limit the impacts on neighbors and the rental/real estate market. It will also eliminate the unfair "first-mover" advantage that AirBnB encourages (if you are the first in your neighborhood to buy or develop a one- multi-unit mini-hotal, you can fly under the radar and make a small fortune, essentially get a free property). Depending on the local conditions, the city could consider a vacation rental license that allows year-round short term rental--in which case the property can be listed on websites as long as it is described as such and the license must be listed in the ad. Occupancy and taxes must be reported to the city/local government as in the first case.
tldr; Yes, there is insurance.
If you want to read the legalese, this page seems to work from anywhere: https://www.airbnb.com/terms/host_guarantee
Hack AirBnB accounts, until you find a nice renter who has a place with (presumably) nice stuff who will hand off keys to you without physically meeting, then clear it out, or destroy it like this, or something else. I'd be assuming that would happen 1:1000 rentals, but maybe that's paranoia.
Still, while I feel sorry for the renter here, I feel even worse for his landlord and neighbors, who should sue him, and get part of that $1mm.
With that said, this tidbit from your listing is a brilliant indicator of how you inevitably brought this issue onto yourself:
"You may host up to 50 people in the backyard or apartment, but please leave $80USD so I can pay a cleaning lady to clean the extra mess."
Did they pay the extra $80USD? You invited them to bring 50 people over, I am sorry for what happened, but I don't feel sorry for you...
The poster willfully assumed additional risk on top of the standard AirBNB risk, and it's that additional risk that bit him.
Telling someone you've never met that they can bring 50 people(!?!) into your apartment, and just assuming that things won't get out of hand, is... naive.
Do they not have locksmiths in NYC?
It isn't worth the cost. Even if AirBnB pays the (no doubt depreciated) cost of the damage; I don't want my prized possessions trashed. (or worse).
Thank god there wasn't a fire!
I assume that your lease prohibits subleases without the consent of your landlord.
Just like walking a tightrope across two building in NYC is illegal without sufficient permits and people to ensure it's done safely and responsibly.
Your landlord might not evict you if you explain the situation and ensure them that there is no way this will happen again, you've learned your lesson.
If that doesn't work, sue the people who stayed in your place. If that doesn't work, sue AirBNB. They might both claim that acting as a hotel in NYC was illegal and you're screwed for taking that risk, if so, you've learned an expensive lesson.
What kind of contract does AirBNB make people renting sign? I would hope that it explicitly prohibits large gatherings, destroying personal property, and disturbing neighbors, if it doesn't, then it should.
Has AirBNB attempted to pass any laws in NYC (and other cities) that provide some type of protection for people renting out their places for a limited period of time? Would it really be that difficult to allow inspections of private residences? There could also be something that requires the home be used by the owner for X months out of the year or that there is a maximum of X separate renters during a year (which might be hard to enforce / prove).
Is there a minimum amount of time someone has to rent a residence before it can be considered a sublease? Maybe you should only do that until laws protecting you are passed.
So what happens next will be interesting.
Presumably AirBnB's insurance will make the renter whole again.
Also presumably their ability to identify the person responsible will allow them to press charges against them, I suspect there are codes against charging cover charges for a sex party (I vaguely remember the controversy over the sex club in LA about this, something about indirect solicitation but that was like in the 70's so I'd really have to go back and dig it up.)
It seems like the 'TWINN' character was reasonably well connected in this community and perhaps if a great big hassle comes his way it will discourage others from that community in using AirBnB that way.
Definitely a wild story though.
That seems similar to blaming Google Search, not the site itself, for returning a site that has ranked well for a long time, but has just now started serving malware.
'Verified' should eventually mean verified, with no qualifiers. If it can't be guaranteed then it's better to say so.
edit: I see from jamesroseman's comment below that 'verified' only means that their ID is verified, not the reason they require the accommodation. (https://www.airbnb.com/help/question/450) If that's clear from the UI (and not just buried in a FAQ), it invalidates my point.
It doesn't verify against people lying about their intentions.
The author here will probably pursue legal recourse against that individual as well. It's a two-part problem: 1.) The leaser may have violated the lease as laid out by the author by effectively ruining the home. 2.) AirBNB reported a leaser as 'verified', which is important because of the implication that the leaser won't do certain things like ruin your home during their stay.
Unfortunately per 2, this isn't actually what AirBNB claims to mean by "verified" . It's unfortunate because of what happened, but you are indeed correct -- technically speaking AirBNB is not responsible here. It sucks, and it certainly means I won't be using AirBNB, but they've done their job of protecting themselves.
It just seems like blaming AirBnB here is akin to blaming Google Search because you found the renter there, or Craigslist, or...
I would've gone with "...while a group of strangers have their piles tossed". It's cleaner(?).
All joking aside, this is why I refuse to participate in AirBnB. It's just not worth the non-negligible risk of very bad things happening. It's a great idea, yeah, and they've done super well, and a lot of people are exceedingly happy with it all. However, I'm not one of them, and I don't think these risks can be removed--having a stranger (or heck, even a friend!) stay in your house while you are not there is inherently risky no matter what regulations are in place.
87k of damages ... doesn't that seem a lot?
There are furniture boutiques in Manhattan where you could easily spend $87,000 outfitting your apartment, but then if you were spending that kind of money, why on earth would you put your place on Airbnb?
If they had decent furniture that could add up quickly as well, but $80k does seem like a lot unless they are including 'emotional' damages which at that point is hard to quantify.
People who lend out their personal property are constantly lending it to people who are rude, lying, and destroy it -- often causing them great harm and psychological damages.
I'm not sure what part of this is AirBnB's problem. It's like blaming GMail for letting you meet that nice kid online who borrowed your car and then totaled it. Huh?
Now if the author had made some extended argument that AirBnB was somehow guaranteeing his property's safety? Might make a little more sense. But AirBnB isn't an insurance company, or a private security service. The most I'd expect from them would be 1) solid identification on who the person is looking for the room, and 2) dependable (non-fake) reviews from previous experiences.
You have to remember that even people who are great borrowers-of-things will, on occasion, really screw the pooch. You can go for ten years being the pillar of the community and then lose it all on a month-long drug binge. It happens. So I don't think you're ever going to get rid of the occasional bad experience. It would be interesting to see if something evolves in this area, perhaps an insurance policy or city-wide micro-term security service.
He might not have as much luck getting them to pay his relocation costs, since I'm sure that renting out his apartment was against his lease anyway.
The real problem for this guy is going to be finding another landlord in Manhattan who will rent to him, unless he is extremely wealthy, of course.
> You’re going to pay my moving expenses, because my landlord is certainly going to make me move after an “XXX Freak Fest” (and I can’t look these guys in the eye after this either).
In New York, it is illegal for you to rent out your apartment while you are gone. Besides that detail, how can the OP's landlord evict him, unless there was something in the lease saying such renting was not allowed? Can the OP post the relevant portion of his leasing agreement?
Pretty sure that's the reason. Also NY state has laws requiring a minimum stay in a property that isn't zoned as a hotel.
In any case, if you break the law relating to your rental it's fairly easy for a landlord to terminate the lease.
Secondly, admittedly Booking.com and so on don't "verify" a customer beyond email and credit card, but it's hard to imagine a hotel piping up like this for being referred a dodgy customer.
Anyway, people seem to be much more trustworthy, which is why airbnb is still going strong. Until more legislations make it illegal to rent out apartments as quasi-hotels...
latest is this: http://www.thenewyorkworld.com/2013/10/24/airbnb/ ??
Shouldn't the writing style be a red flag ?
Any time you rent a place out you face this risk.
What is the ample verifiable evidence in the post?
The address of a residence is in the tweet. You can do a Google search and see the previous real estate listings for the residential condos/apartments at that address. You can look at it on Google Maps to see that it's a real address and not some kind of sex club.
The "porn star" profile of the party organizer that tweeted, screenshotted, is there on Xvideos; you can look it up and view it yourself.
The screenshots of the booking conversations through Airbnb are included as well, which Airbnb can confirm actually took place.
These are all evidence supporting the story, and all of these pieces of evidence can be verified by third parties. That's verifiable evidence, which is what I said.
"Restating the premise" means to restate the base of your argument. I argued the opposite, that the post does have credibility. Sorry that you felt I was being snide by disagreeing.
There is no verification this occurred over airbnb. There is no verification that the tweets were by anyone other than the resident or owner and no verification that the tumblr post was written by the resident.
All of this, including the tweet, could be a pretty simple hoax.
And worse, it's from tumblr.
The premise you restated was the basic post itself: Hey! This shit happened to me.
I asked, why should we believe this.
You said, "Because shit happened to that guy!"
Until airbnb responds we have no reason to give this anecdote any credence.
And you were totally snide. Your apology is disingenuous. "Sorry you felt I was being snide" is not an apology. It is a faux apology.
Most articles should receive a healthy dose of criticism, but on the whole, I really didn't see any suspect. The only basis for questioning is that AirBnB is the darling of the "OMG! DISRUPTING!" crowd, and thus any criticism against them must be a conspiracy from the evil industries.