Airbnb vows to verify platforms following investigation

Michael Lloyd

November 8, 2019

short-term lettings

Airbnb has vowed to verify every property on its platform by December 2020 after Vice News found many misleading or false property listings on its site.

The platform also said it will refund customers who were misled by listings that were inaccurate.

Brian Chesky, chief executive at Airbnb, said on Twitter: “Airbnb is in the business of trust.

“We are making the most significant steps in designing trust on our platform since our original design in 2008.”

The Vice News investigation found guests had booked a property on Airbnb for a holiday, but the property owner called at the last minute to say the property was no longer available due to a double booking or emergency.

After being relocated to another property, which usually did not contain everything the original booking promised, Airbnb did not agree to a full refund.

Cammy Amaira, director of sales and marketing at Tipton & Coseley Building Society, said: “We allow our borrowers with a second property or holiday home to let it out on an Airbnb basis, but I’m not aware of anything untoward happening.

“Nothing has come to our attention.”

Graham Sumsion, lending operations manager at Monmouthshire Building Society, added: “When Airbnb first started it was all about making some extra cash from your spare rooms.

“However, many Airbnb hosts didn’t realise that putting a spare room on Airbnb was most likely against their mortgage conditions if they were on an owner-occupied residential mortgage.

“MBS don’t allow this type of subletting on any of our residential mortgages, however we do support Airbnb hosts through our range of holiday let and portfolio mortgages.

“These mortgage customers are usually experienced holiday let landlords who can provide a reliable and professional letting service through the Airbnb platform.

“Whilst we recognise that there has been evidence of improper conduct from some Airbnb users, our experience of lending in this area shows that there are many reputable hosts using the platform.”

Sign up to our daily email