Thanks to Airbnb, home owners can cash in on their real estate by renting out their apartments, spare bedrooms, and country homes to visiting tourists. Despite the strange intimacy of sleeping in a stranger’s personal space (or having a stranger sleep in yours), Airbnb has proven to be an extremely popular way to find unique accommodations while traveling, or for property owners to make a buck.
But what happens when a tenant, rather than the home owner, lists a home on Airbnb?
That’s exactly what happened to digital artist Robert Corwin, who splits his time between California and a condo in West Town in Chicago. While living in California, Corwin was in the habit of subletting a room in his Chicago apartment to cover his rent.
Recently, when Corwin returned to his apartment, instead of finding the tenant who had sublet the space, he encountered a young couple he’d never met before sleeping in his master bedroom, according to CBS Chicago. There was a hookah on the dining room table, and his liquor stash was entirely depleted. The couple were tourists who said they had rented the room from Airbnb.
“Your imagination goes crazy.”
Apparently, the man who was subletting Corwin’s second bedroom had listed the apartment on Airbnb to make some extra cash, without Corwin’s permission or knowledge.
Says Corwin, “your imagination goes crazy. What’s been going on? It could be everything from orgies to drugs.” Unsurprisingly, Corwin ejected the renter from his property, and logged online to confirm that, indeed, his apartment had been listed on Airbnb behind his back.
Airbnb is simply a platform for people offering accommodations and travelers looking for them to find one another.
The company does not take any responsibility for the accommodations themselves (and this could have happened through Craigslist or Facebook, for that matter). According to the company policy, they do “not own, operate, manage or control accommodations, nor do we verify private contract terms.”
Although the company says that they do not “arbitrate complaints from third parties,” they have agreed to investigate Corwin’s claims.