Airbnb scam

Old Feb 4th, 2014, 12:37 PM
  #81  
 
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http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/01/yo...law.html?_r=5&
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Old Feb 4th, 2014, 12:37 PM
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That sounds like a different issue. Laws should be obeyed, certainly.

Just out of curiosity, and not to pick on them specifically but can't think of any other competitors right now, I checked vrbo.com for NYC. They proudly annnounce "1,278 Vacation Rentals in New York City."
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Old Feb 4th, 2014, 12:39 PM
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Does it make them more virtuous if they have fewer than airbnb?
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Old Feb 5th, 2014, 09:15 AM
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<<<What should these competitors do? Turn a blind eye to apartment/homeowners renting out residences in violation of city laws and/or building/HOA rules? That practice seems to be a key part of the AirBnB's success in New York, their number one market.>>>

Illegal apartment rentals for vacations have been around forever. New York City has not been the #1 market for that because there's rarely anything available.

The Airbnb argument about law breaking is all about money and who is getting it. In many ways, the arguments are a non sequitur and a diversion from the overall truth. New York offers plenty of apartments where it is perfectly legal to rent a spare room (space) for a limited time.

Local governments are free to start a war with all their tenants who have extra space and need extra money to survive in this economy, regardless of the rules associated with each building. If you need to pay your medical bills, how powerful and humane with these laws be?

Most of these laws are in place to protect landlords and fellow investors. These laws face new challenges today and are subject to change because, for many people, they affect the basic need for a legal resident to earn extra income. Even in New York, and in large part due to Airbnb's popularity worldwide, the community of Airbnb supporters may have a significant effect on future laws.
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Old Feb 5th, 2014, 09:30 AM
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I agree completely with wesleymarsh. Where there are laws prohibiting residential short-term rentals, it's primarily to protect the bottom lines of hoteliers and other commercial accommodations. But as the last poster has said, people must be free to derive income from their residences when necessary for their own bottom lines. I think the time has come for the little guys to fight back, with the support of companies like Airbnb.
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Old Feb 5th, 2014, 09:33 AM
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>>New York offers plenty of apartments where it is perfectly legal to rent a spare room (space) for a limited time.<<

Not actually true. One has to consider co-op and condo rules as well -- maybe 1% are actually legit for short term rental. (That doesn't include apartment hotels - which are fine)

vrbo and airbnb both list NY properties that can't be rented either legally or 'legitmately'
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Old Feb 5th, 2014, 09:38 AM
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<i> Where there are laws prohibiting residential short-term rentals, it's primarily to protect the bottom lines of hoteliers and other commercial accommodations</i>

A registered B&B run by a family is as small a guy as the person renting a house or an apartment via airbnb; and perhaps smaller as I noticed that often the same person comes up when looking at airbnb rentals in the same town. Why should one pay the hotel tax and not the other? Airbnb is a business as much as running any other short term rental.

On our street, just one block long, in a city with a housing shortage, two houses were sold in the last year. One was a two unit house, of which one unit was converted into a airbnb rental, the other is a single family house converted into a airbnb rental. There is reason to control airbnb rentals other than payment of the hotel tax.
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Old Feb 5th, 2014, 09:47 AM
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I agree with you, Michael, that Airbnb hosts and all short-term rental providers should pay the appropriate taxes. I didn't say they shouldn't.
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Old Feb 5th, 2014, 10:03 AM
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Paris, at least, has similar laws outlawing short term rentals. The laws make sense in very desirable cities where the middle class has been priced out, partly by very large cats buying investment and pieds-à-terre.

I also noticed London airbnb apartments that were obviously owned by absentee landlords of at least several properties. Reading listings carefully is a good idea. I'd be fine with enforcing hotel tax for all such places.
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Old Feb 25th, 2014, 04:43 AM
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Have to take issue with the last post. I use airbnb and have had no problem whatsoever with email contact and can post CS responses as proof if necessary.

The charges are stated up front, quite clearly, and even when added to the apartment rental costs, the overall package is usually still an absolute bargain compared with various well known holiday companies that oversee cottage rentals etc.
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Old Feb 25th, 2014, 07:34 AM
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I agree completely with RM67, having now had dozens of smooth transactions as well as a number of completely responsive communications with the company. I suspect it says far more about some aspect of toniverdi's way of doing business than of Airbnb's. And can't help but wonder, if it was so fraught for him, why has he used them "quite a lot". It really does make one wonder. And likely to disregard the entire comment.
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Old Jun 3rd, 2014, 03:54 PM
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maggy_patrick: Don't hold your breath. Those three were one-post-wonders. They registered to post on this thread but never returned to the the forums. (those sorts of trolls crawl out of the woodwork all the time - about half of the posts on this thread are similar)
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Old Jun 3rd, 2014, 05:03 PM
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Maggy_patrick, I rent all the time and have never had any scams. Lovely places in Paris, Florence, Edinburgh, Munich and the USA.
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Old Jun 4th, 2014, 07:03 AM
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It doesn't sound as though it's going to be a very balanced article given it only requests contact from people who've had problems...
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Old Sep 17th, 2014, 03:45 AM
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I just want to share that I almost got scammed by someone who had a listing on airbnb. I contacted someone through the website and i should have know the price was too good to be true. He contacted me back almost immediately with this response:
"Text me on whats app +1 a(347)685)c(4061)
Let's discuss more, Ensure to remove the letters between
Thanks."
So you see, there is a way that they can get their # to you. I contacted him and got a little suspicious. Especially when he asked for me to make a transfer through western union. I asked if there was a way to pay through airbnb since I know they are legit. His response:
"I'm sorry but we don't take AIRBNB because they charge you $150 and have a new charge of $300 on we the host, While western union charges less than $60"

Also, about an hour later I got an email from airbnb trust. They reached out to me bcuz this person had tried to contact me. So they removed his account and asked for me to halt any communications.
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Old Sep 17th, 2014, 05:28 AM
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So, why did you contact him? That very first response should have been a red flag. Good to hear that AirBnB contacted you, though.
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Old Sep 17th, 2014, 12:29 PM
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I think that's good warning, some people just don't pay attention to the website's terms. Even duhhitsdina went ahead and contacted the person, even though you aren't supposed to. The person was obviously a crook trying to use Airbnb for advertising but not adhere to their terms. Glad Airbnb cancelled them.
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Old Sep 19th, 2014, 01:34 AM
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I've read about half of the posts. Nukesafe seems to be an apologist for Airbnb.

Disclaimer, I have been a guest and host on Airbnb for years since their inception. Their system is not perfect.

Yes, you CAN contact people outside the system. You just need to be clever.

And the mgt at Airbnb does not care. I had rented one of my properties long-term through regular channels. My tenant, I discovered, was renting it out via Airbnb and making 3x the rent over what she was paying me. Subletting is illegal. Renting an apt which you do not own is against the policies of Airbnb. This tenant and her real estate mother had 6 properties they were renting on various sites and making a killing. When I contacted Airbnb about this person who had multiple listings, they ignored me. I was informing them of someone who was committing policy violations at least and a crime at worst via their site.

So yes, the scam mentioned by original post was possible. The poster also was clear he did not expect a refund from Airbnb but only wanted to warn them about a false ad on the site. Airbnb should have thanked the poster and maybe even offered a "reward."

All of you who belittled the original poster as not following policies missed the point of the post.
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Old Sep 19th, 2014, 07:33 AM
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BCNLucca: >>I. . . apologist for Airbnb.<<

You will find lots of threads about airBNB on Fodors. Many pro- a few con- and lots just asking questions.

there are 3 or 4 Fodorites who get their knickers in a twit whenever someone posts <i> anything</i> the least bit negative. I think I called them acolytes on another thread - not quite a 'cult' but close.

Do I think there are good things about airbnb - absolutely. But there are also bad things that can (and have happened) . Folks should be able to honestly talk about the good AND the bad but that isn't easy . . .
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Old Sep 24th, 2014, 05:01 AM
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Here is NYC Airbnb is a big problem. Most apartment buildings (cooperatives and condominiums) DO NOT PERMIT short term rentals. All rentals (and guests for longer than a short period) actually must be pre-approved. Have heard stories of people showing up, but the building prohibiting their stay. BUYER BEWARE. I'm way to skeptical of "deals." Yes, also frightened of "what if." Give me a modest, small hotel or guest house, with a website and Fodors or Tripadvisor or Yelp reviews. I AM NOT A FAN OF AIRBNB and would NEVER, repeat NEVER, jeopardize my hard earned money, nor safety.
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