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Yes, this news item has gone viral on our Facebook page. More than 40,000 views so far. The BBC is reporting on the alleged sexual assault of the ‘Host’s’ young daughter and subsequent arrest. In the same news article is a video report – another BBC investigation - that reveals how Airbnb accounts are hijacked, resulting in burglaries. It’s the Airbnb community, where we are assured that ‘expectations are built on trust’. An advertisement for Qantas – the first airline in the world to partner with Airbnb – pops up along with the news report of this assault of a minor.

Does anyone, anywhere want a short-term rental next to their home or in their street?

Back on 09 May 2017 we wrote to Brent Thomas and Sam McDonagh of Airbnb. We checked with them later in June – still no response. We asked about Sydney listings. The first, in a building with NSW Court Orders banning short-term rentals. Claims of a robbery in the premises have been removed from Airbnb’s website. The second is in a building in Neutral Bay, which North Sydney Council confirms is for “permanent residential occupation only”. Thirdly, in another Sydney building, a listing which we know for certain to be a sham. Just $2,575 per night will supposedly secure a stay in a property in York Street, though the 30 or so Airbnb reviews say the building is located a stone’s throw from Oxford Street. The actual Owner/Occupier of the apartment featured and photographed in the Airbnb listing knows of the fraudulent listing however, well-found reasons prohibit them from ‘going public’ on the issue.

Short-term rental operators are calling for us to “trust them”: trust them with our children and loved ones, with our homes and possessions, to trust them with our very lives, in buildings constructed for residential occupancy, not for commercial tourist/visitor rentals. Place our safety and our lives, in what are quite literally potential ‘death traps’ operated by multi-billion, foreign-based booking platforms.

Homes not Hotels Communities not Transit Zones People before Profits Neighbours not Strangers

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