I was unaware of this until today. After having to call the police to have guests removed, I googled and learned that sex workers are now renting airbnb spaces to work instead of hotels.
I had my guests removed for violating my House Rules... smoking, using drugs in my house, and having unapproved guests over.
However, it didn't take long to learn and realize the reason they booked.
Since prostitution is illegal in my state, should I now include that in my House Rules?
I do not discriminate against sex workers, but I cannot allow that activity in my home, where I live as well, .... I rent a room, not the whole house.
I do not feel I am safe if people I haven't approved are in my home.
Airbnb did not support me as a host, i am a superhost w 5 star rating. Airbnb told me I had to reimburse the remaining days or I would have my rating dropped for cancellation.
How is this ok?
I know this guest is going to give me poor reviews, and I am going to take the hit and warn other potential hosts w an honest review... this just isn't ok.
Very dismayed to hear of your experience @Brenda313 and equally dismayed to hear that Airbnb did not support you.
Contact Customer Support and inform them that you needed to contact the police to evict your guests along with your fear of a bad review and they SHOULD suppport you. If you don't get support - persist.
Your experience is unnacceptable.
The sex workers in question might also be victims of human trafficking. I would point that out to Airbnb as well. That is definitely not a social media post they would like to see about their platform.
I think that's very insightful.... and before I called the police, I was trying to talk to the girls empatheticly, asking if they needed help... I'm a drug and alcohol counselor and advocate for those in need. Their reaction was violent, screaming, throwing things in my house etc.. so I walked away and didn't say another thing.
I have read news articles last night about this, and it seems to be on the rise. Im finding out im not the first host with this problem. However, like me - Airbnb did not support the host and accused those hosts of discrimination & judgemental of sex workers.
I don't judge what people feel they need to do, I'm an activist, and advocate for ppl in need. But, being a substance abuse counselor, who sees clients in my home at times, cannot have illegal activity/drugs under my roof.
To add insult to injury, one of the girls who was here unapproved made an airbnb account just so she could harass me, calling me racist, a dumb bitch ass &*nt and became threatening.
I briefly explained why I needed to ask them to leave, citing only the violation of House Rules - no drugs, no smoking in house, and no unapproved guests.
It saddens me that these girls feel stuck that this is their best option, but it was not possible to speak reasonably to them, so I didn't try.
I just reminded them to please read Airbnb's policies before booking again, then reported the conversation and blocked them.
I hope Airbnb will review her threats, as they were not only aimed toward me, but also my sister who lives w me.
Airbnb told me I was on my own to handle removing them. And then, like I said, had to reimburse the remaining days. I had to turn down an inquiry to book tonight because I'm still working on cleaning the room. The smoke smell is awful, curtains smell... found a bad of something that looks like crack under the bed, I guess they couldn't grab it once the cops were standing there watching them so they wouldn't do anymore damage.
Im going to contact airbnb and discuss sex trafficking. One of the girls that arrived (unapproved) didn't look of age and refused to show me ID or give me her real name. Only her working first name.
Not safe, not acceptable Airbnb.
Oh dear, what can I say. Brenda this is just terrible! Nobody in the community should have to put up with this.
Although I am disappointed with the response from support it does seem to be an increasing trend......Airbnb are trying to build up the guest base at the expense of their overcommitted host base!
Don't expect a lot of support from Airbnb Brenda.....from past posts here like yours, they don't consider that prostitution exists....let alone happens in an Airbnb listing!!
Brenda, was this guest a 'blow in' from elsewhere....... or a local? You can always ask where the guest is from and the reason for their stay in your property and if you don't feel comfortable you can decline or have the reservation cancelled by CX.
By accepting guests like this you make yourself a magnet for others of the same ilk!
Letting to locals is a dangerous thing, they are not like travellers who don't wish to compromise the booking availability.
To locals you are just another place to do something they would not want to do in their own home......Yuck!
Brenda.....don't let to locals!
Thank you Bob, feels better getting done validation here.
Apparently, their "boss" booked it on instant book, he had 1 positive but very vague review.
I don't always greet them when they arrive, but because this happened... it will be my policy now to greet them at check-in and to also check ID to make sure they are actually the guest who booked.
The guest who booked wasn't local, and I didn't have a good initial feeling by his lack of communication....I did ask if it would just be him etc.. no reply.
Airbnb lets hosts set up guest requirements, which I use. I ask them to tell me the reason for their visit. Even though he did NOT answer any of my required questions, he was still able to instant book.
Again, not cool bc I would have been either penalized for canceling the reservation and/or been accused for discrimination.
This is my 2nd year as a host (supehost) very first real problem.
Im learning and changing policies.
Thanks for everyone's listening and great insight, suggestions, and advice. Greatly appreciated.
Hi Brenda, I just looked at your listing and it looks good. As others have mentioned I'm also surprised that the "Pimp" booked a place like yours for his business. It doesn't seem conducive to what he's trying to accomplish. You have security cameras which you would think he wouldn't like. The space is shared and it's so obvious that he and his workers and their johns can't have complete privacy. It sounds scary with how brazen the pimp was to book your place. And it's unbelievable that this has happened to you. And of course I'm sorry it has. One question for you, I couldn't tell what your minimum days to book are. Can a person book for 1 day?
I have 2 rentals and one of them is in a mountain area and a 2 day minimum is appropriate there. I have had no issues with that home. I have a guest suite with a private entrance in my personal home. And it's in a nice, quiet neighborhood. I accept up to 2 guests for that space. I had one set of guests early on that were young people, late 20's that used the space as a love nest. I realized this happened because of the price and because of the 2 day minimum. I have since raised my price and increased my minimum stay to 3 days. Would you consider doing that? Like Rob from Australia said not to have locals come. I completely agree with that. And one way to prevent locals is to increase the minimum stay to 2 or 3 days. I think that would help ward off some of the undesirables because the barrier to entry has now been increased. They have to pay for 2 to 3 nights but only want use of the place for an evening. Along with your other parameters it might be helpful.
Also, I noticed you allow up to 4 guests. That's quite a few guests for the price you're charging. I couldn't tell if you charge more if there are more than 2 guests. That might be another consideration. Charge an additional amount for guests 3 and 4.
I wish you the best and hope the worst is behind you.
Wow Maria good call on that. Definitely leed with that on next Airbnb communications to get refunded AND SHED LIGHT so hopefully Airbnb will help stop sex trafficking via Airbnb.
Hi @Brenda313, I’m so sorry this happened to you. If it’s of interest, if you go to my listing’s house rules and there are a few; I try to cover every eventuality, including illegal, antisocial and commercial use of the premises. (NOT gonna happen). They are about expectation and boundaries, and having documented rules to challenge a guest, and I would and have... you’re welcome to copy what is useful to you.
I also have instant book with the maximum provisos, ID and other restrictive requirements, but I’ve also have written these into my house rules as well.
Take care, and remember you ARE the boss of your own space. You don’t have to put up with $h## from anyone! I don’t take local bookings unless it is to accommodate family members where the relative can’t fit everyone in at their own bedsit apartment/home. Very specific cases, the two times I have! Remember: locals already have a home.. so 99.999% of the time, don’t need yours!
I don’t do one night bookings to avoid the guest traffic flow and not always, but a different type of traveller. Too much cleaning for my larger space. And yes, I have called the police on one person, but that’s another story....
So these sex workers are out working the streets, then come home to your place when "off duty"?
And I'm curious... was this a same day booking?
It wasn't a same- day booking, they booked less than a week in advance., but it was IB since he had 1 recent review where the host did not meet him. She never mentioned anything else and was very vague.
Yes, the girls took Urber to get to Atlantic City to work
They came back around 6am the next morning.
I could smell weed and cigarettes from my side of the house, I was fine if they wanted to smoke outside.... but instead they put a towel at the base of the door... I've had to take my curtains to cleaners bc even after washing everything and mopping... room still smells.
I also found a tiny bag w a hard clear rock type substance in it tucked between bed and box frame. They couldn't retrieve it while cops were watching. Weed is one thing.... crack or meth?... not ok. What if house cleaning didn't find and someone w a child did?
I don't believe they brought customers to my house, but they did also ruin the sheets from spilling hair dye product that won't come out.
Their boss was due to arrive the following day and he casually mentioned that he was bringing more girls... even after I reminded him that these girls were not approved... but he'd never reply.
So, what's even more wrong with airbnb, is that I'm not given the option to review this person! I can't warn future hosts.
I just had a guest smoking weed in the room -- even though it's a non-smoking room! They tried to cover up for it by spraying cologne all over the room. That only made it 10 times worse. I'll be airing out the room for the next 2 days. I also ran my rug cleaner yesterday.
Dear hosts, you will be surprised how creative people can be when it comes to sex, money and drugs.
After several complaints to police don't be surprised if you are the one who is "organizer" or "manager" of illegal activities.
Seeking help from Airbnb... How? They will ask for police report to prove. I don't know how police works in your country, but when I experienced such situation police said that "report is confidential and if Airbnb needs report than they have to contact us".
I suggest, Brenda, put a warning in the listing and House rules. The guests will be forced to read the house rules BEFORE they book.
It might not work with drug users, because their actions are beyond of any control and logic. But with sex workers it might work. Who will want to take a risk, seeing that the host is very serious and informed about such activities.
It is also something good for good clients as well. If I am the guest, I will be happy to stay at the place, that doesn't entertain sex workers. At least I will be sure that I am sleeping on bedsheets without sperm on it.