We received a message from someone concerned about the potential for white nationalists to rent our place next week in Washington, DC. She asked us to carefully vet any guests and consider canceling any suspicious reservation. We're wondering why Airbnb has not communicated with hosts in the DC Metro area about the incidents next week and potential for trouble next week. The silence is deafening and shows a continuing problem with the company's decision to put profit over people. That said, here's our reply to the person who contacted us, in case you're interested.
Thanks for your message. We can assure you that our guest next week is fully vetted and, in fact, is a grandmother here to meet her grandchild for the first time.
Your message, however, raises a good point. Far too many Airbnb hosts will accept reservations from anyone willing to pay. Why? Because far too many Airbnb hosts are now operating multiple properties. Some are, in fact, management companies. They are motivated by profits and greed and have no commitment to the neighborhoods where they operate.
My husband and I have seen this happen over time in our neighborhood. As a result, our neighbors down the street have had to suffer through loud parties and more. One young woman, who had recently moved into the neighborhood, sold her newly purchased condo when drunken Airbnb guests in the condo below her came up the back stairs and banged on her bedroom window, threatening to come in.
While some hosts last week may have been fooled, I'm sure many others simply looked the other way just to make a buck. My assumption is that many of the white nationalists had created new Airbnb profiles with no previous reviews. How many responsible Airbnb hosts would not have been suspicious. My husband and I would have declined such reservation requests and waited for a verifiable guest. But we're not greedy or foolish.
We face many threats from irresponsible hosts far beyond white nationalists. That is why my husband and I have supported the DC Council's efforts to limit Airbnb listings to those where the host lives on the property. We hope you and your colleagues will support such legislation where you live. Doing so will provide our neighborhoods security in the coming months and years. After all, while nationalists (and Antifa and the rest) may have plans to come to our area long after the inauguration is over.
@Andrew0 another comment - I feel like I have so much to say to you today! I think some of this is probably directed at me, maybe not necessarily personally. I do except pets, large groups and complain about Airbnb. The problem is that they should either stay in or out. I should be able to have my own security deposit, cancel whenever I feel the group is dangerous without penalty, ask for personal information to register them and not be in constant fear of being shut down by them because I stood up to bad guest and got a negative review or whatever other random reason. in that case I do not expect them to do anything in terms of vetting or compensating me. But it can not go both ways.
Well the type of guests that are coming to my little place, to a person, have expressed one thought foremost this year - to get away to a place of peace. To that end I have done my best to create such a place no matter what society does or obstacles it throws my way.