Apartment rental platform Airbnb is increasingly being ‘abused’ by landlords of private houses. They try to reach their guests via Airbnb, but then do everything possible to ensure that the booking does not take place via the platform.
The relationship between Airbnb and some of the larger hosts has been tense for some time. The SARSv2 pandemic is not making the situation any better. This is because Airbnb has previously forced the landlords to make a full refund to the tenants in the event of cancellations.
A number of professional hosts, who offer several places via Airbnb, have stepped up their efforts to circumvent the company’s policy. With it they use Airbnb mainly as a marketing platform, but not for arranging the booking.
Airbnb forbids its landlords to collect personal information from guests. It should only be used for logistical purposes for a specific trip. In order to circumvent these conditions, digital ‘guides’ are used, for example, where guests have to specify their e-mail addresses to access the property. The data is then used to make the tenants an offer outside Airbnb.
Another possibility is the use of Wi-Fi networks to force every guest, not only the person who made the booking, to enter their contact details before they can connect to the internet.
By the decision of Airbnb in March last year to force hosts to make full repayments in the event of cancellations due to the COVID crisis, several landlords have already cancelled their cooperation with Airbnb. The rental company’s efforts to calm down them were inadequate. It is expected that many more landlords will try to circumvent the rules of the rental platform via Airbnb.
Airbnb says that it take users ‘ privacy very seriously and that it is forbidden for providers to abuse contact details. If Airbnb discovers abuse, sanctions will be imposed. In addition, accounts could be closed. The company did not want to say how many providers have already been suspended for violating the terms.