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AirBNB too unsupervised to survive

Posted by John T. Reed on

AirBNB renters are sometimes using false identities, stolen credit cards ,and planing to violate the no-parties rule big time.

An 18-year old was fatally shot at one with at least 150 party goers in Sunnyvale, CA last week. Five were shot dead in Orinda, CA near where I live in 2019. In the two years since, there have been about 100 shootings at such short-term rentals in the UC and Canada.

AirBNB makes the usual hearts and prayers cliche pronouncements and vowed to stiffen rules and all that.

The problem is insufficient due diligence on the identity and reputation of the renter and non-existent on-site adult supervision. It is unsolvable because adequate due diligence and on-site supervision would cost so much that it would destroy the AirBNB business model.

Hotels have had this problem forever. They have an entrance monitored by full-time staff. When they see suspicious numbers of people coming through that entrance, they lock it and demand to see the room key of each would-be entrant.

Continued existence of such an impossible-to-adequately-supervise rentals is dubious. Full-time on-site staff is likely the only solution and that is financially impossible. So would-be AirBNB “innkeepers” should probably not make a property purchase decision based on the assumption that AirBNB rentals will continue throughout their period of ownership of their one-off “hotel.”

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