Can an owner show a house while renting it out via airbnb?
April 12, 2016 2:40 PM   Subscribe

I'm putting my parents up in an airbnb in a major canadian city. The owner put the house on the market prior to renting it out and has shown it twice since my parents have been staying there. After the first time she promised it wouldn't happen again. I can't find anything referencing this issue on the airbnb site. Are there rules about this?
posted by lizifer to Grab Bag (6 answers total)
I can't speak directly to your question, but I think the question you want to look into is under what circumstances can the host enter the airbnb rental. That might get you further. (And I am sure there is someone else here who can answer that).
posted by nanook at 3:16 PM on April 12, 2016 [1 favorite]

After the first time she promised it wouldn't happen again.

This is enough. Do you have that in an email?

Contact her again and say the hassle to your parents and the hassle of you having to contact her regarding this issue is reason enough to not only give terrible reviews (she likely doesn't care, if she plans to unload the place) but also to withhold payment for what was advertised as a private escape for your parents.

My guess is she wants/needs the money and will stop the visits during your parents' stay. That sucks for her, but it sucks for you and your parents as paying guests otherwise. Show some empathy on that front, and you'll come out okay.

Sorry, no legal advice. Just the old human approach. It may work.
posted by whoiam at 3:26 PM on April 12, 2016 [6 favorites]

Call Airbnb immediately. I've had good luck with their customer service when there's a problem. They have the power to refund your money or make other adjustments.
posted by quince at 4:16 PM on April 12, 2016 [16 favorites]

AirBnB is decent about working this stuff out. Basically tell them that this isn't cool with you, you need it to stop, and you'd like to be reimbursed X amount for the hassle your parents incurred. Usually they'll tell you to take it up with the people who own the place and you can repeat the same to them but also let them know you've contacted AirBnB. If you and the owner can work something out (I'd ask for a partial refund) then you're good. If not, and it's truly awful, they might be able to shift your folks to another location.But yeah start with the dispute resolution process and see if that at least won't get you some hassle-money for this and get it to stop.
posted by jessamyn at 4:44 PM on April 12, 2016 [3 favorites]

A similar thing happened to me. I was renting an airbnb in the US (Florida) and a real estate agent came by to show the place while we were staying there. The airbnb host mentioned that he wouldn't be living there much longer when I booked but he did not mention that the unit was actively on the market.

I asked the host about the real estate agent and he seemed nonplussed so I let it go. We were only renting the place to crash in after partying and were already expecting a different atmosphere than your parents.

I agree with people's suggestions of contacting airbnb customer service. The host lied and a bad review won't follow her to a new place.
posted by thewestinggame at 7:20 PM on April 12, 2016

As a Airbnb host, and someone who has many friends who are hosts, it's my experience and observation that Airbnb generally sides with the guests and penalizes the host if there is an issue that arrises. I also think that the reason to use Airbnb is that they are supposed to offer the service of a middle man if something goes wrong. I would actually give the host the option to refund some of the money paid- I have done this myself when there was an issue with my plumbing during one guest's stay. If they aren't open to that, then I would contact Airbnb customer service and let them know.
posted by momochan at 7:35 AM on April 14, 2016 [1 favorite]

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