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AirBNB -- anyone used them? Curious...

posts: 826
reviews: 124
AirBNB -- anyone used them? Curious...

Just downloaded an app for AirBNB... it is a service that allows people to list homes, rooms, or properties for rent worldwide.

The TA forum results at-large to date seem quite mixed, so am re-posting here in Bargain Travel.... anyone??

274 replies to this topic
Jasper, Canada
Destination Expert
for Jasper, Jasper National Park, Canadian Rockies
posts: 13,571
reviews: 87
1. Re: AirBNB -- anyone used them? Curious...

There's no guarantee that any place you book through them is actually a "legal" (licensed) B&B. Many cities and towns require B&Bs to be licensed, and to go through inspections, to check that the home meets fire safety, building code, and health regulations, and also require B&Bs to have mandatory liability insurance (regular homeowners' or tenants' insurance does not usually cover paying guests). Not only is the home-owner or tenant host possibly breaking a local bylaw (or perhaps their HOA or condo association rules); they may also be opening themselves up to liability issues. For guests, booking an unlicensed place could mean that local bylaw enforcement results in not having a place to stay.

posts: 826
reviews: 124
2. Re: AirBNB -- anyone used them? Curious...

Excellent points; of course this is nothing new in some countries such as Italy & the pensioni which may not always be "official"… noticed that their Aruba listings did include some known & registered spots. As always, folks, do your homework…

Washington State
Destination Expert
for Yosemite National Park
posts: 43,279
reviews: 75
3. Re: AirBNB -- anyone used them? Curious...

There are some positive comments about airbnb on the San Francisco forum.

Charlotte, NC
posts: 7,269
reviews: 159
4. Re: AirBNB -- anyone used them? Curious...

None of them are "licensed" B & B. It's the Vrbo type of Homestays. I have noticed several listed in Charlotte already; well, have rooms, might list....Probably could make a bundle on NASCAR w/ends & 2012 Democratic Convention - some money for travel? LOL

Perhaps we should all do tripadvisor Home Exchanges, B & B's; nice way of meeting people of similar interests...

Jasper, Canada
Destination Expert
for Jasper, Jasper National Park, Canadian Rockies
posts: 13,571
reviews: 87
5. Re: AirBNB -- anyone used them? Curious...

That's not true, Sophie. The two that are listed for my town (Jasper, Alberta) are both licensed "private home accommodations" (similar to a B&B, here - homestay, although most often without breakfast) licensed by the Municipality of Jasper. I have looked at Air BnB listings in some other cities and towns in western Canada, and noticed a mix of established (and presumably licensed) B&Bs, and the "renting the spare room" type (sort of like paid couch-surfing).

Regarding the VRBO type of homestays - many of these are not legal either. In some areas licensing, or at least local zoning, regulations don't allow them. Again, for home-owners doing it, they may be opening themselves to a bunch of liability issues they probably haven't even considered.

Eger, Hungary
Destination Expert
for Eger
posts: 1,065
reviews: 9
6. Re: AirBNB -- anyone used them? Curious...

I was curious about this company but from the hom owners perspective. I have a holiday let and wondered whether airbnb was worth advertising on. And yes, it is legal, registered and we pay taxes and have actually exceeded the local H&S requirements for our and our guests safety.

Just curious whether we'd get ripped off by airbnb by advertising with them.

Tel Aviv, Israel
posts: 1
reviews: 3
7. Re: AirBNB -- anyone used them? Curious...

I have rented my apartment twice (in Israel). Everything went fine until I haven't received the first payment - don't know what will happen with the next payment.

The site is great, but their support is horrible, really useless. If I don't get my money - what's the point?

What can I do now - ask my guest to repay me directly?

Edited: 2:02 pm, May 02, 2011
Portland, Oregon
posts: 10,405
reviews: 49
8. Re: AirBNB -- anyone used them? Curious...

Here's more info on Airbnb. I'm renting myself for the first time in October.


Paris, France
posts: 12,220
reviews: 13
9. Re: AirBNB -- anyone used them? Curious...

I originally read about airbnb in The New York Times and have used them to rent an apartment in Barcelona later this month. So far everything has been fine - have exchanged many e-mails with the owner and he's been more than helpful.

I chose an apartment that had several good reviews. The owner has also been flexible with check in and check out times, and did not require a damage deposit or cleaning fee.

I like the fact that you pay airbnb with a credit card and that they pay the owner directly 24 hours after your arrival. In many countries it's customary to pay the balance of your rental fee in cash - so I really appreciated the convenience of using my credit card.

As with any vacation rental it's best to do your homework and remember if it sounds too good to be true it probably is.

I will post my comments after I return from Barcelona.

Amsterdam, The...
posts: 52
reviews: 88
10. Re: AirBNB -- anyone used them? Curious...

Just rented from airbnb a few weeks ago. I had been contacting the owners for over two months just to connect and make sure that they felt comfortable with me as well as me feeling comfortable with them.

A week before I came they had an issue with their place (their new kitchen took way longer to be installed than originally thought) and emailed me to let me know what my options were. We went back and forth and finally decided on me staying on the couch as a friend. I got my money back in cash and still had a great time with the owners.

Airbnb seems to be much more varied than other websites so you will find some places that actually are registered B&Bs or entire self-catering apartments or in my case, a young couple looking to meet new people and make a little money.

Also interesting, in addition to reviewing hosts, the hosts can review the guests. I really liked this as it adds another element of accountability and I'm sure helps the hosts as well.

I'll definitely use it again, but as with any apartment search, you just have to do research.

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