An Airbnb host abruptly canceled a family's vacation house when asked about security cameras

Originally published at: An Airbnb host abruptly canceled a family's vacation house when asked about security cameras | Boing Boing


Pop Tv No GIF by Schitt's Creek


That’s a very touchy topic in our neck of the woods. Seems folks show up to AirBnB high desert very remote locals with way way more party friends than is disclosed in the original agreement, hence the cams to verify your identity, hence the very touchy topic of the cams, the solution being that the owner is off property and this is the only way that they can verify [via cam] that you are not throwing “barn burners” daily & or invited 100’s of other humans to participate in your vaca frolicking.

Trust is not easy to find in this world…


“Meanwhile, the the peeping host has taken their property off Airbnb’s site.”

Note that Airbnb did not take that action.


The funny thing is that as a former AirBnB host I was worried about my privacy. The difference is that we were renting out a spare room and guests could have easily snooped around in private areas when we were out. Sure, we had important stuff locked up but there’s only so much that can do (and you always miss things).

We had an almost entirely positive experience with it, but I can certainly see how it could go bad quickly. We had a neighbor who rented out his entire place when he went on vacation. One set of quests had a party and in addition to noise they were literally throwing things at people walking by on the street.


We AirBnB’ed our extra bedroom in San Diego for 8 years to english language school attendees that stayed on average 3 - 6 months at a time. One person in 8 years was a slight buffoon socially and he was fore warning to us when he first made contact that he has had very little contact with anyone other than his family his entire life, I scale him at 4 in annoying out’a 10, 2 at everything else, totally doable.

What did we get in return? Money, that helped us pay down our bills to zero, retire early, refurb the house, etc.
What did we gain socially? We met people [that are now friends] from 26 countries around the globe, its value to us was & is positive beyond simple narration.

Moral of the story is, we made out well in the AirBnB system. Does it work for everybody, Nope.
But I can regal you with some doozy stories of staying in shitty hotels/motels around the earth, and they ain’t pretty.

P.S. It’s a buyer beware world, last I looked.




I’m guessing about 10% of airbnb’s have hidden cameras everywhere.

I booked an AirBnB with my girlfriend. She had to head home early so I stayed there by myself and the dude who owned it looked just a little too disappointed that she didn’t show up.


We only did it for about a year and a half. Our worst guests were a young woman who played too roughly with our cats, a grumpy middle-aged man and a doctor who my wife and I are 90% sure was using some kind of opiate while she stayed with us. (Although the doctor was at least quiet.)

We wound up buying a place divided into two flats, and we rent to the family living below us.


Yeah, this is the main reason I prefer AirBnB over hotels. When I aged out of staying in hostels, I really missed the community feel and disliked the sterility of hotels. OTOH, when traveling for work I usually go 50/50 between hotels and AirBnB; sometimes the sterility of a hotel provides a reliability that is critical when time and focus is at a premium.


Great. Another vacation expense, new undies.


Bug and hidden camera detectors are cheap. Avail yourself. And check for them even if they’re not disclosed.


You mentioned the “original agreement”. Unfortunately at the very core of every contract is the notion that the parties ultimately don’t (and perhaps can’t) trust each other. Sad fact.


I would say that such things are often sold at complete ripoff prices and do not perform as advertised. One model advertised on FB and a billionaire’s sales website that I will not link to charges $150 for what is nothing more than some flashing LEDs that may (for some models of video camera) reflect off the sensor in a noticeable way if you are very observant and standing in just the right spot. But won’t actually detect all cameras.


I think the use of just an external camera would serve the purpose of figuring out who’s coming and going without violating any further privacy


I’m not sure if the host violated rules that would warrant AirBnB removing the listing. The presence of cameras was stated in the property description and they were only placed in common areas, not bedrooms or bathroom.

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This is the best typo. :wink:


And then the people who were paying to stay there asked questions about the cameras (like does it have audio), they were ignored, and had their stay canceled at the last minute.

It’s a house they were renting. I think one can expect not to have someone watching and listening to you if you’re renting an entire house.