Remember when Craigslist first launched? I thought it was the most innovative idea at the time. It’s still going strong. But remember when there weren’t bold ***WARNING!!*** signs in red issuing a statement of caution. In the early days, buyers and sellers trusted each other. After time, people started to get defrauded or physically hurt.
The evolution of Craigslist is what I think about with Airbnb. First of all, does anyone know what ‘bnb’ stands for? My impatient Google searches have turned up nothing. I don’t even think there’s any indication on Airbnb’s own website. Unless I’m blind or simply too lazy to fully scour the site.
Notwithstanding the name which seems to be shrouded in mystery, I jumped on the bandwagon. What a great concept! Rent your place out while you’re away. Unlike Vrbo or Homeaway, there’s no fee to list your ad. I signed up. I searched for properties. I took pictures of my own property to rent out. Photographers working with Airbnb offered to take professional pictures of our place.
But, in terms of hosting, I had questions. What if there’s severe damage to our property—damage that’s more than what the renter paid as a deposit? Why weren’t there any warning signs or caution statements? Why weren’t there standard contracts to sign?
Hello, Airbnb, don’t you have a single lawyer in that laid-back start-up office of yours?
It was only a matter of time before Airbnb encountered a grave situation with an owner’s property trashed. Even this SFGate article is questioning whether Airbnb’s business is illegal.
Our Airbnb transaction (we’re the hosts) happens this weekend. I’m fortunate that the maelstrom has only recently played out and there are now security measures in place to protect owners.
Here’s our listing if you ever need a place in the city.