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Short Term Rentals

Airbnb Bans ‘Party Houses’ After California Shooting Kills 5

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Airbnb bans ‘party houses’ after California shooting kills 5

ORINDA, CA (WTVM) — Airbnb’s CEO said the company was taking actions against unauthorized parties in the wake of a deadly shooting at a Halloween party held at an Airbnb rental home in California.

In a series of tweets, Brian Chesky said Saturday the San Francisco-based company is expanding manual screening of “high risk” reservations and will remove guests who fail to comply with policies banning parties at Airbnb rental homes.

Five people died after a Thursday night shooting that sent some 100 terrified partygoers running for their lives in the San Francisco suburb of Orinda.

The four-bedroom home had been rented on Airbnb by a woman who told the owner her […]

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Disturbances

Airbnb Cracks Down on Hollywood Hills Party Houses, Removes ‘Nuisance’ Listings

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Airbnb cracks down on party houses in the Hollywood Hills, removes 28 'nuisance' property listings

HOLLYWOOD HILLS (KABC) — Airbnb announced it is removing 28 property listings in the Hollywood Hills area after the Los Angeles Police Department identified them as “chronic party houses.”

Police say the listings have created a “substantial nuisance” in the neighborhood, some generating citations and “cease and desist” orders.

Airbnb says any reservations for those locations have been canceled. Some of the properties will be removed from Airbnb based on the severity of […]

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Affordable Housing

Landlords Skirting CA Tenant Protection Law With Short Leases

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Landlords Skirting CA Tenant Protection Law With Short Leases

WALNUT CREEK, CA (Mercury News) — Cait Hudson’s apartment is in a complex in Walnut Creek. Hudson received notice from her landlord in November that her lease would be terminated and that she could move into a different unit at a higher rate.

Currently Hudson pays $1,850 for a 600-square-foot one-bedroom apartment. With the holidays fast approaching, some Bay Area residents are counting down the days until they’ll be forced from their homes — what activists are calling further examples of renters falling through the cracks in a new tenant-protection law.

Assembly Bill 1482, passed in September, is intended to protect Californians from the state’s ruthless rental market by capping rent increases at about 9% per year, and […]

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Consumer News

Better Business Bureau Says Online Vacation Rental Fraud Widespread

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Online Vacation Rental Fraud Widespread, Better Business Bureau Says

MEMPHIS (Public News Service) — Fraud is widespread in the online vacation rental market, according to a new report by the Better Business Bureau. The study found nearly 43% of consumers have encountered a bogus listing.

Nancy Crawford, director of marketing and communications at the Better Business Bureau of the Mid-South, said the internet has opened the floodgates for scammers, so shoppers need to be savvy.

“There’s so much fraud in today’s world. About 26 million Americans are defrauded by some type of scam every year,” Crawford said. “It’s a multi-billion-dollar industry, and it is big business.”

The Better Business Bureau’s Scam Tracker received more than 1,300 reports of rental fraud from 2016 to 2019. The report noted fake rentals turn up on vacation rental sites such as Airbnb, VRBO and HomeAway.com, despite these companies’ efforts to weed out scam listings.

Crawford said fraudsters most often copy a photo and description of a property, post it online with their own contact information, and then try to get a deposit from the victim.

“Doing some research ahead of time and finding out what typical properties in that area usually rent for will give you some information so that you don’t land on a listing that’s half the price of everything else, and you think, ‘Oh, great, this is a great deal,’ and then end up going on vacation and having nowhere to stay,” she said.

According to the report, renters may find websites that are actually cloned copies of Airbnb’s website. Airbnb warns travelers that scammers tend to exploit popular events, such as the Super Bowl, when hotels may be booked.

“With 43% of online shoppers encountering a fake listing, and more than 5 million consumers losing money to these kinds of scams,” Crawford said.

She added victims of a suspected property-rental scam should immediately file a report with the local police and file a complaint or report a scam to the Better Business Bureau’s Scam Tracker.

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