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#1 User is offline   Liz 

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Posted 10 October 2018 - 10:27 PM

An Airbnb Guesthouse Of Horrors

Boston Globe
Sean P. Murphy
October 08, 2018

Excerpt:

Jaleesa Jackson and Chiedozie Uwandu headed out of town in June for a week of rest and relaxation in Southern California.

As medical residents in anesthesiology at big, busy hospitals in Boston, Jackson and Uwandu live under constant stress, each putting in 14-hour shifts five or six days a week while regularly being on-call around the clock.

They figured traveling 3,000 miles to lounge on the beach would allow them to unwind. So they found a small guesthouse in Los Angeles on Air-bnb. It had excellent reviews and a host who had so impressed Airbnb that the popular short-term rental company had ranked him one of its best — a “super host.”

When the couple arrived, they found a chilled bottle of wine and a welcoming note from JJ, the host. He asked if everything was satisfactory.

It was.

Until their nightmare began.

At about 5:30 on their first morning, Jackson awoke to loud banging at the door. As she stumbled out of bed, she heard a gruff, male voice shout, “I know you’re in there, Kevin!”

Jackson opened the door just wide enough to see an obviously agitated man in full rant. She told him to go away and slammed the door.

Jackson immediately dialed JJ for help. The phone rang on the other side of the door.

“Yeah, that was me,” JJ told Jackson of the knocking incident. “Sorry about the confusion. Life’s too short for me to give you an explanation. Have a nice time in LA.”

He hung up.

It was the first day of their vacation, and Jackson, 29, and Uwandu, 28, who met at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, tried to brush off the bizarre behavior.

“Maybe things are just different on the West Coast,” Jackson recalled thinking.

They did have a wonderful, low-key time at the beach later that day. Just what the doctors ordered.

Then the vacation took a truly frightening turn.

They were asleep at about 2 a.m. when a man came crashing through a large window in their darkened bedroom, sending shards of glass everywhere and leaving him sprawled on the floor, face down.

“I had no idea what was happening,” Uwandu recalled. “But I reacted like we were under attack.”

Uwandu, who is 6 feet, 230 pounds, bolted out of bed and jumped on the man, getting a knee into his back to pin him down. He screamed to Jackson to call 911. His mind was racing: What does this man want? Does he have a weapon? Are there others about to come into the house?

Jackson, still in bed, struggled to understand what was happening: Am I dreaming? Am I watching TV? Am I delirious? She grabbed her phone and crawled under the bed.

The man wore a gray sweat shirt with the hood pulled over his head. But when Jackson got a glimpse of his face, she recognized him: It was JJ, Airbnb’s vaunted “super host.”

*snip*

Full Story

I've stayed at Airbnbs with my sisters a few times and although nothing untoward ever happened to us, I'll admit I often felt nervous. I can't imagine what those poor people went through.
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#2 User is offline   AnnieGotHerGun 

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Posted 11 October 2018 - 12:47 AM

We've stayed at them a couple of times, too. Very nice, and nothing bad happened.
This sounds like JJ is the biggest problem, not the house.
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#3 User is offline   Liz 

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Posted 11 October 2018 - 12:50 AM

View PostAnnieGotHerGun, on 11 October 2018 - 12:47 AM, said:

We've stayed at them a couple of times, too. Very nice, and nothing bad happened.
This sounds like JJ is the biggest problem, not the house.

Oh J.J. is definitely a problem but my concern in general about Airbnbs is the seemingly lax regulation.
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#4 User is offline   AnnieGotHerGun 

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Posted 11 October 2018 - 12:55 AM

View PostLiz, on 11 October 2018 - 12:50 AM, said:

Oh J.J. is definitely a problem but my concern in general about Airbnbs is the seemingly lax regulation.

I'll have to change my story - While we did stay in one, a brownstone in NYC while there for granddaughter's wedding, the other time we were going to stay in one it somehow fell through and we all just got hotel rooms. So, I have even less experience. But it wasn't a bad one at all. And since it was NYC who knows what kind of regulations they have.
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#5 User is offline   zurg 

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Posted 11 October 2018 - 07:10 AM

I’d never stay in an Airbnb. JJ said, life’s too short, but I’m not gonna make mine shorter by taking a chance in a compete strange’s home, backed by only potentially fake online evaluations. (100% positive! In small print, 2 people rated it.)
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#6 User is offline   Severian 

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Posted 11 October 2018 - 09:05 AM

I remember reading a while back about some people who had put their place on AirBnB and rented it out, and then discovered it was rented and used for multiple porn shoots. Creeped them out enough they had the place cleaned and got new beds and furniture.
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#7 User is offline   grimreefer 

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Posted 11 October 2018 - 09:24 AM

View PostSeverian, on 11 October 2018 - 09:05 AM, said:

I remember reading a while back about some people who had put their place on AirBnB and rented it out, and then discovered it was rented and used for multiple porn shoots. Creeped them out enough they had the place cleaned and got new beds and furniture.

That was also a great episode from "The League". :lol:
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#8 User is offline   Censport 

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Posted 11 October 2018 - 11:55 AM

I've used AirBnB once, about five years ago in Kyoto. Widow and her grown daughter in a 5-bedroom house, renting out the spare bedrooms to supplement the mom's retirement after the father died in an accident. Super nice people, and the mom was a fantastic cook. Best お好み焼き I've ever had. One of the reviews asked "Who builds a 5-bedroom house with only one bathroom?!?" :lol: Welcome to Japan, dear.

For a couple of years, the legality of AirBnB in Japan was in question. Hotels are heavily regulated, and that lobby was complaining that AirBnBs didn't fall under the same regulations. When AirBnB first started, it was mostly people renting out spare rooms in the house they lived in, or vacation house they only used part of the year. But it became so profitable that people started buying apartments specifically to rent out as AirBnBs. A Chinese businessman bought a dozen condos in one building under the pretense they were for his employees working on temporary transfers, but was renting them out on AirBnB. One enterprising American woman in Japan made so much money doing it that she even had a new apartment building built in Tokyo for that purpose. All while bypassing the hotel regulations. It was during the construction of that building that the Japanese government started reforming the laws. Under the new law, nationally, such rentals are limited to 180 days per year. Many local prefectures and wards have more limitations on top of the national laws. Restrictions such as no rentals except for school holidays, or no later in the year than May 15 are not uncommon.

Fortunately, I now have plenty of friends to stay with around the country. For a brief moment, I considered renting out a property here in the U.S. that I'll inherit, but that thought literally lasted only a moment. Once I read a couple of horror stories and realized I'd probably end up in The Big House for murder, I dropped that idea.
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#9 User is offline   Ladybird 

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Posted 11 October 2018 - 12:12 PM

Good thing she had her boyfriend there. JJ is either crazy or on bath salts, or both.
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