NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – With the holidays around the corner, many travelers will be booking on websites like Airbnb and HomeAway.
Recently, a Vanderbilt dorm was listed on Airbnb. At first glance it didn’t look strange until you realize there are pictures of a dorm room.
The host also asked for only guests with a certain sexual preference.
Vanderbilt confirms it was one of their dorm rooms, but they wouldn’t say if they identified the student or asked him to take it down.
The listing was ultimately taken down and Airbnb said that it removed the user from its platform.
Former councilman and chair of Coalition for Nashville Neighborhoods, John Summers, said he has concerns about these types of listings in Nashville.
“I think it puts the public at risk,” he told News 2. “There have been postings out there where people have gone and stayed and it hasn’t been as presented. There have been health issues. Not to say there aren’t good, responsible short-term rental owners but there are a lot that aren’t.”
In a statement, Airbnb gave News 2 the following holiday safety tips:
- Get to know your host and home in advance. The Airbnb experience is unique and authentic because you’re booking with a local host. That means every home will be different. We always recommend that guests take advantage of the many tools Airbnb offers to get to know your host (and listing) before you book. Read the host’s detailed profile and listing description thoroughly, including house rules, amenities, and cancellation policy. We also have a safe and easy way for you to get to know your host before booking a reservation through our secure on-platform messaging tool. You can use it to get your questions answered about the home and set clear expectations with the host for your stay.
- Read previous community reviews. In addition to detailed profiles and secure messaging, you always have our global community to rely on. If you’re curious what a previous guest’s experience has been with a potential host, all you need to do is check that host’s reviews ahead of time. Both guests and hosts publicly review each other — and only do so after the reservation is complete — so you know the feedback is informed and real.
- Always communicate and pay on platform. All you need to do to avoid a scam is to stay on our secure Airbnb platform throughout the entire process — from communication, to booking, to payment — and you will be protected. Plus, we never release payment to a host until the guest is safely checked in, and you should never be asked to wire money or pay another user directly. In fact if you are, we advise you to report this behavior to us right away.
- If anything isn’t right, reach out. If a guest arrives at a listing and it’s not as advertised, they should immediately reach out to our global Customer Service team for help. They are standing by 24/7 in 11 languages with rebooking assistance, refunds, and/or reimbursements to help make things right in the rare event that things don’t go as planned.
If a community member notices suspicious or inappropriate activity on a person’s profile, listing, or messages, you can report it using the user flags tool, neighbor tool, or by contacting Airbnb directly at 1-855-424-7262.