The Daily Mail has unveiled an extensive network of homes advertised on Airbnb but actually being sub-let by tenants who are believed not to have informed the actual owners.
In one instance, a lettings agency appears to have become unwittingly involved.
“Natali Rossi, 37, was arrested and cautioned for fraud after she failed to tell the owner of a £1.5m Soho flat that she was earning thousands of pounds a month by letting it out to guests through Airbnb – some of whom are alleged to have held drug-fuelled parties. The owner informed the website but Rossi was allowed to continue letting out 12 properties through the site.”
The piece goes on to say that an undercover reporter was able to rent a room in a three-bedroom apartment that Rossi advertised in Maida Vale, London - but she was not the owner.
In addition the newspaper says its reporter rented a studio flat at a three-storey house in central London for two nights from Essam Bakry – described as Rossi’s boyfriend. Bakry allegedly had 11 Airbnb listings at the time.
The piece says: “Our reporter had to collect the key to the property from the office of AGP Properties, a letting agent near Paddington station. There was no mention on the Airbnb listing that the property was being let by an agent. When we tracked down the owner of the home they told us they had no idea it was on the website.”
A spokesman for AGP Properties told the Mail: “Essam does not work for us. He has got his own business. The apartment is a long term rental.”
Both Bakry and Rossi left positive online reviews for each other’s Airbnb listings according to the newspaper.
You can see the story in full here.