Aug 26, 2023
Tent in Sydney garden listed on Airbnb for more than $1000 a night
Airbnb has stepped in to remove a listing after it left one potential customer “gobsmacked”. The woman, who was identified only as Caity by Kidspot, said she stumbled upon the listing on Sydney’s
Airbnb has stepped in to remove a listing after it left one potential customer “gobsmacked”.
The woman, who was identified only as Caity by Kidspot, said she stumbled upon the listing on Sydney’s Northern Beaches as she needed somewhere to stay after a party.
But when she clicked on the listing titled: Camping Swag Under The Stars, she was shocked at the prices and images. A simple rolled-up tent on the ground was listed at A$800 (NZ$871) for one person, rising to A$1156 (NZ$1258) for two people, with an additional A$200 cleaning charge.
When Caity questioned the host, she was told there was a pool, it was close to amenities and that “sleeping bags, blankets and anything else you need can be supplied. House access for kitchen and hot showers is welcome if you choose”.
Caity said she thought the host was “absolutely out of their mind” and that she would have paid A$80 at most for the tent.
Airbnb’s country manager for Australia and New Zealand Susan Wheeldon responded to Kidspot to say the listing has now been removed adding, “we thank our community for bringing this issue to our attention”.
"In addition to behaving in accordance with our Community Standards, Airbnb Hosts must ensure they meet our strict Host Reliability Standards, which include commitments around listing accuracy, cleanliness, and communication, among others.”
Airbnb confirmed no bookings had been made to the listing.
While the vast majority of stays and listings on Airbnb and similar holiday home rentals are legit and above board, there are times when people can take advantage.
In one case, an Auckland woman Michaela Scarrott had booked a "beautiful" Whangarei home for her and eight friends only to find someone was living in the house with no knowledge it was being advertised as an Airbnb.
Scarrott had reserved the listing six weeks out from their stay for a total $4800 but she didn’t know she was dealing with a fake account that looked exactly like the real thing.
“I thought I had taken all the necessary precautions, but obviously it wasn't enough," she said. "It was just done so well."
In some cases it's the tenants that go rogue as in one case in Melbourne in 2017 where a home was trashed, as well as neighbouring houses and cars extensively damaged after a party raged out of control. Police officers trying to break up the party were pelted with rocks and the public order response and critical incident response teams were called.