They hired a housesitter when they went to Burning Man - and he rented their place on Airbnb


Burning Man

Business Insider/Aly Weisman


A San Francisco couple got an unpleasant surprise on their way to Burning Man this year.

As they were on their way to the annual arts festival in the Nevada desert, they received an email from one of their friends, thanking the couple for renting their apartment on Airbnb, The Guardian reports.

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But the couple hadn't actually put their apartment on the home-sharing site.

Instead, they had hired a professional housesitter they'd found on the site, who had then listed the apartment on Airbnb himself - for a price of $2,000 for five days.


"I feel violated, and pretty upset that somebody I thought I could trust has done this to me," one of the apartment owners told The Guardian's Jemima Kiss. "He told our friends that there was a 'misunderstanding' between us, but there's no way I told him he could go ahead and make $2,000 for himself."

TrustedHousesitters removed the offending (though entrepreneurial!) housesitter's profile from the site, and Airbnb banned that person's profile as well. The couple is also pursuing a civil lawsuit against the housesitter.

"We have zero tolerance for this sort of fraudulent activity," Airbnb told Business Insider in a statement.

TrustedHousesitter told The Guardian that because the couple didn't use its on-site messaging tool to reach out the the housesitter, it was harder to investigate the complaint beyond deleting the profile.

The couple, for their part, said that next time they'll just recruit some friends to look after their apartment.


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