What have you always wondered about the economy? Tell us

Airbnb users has apartment trashed

Steve Henn Jul 28, 2011

Airbnb is an online service that helps home owners hook up with vacationers looking to rent apartments or houses. The idea is simple, while you’re out of town on your own vacation – or even traveling for business – you can earn some extra green by renting your house.

As long as you rent your place to a decent, caring human being, it will all probably work out fine. A blogger who goes by EJ says she wasn’t so lucky.

Three difficult days ago, I returned home from an exhausting week of business travel to an apartment that I no longer recognized. To an apartment that had been ransacked.

Now the company is taking some heat. Turns out Airbnb doesn’t appear to carry insurance to pay for this kind of thing and won’t reimburse EJ for damages.

Airbnb is one of many peer-to-peer rental start-ups popping up around San Francisco. And it’s one of the latest little tech companies to convince VC investors its worth a billion dollars.

Marketplace is on a mission.

We believe Main Street matters as much as Wall Street, economic news is made relevant and real through human stories, and a touch of humor helps enliven topics you might typically find…well, dull.

Through the signature style that only Marketplace can deliver, we’re on a mission to raise the economic intelligence of the country—but we don’t do it alone. We count on listeners and readers like you to keep this public service free and accessible to all. Will you become a partner in our mission today?

Your donation is critical to the future of public service journalism. Support our work today – for as little as $5 – and help us keep making people smarter.