Airbnb Safety Incidence Case Studies
Several case studies of Airbnb safety incidents which made the news are the death of six Brazilian tourists in Chile, the tossing of a chair from a highrise in Canada, and the collapse of the first floor of a house in US, all of which occurred at Airbnb rentals.
DEATH OF SIX BRAZILIAN TOURISTS IN CHILE
- In May of 2019, six Brazilian tourists who rented an Airbnb apartment located in Santiago, Chile died due to a carbon monoxide leak in their rented rooms, according to Bloomberg.
- News of the tragedy was the latest in a series of setbacks for the rental platform, and worsened the "already tense" relations between Airbnb and the Santiago community, including local hotels and residents.
- Notably, the Supreme Court in Chile, alongside strong support by the country's hotels association, had ruled that previous August that local building owners could fine those in apartments who rented their properties via Airbnb.
- Meanwhile, Airbnb immediately released a statement via email that such incidents are "extremely rare," and assured potential guests who were concerned about similar health risks that all rental properties without smoke or carbon monoxide detectors are flagged on the booking website.
- Additionally, Airbnb committed to providing "support" to the families of those who had died in the incident.
CHAIR TOSSED FROM HIGHRISE IN CANADA
- In February of 2019, a woman threw a chair off of the balcony of a high rise that had been rented through Airbnb, according to the CBC.
- As a result, the individual was charged by police with "mischief endangering life," "mischief damaging property" less than $5,000 and "common nuisance."
- Notably, the woman was not the individual who had rented the Airbnb apartment, however the location had been rented through Airbnb at the time the chair had been thrown.
- In response to the incident, the local community as well as a separate Airbnb renter expressed concern and outrage.
- For example, a woman who had booked the same apartment for the following day expressed concern that she could have been hit by the chair.
- Similarly, community organization Fairbnb claimed that the incident was one in a series of alarming events surrounding local Airbnb rentals, and that Airbnb therefore posed a threat to the "health and safety" of Toronto.
- Airbnb responded in a statement to the media that the account of the guest who had reserved the apartment at the time of the incident had been suspended.
- Additionally, Airbnb expressed similar outrage for what the company called "blatant disregard for community safety."
COLLAPSED FLOOR IN US
- In January of 2019, the first floor of a property that was listed as an Airbnb rental collapsed during a house party, according to local broadcaster WTVR.
- Notably, the floor collapsed under the strain of the more than 100 guests at the party, resulting in the serious injury of a girl who had been in attendance.
- Airbnb immediately and publicly responded with condolences for the "victims of this tragedy," and suspended the listing of the house on the Airbnb website.
- Additionally, Airbnb reinforced with renters, who were concerned about a similar incidence on other Airbnb properties, that such incidents are rare, and that the company takes all appropriate actions to ensure the safety of guests.
- Meanwhile, the city also condemned the property following outrage and concern over the safety incident.