‘Naive’ People are Renting Out Their Homes to Airbnb Hookers

Via Rene’s Points, Airbnb and other homesharing sites are apparently how prostitutes are now renting out space.

Police in Stockholm say the rise of Airbnb in the capital has resulted in pimps booking apartments by using fake profiles.

Swedish police have spoken out about growing numbers of prostitutes using sublet apartments to charge for sexual services.

According to Simon Häggström, head of the Stockholm police unit leading investigations in the capital, prostitutes are active at around 200 addresses on a typical day in the city, with hotels no longer their accommodation of choice.

“Second hand apartments are now the largest market for prostitution in Stockholm,” he told Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter (DN), which broke the story.

…”People are naive. They should think of some more about who they rent out to second hand,” he said.

And here I thought people only rented their places out on Airbnb to themselves, for the Virgin America miles.

You’d sort of expect the world’s oldest profession to be everywhere, so why not the sharing economy I suppose?

Private apartments are more discrete than hotels, plus there’s risk of being ratted out by a hotel worker that you avoid this way. Sweden apparently has its own version of Homeland Security training hotel staff to spy on guests. And all anyone does at hotels these days is download porn rather than ordering up prostitutes.

Prostitutes don’t want to use their own places, both to protect themselves and their privacy (which is a good thing) and because they don’t want to risk getting kicked out of their own apartments given the impossibility of finding housing there. Government rules severely limit the supply of housing in Sweden.

Faced with Sweden’s labyrinthine rules on renting apartments and a decades-long waiting list for government housing, Mr. Faux, a Harvard computer science graduate, repeatedly came up empty when hunting for housing — no matter how much he was willing to spend.

…Swedish rent controls and other housing restrictions in place since the 1960s make it almost impossible for people to lease out apartments to foreign tech workers. And a backlog of new construction means that only 10,000 new homes are expected to be built annually over the next 15 years… In contrast, roughly 40,000 people … are now moving to the city to work for tech companies, financial firms and other Swedish businesses each year, according to Stockholm’s city government.

It’s not the case that there’s more prostitution it seems. It’s just moved, become more discrete. And really, that’s nothing new at all…

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. AirH&B? That’s a wide open market!

    Seriously: We all know the dangers of eBay. Sellers are routinely defrauded by professional thieves. If Airbnb can’t do a whole lot better than eBay to weed out the bad actors people are not going to risk renting out any place they care about unless they are 100% sure of being able to monitor its use in real time. Is Airbnb therefore hugely overvalued?

  2. @nsx

    Why are employees in the world’s oldest profession and their customers “bad actors”? TBH, I’d be fine with it if they didn’t bother the neighbors and leave a huge mess.

  3. @Dan: They are “bad actors” if they don’t disclose their commercial intent to the property owner. I for one would not rent to one person who intends to invite a large number of guests who I have no way of vetting and whose comings and goings are bound to disturb neighbors. (Especially the comings!)

  4. Anyone who doesn’t want people having sex in their apartment shouldn’t be renting it out on AirBNB. Whether or not money is exchanged for that sex is none of the AirBNB host’s business. Period.

  5. @Not a Prude: I could be wrong but I would imagine the contract for AirBNB prohibits the use of one’s apartment for commercial purposes. I’m sure that anyone renting their apartment out would expect there wouldn’t be a procession of johns in and out of their home.

  6. Coming soon to a city near you is Uber Quickies. Request a quickie right from your phone and a driver will pick you up and you get a quickie in the backseat while being driven to your destination. Brilliant!

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