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Security & privacy

People hate cameras in Airbnbs, but a trashed home shows why they’re needed

Yes, it’s creepy to find cameras in the bathrooms and bedrooms of Airbnbs. But what about cameras in common areas? An incident in Arizona illustrates how security cameras aren’t always being used for nefarious purposes.

A man from Tempe rented out his home through Airbnb while he was in Boston. The images captured through his home’s security cameras were shocking.

The renters threw a major party, stole items, broke others and by the time it was all over the owner was looking at thousands of dollars in damages.

Surveillance cameras catch Airbnb being trashed

We frequently hear stories about people renting houses or apartments through Airbnb and finding hidden cameras throughout the home. Before you get angry, spare a thought for Charlie Brems.

While Brems was away in Boston, the Arizona man rented out his home through Airbnb. Under the agreement, no more than seven people could stay in the home and parties were forbidden.

On May 18, Brems starts getting calls from his neighbors about a large party taking place at his home.

He logged onto his security system and saw dozens of people in the common areas of his home and backyard. Meanwhile, the camera by the front door caught people walking out of his home carrying some of his clothes and other items.

Brems called Tempe Police, but since he couldn’t prove it was his house, he said the police only issued a noise notice.

When he returned, Brems said his turntable was stolen, a wall-mounted flat-screen TV was broken in half, furniture was taken or piled up in the kitchen, and used needles, other drug paraphernalia and shards of glass were found on the floor.

He estimated the cost of damages at $16,000.

It wasn’t until he contacted Airbnb that they discovered the home was rented under a false name and a phone number that was disconnected. Airbnb said it is investigating the false ID. The company guarantees homeowners that it reimburses damages up to $1 million.


Related: Another hidden cam found in a rental – here’s how to protect yourself


Security cameras protect renters and rentees

So, your first reactions upon finding cameras in the Airbnb you rented probably are anger and outrage. Now, take a deep breath and think of it from the owners’ perspective.

They want to make sure their home is OK. As long as the cameras aren’t in intimate places such as bedrooms and bathrooms, are the cameras really causing you to enjoy your vacation less?

What if you rented out your home and found it trashed when you returned. With no cameras, you can’t really prove who was responsible for the damage.

Now imagine that you rented a home and in the time between when you left and when the owner returned, someone broke into the house and stole various items. Without any security cameras, how can you avoid being accused of theft?

If we can glean any lesson from Charlie Brems’ experience it’s that renters and rentees have to compromise when it comes to security cameras.

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