Some Airbnb apartments used by escort services: report

Agency workers renting homes via individual website profiles

An escort service is using the Airbnb home-rental website to rent apartments in the Financial District, Midtown West and other Manhattan neighborhoods, the New York Post reported.

The agency’s workers rent the units through their individual Airbnb profiles and pays for them with prepaid debit cards. The apartments are often rented for a week at a time, at a rate of between $200 and $400 per day, a worker told the Post.

“It’s more discreet and much cheaper than the Waldorf,” a 21-year-old escort service worker told the Post. “Hotels have doormen and cameras. They ask questions. Apartments are usually buzz-in.”

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In a statement, State Senator Liz Krueger said, “While it’s nice that Airbnb spares no expense in compensating hosts who experience disasters like the use of their apartment as a headquarters for a floating brothel, that’s a textbook PR tactic and shouldn’t be mistaken for actual responsibility. Because if Airbnb were truly responsible, they would stop openly violating our local laws, or at least stop enthusiastically encouraging New Yorkers to rent out their apartments without giving them fair warning that it’s probably illegal, almost certainly violates their rental lease or coop/condo rules, and could get them evicted.”

Airbnb executives did not comment to the New York Post.

Earlier this year, comedian Ari Teman rented out his Seventh Avenue studio on Airbnb only to discover that an orgy, billed as “XXX FREAK FEST,” had taken place in his apartment. [NYP]Mark Maurer