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Airbnb: ‘Example’ photos of flats within developments must include disclaimer, says watchdog

The ASA says executive serviced apartments firm must make it clear properties advertised on Airbnb may not be the ones eventually offered to renters.

Nigel Lewis

airbnb

A corporate lets agency has agreed to change its adverts on Airbnb after a complaint from a member of the public to the Advertising Standards Agency.

The watchdog was contacted after the complainant spotted an ad on the home sharing platform by Berkshire company Executive Serviced Apartments (ESA) for a two-bedroom flat.

After enquiring about the property with ESA they were then offered a different one, prompting their complaint that the original listing images “exaggerated” the apartment offered.

The ASA says it approached ESA and highlighted that the images used in the advert should accurately “reflect the property the consumer will get”.

The advertiser agreed to include a disclaimer to say that not all apartments on offer via its Airbnb listings will look exactly the same.

Airbnb disclaimer

ESA’s disclaimer now reads: “Please be aware that we offer multiple apartments in each property, therefore the photographs shown are an indication of an ESA branded apartment in that property, but the floorplan may differ to the apartment you are booking.

“Rest assured, the same ESA amenities and quality standards are consistent throughout our apartments”.

This is believed to be the first time that a property listing on Airbnb has attracted a complaint from a member of the public to the ASA, reflecting the growing reach of Airbnb’s listings within the short-lets sector.

Dozens of short-lets companies advertise on platforms like Airbnb but all too often they do not make it clear that the generic apartments offered within developments are not necessarily the properties clients will book, research by The Negotiator has revealed.

Read more about Airbnb regulation.

October 17, 2018

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