Prostitutes renting out New York apartments on Airbnb to use as brothels
Ulterior motive. Airbnb said the entire hospitality industry deals with the issues of prostitutes using their properties to entertain clients. Source: News Limited
PROSTITUTES are using the Airbnb homesharing web site to turn prime New York apartments into temporary brothels.
One escort service is even saving a bundle by renting Airbnb apartments instead of hotel rooms for clients’ quickies, says a 21-year-old call girl who works for the illicit business.
“It’s more discreet and much cheaper than The Waldorf,” said the sex worker, who spoke to the New York Post on condition of anonymity.
“Hotels have doormen and cameras. They ask questions. Apartments are usually buzz-in.”
The prostitute, a buxom brunette who charges up to $US500 ($530) an hour, said her escort service generally rents an Airbnb apartment in Manhattan’s Financial District or in Midtown for up to a week at a time — then cycles numerous hookers through the place for trysts around-the-clock.
The agency flies under the radar by having its workers secure the apartments through their own Airbnb profiles, then has them pay the rent with prepaid debit cards. The apartments usually cost between $200 and $400 a day.
“[They] probably save $200 to $300 a night by not getting a hotel,” the sex worker said. “It’s really good for business.”
One apartment that got turned into an hourly love nest belongs to publicist Jessica Penzari, 29, who rented it out through Airbnb March 21 through 23.
“She told me that she was in the Army and needed a place to hang out before she got shipped out,” Penzari said of her Airbnb “guest.”
“She said she was being deployed that week. She was asking for places to go out with her friends.”
But when a hooker got slashed by a client in the West 43rd Street apartment over the price of his “massage,” Penzari got a call from cops.
When she returned, Penzari was shocked to find telltale remnants including baby wipes and “at least 10 condoms.”
Penzari said Airbnb put her up in the swanky InterContinental hotel in Times Square for two nights — with room-service meals — and also paid to change her door locks, clean her apartment and replace her pillows and other belongings.
Airbnb, which operates in 192 countries, has been plagued by incidents of “guests” using its site for sexual escapades, including an orgy in Chelsea last month that was promoted online as an “XXX FREAK FEST.”
Late last year, a Washington DC woman reported that two men who rented her apartment over Airbnb used it for “male-on-male nude massage.”
Airbnb is also under investigation by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman for potential violations of a city law that bans apartment sublets for less than a month, as well as evasion of the nearly 15 per cent hotel tax.
Airbnb said it was cooperating with the NYPD over the alleged prostitution.
“The entire hospitality industry deals with issues like this, and we have zero tolerance for this activity,” it said.