AirBnB & Building Insurance

The landlord issued a signed written statement on September 12 that it was never his “intention to convert 1168 Pendrell into ‘a kind of Air BnB mini-hotel’.” Mr. Majithia, you could have fooled the tenants when you advertised the 2-Bedroom Penthouse @1168Pendrell on AirBnB that it sleeps 8 and put two queen size beds in each of the bedrooms.

When the tenants wrote to the landlord about his AirBnB guests (strangers) the landlord he wrote back stating they were “tenants.”  Does an overnight AirBnB guest sound like a “tenancy?” It sounds more like the landlord was running the Motel 8. Did the landlord require his AirBnB “tenants” to obtain tenant insurance for their one-night stays?

Mr. Majithia, it’s very easy to make these kinds of statements after the City of Vancouver has already ordered you to STOP.

cityorder

The tenants @1168Pendrell do not want to see their building turned into furnished short-term accommodations. Our fears are founded as shown in this video:

After reviewing the landlord’s AirBnB reviews going back to June 2013 (editor’s note to the landlord: it never was your intention to turn @1168Pendrell into kind of Air BnB mini-hotel, right?) some of the highlighted concerns in the video may not be far off. (In case the landlord has his AirBnB profile removed, there is an an archived copy that will be posted)

https://www.airbnb.ca/users/show/5667774?locale=en

The following reviews were posted by AirBnB guests who stayed @1168Pendrell in the month of August 2014, before Plan A Real Estate Services was ordered to stop by the City of Vancouver on September 3, 2014:

  1. “部屋に行くまでの共同通路(廊下)が異常な匂いでとても臭かった。 多分、ジュータンの匂いと思われる。部屋の中は大丈夫であった。 ベットのシーツが清掃されていなく、寝ると痒さを感じ、朝起きた時に 虫に食われた跡が体に残っていた。 小部屋の隅に汚物みたいものがあり、清掃されていなかった。 立地条件は良かったが、また、共同通路の匂いまでは我慢出来るが、 ベット回り(シーツ・カバー・枕等)が汚れていたのは耐えられなかった。” Loosely translated by Google Translator: “Joint passage to go to the room ( corridor ) is smelled very in an unusual smell . Maybe , I suspect the smell of rug . It was okay in the room . Sheets bet not been cleaned , and feel the itch is you sleep , after it has been eaten by insects when I wake up in the morning had been left in the body (editor’s note: OMG. When is the landlord going to have the unit sprayed for bed bugs? Before the landlord took possession of the building August 5, 2014 and started up his BnB, there was never was a bed bug issue in the building). Some waste like the corner of the small room , it has not been cleaned . Geographical conditions , but also was good , until the smell of the joint passage can be put up , but ( Bed linen , pillows , etc.) had dirty bed around I could not bear”
  2. “Nervous. This was our first impression of the AirBnB experience. We have used (website hidden) for years and have had awesome experiences. We had read the review’s of the unit and had realistic expectations. The nervous part was only 30 minutes long but felt like hours. We had texted, called and left messages with our arrival time but never got a response until we had been waiting outside the unit for 30 minutes. I honestly thought that we might have been scammed. I was texting the airbnb help site when a young lady, I don’t think it was Kar, came out and gave us the keys. Big relief, but it was still nerve racking having to wait while 5 of your friends are ribbing you about, “are you sure you made reservations?” The odd part of the whole communication with Kar is that she was SO responsive when we made the reservation. We must have texted a dozen times. Which also made me very nervous when I heard nothing on check-in day. The unit itself was just as advertised: GREAT location, GREAT price, needs renovation, needs more towels (we had 6 in our party with only 5 towels). The kitchen needs the most work, dirty dishes in the cupboards, limited selection of pots, pans and utensils. With great restaurants around the corner I can see why it is low on the priority list. Oh yeah, great sun deck. No A/C made for sleeping with the windows open. A little street noise but then we were in the middle of downtown. If you have trouble with sleeping bring your ear plugs. All the beds could benefit from going to Costco and getting the 3 inch memory foam toppers. Overall, it was a good one-night stay. If we were going to stay any longer we would probably limit the party to two couples so each had a little more privacy.”
  3. “This was a very nice, clean, modern apartment. Very close to the main street (Davie St.) with all the restaurants, starbucks, and local shops that you need. Very close to Stanley Park, and the water. Beautiful area all around. We were alittle nervous having the windows open at night considering this was a ground floor apartment and our son was sleeping in the living room. Anyone could hop in and out. It was a bit warm and would have been nice to have at least a fan. Dan was our greeter and was very attentive to showing us around to everything and making some local reccomendations. He was very accessible through the trip. You must purchase a space to rent, parking on the street is impossible and non-existent. We ended up with a space on our second night. Thank goodness. One negative aspect was the beds were very uncomfortable, like sleeping on plywood. Nice sheets but overall not a good sleep for us.” (editor’s note to this guest: this apartment was broken into through that same ground floor window a few months ago)
  4. “Communication was mostly great. Check-in was mostly smooth though I waited outside for a while. Check-out was an issue. Karen agreed to a 2pm check-out. My cousin had a 6pm flight back to England and was enjoying a Japadog when the cleaner let herself in at 1pm. This made for an awkward situation. The apartment was a good home base but some things were lacking. My group found the beds stiff and uncomfortable. The kitchen was well equipped regarding appliances but not cooking utensils or essentials. It would’ve been nice to have tongs to cook with, an extra pan, and a real cutting board (not plastic cheese board). We gladly left our remaining paper towels, salt and pepper for future guests to enjoy (*hint hint*). Regarding security and privacy, the stove fan didn’t have a dedicated exhaust duct so we had to open windows when making breakfast. This made for a security issue being on the ground floor and having no mesh over the windows. Anyone could’ve broken in (and stolen our breakfast or gadgets) but I’m sure it’s a safe neighbourhood. Some window mesh and solid window coverings would give guests more security and privacy. A major issue we found was either Karen or her staff maybe came into the apartment while we were out. We found a note which wasn’t there before stuck to some electrical unit on the wall. We felt a bit scared as we had valuables. A quick text message would’ve been nice. In a regular apartment, superintendents would give 24 hour notice before entering someone’s unit. I don’t know if Airbnb adheres to this general rule. This is where communication was lacking. Regarding the television, I heard from many other reviews that TVs at many properties run by Karen don’t work and only show static (haha fake TVs?). That was also the case here. It wasn’t really a problem as we came to see the city and sights not watch TV though it would’ve been nice to be able to check the weather. Good aspects include a well equipped bathroom which even had body wash and conditioner! A bathroom fan would be a good addition though. There were apartment laundry appliances provided. Also the apartment looked pleasant and was mostly well dusted. We cleaned up to the best of our abilities. I don’t give a high recommendation and people should book here with their own discretion. (editor’s note to this guest: see note above, this apartment was broken into through that same ground floor window a few months ago)

To highlight some other glowing AirBnB reviews from the landlord’s other condo properties in Vancouver:

1. “We have stayed 5 days in that appartment. Globally, we are disappointed. There were no Microwave, not even a garbage in the kitchen and the ustensils in kitchen are very poor. The oven was also dirty. The lighting was very limited in the rooms and the window could barely closed. The bed is old and we didn’t feel comfortable in it. I would not recommend this appartment to my friends.”

2. “Communication prior to arrival was fine, no problems. Someone met mein the lobby to bring me up to the unit 15 minutes after the pre- arranged time (after I called and left a message on Kars cell). She quickly left once I was in and initially the place looked fine. Once I set my bags down and really took a good look I realized the place was filthy. Not light dirt that can be vacuumed but DEEP DOWN dirt. The unit smelled like stale cigarettes, even after four candles, two air fresheners and me cleaning the unit myself it stunk. There were dirty dishes in the dishwasher. No toilet paper in the bathroom and the bedding had obviously not been washed. Thankfully, I brought laundry soap and the first thing I did was wash the sheets and bedspreads. There is one set of sheets which was used for two “beds” (the second bed being a broken cot). The bottom sheet was used for one bed and the top sheet was used for the bottom of the second “bed”, you cover yourself only with the comforter. The “DEN” is actually a closet – no windows. They put the cot in there..trust me, no one would sleep in that room! The couch is actually a sofa bed but the mattress was removed and so it sinks, is ripped, and smells. The chair has a spring sticking up right in the middle. The furniture appears to be something that was picked up from the side of the road to be honest. The carpets are stained, EXTREMELY dirty. The location is very good but definitely not worth the aggravation. I emailed Kar the first thing the next day wanting out, explaining how bad this unit was with no reply. I emailed again and no reply. We went to use the pool, gym, and hot tub but the FOB would not let us in. When we enquired at the front desk they informed us that our unit was not allowed in and to speak to the manager to find out why…again, no reply! I am not a picky person, I only ask that the unit be clean. I travel extensively and this is by far the WORST place I have stayed in, trust me, save your money, get a cardboard box, lay it under the viaduct by the COSTCO and I guarantee you will sleep just as well and feel just as clean. I should have looked at the other reviews prior to booking as they were spot on! I clicked one star only because it doesn’t allow you NOT to choose.”

3. “The apartment is disgusting. There was no top sheet on the bed. There were not enough towels. There were no kitchen towels or dishclothes. It is DIRTY. The balcony is FILTHY. The drywall repairs are UNACCEPTABLE. It needs to be painted. There was no coffemaker. No salt or pepper. No can opener. No spatula. No toilet paper. The fridge was NOT CLEAN. There is a rip in the couch. The wall decor had fallen down. The dryer did not work well and the lint trap was MISSING…FIRE HAZARD. We had to flip the braker for the lights in the bedroom. EXTREMELY UNSTISFACTORY”

and the list goes on…

The landlord seems to be very concerned about insurance. Does anyone know what kind of building or business insurance was required to operate @1168Pendrell as a bed and breakfast/hostel/hotel through the month of August?

If the landlord issued a statement that he “does not condone illegal business practices” and conducts his business “practices in full accordance with the Real Estate Services Act of BC and the BC Residential Tenancy Act” then why has the landlord taken down all of his short-term daily, weekly, and monthly condo rentals off the landlord’s website? Is it that the landlord does not stand behind his brand?

Tell us what you think: do you think the landlord is conducting his business practices in full accordance with legislation?

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