Airbnb offers discounts on ‘creepy’ bugs that ‘listen to parties’ and send text messages to hosts’ phones when guests become too noisy.
Under the ‘party prevention’ section of its website, the home rental service says it wants to offer discounts on listening devices until April to ‘protect your space, preserve the privacy of your guests and maintain your relationship with neighbors’.
It comes after houses that are rented through the app are thrown away by guests who give wild parties.
Airbnb offers discounts on devices that monitor the sound in hosts’ homes, but say that guests must leave their presence before making a booking
The Minut is offered with more than 30 percent off at $ 99 (£ 76.42), while the indoor sensor from Noise Aware (right) is offered with 25 percent off for $ 149 (£ 115)
Devices on the list include the Noise Aware indoor sensor, with a 25 percent discount to $ 149 (£ 115), which listens to a sustained noise level, and the Minut with a 34 percent discount at $ 99 (£ 76.42) , which monitors sound together with temperature, movement and humidity in a guest house.
The Roomonitor, which warns your telephone and guests’ telephones for a lot of noise, if offered at a better price than half the price for $ 39 (£ 30).
The devices do not record sounds, but instead monitor sound levels. They listen to persistent sounds above 70 decibels, which may indicate that a party is taking place.
Sounds of 60 to 70 decibels are usually produced by loud TVs or stereos, while sounds of approximately 50 to 60 decibels are produced by a conversation.
The offer comes after houses that have been rented via the app have been thrown away by guests and turned into locations for large, raw parties.
This house in Levenshulme, Manchester, fell apart after being rented through the app and used as the host site of an 18th birthday party
A property in Levenshulme, Manchester, was also destroyed by guests in April 2019 after being rented through the app for an 18th birthday party.
Residents who lived in the neighborhood said the windows were shaking when the party was on the street.
A mansion in Chelsea suffered £ 445,000 damage in April 2017 after guests had used it to organize a party of up to 500 people.
The owner Michael Howard, 67, rented the house to what he thought was a family of four.
He filed damages with the Supreme Court at the end of last year and said that Airbnb had only offered to repay him £ 102,586.
This property in Chelsea, London, was left with £ 445,000 damage after no fewer than 500 people reportedly attended a party. The owners thought they were renting to a family of four
Privacy groups have Airbnb’s decision to offer listening devices with discounts as ‘scary’.
Spokesperson Kez Garner from security company CyberCare UK said the monitors could give ‘false positives’, for example when a baby was crying.
“I’m a landlord and I wouldn’t want to do it with my long-term tenants,” he told The Times.
‘I have to trust that they will use the property in the right way. People expect privacy in houses and hotels; you would not expect it to be monitored.
“Even if I had a wild party, I’d rather the owner not get notifications. If they do, what else can they see and hear? “
The Deputy Director of Fight for the Future, a website for defending digital rights, told Vice News: “We are rushing into a world where almost everything we own is somehow monitored.”
Airbnb says on its website that hosts must notify guests of all devices in the property and must do so through their ‘house rules’.
“If a host announces the device after booking, Airbnb allows the guest to cancel the reservation and receive a refund,” they said. “Host cancellation sanctions may apply.
“We prohibit security cameras and other recording devices that are in the interior of certain private spaces (such as bedrooms and bathrooms), whether or not they are made public.”
MailOnline has contacted Airbnb for comments.