Guests find inside camera in Irish AirBnB --- story goes viral

Airbnb apologise to New Zealand family who found hidden camera in Cork holiday home

This story has gone viral. Apparently the Murdoch (NewsCorp) papers picked it up from the family’s Facebook post and now it’s gone viral. Some stories headline the fact that AirBnB took down the listing, some don’t. Some note that hosts are required to disclose cameras (this one was part of a smoke alarm) some don’t.

I am so tired of bad hosts making the news, while the thousands of good ones don’t.


I read the article however it was never mentioned (in the article I read) if the owner disclosed camera’s on property on his website. I am going to assume that he didn’t and that is why it made headlines. Unfortunately, some individuals do not read the TOS and update their information as required or are mistaken in their thought that once it updated on the web site all visitors will notified even those that made prior reservation before the change.

After reading a story about a guest installing a hidden camera in a bedroom and attaching it to the host’s WiFi network so it could send the video feed out to the internet, I started doing going through the house after each guest checks out to look for anything suspicious. I also check the router to see if any devices are connected to it that shouldn’t be.

He did not disclose the camera and said it was to protect his property…even if he had disclosed that he had a camera in the living room, it can’t be hidden according to ToS. I agree with Brian and worry more about a sicko guest putting one in for future guests.

I am curious as to why the guest decided to scan the in house wifi ports in the first place. It’s not something anyone would generally do - or know how to do - or necesarily have the equipment/software set up on a laptop to do. Most ‘normal’ guests just connect to the free wifi and happily surf away.


CNN has picked up the story. I will try to post the link. The Guest Husband is employed in web security and scanned the wi-fi network for devices. Just something he does everywhere he goes.

The camera was in the living room. The Guest Wife talked to the owner who had not disclosed the camera. The owner stated it was to protect his property so in shared space.

You may wish to watch the video & read the text. The video includes some info the text does not and vice versa.

It’s one big non story blown out of all proportion by refund/compensation seekers.

If the host was up to anything dodgy he’s have put hidden cameras in the bathroom or bedrooms. Given the number of stories I read in these forums about guests being …bad guests… in one way or another & AirBNB being so difficult when compensation claims are put in against their host guarantee I don’t blame him at all. I actually feel for the poor host, yes he should have made mention that there is a security camera in the house but the way the press are villifying him is pretty distasteful.

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At first, they weren’t seeking a refund. In the video, the wife/mom says she has some empathy for the owner trying to protect his property. The owner did not initially disclose 1. There was a camera on premises & 2. if this was the only camera. Without full disclosure, the family was concerned there were cameras in private rooms. It was after, they felt Airbnb did not take their complaint seriously things started escalating. The family’s next place to stay, was an Airbnb.

I empathize with the host about wanting to protect his investment, but a camera doesn’t need to be hidden to do that. Wouldn’t a prominently visible camera actually deter bad behavior before it occurs vs. just providing evidence of guilt after it occurs? Also, using camera footage as evidence for a host guarantee claim almost certainly would have worked against him since the camera was not disclosed.

The host may not be a villain, but he undoubtedly used some really poor judgement, and that can land you in the same hot water as knowingly breaking the law.


The husband does IT security… it’s his routine. I’m not in IT and it is fairly simply to check the wifi network.

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You absolutely cannot have hidden cameras INSIDE the rental. Guests have a right to expect privacy if the are walking naked through the space. The front porch is fine. Not inside, ever!!

Nope. Spying on people when they expect privacy is never allowed. This is highly damaging to guest confidence. The front porch, yes. Inside, NEVER. If hosts are that paranoid they need to find another income stream.

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I so wish this were true. Unfortunately for me it just documents all the guests blatantly breaching my House Rules. Only positive thing it does is get Airbnb to pay me when the guest still refuses to for whatever reason.

Most recently as a few hours ago! 5 guys booked and 5 guys and 3 girls ended up in the house… sadly they could have saved $150 in fines and a bad review if they had just included them in the booking and paid the $60 additional guest fees. Now they are still going to be charged that as well. Since the total of my claim is $210 I wonder if Airbnb will pay it if/when the guest does not. I’m now thinking that instead I should submit the $150 fines and then a change request for 8 instead of 5. Oh wait. That won’t work because they make you call for changes once the stay has begun. We shall see…

Oh, and the last guy that brought his undisclosed gun brought it right in plain view of the cameras while ensuring he hid it from the neighbor who was pulling out of his driveway across the street. The same guy who showed himself smoking on my property (against house rules) probably at least a half dozen times. The same guy (and his wife who the booking was made by) that showed on the cameras that he had not crates his dogs when they left the house. Still waiting for the 72 hour period on that claim to get Airbnb involved. The guy tried to call me yesterday but I didn’t answer.

In several of the articles, someone from AirBnB was quoted as saying the camera was not disclosed, which is why Air pulled his listing. The host seemed to be quite arrogant about it. And this family was on a 4 month trip, with most of their stays at AirBnBs!

Because he noticed that the fire alarm in the living room had a camera!

Not so. The articles all say it’s a normal thing he does as he is a security person in IT or something similar. They didn’t SEE the camera until they discovered there was an IP camera on the network. That’s when they then looked and saw it was in the detector on the ceiling.

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In this case the host not only had the cameras hidden and didn’t disclose them but also denied they existed until confronted with the proof by the guests. He should have his listing shut down permanently. This only became a national story after Airbnb did their usual BS “investigation” and sided with the host. The guest posted on her personal facebook page as well as others and airbnb had taken no action for weeks. And as you can imagine, the reactions are all very negative towards Airbnb.


Quite surprising to most of us here that they did side with the host. I wonder why? Evan as a host I don’t side with him in this case (from the limited facts we have from media).

I’m in a facebook group with the woman to whom this happened. Assuming that she isn’t lying the media has accurately represented the facts of the case as she knows them. Of course Airbnb’s side never tells what’s going on.

Because this forum is filled with people who landed here when they had a problem. Chances are Airbnb wasn’t helpful and so they searched the internet. Why would anyone come to the forum to say “I had a problem and Airbnb was great?” Why would any guest seek out a forum to tell anyone who would listen how great their Airbnb experience was? As I told “william norton” on another thread: yes when Airbnb sucks, they suck. Unhappy guests think Airbnb always sides with the host, unhappy hosts think Airbnb always sides with the guest. The reality is that 90+% of the stays are fine.

Certainly understand this. Still surprises me they skded with the host given how bad of a PR move it could turn out to be (and seems to have done).