A BRIT couple have described their horror after spotting a spy camera in their Airbnb home – just after romping on the sofa.
Mike and Michaela Kennedy from Cardiff, Wales, said the experience at the £130-a-night home ruined their holiday.
The couple, who run and manage campervan rental company Sunshine Campers, were driving across northern Spain when they decided to book the small villa in Zaralejo, around 25 miles northwest of Madrid.
Pictures on the popular short-term holiday rentals website Airbnb showed a clean and pretty home surrounded by beautiful gardens, conveniently located as a base during their visit to the Spanish capital.
But when they arrived, they discovered the property was a far cry from what they were expecting.
The house was dirty and rundown, the garden was overgrown and neglected, and the couple were forced to spend the first hour of their stay cleaning up dead flies.
READ MORE ON HOLIDAYS
The biggest mistakes you are making on holiday that are costing you money
Woman forced to miss Disneyland holiday after niece rips her passport
But what horrified the Kennedys most was what they discovered hidden on the wall, after they'd enjoyed an impromptu sex session on the sofa bed in the living room.
Mounted near the top of the wall, disguised to look like a motion sensor or air freshener, was a small white camera.
As Mike, 55, told The Sun Online, they had already had a horrible experience at the property, and finding the hidden camera was "the icing on the cake".
He said: "When we got there the place was rough, but we didn't have anywhere to go.
Most read in News
Watch as eco warrior glues himself to talk show desk & gets floored
PM facing pressure to sack Suella Braverman after sensitive leak
China puts 210MILLION in lockdown as two 'highly contagious' variants emerge
I was reported for slavery by the refugee I homed after I asked her to WASH UP
"It was a s***hole, miles from how it was described in the photos, and at £130 a night it wasn't exactly cheap."
As well as dealing with the dead flies and "piles of rubbish" in the property, the Kennedys also had a miserable night's sleep after an "industrial pump" in the bathroom started up at 11pm and continued through the night.
"When we were packing up the next morning, I noticed the camera on the living room wall, pointing straight through the living area.
"It was small enough that you'd think it was a movement sensor, it looked like a phone camera."
The invasion of privacy was all the starker after he realised that "where we had sex was straight in view of the camera".
Where we had sex was straight in view of the camera
Although they had booked the property for three nights, they left the first morning after discovering the camera.
Mike complained to the owner, Luis, the following morning, and said they were leaving early.
But rather than apologise, he told Mike that he should expect flies and ants because the house was "in the countryside".
Mike went on: "We contacted him the morning we were leaving. He said the place is in the countryside and you should expect flies. We've heard nothing from him since."
He said that he didn't bring up the camera with Luis, because he didn't want to let on that he had seen it.
But he included it in his complaint to Airbnb.
Describing the customer service he received as "shocking", he said that at first, he was told by a call service worker that Airbnb hosts are allowed to have cameras for "security reasons".
They subsequently offered him a 50 per cent refund, and closed the case, until he persisted with them.
He has since been given a full refund, while the company has also offered to reimburse any of the Kennedys' additional expenses.
"It ruined my holiday," he said. "It's been a traumatic experience.
"I told them that this property shouldn't be listed, it's so run-down. It needs a complete refurbishment, it looks disgusting."
It didn't even have a kettle or toaster, meaning they couple were forced to return to their campervan for breakfast.
What made the experience all the more shocking was that previous Airbnb properties he had stayed in had all been top-notch.
"I've stayed in Airbnbs all around the world and this is the first bad experience I've ever had. The only reason we even stayed one night was that we'd been driving all day in the campervan and were exhausted.
"Otherwise we'd have turned around and left there and then."
Mike and Michaela, 57, later drove to a hotel which they described as "pristine", in a better location and, at only 128 euros (£110) a night, was cheaper than the Airbnb.
An Airbnb spokesperson told The Sun Online: "We have suspended this Host while we investigate and are providing the guest with our full support. We enforce strict rules on recording devices and take action on rare issues brought to our attention."
The company says that while monitoring devices are allowed in common spaces such as in this case, hosts must fully disclose any security camera or other surveillance equipment at the property in their listing.
Devices are not allowed to be concealed and are also prohibited in private spaces such as bathrooms, bedrooms, or other sleeping areas.
Read More on The Sun
Apple releases special iPhone that only certain people are allowed to own
I’m a mum-of-4 & I gave my council home a glow-up on a budget
The company has also launched a law enforcement portal and 24-hour Safety Line for guests and hosts for any crises that arise during a stay.
More than one billion check-ins have been made on Airbnb to date, and less than 0.1 per cent of reservations result in a safety report.
Source: Read Full Article