According to the Airbnb user agreement, which the two signed, the spouses must first go to arbitration. This is a victory for the rental housing platform, because the company prefers to keep these types of issues out of court.
The Texan couple, who wish to remain anonymous, had rented an Airbnb home in 2016 in the US coastal town of Longboat Key in Florida, near Tampa. The owner reportedly recorded his entire three-day stay via several hidden cameras. It will also include photos that a lower court summarized as “private and intimate.”
After the couple found out that the registrations had been made, they sued both the owner and Airbnb. The two victims believed the platform should have warned them about previous privacy violations by the owner. A police investigation later revealed that the homeowner, Wayne Nutt, had been doing this for years. According to the Texas couple, Airbnb should have inspected the property in Longboat Key before the owner could list it through their website.
The parties must now first turn to arbitration, a method by which disputes are resolved without the involvement of a judge. This is a faster and often cheaper process, especially for the accused party. Then the arbitrator decides how to handle the case and whether the spouses are still right in court.