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Toronto condo owner returns from NYC to find stranger in her bedroom

TORONTO — Cori Carl is from New York, splitting her time between Brooklyn and Toronto as she prepares to take a job in the GTA in the near future.

She owns a two-bedroom condo downtown, sharing one bedroom with her wife, and renting the other to another couple.

Last week, Carl jumped on an early flight back from New York and got home to a startling surprise, finding a man she didn’t know in the condo.

“I opened the door as he was asking me if he should leave the keys with me or the concierge,” she recalls. “I could see that someone else had been sleeping in my bed and that someone else’s clothes were all over the bed and the floor.”

Carl can’t help but smirk as she describes the bizarre scene.

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A picture she provided to Global News shows her bed with someone else’s clothes scattered on it.

A Toronto woman came home from New York to find her tenants had rented out her bedroom on aribnb. Cori Carl

In her conversation with the stranger she discovered that her roommates had been renting her room out on the website Airbnb for $65 a night while she was away.

Aside from worrying about the fact that this violated her condo board’s rules, Carl says she was further disappointed in her dealings with Airbnb’s Trust and Safety team.

After a call, an email and multiple tweets, Carl got a response from a case manager stating that “Airbnb is an online platform and does not own, operate, manage or control accomodations, nor do we verify private contract terms or arbitrate complaints from third parties.”

The case manager promised to notify the host about the complaint and send them a copy, but ultimately “will ask them whether they wish to remove their listing,” essentially leaving the decision in the hands of the target of the complaint.

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“[Airbnb] were like ‘that’s our policy, here’s our terms of use, we’re done talking to you.'”

She worries she might’ve stumbled upon a dangerous loophole in the company’s policies.

“It made me think that anyone who has a roommate, has a house sitter…anyone, like my neighbour with a key to the [condo], they could rent it out on Airbnb without my knowledge and Airbnb can know about that and think that’s perfectly acceptable.”

A statement sent to Global News by the company Friday afternoon admits it wasn’t the best response and claims they’ve taken more action since.

“Our initial response to this inquiry didn’t meet the standards we set for ourselves. We’ve apologized to this individual and will be closely reviewing this incident and our response with our team,” writes the company’s Canadian manager, Aaron Zifkin.

“We are doing everything we can to make this right: we have removed the listing and this host from our site and have reached out to this individual to provide our full support.”

Carl insists it was actually her roommates that voluntarily removed the listing, including future dates she claims had been booked.

Asked why she didn’t evict them immediately, Carl says the couple has already given notice that they plan to leave at the end of May, and that the process of removing them would take just as long.

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She already has new tenants lined up.

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