How Airbnb handles discrimination claims

TechCrunch | 11/19/2019 | Staff
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When disability rights lawyer Haben Girma, who is blind and deaf, booked an apartment in London via Airbnb last month, she says the host cancelled her reservation after she disclosed that her guide dog would be joining her.

Prior to the cancellation, Girma and the host, Kirk Truman, had a lengthy exchange over the course of about a week-and-a-half in which Girma explained her situation, as well as educated the host about Airbnb’s non-discrimination policy that protects both her and her guide dog, the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Equality Act in the U.K., she told TechCrunch.

Discussion - TechCrunch - Truman - Concern - Freeholder

Despite this discussion, which TechCrunch has read and reviewed, Truman continued to express concern, saying, “I think my freeholder would be really unhappy with me if he found out that I had somebody stay in the flat with a dog/guide dog.”

The discussion continued, with Truman saying that “it should all be fine.” In the same message, he added that, had he “known when you first requested to book about you bringing your guide dog, I would’ve spoken to you about all we’ve discussed before proceeding with the booking.”

Couple - Weeks - Truman - Girma - Reservation

But ultimately, a couple of weeks later, Truman canceled Girma’s reservation. He justified the cancellation by saying the property would be undergoing some work during her scheduled stay, according to the conversation reviewed by TechCrunch. However, Girma says when her friend tried to book the same dates at that property five days later, Truman accepted the reservation.

When reached for comment about why Truman accepted her friend’s reservation for those same dates, Truman told TechCrunch via email his property has a leak and that the repairs are supposed to happen this coming weekend (November 23-24), which is when Girma was originally scheduled to stay at his flat.

Dates - Week - Contractor

“These dates were changed to this week by the contractor but then...
(Excerpt) Read more at: TechCrunch
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