New website targets illegal sublets on Airbnb

NEW YORK (WABC) -- A man who had his apartment rented out via Airbnb only to have a sex party hosted there, is trying to make sure the same doesn't happen to anyone else.

He's created a website called "Sublet Spy" to let landlords keep an eye on their tenants, and make sure the apartments don't end up on apartment-sharing sites.

Ari Teman's terrible experience with Airbnb prompted him to create a business that actually targets the company.

"If you list on Airbnb, we will find you, tell your landlord, and you may get evicted or end up on a tenant black list," Teman said.

In fact, Teman's on that black list.

Eyewitness News reported about how when he used Airbnb to list his own sublet in Chelsea, the person who rented from him threw an orgy that prompted the police to show up. It also prompted Teman's eviction.

"Certainly, I regret ever listing on Airbnb," Teman said.

Airbnb reimbursed him for property damages, but he says he didn't understand until after the fact that he was breaking the law by renting out his apartment.

Now he's a crusader. He launched sublet spy which uses technology to figure out who's offering an illegal sublet.

"Behind the scenes we're using tech artificial intelligence and computer vision, and we match the content words and pictures and public data," Teman said.

You don't have to be a landlord or property manager. You can find out if your neighbor is doing an illegal sublet for just $10 a month.

He says that's a worthwhile investment for property owners.

"If you catch this with Sublet Spy before the city does, you save yourself at least a $10,000 fine and tens of thousands in time and angry neighbors and tenants," Teman said.

Perhaps it's the least Teman can do after causing his own neighbors so many problems after using Airbnb.

"The fact that I get a little enjoyment making Airbnb squirm, it's a bonus, but it's the right thing to do," Teman said.

Airbnb didn't respond to Eyewitness News' email request for a comment.
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