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Can I get in trouble for staying at an Airbnb - arranged location if it turns out the owner is illegally renting it out ?

Seattle, WA |

If I decide to stay at this place in Seattle ( https : / / www . airbnb . com / rooms / 119103 ) rented through airbnb . com for less than one week , and it turns out the owner of the rental does not have the required licenses / whatever it is they need to make it legal , can I get in trouble for staying there ? Note : I'm not sure at this point if he has the necessary paperwork filed or not . But I like the idea of renting through Airbnb and I'd like to know if I should ask all the people who own the places I'm considering staying for proof that they actually should be renting the space .

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Attorney answers 2

Best Answer

It is rare that doing business with a party requires you to ensure the legal status of the other party. There are some exceptions to that, but here the legal risk is upon the party required to obtain the license, insurance, comply with zoning and codes, etc. That being said, if you arrive and the premises are unclean, appear unsafe (you don't see smoke detectors, you don't feel the locks are adequate, etc.), then having a back-up plan within your budget would be a good idea. But that is always a good idea when traveling, right? You can then report the negative situation to the organization and voice your disapproval.

Without knowing all of the details, reviewing documents, and interviewing witnesses, no person should assume that this Answer constitutes specific legal advice for any specific legal situation. No attorney-client relationship is created by posting general legal responses on this site.



Hi Saphronia, Thank you for taking the time to answer my question. I appreciate it.


Leases in WA almost always state that the rental agreement is between the landlord and the named tenant, and that the tenant is not to sublet or invite other persons to reside in the premises without written permission from the landlord. The reason is that landlords are always entitled to know exactly who is residing in their property.

But on the other hand, tenants can have visitors or guests. If the landlord objects to the presence of visitors or guests, the landlord's remedy is a 10-day Notice to (the tenant, not the guest) Comply with Lease Terms or Vacate. If the tenant does not comply timely, then the landlord can commence an unlawful detainer action. Against the tenant.

YOU have done nothing wrong or unlawful, and as such you cannot get in trouble with either the landlord or the City. Especially if your plan is to stay there for less than a week (7

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Elizabeth, Thanks for taking the time to answer my question. It is a very helpful answer!