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Report: Home rental company does not perform background checks on homeowners

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WASHINGTON (Circa) - Home rental site, HomeAway, does not perform background checks of property managers or rental owners, according to recent BuzzFeed report.

HomeAway is a home rental site with a similar concept to Airbnb. It is also part of the VBRO (Vacation Rental by Owner) family. Airbnb performs background checks and makes that information known directly on their website.

“If we have enough information (usually at least the user’s first and last name plus date of birth) to identify a guest or host who lives in the United States, we check certain databases of public state and county criminal records, as well as state and national sex offender registries for criminal convictions and sex offender registrations,” the Airbnb website states.

The BuzzFeed report claims that a group of women rented a home in Connecticut owned by a premier partner,” that was near a marina and offered on-site massages. But when one of the women told their mother about the home after they arrived, her mother ran the owner’s name through the sex offenders registry and his name was listed.

HomeAway gives “premier partner” status to hosts that have consistently good reviews; it does not mean the homeowner received extra vetting or a background check.

According to the sites Terms of Service, HomeAway “disclaim any and all liability arising from the alleged accuracy of the listings, reviews or any alleged breaches of contract on a user's part.” They also state that all property listings on the site are the “sole responsibility of the member.”

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Another renter had police show up at the front door of a property they rented in Florida to perform a check on the registered sex offender that lived there, according to BuzzFeed.

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