In the spring of 2017, the family of a Florida couple found themselves without a place to live after a fire destroyed their home in a flash flood.
The owner of the home, Kevin Brantley, was also not able to provide his family with insurance, so he asked Airbnb to rent out a house.
The rental ended up going for $7,500, but the family still wanted to move.
“We were like, ‘Oh my gosh,'” said Jennifer Brantleys, who had two daughters at the time.
Instead of paying for their own house, they were able to rent an apartment for $5,000.
A month later, after Airbnb’s rental program had ended, the Brantles got a call from Airbnb.
It was for a house that was going for more than $10,000 a month.
Jennifer Brantys told me she wasn’t sure what to think at the moment.
“But then I realized I didn’t have any money to pay rent.
I was like, I’m a single mom.
I can’t pay rent, so I’m going to rent a house.”
The Branties were looking for somewhere to live when they found the perfect spot on Airbnb for $10 a month in an apartment that was also located right in the middle of a floodplain.
When they moved in, they weren’t sure if the place would be suitable for their young children, but they were determined to live there.
I asked if they had any problems.
Kevin Brantle said he didn’t think they were the kind of people who should be living in a floodwater house.
“I was like that whole thing was like a joke.
It was just a joke,” he said.
“I guess it’s just like the thing that you do when you have nothing.
It’s like, what the hell are you doing?”
He said he was worried about the safety of his children, and he didn, too.
As the family moved into their new apartment, they found out they weren.
In their haste to find a new place to stay, the house went up in flames.
“There was a big flash and a lot of people were running out of the apartment,” said Brantries.
“We were so, so, mad.”
The couple was able to keep their apartment and their two kids, who are now 3 and 8, for a few weeks before they moved out.
Jennifer Brants said that it was a relief when the apartment eventually sold for $1,200 a month less than what Airbnb was offering them.
The family is now renting another house, and the Brants plan to rent it out again in the spring.
While Kevin Brants is happy with his new location, he is not satisfied.
He told me he would have preferred to have found a home for his family while he was still at home.
“It was a little bit of a hassle.
It would have been much better if I had been able to stay there for a while,” he told me.”
But I don’t really have a choice,” he added.
I told him that he was wrong and that Airbnb is a fantastic service.
“Because I live here, I get to go there and do my own thing.
So I really don’t care.
I’m not a big fan of Airbnb, so there’s no point in me being like, well, if they don’t pay me, then I’ll move out.”