A woman shares her experience of renting an Airbnb that allegedly illegally has no windows, calling it a “lesson learned” in a viral TikTok.
Heather Williams (@noworheather) posted the clip on Saturday in response to another TikToker post about how the “Airbnb era is coming to an end.”
In Williams’ TikTok, she describes the Airbnb where she is currently staying.
“The owner had his main house and then he took his garage and a separate room and turned them into two separate Airbnbs,” she says. “The house we live in has no windows, so we don’t know what time it is.”
“We always have to leave the kitchen light on because when you turn the light off it’s literally pitch black,” she continues. “Also there is no thermostat so you cannot control the temperature as that is in the main house.”
As of Thursday, TikTok has 121,100 views.
@noworheather #stitch with @hinameisguapo grateful we can be together even if it’s an Airbnb #airbnb #airbnbexperience ♬ Original sound noworheather
In the comments, Williams shared that the listing didn’t mention the lack of windows or thermostats, just “a basic overview.”
In a later TikTok, Williams explains more about why she and her family rented the place. She says they were moving and needed “an apartment for a month”. They tried to get a fully furnished apartment, but “it was a nightmare,” going from an Airbnb that wasn’t working to a hotel. Because they have a cat, she says, they needed something “private” and a “fully furnished Airbnb” that was affordable.
She adds that she and her husband “just don’t rent [Airbnbs] because it’s expensive.”
When they found this Airbnb she said the place looked nice and new in the photos. It had a rating that was good so they thought nothing of it.
“Big mistake on our part,” she says.
“We couldn’t see anything in the pictures [it had no windows] until we got there and were like, wow, it has no windows,” she continues.
The creator says he didn’t even know that an Airbnb with no windows is illegal.
“We’ll be contacting the city and Airbnb because while the guy was really nice, the apartment was pretty clean for what it was,” she says. “This is unacceptable because it poses a security risk.”
In some states, like New York, windowless bedrooms are illegal, and Airbnb specifically states that you must comply with building and housing standards. Almost everywhere in the United States, basement bedrooms are required to have a window at least 24 inches high. Research has found that living in a room with no windows can affect your sleep quality and negatively impact your mental health.
The Daily Dot contacted Williams via Instagram direct message and Airbnb via email.
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*Initial publication: June 23, 2022 at 5:21 pm CDT
Kathleen is a Honolulu-based freelance writer, editor, and communications strategist published by The New York Times, Vice, Huffington Post, Hana Hou! and others was published. She has worked in the communications departments of the Honolulu Museum of Art, the ACLU of Hawaii, and the Hawaii Community Foundation. When she’s not writing, you can find her in the ocean, walking her rescue poi dog, or painting oil paintings.
https://www.dailydot.com/irl/tiktok-windowless-airbnb/ TikToker says she stayed in an illegal windowless Airbnb for a month