- New York police said they seized seven illegal vans advertised on Airbnb as cheap holiday rentals.
- The vans were advertised to tourists as a “glamping” experience for less than $US100 ($AU138) a night.
- One customer told the NY Post the van he stayed in was “smelly” and “awful.”
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Seven illegally documented vans, which had been advertised as cheap rentals for at least two years, have been seized by police.
The NYC Sheriff’s department posted the news on Twitter, saying its road patrol deputies had been busy impounding the vehicles, which were found on various streets in Manhattan.
The New York Post reported that the vans, which were advertised on Airbnb for $US100 ($AU138) a night, were touted as a cost-effective way to experience the city.
Ads for the van rentals said the vans were a “private room,” that could accommodate up to three people. “Glamp in a spacious camper Van in NYC!” one read.
Fox Business reported that a traffic enforcement agent detected that five of the vehicles parked in the East Village had long-expired registrations and number plates. Some dated as far back as 2000.
Following an investigation by the city’s Sheriff’s office and the NYPD Document Fraud Unit, authorities discovered an “operation of alleged fraudulent and illegally registered vehicles being used as Airbnb rentals on various streets in Manhattan,” Sheriff Joseph Fucito told The Post.
The cars have been confiscated since, according to authorities. Airbnb did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.
Uptin Saiidi, a California-based journalist and video creator said he was sold to the “glamping” experience which offered him the “#VanLife experience for just $US97 ($AU134).” But upon his visit, he noticed several concerns.
He told the Post that the key to the van, which was left in a lockbox, could not start the engine. The van also had a parking ticket when he arrived, he said.
Saiidi described his stay as “awful” and “smelly.” He added: “You have people literally outside walking and talking and cars trying to parallel park next to you all-night long.”
The owners of the vans are yet to be identified in the ongoing investigation.