A couple have spoken of their shock after discovering their professional house sitter was renting out their home on Airbnb.
John and Ed, who did not reveal their last names, told the Guardian they were on their way to Burning Man Festival in the Nevada desert, when they received a message from a friend thanking them for the use of their apartment that weekend.
The friend said they had found their apartment advertised on Airbnb. The couple later discovered the professional house sitter they had paid $2,000 (£1,852) to look after their home for five days was advertising it on the room renting website.
And despite fixing the internet connection and feeding their cats, to make matters worse the house sitter even relegated their prized cardboard cut out of Niall from One Direction to the garage.
Ed told the Guardian: "I feel violated, and pretty upset that somebody I thought I could trust has done this to me.
"He told our friends that there was a 'misunderstanding' between us, but there’s no way I told him he could go ahead and make $2,000 for himself."
They said their friends had called the police and changed the locks but they were unable to help as John and Ed had handed over their keys willingly. The couple have now said they planned to sue the house sitter in the civil courts.
A spokesman for TrustedHousesitters, where the house sitter had been found, said it always recommended getting references and police checks before handing over the keys.
He added that it provides a "house sitter agreement form to ensure both parties understand of what is expected of them, including who is permitted to live at the premises during the term of the agreement", which was not used by John and Ed.
Travel agenda - 8/05/2015
Travel agenda - 8/05/2015
1/8 Weed lead
The Barbados authorities have organised a clean-up to help clear the drifting seaweed that is blighting many of the island's beaches. The NationNews reports that the algae, which comes from the Sargasso Sea, has been piling up in much bigger quantities than usual. Other Caribbean islands are, so far, unaffected.
2/8 Economy plus
A new vessel, Baie de Seine, has joined the Brittany Ferries fleet, adding extra économie sailings to France and Spain. Along with sister ship Etretat, the line offers cheap, no-frills ferries from Portsmouth to Santander and Bilbao in Spain, and Le Havre in France.
3/8 Mex checks
Following last weekend's downing of an army helicopter by a drugs cartel in the Mexican state of Jalisco, the Foreign Office is warning of disturbances at locations including Guadalajara and Puerto Vallarta. "Stay in the tourist areas if possible and follow local advice," says the new bulletin.
4/8 Plenty of isles
Plenty of isles
Lundy, Rocker, Dogger, Fair Isle is a new book celebrating Britain's islands – and one that was never really there. From abandoned St Kilda to Hy Brasil – a non-existent isle that for centuries appeared on maps – the entries include illustrations and quotes.
5/8 Knight riders
Disneyland Paris is the location for a new Star Wars Jedi Training Academy, scheduled to open on 11 July. Children aged seven to 12 will be able to wield a lightsaber to fend off Darth Vader and his Stormtroopers as they master the art of using the Force in their bid to become a Jedi Knight.
6/8 Brutal Paris
Paris's Centre Pompidou is currently showing a retrospective of the work of Charles-Edouard Jeanneret, aka Le Corbusier. The exhibition runs until 3 August and features more than 300 drawings, paintings, models and more by the controversial Brutalist architect.
7/8 West by NW
West by NW
Manchester gets reconnected with Los Angeles and Boston from next summer. Thomas Cook Airlines, which is becoming the leading transatlantic carrier from Britain's busiest airport outside London, will fly twice a week to LAX and the Massachusetts state capital from early May to late October 2016.
8/8 London live
At the top of the "walkie-talkie" skyscraper in the City of London – officially 20 Fenchurch Street – a Sky Garden gives spectacular capital views. Unlike the nearby Shard, access to it is free; you must, though, book in advance online, and bring identification.
"As a result, this particular house sit was not registered on the site, so we did not hold the details of who the house sitter selected was," he said.
"We have made multiple attempts to contact the home owner requesting the house sitter’s details."
They said they had now removed the profile from the site.Reuse content