In London, as well other major Airbnb cities, rather than meeting a hospitable host looking to share local knowledge, you could well find yourself renting a flat run by a third-party management company, and collecting your keys from an agent who lets out hundreds of other properties.
With Airbnb advertising more than two million listings worldwide, Guardian Travel has investigated data available including how Airbnb gave a misleading data snapshot in NYC and purged 1,500 commercial listings. The result is exclusive data that shows how the site is becoming dominated by commercial lettings.
In London they found that 36% of entire homes let out on Airbnb are listed by a host with multiple homes on the site. In Westminster, this rises to more than half.