Airbnb
Australian woman finds Airbnb-rented apartment being used as a brothel.Getty Images

A woman from Lismore, Australia, was shocked to find her apartment rented out using Airbnb being used as a brothel by a prostitute.

The woman who chose to remain unidentified said she was paid by the prostitute in cash for renting the apartment for two nights instead of the transaction being finalized over through the Airbnb site.

Within hours of the prostitute moving in, several men were spotted by the neighbours entering and leaving the apartment, which raised the alarm.

According to the woman, the prostitute is believed to be occasionally providing her services at other Airbnb-rented apartments in the region as well, reported The Northern Star.

Meanwhile, a spokeswoman for the Lismore City Council said according to the Brothels Act 2007, councils can without court orders shut down brothels that are being operated without development consent.

"Brothels and home occupations [sex services] can only be operated in commercial/industrial zones," said the spokeswoman said.

"If a complaint is made to council regarding a brothel or home occupation [sex services], council compliance officers are obliged to investigate the matter to determine if they have appropriate consent."

An Airbnb spokesman, however clarified that since the booking was not made using their trusted online website, it was not an "Airbnb reservation".

"When you book a reservation through our secure platform, you receive the benefits of Airbnb's global trust and safety programme," said the Airbnb spokesman.

"It's why there is a reminder to only book through Airbnb to every message thread. This was not an Airbnb reservation but we have been in contact with the host to offer our support."

In 2014, a man was jailed for 11 years for raping two American women who rented his Barcelona flat through the Airbnb site.