Racism costs Airbnb host $5000

August 20, 2017

When UCLA law student Dyne Suh and her friends headed to the Big Bear cabin they reserved through the website AirBnB for a ski weekend, they did not receive the reception they had expected. When Suh was just minutes from the cabin, the host, Tami Barker, informed her that the reservation was canceled and that Suh was not allowed into the cabin. The reason Suh was given for the cancelation sparked a legal firestorm that wound up costing Baker $5,000.

As Suh and her friends waited, surrounded by frigid temperatures in the mountain air, Barker informed Suh that she had no intention on renting her cabin to a person of Asian descent. Barker backed up her stance in the text conversation by basing her decision not to rent to a minority on the fact that Donald Trump is president. Barker further emphasized her point by adding that she does not want the country run by foreigners.

Suh, who has spent almost her entire life in the U S, tried to remind Barker that they had a confirmed reservation to which Barker voluntarily agreed, but Barker would not budge. In the midst of her ordeal, Suh made a video capturing not only her frazzled emotions but also the weather conditions in which her and her friends were now unexpectedly stranded.

Suh saved the text conversation she had with Barker and immediately sought financial damages through a California state regulatory agency to recover her deposit for the cabin along with the emotional abuse inflicted by Barker. In the end, Suh won a $5,000 settlement and Barker was forced to take Asian-American studies courses to learn understanding and tolerance.

When Suh’s video went viral, AirBnB immediately discontinued Barker’s account. The world-wide home rental company released a statement condemning Ms. Barker’s actions and insisting that AirBnB does not condone racist activities of any kind by its hosts or by its renters.

If you believe that a landlord has violated federal housing laws, reach out to our informed legal team for help with defending your rights.

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