An investigation has revealed Swansea Council staff are letting out their offices to holidaymakers on Airbnb in order to earn extra cash.
The investigation found that office workers in County Hall were the common offenders, due to the building’s proximity to the sea. It also found that the scam was popular due to the lack of inflation matching pay rises, coupled with the fact they often finished at 3pm, a perfect check in time for tourists.
Investigator Theresa Connell said: “It’s a clever money making scheme when you think about it. There’s virtually no one there in the afternoon so it’s quiet, positioned well for walks and has free parking. It’s a holidaymakers dream.
“We found an advert on Airbnb which was advertising a ‘quiet, barely used space, close to the promenade but lacking inspiration’ and immediately became suspicious.
“We contacted the advertiser via email and despite being met with an out of office saying ‘I’m out, not sure when I’ll be back. Don’t hold your breath if you’re emailing after lunch’ we found that we received an instant reply.
“We made the booking and were instructed to collect the keys to the office from the worker, a Marketing Officer, from her house at 15:20 as she had put in her diary that she had a ‘meeting’ at 15:00.
“We were told she’d be in work around 11am the next day and in the unlikely event anyone approached us, we were to tell them we were auditing something and that the individual would then go home ill.”
Council spokesperson Pete Bowen said: “My office is on the top floor, would I earn more for that?”