CBS 2’s Meredith Barack explains how it’s similar to what’s been happening at Airb&bs in Chicago. People rent a place for a night to throw a massive party, often times leaving behind a mess, or even a crime scene.
Now a similar stunt is creeping into the suburbs. Police in Orland Hills said after they busted a party over the weekend, they want answers from the rental company so it doesn’t happen again.
“I opened my door and I heard banging which could have been them opening the lock box or the door.”
Blake Biszewski lives across the street from the rental property. He said he initially thought someone was trying to break-in.
“I kind of realized that maybe something that police should be involved in,” he said.
Police said it wasn’t a break-in, but a party about to break out.
“We discovered some alcohol in the building and a little bit of marijuana. It looks like we interrupted a house party that was going to happen,” said Orland Hills Deputy Police Chief Michael Blaha.
The “host” who is over 18, told officers he was able to gain access to the house through an app called Rently.
The app allows users to schedule an unsupervised tour of a rental property, all for a buck, and your personal information.
“They paid a dollar and it gives you a code that was used to get into the house. He actually told us he had access to the house for five hours, so I don’t know of anybody who needs five hours to look through a house,” said Blaha.
Police were able to quickly verify that’s how the would-be, underage partiers got inside.
“I can tell ya before today, we didn’t even know about this app. The kid that did this said this is not the first time he’s done it. He’s done it in other suburbs. I’m sure this is not what this app is meant for. But that was his intention,” Blaha said.
Deputy Chief Blaha said he is still waiting to hear back from management company, First Key Homes and what it’s doing to prevent this from happening again.
“I’m looking forward to seeing what their explanation is,” he said.
CBS 2 also reached out to First Key Homes. A spokesperson said the company is investigating the circumstances of the incident and said it is disappointed that those renters took advantage of the Rently app, not only endangering themselves but the community.
The company added that it is reviewing operating procedures so it doesn’t happen again.