'Fat-phobic' Airbnb hosts banned anyone who weighs more than 16st

Airbnb hosts are branded ‘fatphobic’ after banning people over 16st from staying at their cottage – claiming it could be ‘seriously’ damaged by larger guests

  • Owners of Bobbit’s Lair cottage in Sandwich, Kent, faced backlash for listing
  • Zsu and Marcus forbade guests over a certain weight in case it was damaged
  • Fat activist Lindsay McGlone, 22, slammed the ‘discriminatory fatphobic’ hosts
  • They claimed the 100kg weight limit imposed was due to ‘very old oak beams’

‘Fat-phobic’ Airbnb hosts have been criticised for banning anyone who weighs more than 16st from staying at their cottage – claiming their property could be ‘seriously’ damaged by larger guests.

Hosts Zsu and Marcus were slammed for their listing that forbade guests with ‘eating disorders’ to rent the property due to a ‘maximum weight limit of 100kg [15.7 stone] per person’.

After complaints from furious body positive campaigners, the £199-a-night Bobbit’s Lair cottage in Sandwich, Kent, appeared to be pulled from Airbnb on Tuesday evening.

The owners of Bobbit’s Lair cottage in Sandwich, Kent, (pictured from the outside) were slammed for being ‘fat phobic’ after they stated people who weigh more than 16stone could not stay at their holiday home

On their listing, hosts Zsu and Marcus added ten additional rules that their guests must adhere to, including their 100kg weight restrictions, and forbiding guests with ‘eating disorders’

After receiving a lot of backlash from their controversial listing, the duo removed it on Tuesday evening and re-listed it yesterday, simply taking out the reference to eating disorders  

However it was re-listed yesterday, removing references to eating disorders, but explaining the weight limit was due to ‘very old oak beams’.

Fat activist Lindsay McGlone, 22, slammed the ‘discriminatory fatphobic’ hosts and Airbnb for allowing the listing on its site and demanded the hosts be banished from advertising with them again.

But the defiant duo said that the property pictures were taken on a wide-angled lens and that ‘bigger than average’ people are not allowed to stay because they could cause ‘serious damage’.

Airbnb said that ‘discrimination has no place in their community’ and the property has since been removed from its website fully.

The new listing, which still had the weight restriction, now gave an explanation for why they were limiting who was allowed to visit – stating there was a risk of the ‘very old oak beams’ getting damaged

Fat activist Lindsay McGlone, 22, (pictured) slammed the ‘discriminatory fatphobic’ hosts and Airbnb for allowing the listing on its site. She is now calling for Airbnb to ban the hosts from using the site

Airbnb said that ‘discrimination has no place in their community’ and the property has since been removed from its website fully

But when the hosts were approached for comment, they refused to back down and re-emphasised that larger guests were not welcome.

Zsu and Marcus said: ‘We had someone ask about the bath size, then how wide the doors were.

‘We said “not suitable for disabled guests”.

‘Then the penny dropped once they booked. We had to cancel as the cottage could have been seriously damaged during their stay.

‘Understand the pictures are wide angle, bigger than average people are NOT ALLOWED TO STAY!’

Zsu and Marcus said they had been approached by interested potential guests about the size of the bath and how wide the doors were and they responded to tell the customer it was ‘not suitable for disabled guests’

When approached for comment, the defiant duo said that the property pictures were taken on a wide-angled lens and that ‘bigger than average’ people are not allowed to stay as they could cause ‘serious damage’

They said once ‘the penny dropped’ that the interested potential guests were actually overweight they said they were forced to cancel the booking in case the cottage was damaged

Fat activist Lindsay from Doncaster, South Yorkshire, was appalled to discover the listing and shamed it on her Instagram page.

Lindsay said: ‘When I saw the listing I couldn’t believe what I was reading, I couldn’t comprehend that somebody would write that.

‘I shared the listing because the people who wrote it need to be held accountable because it’s extremely damaging and I wanted it removed.

‘Specifying a certain weight is fatphobic as it’s discriminating against people who have a larger body.

Fat activist Lindsay from Doncaster, South Yorkshire, was appalled to discover the listing and shamed it on her Instagram page. Other restrictions for the cottage included no red wine, no drinking the tap water and no naked flames

The luxury cottage in the coastal town in Kent has a seating area in the garden as well as a large hot tub for guests to take advantage of. The Airbnb rules also stipulated there should be no more than four guests in the hot tub at one time

Lindsay said when she saw the listing that she couldn’t believe what she was reading and couldn’t comprehend that somebody would write that. Pictured: one of the bedrooms in the cottage

Lindsay said she shared the listing because ;the people who wrote it need to be held accountable because it’s extremely damaging and I wanted it removed’. Pictured: The cottage’s kitchen

‘They’re saying they don’t want fat people in their vicinity and they don’t want to take fat people’s money.

‘It’s probably come from internalised fatphobia and now they’re trying to justify it by saying they’ve got old oak in their house.

‘That doesn’t take away from the fact that they’re still being discriminatory, it’s trying to find a way to justify what they’ve said. It’s absolutely appalling.’

The listing originally read ‘NO persons with eating disorders may book, we have a maximum weight 100KG PP’ and was then amended to ‘NO persons maximum weight 100kg PP very old oak beams’ before the ad was removed from the site altogether.

After taking to social media to share her disgust at the listing, Lindsay accused the hots of being fatphobic and discriminating against people who have a larger body. Pictured: Another bedroom in the cottage

The 15th century two-bedroom cottage, that has a hot tub in the garden, came with a long list of conditions attached – alongside a bizarre portrait from cult horror The Shining

The fat activist claimed by posting the listing, the hosts were saying they did not want fat people in their vicinity and they did not want to take fat people’s money

Self-professed ‘fierce fat feminist’ Lindsay, who is a size 24, said the ‘discriminatory’ listing also perpetuates the myth that someone living with an eating disorder looks a certain way.

Lindsay said: ‘Somebody with an eating disorder doesn’t have to look a certain way, some are larger, some are smaller, this listing reinforces that they do.

‘Society discriminates against fat people daily. I’ve always been fat, comfortable with my weight and the term ‘fat’.

‘People think that fat people need to lose weight in order to fit in and that somebody who’s fat should always need to lose weight when in fact you can just be fat and happy.

Self-professed ‘fierce fat feminist’ Lindsay, who is a size 24, said the ‘discriminatory’ listing also perpetuates the myth that someone living with an eating disorder looks a certain way

Lindsay said: ‘Society discriminates against fat people daily. I’ve always been fat, comfortable with my weight and the term ‘fat’

‘I’ve been fat all my life, I don’t need to change.’

The property, advertised as a ‘fine medieval’ 15th century two-bedroom cottage, that has a hot tub in the garden, came with a long list of conditions attached – alongside a bizarre portrait from cult horror The Shining.

Bobbit’s Lair house rules

Check-in: After 15:00

Check out: 13:00

Not suitable for infants (under 2 years)

No pets

No parties or events

Smoking is allowed

Additional rules

1. NO naked flames or candles to be lit inside the cottage.

2. NO loud music after 10pm (we are in a residential area).

3. NO smoking inside the cottage.

4. NO moving furniture or rearranging the kitchen.

5. NO more than 4 persons in the hot tub at any one time (close lid carefully, its heavy)

6. NO persons with eating disorders may book, we have a maximum weight 100KG PP

7. NO non-guests allowed.

8. NO red wine in carpeted or bedroom areas.

9. NO drinking the tap water, use the filter machines for all drinks.

10. DEFINITELY NO LOUD MUSIC OR TALKING OUTSIDE AFTER 10PM  

In addition to weight restrictions, guests were ordered not to move furniture, re-arrange the kitchen or drink tap water.

One final note on the listing, written in capital letters, read: ‘Note not suitable for children of any ages – adult time only!

‘Please do not move anything in the cottage, it’s perfectly balanced out and when I return from my travels I hope to find [it] as I’ve left it.’

Activist Lindsay said she felt compelled to highlight the ‘vile’ listing so that people in the fat positive community could pick up the mantle on behalf of those ‘too tired’ to fight.

Lindsay said: ‘It’s absolutely ridiculous, it’s vile that the listing was taken down and then put back up.

‘The reason I wanted to share it so much is because you can’t read that and tell me that’s alright.

‘I need people to understand how these kinds of things affect us.

‘People who don’t have the support network I have, especially with eating disorders, could find it really damaging.’

Lindsay said the hosts should be banned from the site and that Airbnb should issue an apology.

Lindsay said: ‘Bobbit’s Lair shouldn’t be allowed on the site at all after saying this.

‘I also think that Airbnb should take time to address the fact that they’ve let this happen despite it being flagged to them on social media.

‘They’re a reputable company that people know, people recognise and the fact is they haven’t done anything.’

An Airbnb spokesman said: ‘Airbnb’s mission is to create a world where everyone can belong anywhere.

‘Discrimination and bias have no place in our community, and we have suspended the listing while we address the matter raised.

‘We enforce a strict non-discrimination policy and under our Open Doors initiative, if a guest feels they have been discriminated against, we will provide personalised support to ensure they find a place to stay.’

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