The 29-year-old was allegedly raped at knife point (stock photo) (Image: PA)

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Airbnb have paid a woman £5million after she was allegedly held at knifepoint and raped by a man who had got into her rental apartment.

The Australian traveller and her friends had picked up the keys to the New York flat on New Year's Eve 2015.

A man reportedly made his way into the home using keys he had copied before the victim came back from a bar ahead of her friends.

The suspect, Junior Lee, 24, then allegedly hid in the bathroom with a kitchen knife before jumping out at the 29-year-old.

Lee, who is in custody, is accused of raping the woman while people walked past the apartment on the street outside.

After the attack he allegedly fled the scene with her phone, prompting the victim to use an iPad to call her friends who rushed back to the apartment.

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The man made his way into the woman's apartment on New Year's Eve, it was reported
(Image: SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Police were in the flat when a man is said to have peered through the doorway an hour later.

They allegedly emptied his backpack and found a knife, one of the woman’s earrings, and a set of keys to the apartment, reports Bloomberg.

Following the incident Lee was charged with predatory sexual assault, which carries a maximum sentence of life in prison, Bloomberg reports.

A prosecutor told the judge that Lee, 24, was a “career criminal” with 40 misdemeanour convictions, according to court transcripts.

Lee pleaded not guilty, and bail was set at $250,000 (£177,000).

Lee, who’s been deemed mentally unfit, is in custody awaiting further examination.

Following the alleged attack Airbnb's safety team contacted the local police department to offer its assistance and put the victim in a hotel.

It also offered to pay for costs such as counselling and flew her mother overseas from Australia.

Two years after the attack the woman reached an agreement with Airbnb which means she cannot blame or sue the company or the apartment host where she stayed, Bloomberg reported.

Airbnb reportedly paid the woman £5million
(Image: Herwin Bahar/ZUMA Wire/REX/Shutterstock)

Airbnb spokesman Ben Breit told the New York Post: "In sexual assault cases, in the settlements we've reached, survivors can speak freely about their experiences. This includes the NYC case."

Since the attack, the company has not overhauled its rules on keys and where hosts may leave them.

Hosts on the platform are not required to use keypad locks or change codes for keypads between bookings, as some have pushed for.

They are also not required to tell Airbnb who else has a copy of a property's key either.

It has however introduced a number of discounts for hosts who want to buy items such as smart locks and noise detectors.

Lee's lawyer has been contacted for comment.