Bad Hosts and Cutting Property Owners Out

I own a property in a villa complex which was hosted by a third party. The same person hosted a property adjacent to mine. This host has been using the two villas for approximately 4 years.

It came to my attention late last year that the host embezzled approximately $2500 from my villa rentals. I confronted the host and after threats of legal action the money was returned. A short time after that the host and I parted company, for obvious reasons. Soon after, I discovered that the other villa being hosted was delisted, without notice or consultation, and all the reviews, bookings, some photographs and narrative were diverted onto my listing. Consequently, I had no listing and all relevant data pertaining to my villa were now being used by the host to promote the other villa. I know it sounds confusing. On closure I received an invoice from the host showing glaring abnormalities in bookings for Oct/Nov/Dec. Pay raises for staff, calls for Xmas donations, and outlandish claims for expenses in my opinion were used to recuperate the money she had embezzled and reluctantly repaid. As an example I took a screenshot for the month of November which showed my villa occupied for the entire month except for the 28th/29th/30th. The invoice from the host showed it to be occupied for 8 days only. I queried this and was told there were a lot of cancellations due to volcanic ash in the region. I then asked for an Airbnb transaction history for that period to prove or disprove my suspicions.

No reply. Two emails later still no reply. Off to Airbnb requesting a Transaction History, stating my concerns and my case et al. Negative response, after 7 emails and communicating with different ‘consultants’ the final advised to approach the host to discuss the matter amicably. Do you think the host is going to give me any information which is likely to incriminate himself, no way. I think as THE property owner I am entitled to whatever records are available with Airbnb pertaining to my villa. One professional consultant I communicated with I quote, “Wow, this is too hot for me to handle I shall refer it to the appropriate section.” No further reply. This the stock answer I get from Airbnb: I understand that the answer our team is providing you is not one that you are looking for. Regrettably, following our privacy policy, we are unable to disclose any account information to a third party. I understand that you are not physically in the same location as your previous business partner but we strongly encourage you to contact them directly to reach a solution. Really helpful. Doh!

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