Couple Comes and Destroys Serenity with Airbnb Rentals

We bought our land two years ago. We built and moved in last year. This is (was) our dream home: quiet and secluded on a pristine lake. Not a big lake, a very small one that is non-navigable.

A few months after we moved in, a few chalets started popping up. I turns out it’s all the same couple that built them… for the sole purpose of short-term rentals. They have turned our nice, quiet neighbourhood into a constant stream of loud strangers who disrespect the surroundings and the nature.

I’ve had to call the police numerous times. I’ve even had a renter call the cops on me accusing me of making death threats with a shovel (which is BS). I am in the process of taking this up with the city to get their rental permit revoked. In our HOA it states that the lots are for residential habitations only and cannot be used as a commerce or business, even liberally.

These people don’t live here and I, along with the other owners, have had enough. Quite frankly, f$#& Airbnb. Airbnb, and other short-term rental companies like them need to be outlawed entirely. This is unfair to people who just want peace and quiet.

Living Next to Airbnb Pool House Worse than Hell

I’m too tired for words right now but it is total hell – worse than hell – living next to a Airbnb with a pool in the backyard. It’s like every weekend or every day there’s a pool party, living next to a water park, and kids screaming their heads off from 8:00 in the morning till 8:00 at night. It started out last night; I didn’t go to work. I work overnight shifts at Amazon and when I can’t sleep, I can’t work. During the summer, it’s particularly hot; we don’t have air conditioning. These houses were built with no air conditioning. We didn’t need air conditioning in Southern California when we moved here. However, now that it’s getting overcrowded there’s more humidity and it’s hotter than hell. Not only that, but this neighbor built a wall in his backyard on the hill so they can look right into our bathroom window, and my bedroom window. It is very uncomfortable and noisy and I’m tired of it. I don’t care where we go on vacation; my parents never allowed my sister and I to scream like that all day long anywhere. It’s ridiculous living next to an Airbnb property.

Airbnb Guests Steal Firewood from Neighbours

When I bought my home in 2009, it was not beside a hotel. Now it is. The property adjacent to mine in a quiet, rural area sold a year ago to new owners who obviously bought it to run a full time hotel. Short-term rentals in the area are illegal, but the bylaws are enforced on a complaint basis and the fines are low. I find it very unpleasant to have new strangers arriving at the house beside me every 3 to 5 days. I don’t feel safe in my own home.

Although it’s in a rural setting, the houses are close. Airbnb guests and workers servicing the “hotel” have parked in my driveway blocking me in repeatedly in spite of “no parking” signs I installed after the parking problem started when the new owners showed up. The new owners’ realtor, building inspector, cable company, cleaning staff and guests have all parked in my driveway, parking me in and completely blocking the driveway.

Each time I have gone down and knocked on the door and asked them to move their vehicle. Each time, they rolled their eyes at me and indicated that this was a big inconvenience to them – but they did move their vehicles. I took photos of their vehicles and I was ready to have them towed. Although they always moved their vehicles, how many times a week should I be expected to go down and ask them to move?

If I need to get my car out to go to work, I don’t always have time to deal with an Airbnb vehicle blocking my driveway. Airbnb guests from next door have rung my doorbell early in the morning awakening me (I was thinking there must be some sort of dire emergency) to ask me where they might find a good swimming beach. Swell.

Even if I live beside a neighbour who I don’t like too much, I get used to them and I know who is there. Living beside an Airbnb hotel with a high turnover is much worse. Most guests are quiet and don’t cause any problems. But still – we don’t know who they are. This creates a sense of uneasiness and insecurity for the neighbours.

Some Airbnb guests are more problematic. With the average stay being 3-5 days and the Airbnb rented out solidly all year long, we were bound to get some problematic guests eventually. That happened the first two weekends in June 2018 when two separate groups of Airbnb guests were caught red-handed stealing firewood from a neighbouring house (not my house – I’ve had to install security cameras on my house to deter them).

The first group of thieves acted belligerently when confronted by a neighbour and absconded with the firewood anyway. The weekend of June 9th, the exact same scenario occurred: same neighbour caught the guests red-handed stealing firewood. He made them put it back this time and reported it to the police. The police won’t do anything; they have bigger fish to fry.

The neighbour who caught the firewood thieves and I have both filed complaints with Airbnb and with the municipality. We’ve requested that the municipality enforce their own bylaws. The municipality sent a representative right away to the door of the Airbnb. The owners happened to be present at the time, even though they are rarely present. I don’t know the outcome… likely a small fine and it carries on.

Airbnb has not replied at all to any complaints and the firewood thieves still have rave reviews about how wonderful they are on the Airbnb website. I’d feel slightly better if the firewood thieves had been called out and received bad reviews on the Airbnb website. There are no bad reviews on Airbnb. All reviews are positive. No one wants to risk giving a bad review because then they might get a bad review in return. That’s bad for business.

The review system doesn’t work because all reviews are positive. The picture of the BBQ shows my house to the left. The rocky garden in the background in that picture is my property. The owners do not tell the Airbnb guests this, so the guests are angry when I am out weeding my own garden. They have no qualms about trespassing. These guests got rave reviews. They could be staying beside you next week.

Has Anyone Tried Airbnb Neighbor Complaint System?

I live next door to an Airbnb that could serve as a case study in everything that is bad and wrong about Airbnb. You name it: late night parties, daytime noise, outdoor speakers, irresponsible fires, trespassing, and so on. It is an illegal operation that the town is well aware of, yet they claim they are powerless to stop them, despite clear violations of town ordinances.

As with many municipalities, the problem here is big and growing and overwhelming to a small town. The police have been useless. All of the neighbors complain about this place amongst one another, yet most are afraid to take any action, both from a natural aversion to confrontation, but also for fear of retaliation by the Airbnb operators, including myself; they have been aggressively hostile to those of us who lived here before they bought their place and turned it into a hotel and “event house” and destroyed the privacy and tranquility of our little corner of the California desert.

It is hard to describe the destruction of a neighborhood and a way of life, but everything we moved here for has been ruined by Airbnb. Many ask: why don’t you just put up a fence? Part of the beauty of the place was the absence of fences. Everyone lived here and respected one another’s property. All that is gone. Some have asked: why don’t you just move? To that I would say: where to? Where can I live without the risk of an Airbnb opening across the street?

It is a great thing for people looking to make money with their second home, but for those of us who live next door, it is a plague. What I’m trying to find out is whether anyone has had any success with Airbnb’s neighbor complaint line. Are they genuinely responsive or are you dealing with a chat bot? How much evidence do they require to take a neighbor’s complaint seriously? Has anyone ever been delisted from Airbnb based on a neighbor’s complaint? what was the nature of that complaint? How long did it take? Thanks for any feedback with a success story.

Family Vacation Ruined Over Airbnb Cockroaches

I had never stayed in an Airbnb before. My sister and I planned a trip to the Smoky Mountains together. She got a cabin through Airbnb and I stayed in a hotel in Pigeon Forge. We got to enjoy one family day together. The second night they were in their cabin they came in to find roaches everywhere. If they didn’t have young children sleeping they would have just left that night. They got up in the morning, packed everything up, and drove back home, which is an 8+ hour drive.

They only got refunded two of their nights and still got charged for cleaning. They were told that they use pest control but can’t control those this time of year; that is unacceptable. Now they are home and don’t even want to take their bags inside because they are afraid they brought them home. Their vacation was ruined and our family vacation was ruined. I will know to not use Airbnb if this is how problems like this are handled.

Airbnb Property Fraud, Long Con Scam in London

blankblankblank

I would like to report that my husband and I were just victims of an elaborate property fraud here in London by a long con Airbnb scammer. We lost our entire apartment deposit and what we thought to be our lovely new London flat we had been working for months to save money for and were preparing to move into this Monday, April 30th. I really want to make other consumers and families looking for new apartments aware of the potential dangers and get our story published to raise consumer awareness. It’s shocking what happened; I’ve never heard of such a thing.

As far as I can gather from police and what has happened so far, the situation is as follows. We saw a property advertised on Gumtree in our zone in London when we were looking for a new flat to rent for this year. We contacted the advertised “landlord” via phone to chat and set up a time to view the property for rent. We went the next evening in person to see the apartment after work for a walk through viewing. All seemed normal: there was a man who met us, and showed other couples through after us. Nothing seemed off. We even went back a second time for a second viewing.

We spoke to the “landlord” a few more times. He created a tenancy agreement. I had him amend several clauses on the rental agreement before we all signed the final agreed tenancy agreement. We sent over the bank transfer deposit for the property. We received an emailed receipt. We were told he would contact us a few days before the move in date to hand over keys and do a final walk through.

All seemed fine and normal until this week when my husband was unable to reach the landlord all week. Getting concerned, we walked to the flat – it’s in our local zone – to knock on the front door. A couple answered and said they were staying there until today, Saturday, April 28th, renting it via Airbnb. They told us the name that they had been given for the “host” who rented it to them, which was a different name than what we had been given as the landlord’s name for the property, the person who had showed us physically inside of the flat, drawn up our tenancy agreement, and taken our deposit.

We went home and found the property advertised on Airbnb by the host’s name (name now changed in Airbnb, I noticed) the couple had given us. I logged into my current Airbnb account in order to chat with the “host.” At first I thought maybe everything was still okay, and that the landlord would still contact us as I saw the flat was marked as not for rent at all after Saturday except for three days in May (which was odd, because we were supposed to be moving in Monday, April 30th).

I was hoping it was an error on the part of whoever was temporarily renting it out on behalf of the landlord on Airbnb. The host’s bio on Airbnb said he was a professional property manager. I saw 22 other listings, so I thought maybe it was a company. Wanting to investigate further, I asked if the property was still for rent. The host said it was, and told me to go ahead and book the dates in May. I asked for his phone number; he refused unless I confirmed the booking. I then asked for address confirmation, and the “host” gave me another post code, which was for another address, so that all seemed immediately alarming and suspicious given we were supposed to move in this upcoming Monday.

We phoned our bank immediately, and sure enough, the bank details we had been given weren’t even for the same bank name. Our hearts sank. We reported the fraud to the bank and started preparing for the next preventative steps. I decided to return the next evening after work to the flat. We again knocked on the front door of the apartment. The current Airbnb guests said they had called their host who agreed to let us have his phone number.

We called the host and he said he was a manager from a property management company called Prime Estate Agents, and his company had been managing the property for years. He claimed that one of his tenants at the property had conducted the scam, and had also taken deposits from other couples as well. He said although he was willing to cooperate with the police, he would give me no further information. However, I was welcome to visit his realty office.

When I went to see him yesterday, he was extremely evasive, would not answer questions about why he gave me a different property address and name when I had chatted with him via Airbnb. All he said was that there were multiple other victims in the scam, and that my lease was not valid even though the landlord’s name listed on the lease agreement was the correct one. He claimed anyone could find out this information via land registry. He would give me no details about who it was that had the keys from the rental agency on that night/stayed there via Airbnb booking, just said it was one of their tenants, and that they would not give any more information unless it was to the police.

Airbnb has not helped me at all, the property company says its not their responsibility, our bank says we cannot get money back unless the criminal’s account still has money in it, and now we have no flat to move into. The police said they may or may not investigate, and we are left with no deposit or flat, and no one that will help us. This has been a heart wrenching experience, and I hope by sharing this that maybe others can avoid such potential scams. We have been living in London less than a year and worked saving money for this flat, and are left speechless after this. Also, I believe this professional property company is breaking council and tax laws by renting full houses out not properly zoned for extended periods of time.

With Airbnb, There’s Always That One Guy…

blankblankblankblankblank

How does the saying go, “There’s always that one guy…”? Well…. Here’s the ultimate case in point. Meet our neighbor, who is an Airbnb Superhost. For the last two years, against our repeated requests to desist, has fraudulently included pictures of our land, and that of our adjacent neighbors in her listing, describing our lands as a “wildlife preserve” and a “treat for those who love hiking, bird watching and nature in its pure, undisturbed form.”

Needless to say, the fraudulent advertisement of our lands has created an ongoing problem of Airbnb guests trespassing on our property and/or stealing our kayaks, crab pots, fishing gear and boats. At our wit’s end, we finally filed a formal complaint with Airbnb over four weeks ago, but to date, no action has been taken by either Airbnb or the host to remove the pictures, and all of our inquiries on the matter have been stonewalled by Airbnb.

Although we feel badly for the unwitting Airbnb guests, we foresee a lot of ruined vacations on their end, as we intend to press charges for every future incident of trespass and/or theft. Good fences make for good neighbors, but non-Airbnbers make for the best kind of neighbors. Just say no to Airbnb.

Airbnb Party Houses Are Out of Control

“I’m in hell. This is hell and I’m in it.”

That was the second to last complaint I left with Airbnb about the McMansion next door. The last one I just left a few minutes ago, at three o’clock in the morning on a Friday. I have to get to work in a few hours. I live in a residential area of Los Angeles. There’s a high school nearby, lots of homes and apartments, and it’s comfortably far from noisy areas and nightclubs. Within the past couple years, one of the properties right behind our apartment complex underwent construction, and when it was completed there was a massive open-plan mansion there. Just kind of wedged in among the other houses. It’s a quaint little neighborhood just off of Melrose.

Walled off, it’s like a fortress that you can’t see into, but you can certainly hear everything happening within. There’s a large pool area and a patio in the back, about ten or fifteen feet from the bedroom windows of every rear-facing apartment in our building, and you can hear the rushing of the swimming pool’s water feature with your windows closed. That’s actually quite nice… it’s like camping near a tiny, douchebag waterfall.

When there are guests staying there, you can hear the water feature and literally everything else, and that’s why I’m in hell. The property owner rents this property out at $600 a night. That attracts two types of clientele: people pooling their cash and looking for a place to party, and rich douchebags. The difference between the two groups is negligible. No matter who the guest is, it always results in some form of party, with shouting, blaring music, and general assholery until around four o’clock in the morning on any given night. It doesn’t matter if it’s a Saturday or a Tuesday.

These people paid $600 to party in a mansion in our back yard and – by god – they’re going to make the most of it. We can close all of our windows and crank up the volume if we want to watch a movie and it makes no difference; the noise carries so well and so aggressively that any music or shouting drowns us out in our own home. It’s like they’re bringing the party into our apartment, into our living room, into our laps, sitting right down and screaming in our faces.

To escape the noise, I’ve devised a lot of tactics, mostly involving a variety of white-noise devices and noise-cancelling headphones. What a future we live in. Several people in my apartment building have complained, either to the police or to Airbnb. It’s not like we were expecting much, but Airbnb somehow exceeded our expectations in not giving a single f#$k about us or our complaints. The police – I was told the last time I called – are generally putting up with too high a volume of calls to deal with noise complaints.

The property owner, who lives (I think) in France most of the year, is the kind of guy who charges $600 a night for strangers to party in his party mansion, so his capacity for caring about whether or not his neighbors sleep at night is buried away somewhere in the wretched cavity of his decomposing soul. One of our neighbors was talking about going to the local courthouse, but as of yet, nothing has materialized there.

I spent an hour one night just trying to make contact with the guests who were having the world’s loudest bachelorette party. Or maybe it was a birthday party. Or maybe I don’t give a f#$k what it was. All I really care about was the five hours of shrill screaming that started at 7:00 PM and somehow lasted throughout the entire night. I discovered that the wall surrounding the mansion is apparently very good at letting noise escape, but also very good at keeping noise out. I shouted, I pounded, I shouted some more. The front gate was locked, of course, and it wasn’t until the next day and I was speaking to a neighbor that I discovered the property owner had disconnected the front gate’s buzzer, so that if you buzz it for an hour in the middle of the night, no one inside the mansion can hear it. Ultimately, I wound up scaling one of the property’s walls in order to get the attention of the guests so they might be so kind as to shut up. Great times, all around.

The long and the short of the matter is, the poor suckers who live in my apartment complex – all of whom have jobs we need to be rested for, some of us having children who definitely do not manage well when they don’t sleep – are living within ten feet of a nightclub. A shitty, horrible nightclub. For me, the ordeal will be over on the 15th of December. That’s when I can move into a new place in a different part of town, where I’ll be able to sleep at night. My roommate is moving out on the 8th. For a moment we entertained the notion of sticking out the rest of the month, like normal people living in a normal apartment, but there’s nothing normal about this. There’s nothing normal at all about this. This is hell. I’m in hell.