HOA Doesn’t Allow Airbnb, Forcing us to Leave

My husband and I have stayed (successfully) in many Airbnbs: houses, cabins, houseboats, and casitas. It’s been fun and interesting. We even became actual friends with the houseboat owner. During a recent trip to the Fresno area, we booked a room on Quail Lake in Clovis. My husband expressed concern about privacy, in that this was a room, and not an entire place to ourselves. I told him to be adventurous, and pointed out the nice photos of the deck on the lake.

I messaged back and forth with the owner, the usual: polite confirmation, polite reply, etc. We would arrive around 4:00 PM or so. At ten minutes to 4:00, the host messaged us on Airbnb: “Call me when you arrive, so that I can let you in.” I had printed out instructions, as my phone’s internet service is unreliable. I never got her message.

As per our printed instructions, we drove to the guard at the gate. He asked the name and address of the person whom we were there to see. We told him, offering up no information on Airbnb. Not that we were hiding it – it just seemed unnecessary. “She’s been told several times that the HOA doesn’t allow Airbnb. The police were here last night. If she hosts again, the police will be called.”

The guard was polite but firm. Two hundred miles from home, and tired, I asked if we could at least go in and sort this out, with the host. The guard said no, and suggested that we phone her. We phoned and texted, but heard nothing back. I called Airbnb on Saturday night, at 4:00 PM and was on hold for 30 minutes. Despite the distance, we drove home.

Two hours later, at 6:00 PM, the host phoned me. She was actually screaming: “You are so RUDE. The cops were never at my place. I’m calling my lawyer. You know what your problem is? You believe minimum-wage guards, with high school diplomas. The bottom 98% is who you believe! I’m educated, in the TOP 2% but you chose to believe minimum wage workers.”

Having worked with many psychotic individuals and mentally unwell folks as a career choice, I clearly saw a narcissistic explosion in full swing. Perhaps some other Axis II going on as well. She had been caught doing something that wasn’t allowed. Professionally, it was interesting. However, I wanted a refund.

I explained to the host what the guard said, and that perhaps he was mistaken, that indeed the cops were at someone else’s residence last night, not hers. Be that as it may, a paid representative of the community stated that no Airbnbs were allowed within their gates. The host agreed to a refund. I expected it that night.

When I didn’t receive it, I called Airbnb. This was at about 11:00 PM the same night. Someone picked up the phone right away. She heard my “side” of the story. She said that she would have to call the host, and to made a determination of what would be done, she would have to hear her side as well. About twenty minutes later, the customer service person phoned me back. She said that the host didn’t answer, and that a refund would be issued. During our phone call, the host had told me that she would refund me, and that I may never contact her again. Okay with me.

Posted in Airbnb Guest Stories and tagged , , , , , .


  1. Siobohan, yes, while I am a “cheapskate” oftentimes, I am not dishonest, and I’m taking post cancer medication, I was tired, very tired, and would have taken rest in a shack at that moment. I was indeed, not allowed in the private residence area. And I completely understand why now.

    • You shouldn’t be renting in established neighborhoods. Shame on you for knowingly disrupting residential communities.

  2. The information posted sounds accurate. For those who choose to check out the FACTS … the host had been running the AirBnB for over 4 months. When property management learned of it in August, AirBnB was notified in writing and a copy of the CC&Rs were included in the letter. The CC&Rs specifically state you can only rent your whole house. You cannot rent rooms. The “host” had been notified numerous times about the violation and continued to operate the business. This “host” was offering “amenities” that are paid for by the over 700 homeowners in the community. The courts have already ruled in favor of HOA’s on this issue. When multiple neighbors appeared at a board of directors meeting to complain, the board took action to put a stop to the business. For those wondering where this information came from … I attended that board of directors meeting. As for police contact, the sheriff’s department responded to the residence multiple times. On 10/15/18, the “host” was arrested for an outstanding warrant for an unrelated issue (public information). For the person who originally posted, our apologies for having to go through the “experience” of dealing with the host. The neighbors in the immediate area have had to put up with her bad behavior for years. Most likely you dodged a bullet.

    • Wow, thanks for that info. Geez. What a circus. It looks as though you guys have a great community. It looked beautiful. I love Airnb, but hosts need to obey local laws.

  3. Sounds more like a professional cheapskate that didn’t fancy the property, fabricated a story, and moaned about a full refund. This type of guests is basically ruining it for hosts.

    • If she really is what you said, she wouldn’t even waste her time on telling her experience here. A refund couldn’t cover time and energy consuming. I believe her story

    • I would have fancied a cot in a shack at that point. The property looked lovely. That wasn’t the problem. The problem was that were weren’t allowed access.

    • Hey you are really rude! Siobham!! You must be embarrassed after the comments from an actual neighbor. Oh and the host had a warrant. Geez come on

  4. We called at 4:00 PM, to the host, and she didn’t pick up her phone. She called us back two hours later, at 6:00 PM.

  5. This story doesn’t make sense. You were to call and meet with owner around 4pm. Instead, a screaming match at 6pm? Your timeline doesn’t match the arrangement.

    • “a paid representative of the community stated that no Airbnbs were allowed within their gates.” If the authority doesn’t allow Airbnb here, when the host called and screamed doesn’t really matter.

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