My Airbnb Neighbor Hell Begins Today

My Airbnb Hell season begins today. I live in a small 36-home community in Myrtle Beach, SC. We purchased a home here because we didn’t want to live around the tourists, but wanted to be close to the beach.

The short backstory is my neighbor’s wife left him last year around this time. She hastily signed a lease for an apartment and they reconciled in a few days, presenting their family with an issue of having an apartment that was unable to be sublet and a house in a residential only community. Our master deed states our homes are residential use only and the husband requested to rent his home on Airbnb.

Before we were able to have a Board of Directors meeting regarding his request, he had set up the account and had half the summer blocked off. We denied his request and had our attorney give an opinion in our case. Our attorney has sent two cease and desist letters but he has continued to book this year.

Last summer ended with Mustang Week: 22 Mustangs revving all night and day – fun times, right? Our homes are huge, so he fit more than 24 people in his home at times. The summer was full of riffraff in and out every three days that thought all the houses on my street were vacation rentals.

I have a pool so several renters tried telling me that my pool was the community pool and I had to let them use it because they were “paying for it”. A group of frat boys were catcalling at all the old ladies that walk the street for their workout. Several groups were so loud, I couldn’t let my children sleep in their own room.

Today, we have a new group in the house. It’s a small group but my children have school for a few more months and I’m worried about noise levels from vacationers, child molesters, and drunk people roaming my community again.

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  1. You sound like a real entitled Karen. Child molesters?! SERIOUSLY?! Get over yourself. It’s private property. Call bylaw if you must but you don’t rule the block.

  2. Sounds awful, but private property is private… YOU don’t get to decide what your neighbor does, neither does your neighbor get to decide what you do! That’s the beauty of American property law.

    HOA’s have very little say in any matter regarding a private property, regardless of any covenants or deed restrictions. Just like nobody can tell you how to use your car, their house can be used any way they see fit.

    If there is a noise issue complaint or harassment, these can be handled by reporting to the local city or country as that is a valid case of being a nuisance which can be stopped. As far as them renting the house out, they are free to do that as they wish. If you want to make the rules for his house, start paying his mortgage every month!

    • HOAsHaveNoPower, thank you for commenting! I have to respectfully disagree with you. We have a master deed and rules and regulations that must be followed as a community. The owner knew of these rules prior to purchasing his home. As I stated in another comment, he is within his rights to rent his home as a yearly rental (long term). However, he is using his home as a hotel and that is prohibited in our community.

    • You are very wrong about this. Communities have had zoning laws for centuries, back to Roman times. I cannot open a hog slaughtering operation in my front yard, or a gas station, or a used car lot, or a …..hotel, which is exactly what airbnb is — an unlicensed, unregulated HOTEL. I pray that your home is surrounded by airbnbs. Then we’ll see how libertarian you feel about the issue of Public Nuisance that is airbnb.

  3. You may wish to ask your HOA to report this owner using the Neighbor’s link. Airbnb will cancel illegal listings.

    To get their attention some wording to consider is:
    I am Jane Doe, president of the MyLovelyNeighborhood Home Owners Association. I am reporting this property for operating an illegal Airbnb. The HOA covenants prohibit short term rentals. The owner of this property, Mr. WhatsHisName has been notified to cease operations immediately. We will be pursuing legal action if his short term rentals continue. This is our notification to Airbnb of the illegal listing. Attached are copies of the Declation Banning Short Term Rentals and the signature page. (I think you can take pics of the pages & attach them to the message)

    Our goal is for this homeower to comply with the neighborhood covenants. Thank you for your support.

    Best wishes getting this problem resolved. The sad part is that it reflects badly on short terms rentals and there are many good properties with excellent, caring owners that are left with the negative feedback after this owner goes out of business (one bad apple…..).

    • Anne! Thank you and double thank you if you are the same Anne that replied previously! I was unaware airBNB would remove illegal listings. I called once and they dismissed me real fast and stated they had lawyers to fight HOA but a formal email or mailed letter from our attorney with facts and details about residents wishes may be more powerful! I like what you suggested and can add a few facts! I’ll send it to the board and have a discussion. Thanks again!

    • Are you sure about this? I am aware of the Neighbors tab, but it seemed to be merely window dressing. Has any airbnb actually ever been delisted for violating town ordinances?

      • @Bren – yes. Google this. HOAs and entire municipalities have restricted and/or banned short term rentals all over the US

  4. my neighbour rents her place with airbnb, so Far she put in there people who make parties, slam the door at 3 4 and 5 am in the morning, scream, and I’ve even been threaten and my door kicked when I once asked this group of thans girls to keep it quite, cause I was..well.. quite tired of listening to their love making, and so that happeneds with every one she gets in there…. it’s hell,

    • Natalia, girl I feel the pain.. sorry you have to deal with that. Post your story on airBNB hell! I’ve been getting great feedback advice so maybe you can as well!

  5. Rowdy renters —call the police on them. Please be careful referring to the issue being with Airbnb. This same situation can occur with any short term rental platform like VRBO, Homeaway, and a bunch more.

    Airbnb offers assistance to neighbors wanting to report a bad host. Under the help function search neighbor host and the info will appear. Here’s the link.

    • Anne! Thanks for your comment. For sure you are correct about referring to it as an airBNB issue. I’m using “airBNB” in my language on this platform because it’s and airBNB site and the home is listed on airBNB. When we discuss it at homeowner meetings, we call it “short term rental” and refer to the renters as “transient guests” or “vacationers”. Also, I used the airBNB report a neighbor feature last summer and they just dismissed it because the host gets good reviews.

  6. Can you ask your lawyer to sue the Host? Also- make sure to call the police when laws are being broken. Underage drinking should definitely be reported. And the pool should have a sign excluding AirBnB guests. Gosh- if a drunk AirBnB pest falls and injures themselves on community property the HOA might be liable- so let them know they are trespassers

    • Hi Good Advice! Thanks for the great advice!!!
      The HOA is going to have to move forward to file an injunction to stop this. We have already consulted an attorney and she has cited case law in SC where small communities like ours win against airBNB!
      The pool is MINE and holy crap, I didn’t even think about the liability for trespassers sustaining injuries. We do have a security camera at the entrance to the gate but maybe I need to take more precautions. Thank you for enlightening me.

  7. Report the guy to the tax office; address the case in a special AGM; ask your attorney to start legal action for trespassing, nuisance, violation of community rules. Best of luck! Indeed, you should not have to suffer from this asocial behaviour which – unfortunately – is rampant.

    • Hey Sue Ellen! He has a business license and airBNB takes the hospitality tax fees out of each stayover so he is within his legal right to rent out his home (long term). However, in SC the Master Deed supersedes county law so the use for the home for transient guests is our issue. The owner has stated that because his guest “are alive while staying in his home, therefore they are living there so they should be considered residents while they stay”. The rest of your advise is also useful! I do not think we thought of airBNB guest sustaining injuries.

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