Airbnb Nightmare: Squatters Destroy My Home

My last Airbnb guests have destroyed my home.  They were there for two months without paying.  They have brought cats into the house and have been smoking in violation of my house rules.  This is because Airbnb failed to tell me that they were not paying, and as a result, I extended their stay past one month.

They only just left recently after two months and the house reeks of cigarettes. Cat feces are everywhere. Airbnb will cost me thousands. I’m still waiting for Airbnb to take responsibility so I can make repairs. My whole case is extremely well documented with pictures taken of the interior during this guest’s stay from her own Facebook page.

It’s been one month since these people moved out and I still have no commitment from Airbnb and have lost another month’s rent because of their delay. This is the video I took after the police made sure the guest had left.

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Airbnb: Unaccountable During a Crisis

My experience with Airbnb goes back to 2016, but I never had to do anything like this until now. I recently stayed in a place for my family and had an incredible experience. The place was family-like and safe.

After we left, I received a message from the owner asking me for help, knowing I am familiar with the legal system. He was desperate because Airbnb didn’t respond to him. When he agreed to this new reservation, he thought he was getting a family: a married couple and kids. Instead he received a gang of 30+ people in his tiny home (that is made for a small family only).

Airbnb never responded to him. They replied to me when I expressed my concern as a customer, by saying that they will forward my request to another department.

Here is the copy of my request:

“I recently had several experiences with your company that are not very satisfying to me. I have experienced users like me to be disregarded and ignored when something important happened during my experience with Airbnb. And I have also, as it has just happened, with my prior host, the experience of you failing him, when he had to face issues with uninvited guests, a 30+ party of reckless people who care nothing about decency but rather about exploitation.

My family had the most amazing stay with them. We just left. And he is so desperate he had to reach out to me to ask for help because you are unable to assist him. He had a family of four signing up for his home, but instead a gang of 30+ people showed up and are causing havoc to his house. Which, by the way, is incredible and he doesn’t deserve this as a new Airbnb host. He was unable to reach you over one hour of a wait on the phone, so he had to call the police who also didn’t show up right away.

This is unacceptable. I live in San Francisco too so I understand how business works. I’m also a paralegal and I understand how the legal system works. And I would really appreciate if you could fix the problems you create on your end so people do not have to ever call the police. Put your heads together to create a system that actually allows customers to receive a response in a timely manner if they are forced to face with scammy clients. It should be automatic.

You need to be on top of your game no matter what. You are going to lose much more business at this point if you do not improve your customer service and if you use a ‘crisis’ as a way to let go of safety measures. If you are unable to perform to the fullest extent, don’t scam your clients. Just go out of business and allow someone else to take the stage, or face numerous lawsuits. Endangering families and children and elderly because you don’t have enough staff is unacceptable. I’m appalled.”

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More than $10K in Damages, Airbnb Paid $510

An Airbnb guest held an unauthorized party during the pandemic lockdown. We never allow parties, even before they became illegal.

This guest said she was coming alone. The police estimated that there were at least 100 people in the two-bedroom home when they arrived. The neighbors told us that there were several fights that spilled into the street before the police arrived. There was a stabbing. The damage to the unit was more than $10,000.

After three weeks of back and forth with Airbnb personnel who changed on a daily basis and would only communicate via email, they paid us $510 for painting and damaged walls and then they went dark. They refused to explain why all the other proof of damage and proof of value of the damages were being declined.

There was no explanation, just an email saying our case was closed and they would not reply again. They were very demanding about proving the value of items damaged and it was so difficult to comply that we did give up on certain items. We still were able to document more than $10,000 and supply the required proof of value. They simply said they would not discuss the reason for the low compensation.

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Airbnb Party House Makes Resident Consider Moving

I live in a relatively quiet, residential neighborhood in Washington, D.C. Unfortunately, the house next to me is a year-round property used for rentals that caters to groups of 15+. Oddly enough, this is illegal in D.C., and the absent owner advertises how they use a legal loophole to get past this. The owner proudly states that you can sleep in”peace and quiet” in their rental, and “no parties or events” are allowed.

I am so fed up with the constant parties: the blaring music at 3:00 AM, the fighting, the screaming, and the disgusting lack of respect guests have towards their neighbors. Just last night in the midst of stay at home orders, a group took the liberty of renting the unit for a party and turned the music up. I’ve had to call the police numerous times; they are always prompt, courteous, and handle the situation.

Last night’s group decided to retaliate and begin screaming that the police can’t quiet them down. I’ve had to go to the patio numerous times to politely ask guests to quiet down over the last year. I’ve been cursed at, had beer cans thrown at me, and told that I’m inconsiderate because it’s 2:00 AM on a Monday and their group paid “good money” to be there.

The owner doesn’t care whatsoever. I realize that it was probably of no use, but I called the phone number for Airbnb, and the rep had to ask me multiple times to either move away from people in the room or turn down my music. I was in my bedroom with the windows shut and white noise machine running; it was the partygoers next door. I’m sad that it’s come to this, but I will most likely have to move from the home and neighborhood I’ve loved so dearly.

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Semiautomatic Shots Fired: Sounded Like A War Zone

Shots rang out in very close proximity to my home at approximately 10:35 PM, on the evening of January 31st. My wife and I heard a series of around fifteen rapid-fire gun reports that sounded like semiautomatic weapons discharge occurring just outside of my home. These reports occurred in rapid succession and extremely loud.

Shortly after the shots were fired, we heard a vehicle drive off to the south. We immediately called 911 to report the incident and were placed on hold for approximately three to five minutes until an operator answered. We described the sound of the gunshots and relayed our location to the operator.

We remained inside our home for approximately ten minutes, and when we heard no more activity outside we went out to look for any evidence of the gunshots. We noticed that there were some young people loitering on the sidewalk opposite a house. We also saw several other people leaving the house and driving off.

The street had over thirty cars parked up and down from the house when it occurred; it appeared that a large party had been going on. A neighbor said she saw over fifty underage teens at that party, and that they were drinking liquor.

After about twenty to thirty minutes, police subsequently responded to the incident and determined that multiple shots were fired across the street from the party house. This home has a history of loud, disruptive parties.

Around ten armed police officers responded to the scene. Numerous young adults were observed leaving the house after the shots were fired. These people drove away from the neighborhood, but we also observed numerous cars and trucks driving by the house, for about another hour.

We spoke with the drivers of a few of the cars and asked them if they were staying as rental guests at the house. All of them replied that they were not. Altogether, we estimate that around fifty cars drove by or were parked in the immediate vicinity of the party house immediately following the gunfire.

I was able to take photographs of several of the passing vehicles’ license plates and all of the vehicles parked on the street. The line of cars ranged around a third of the way down the block from the house in both directions.

One of the drivers who stopped in front of the house said he was looking for “Derik”. He had a heavy accent and he kept pointing to his cell phone, which had the name Derik and what looked like a GPS map displayed with the local neighborhood and the house.

I spoke with several of the people exiting the house and asked them if they were staying at that house. Not a single person I spoke with was actually staying there as a rental guest. They were all apparently there for a party.

Shell casings were found on the ground and the police requested that everyone remain in their homes. The police officers discovered shell casings at the foot of the driveway of my next-door neighbor, whose home sits directly across from the party house. By the shape of these casings, they appeared to have come from an AR-15 or a similar sized rifle.

My wife and I were very disturbed that this type of activity was occurring so close to our home, literally next door. This house has been a source of continually occurring disruption in the neighborhood.

Back on Friday, October 25th, I had heard loud noises coming from the vicinity east of my home. After going outside to investigate on that October night after midnight, I discovered that the noise was coming from the backyard of the home. I had noticed earlier that day that there were numerous cars parked outside of the home, so many that they had impeded traffic on the same street.

After receiving a message from the neighborhood watch block captain whose home sits across from the home, we continued in a discussion that lasted several days, gathering information about the disruptions occurring at that home we dubbed the “party house” due to ongoing unsupervised parties. I had a meeting with officials from the City of Albuquerque following the incident on October 25th but no action was taken because the city coordinator said there were too few police reports.

After the gunshot incident, my wife and I spoke with the neighbors across the street and also with the neighbors further east of them. I telephoned the next-door neighbor of the party house who also hosts an Airbnb rental and asked him if he knew what was going on or if he had heard the shots, but he told me that he was currently out of town.

One of the residents close to the party house captured the weapons report on their doorbell camera. Apparently the sound was close enough and loud enough to activate the ring recorder in the doorbell of the resident who was across the street from where the incident occurred. There were about fifteen shots fired.

The report was extremely loud, rapid-fire shots from what sounded like a semiautomatic weapon. Several neighbors have confirmed this. My wife was in the kitchen of our home only about 30 feet away from where those shots were fired and she was terrified about it. It sounded like a war zone in our neighborhood.

After the police arrived, we found shell casings on the ground which looked like possibly AR-15 or AK-47 casings. The police told us that they would be taking photographs and making an official report about the casings found. We were also concerned that the police took nearly a half an hour to respond to this situation, which was also the case at the Orinda Airbnb slaughter.

As concerned residents of this Albuquerque neighborhood, we believe that the Albuquerque Police Department should have a plan in place to rapidly investigate and contain active shooter incidents more quickly, before many people can be harmed. Also, of additional concern to us as neighborhood residents is the fact that an online police report cannot be made regarding noise complaints or other serious disruptions of peace in the neighborhood or community.

We request that the Albuquerque Police Department create an additional category for online police reports that include incidents such as this. This house where the party was taking place is known as an Airbnb rental that has been a continuing source of irritation for our neighborhood with loud, unsupervised parties.

Despite complaints directly to Airbnb, this home is still listed as an Airbnb rental as of January 31st. We have been in contact with the City of Albuquerque regarding past noise complaints. But this situation is now much more severe. We are only grateful nobody got hurt, but the entire neighborhood got a wake-up call about the party house.

This gunfire incident is extremely disruptive to the peace and safety of our neighborhood, my wife and I request that the city terminate all rentals of the property, which has been the host for these kinds of disruptive parties. The owner of the home is not present to supervise such parties, and our concern is that such parties could get out of hand, as has occurred at other Airbnb parties that were unsupervised, resulting in fatalities.

There are some other neighbors who host guests in their homes as members of Airbnb, but their conduct is respectful, considerate, and non-disruptive. I believe that the party house needs to be closed down and no more rentals allowed.

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Airbnb Cancelled my LA Accommodation with no Warning

I have been planning a road trip around the US from Australia for several months now. There are five of us going: myself, my sister, my brother, and two friends who are a couple. Between us we are aged 27 to 43, one of us is pregnant, and we’re all nerdy. Hardly party people, right?

Due to the fact there are five adults needing four beds and we’re driving so we have a car, Airbnb is the cheapest and most convenient way for us to book accommodation. We booked all of our accommodation months in advance.

Last week, with no warning, I got an email from Airbnb stating our accommodation in LA had been cancelled. There was no explanation, no apology, just that it had been cancelled and I would get a refund. I messaged the host asking why he cancelled, and in the meantime searched for a new house.

What did I find? The house I’d booked, back online and available for the dates I had booked, but at an increase in price. Furious, I emailed Airbnb Support. According to their guidelines, if a host cancels the reservation “you won’t be able to accept another reservation for the same dates of a cancelled reservation”.

The host responds and assures me he has not cancelled the booking, but Airbnb has instead. Nowhere in my short email and text from Airbnb alerting me to this cancellation is it clear that Airbnb has made this cancellation. The host says it’s due to new laws in LA.

I Googled these “new laws” and found one news article saying Airbnb has cancelled a number of reservations in LA due to complaints of these houses being “party houses”, after a mass shooting at one in October last year. I sent Airbnb a follow up. The host has said that Airbnb is usually pretty good at assisting guests with rebooking after cancellations. This was not something they had offered to help with for me.

I finally get a response from Airbnb Support. They stated: “When we checked the host account, the reason why they cancelled the reservation is due to the new law in California regarding renting the place. Almost all the reservations were cancelled. Their local government is requiring them to do some stuff before hosting. Until the host settle this with their local government, that’s when they will start hosting again.”

I responded, asking why the house in question was still listed as available on Airbnb if the host has to “do some stuff” before being allowed to host again. I also requested advice on how to rebook in LA if this is a blanket law. Airbnb responded saying they do not have control if the reservation is cancelled by the host, which is why there are cancellation penalties in place.

Obviously the people at Airbnb were struggling to read English. This is not the case. Airbnb cancelled my reservation, not the host. I requested clarification, Airbnb responded with yet another weak excuse, blaming the host. I responded expressing my disappointment, asking why they hadn’t addressed my concerns or been able to give me an apology. They didn’t respond.

I’ve been sending them a message everyday, reminding them that I don’t believe my matter is resolved, and requesting to speak to a manager. I’m hesitant to rebook in LA, if the same thing is likely to happen (they won’t address this concern at all) and don’t want to risk my booking being cancelled too close to the trip, as LA is our first stop. Honestly, this has put me off using Airbnb because clearly customer service is not a priority for them. Does anyone know how you make a formal complaint against them?

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Solution to Airbnb Guests Damaging Properties

To hosts or those who are thinking of opening their own Airbnb. I have been hosting for over three years with 67 properties, and had over 50,000 guests stay with me. I met many other hosts and the biggest issues they all run into are with negligent guests. In my units alone I have had over 10% (5,000) of my guests violate my house rules.

Airbnb is based on trust. A guest, AKA a stranger, is entering your home and you have no idea who they are or their intentions. When violations occur, you must be able to prove them, and Airbnb always sides with guests. How do you prove smell over the phone? It’s rare, but few times, I was able to prove that a guest violated my house rules, threw a party, and thanks for my live notification system – AKA neighbors – I was able to keep the $250 damage deposit, remove the guest, and reopen my calendar for new bookings. I realized that I just made $600 of a violation.

Three major common and costly issues I face on daily basis along with other hosts:

Indoor cigarette and marijuana smoking – causes smoke to get into the walls and ventilation making it hard to remove. This cost me cancellations or horrible guest reviews.

Theft – There is new scam going around. Airbnb guests used fake IDs to book my unit for three days, and while you are gone they list all your valuables on Craigslist, etc., and basically have a garage sale in your unit without you being aware. By the time my cleaners got to the room, the only thing that was left was the lock and forks. It cost me about $5K to replace everything and a $500 cancellation. Airbnb ignored the claim.

Parties – Some of our properties are in Florida, AKA party towns. We have guests who threw parties, smoked, drank, caused major damages to the furniture and walls, and destroyed neighbors’ pools… the list is long. Which again, cost me time and money and many police reports.

I figured out a way to fix these issues, using technology, by building it myself. I want to protect all 680,000 hosts, and that’s why I have built and developed a patented, smart smoke detector designed to protect and prove violations. It is federally illegal to tamper with, and has a built-in tamper-proof sensor. But it does so much more: it has a real-time notification system that monitors your guests for violations, from the moment the guest enters to the moment they leave.

It’s able to detect and notify live:

• Indoor Smoking (Cigarette and Marijuana Detection)

• Fire and Carbon Monoxide

• Unauthorized Guests

• Break Ins

• Theft

• Excessive noise levels

• Humidity level (Mold Detection)

• Air Quality

• Bluetooth and Z-Wave Compatible with Smart Locks and Security Systems

• Guest Check-In Notification

As as bonus, it also comes with a built-in Property Management System that syncs with Airbnb, VRBO, Expedia, Booking.com, TripAdvisor and many others. This system is non invasive, has no cameras, and even mandatory in some cities. It’s plug and play, all you have to do is swap it with your existing smoke detector. I would love to hear your comments and questions.

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Shooting Inside and Outside my Airbnb Home

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On June 28th, my Airbnb was vandalized by a customers’ boyfriend and friends, who had no permission to stay at my home. The customer rented my Airbnb, and to my dismay, a wild party was thrown. I was alerted by my house manager that the house wasn’t fit for the guests who were supposed to check in at 4:00 PM, because it had been vandalized.

When I saw the damage on FaceTime, I was appalled. The house was riddled with bullet holes in the walls, broken furniture, feces and urine on the walls and floors, and old food in a majority of the rooms. The sink and tub were backed up. I used an upstairs attic as storage for my electronics, including televisions, house wares, food and cleaning supplies, linens, etc. Unfortunately, all of those items were stolen as well. That attic was off limits as it was written in my contract.

After watching outside video of the party, I was shocked to see the violent gunshots, and physical confrontations that took place throughout their stay. I contacted Airbnb, and I waited patiently for them to reach a resolution; I was ignored so I turned to social media, with hopes of gaining exposure for this ill treatment.

Finally, I received an email on August 19th that stated that an adjuster would come out to assess the damage. I decided to sell the home because of the negative connotations attached to it, fearing that the perpetrators may try to come back again especially since they’ve been sighted on more than one occasion driving by the home.

Airbnb never contacted me via phone. I received an email on October 19th, nearly a month after the insurance adjuster showed up on September 30th. By that time, I had fixed the walls, plumbing and some of the furniture that was salvageable, and the rest had to be discarded.

I feel as if Airbnb didn’t execute the situation in a timely or professional manner. They lack compassion for their customers, and instead of finding a resolution, they kept sending my case to a new customer agent instead of paying me for my huge loss.

Sue Airbnb to Receive Your Host Guarantee

I had a guest who lied, saying he lived far away and that he wanted to visit San Francisco. In fact, he live an hour away and wanted a house to trash while he was with his friend. I don’t allow smoking, but I found ashes and cigarette butts in my bedroom. Items were stolen and glasses broken. Urine was everywhere but in the toilet. He annoyed my neighbors, and left trash everywhere.

When I got home four hours after he checked out, I came home to a house with the lights on, TV on, stove burner on high, and windows wide open when it was raining. I was so upset seeing my nice home defiled. I cried for it. I did most of the cleaning myself, but I sent it for money for the stolen and broken items and for the wood floors warped from the rain.

Airbnb’s Home Guarantee office said that they wouldn’t refund me; apparently I violated the terms of service because my house is under contract for sale. My house wasn’t for sale, and it still isn’t. I called and emailed them, and I received this reply: “This is our interpretation and it is the only one that matters. Don’t contact us again about this.”

I then had to research how to sue them. It isn’t hard; I recommend it to everyone who gets ripped off. I sued them in small claims. You need to write a demand letter stating what happened and what you demand, what you want. They have thirty days to respond, and then you can file. For me, they responded right after the demand letter.

Look online on how to write one; you don’t need a lawyer. Small claims in California is for claims under ten thousand dollars. I needed a name to put on the form, so I just used the CEO. I live in California, so maybe it is easier to sue them, but I recommend everyone do it. After I sent the demand letter, I received a crappy apology by email and most of the money I asked for. I am done with them forever.

One Airbnb Guest Brought a Gun, Killing Four People

A home in a wealthy suburb of San Francisco was rented on Airbnb. The renters lied to the host, saying they were escaping from the fires and wanted fresh air. The host was out of town. The guests posted on Facebook that they were hosting a mansion party for Halloween. Forty minutes into the party, 50-100 people were at the house. The homeowner called the police. The police were on the way, but gunshots were fired before they arrived. One of the guests shot at the guests, killing four and sending four to intensive care. Airbnb hell for the host and the neighborhood, and the dead. Here is the story.