Airbnb guest damage bills spiked globally last week after unexpected parties turned into ragers and drug-fueled orgies. While the hosts were away celebrating the start of the New Year more than 1 million guests used Airbnb on New Year’s Eve and unfortunately, some hosts woke up to more than a hangover. Airbnb guest damage costs have made the experience of hosting over the holidays full of heartache and despair for three hosts. The damage done by Airbnb guests is both financial and emotional to hosts as guests bringing alcohol, drugs and strangers into their homes.
A Rager in Oakland
Reshma Vasanwala and Jim Santi Owen were under the impression that they were renting out their Oakland home on Airbnb to an older gentleman from Chicago. As it happens, he turned out to be a teenager from Berkeley. Once the teen had duped the hosts and gotten his hands on the keys he threw a rager filled with alcohol, cigarettes, and more importantly 200 destructive guests.
“I was real concerned. I saw young people shouting back and forth” said a neighbor to ABC 7 News. She added “If it had gone on for two to three more hours, who knows, could have burned down the house.” The neighbor called Vasanwala, who was out of town, to tell her about the guest’s party in her house.
According to Contra Costa News, the couple returned to their home to find it damaged by the Airbnb guest. The owners noted their house to be filthy, littered with alcohol bottles, and subject to thousands of dollars worth of damage. Vasanwala went on to tell ABC 7 News how she came across “Tons of booze, broken glass, cigarettes.”
Vasanwala called the Airbnb guest about the damages and he actually returned to the house where police arrested him on the spot for vandalism.
While the Oakland hosts admit that they should have screened more, Airbnb issued a statement.
“We have banned this guest from Airbnb and our trust and safety team has reached out to the host to work with them under our $1 million host guarantee.”
Montreal’s Drug-Fueled Orgy
The Airbnb guest damage in Montreal may not have been as severe as it was in Oakland or London (see below), but the experience still inflicted emotional damage.
Justine Smith and her husband, Francisco Peres, share an apartment and had used Airbnb to rent out their rooms around 50 times since the spring of 2015, according to CBC. They hadn’t had any problems until their wedding night when they rented out both of their extra rooms on Airbnb — one to a single guest and the other to a young man and woman from Ottawa who booked it last minute.
In the middle of the night they heard the snorting of cocaine. Smith told CBC “It actually didn’t bother me that much,” she said. “It was more an issue of boundaries for me.”
Then, around 5 a.m., Peres heard people having sex in the living room. The newlywed couple decided it would be better to deal with it in the morning. Smith woke up to find two naked strangers on the couch and after a couple of angry tweets to Airbnb’s help desk, she woke her husband.
The young couple went to ask the couple they’d rented to about the strangers — only to find a third undeclared guest in their room. The party of five cleaned up the apartment and Smith said the situation ended well, with the only casualty being a living room carpet that they decided to throw out.
Their guests also left a note for the hosts.
“We were honestly just f***ed up,” the note read.
London’s Brazen Party Host
Christina McQuillan rented out her apartment via Airbnb on New Year’s Eve to a guest who said he was only using it to sleep in after a party that night. Hours after the guest had been given the key, McQuillan received a call from angry neighbors complaining about the smell of marijuana and loud music coming from the apartment.
According to The Standard, she found a couple having sex in the bedroom while a man watched and when she tried to break up the party she was punched by a hooded man. McQuillan, who called police after being punched, said when she told the guest renting her apartment to go, she laughed and said, “No, I’m holding a party.”
Damage to the apartment included a TV torn out of the wall, scratched walls, broken stools, ripped up flooring, and cigarette butts and joints could be found everywhere. In this case, the Airbnb guest damage tallied up to be approximately $4,384 (£3,000). Pictures of the damages in the apartment can be found on The Mirror’s website.
Last year, Airbnb had 540 reports of “significant property damage,” which cost more than $1,000, according to The Guardian. It had roughly 35 million guests during that time period. So while significant Airbnb guest damage may be a statistical anomaly, it still is a very real risk.
[Image via Shutterstock]