When a group of party-goers arrived at their Paris rental home, for a weekend of fun, the friends had no idea they would end up being part of the latest Airbnb rental nightmare. Heads up, trusting travelers! There are more horror stories associated with the popular private property rental website than you might guess.
In this case, the Palaiseau home, located in a Southwest Paris suburb, rented out for $435 per night. It featured many great amenities including a swimming pool, seven bedrooms and a decomposing corpse in the garden.
According to the Daily News, the group was there to celebrate the 25th birthday of one of the guests. Unfortunately, the festivities ended abruptly after the discovery. Who can blame them, really? Eating cake after discovering a dead body doesn’t sound very appealing.
The family who resides in the home was away on vacation. They were unaware of the nightmare, which was unfolding before their guest’s eyes. When questioned, the owner told Le Parisien, a Paris newspaper, the property was not fenced and that anyone could have put the corpse there, without his knowledge. It was discovered more than 250 feet away from the home.
The Washington Post indicates the horrified renters, who discovered the body, were all questioned by authorities and cleared of any wrongdoing. However, foul play is suspected.
Evry deputy prosecutor, Bertrand Daillie, told the Associated Press the decomposed corpse was found in an area of forest undergrowth, covered with tree branches. The body, identified as a Caucasian woman in her early 40s, was wearing clothes but no winter outerwear.
An autopsy, performed yesterday, did not determine a cause of death. As a result, additional forensic procedures Are scheduled for this week.
— Audrina Bigos (@AudrinaBigos) March 1, 2016
The Washington Post goes on to say The listing for the home has been removed from the property rental website. A company spokesperson had this to say about the latest Airbnb nightmare claim.
We have offered our assistance to the police and will help them with their investigation in any way we can,” the spokesman said in an email. “We have reached out to the host and guests and will provide all necessary support. Over 80 million people have traveled on Airbnb and problems for hosts and guests are extremely rare.”
Even though the previous quote indicates Airbnb nightmares are rare, they definitely occur. This one, which took place in 2013, revolved around another dead body. However, instead of a stranger in the garden, it was the mystery of the “disappearing host.”
Kashmir Hill, from Fusion.net, explains the incident. Two college friends rented a small San Francisco apartment from a woman who left the area to care for her mother. The rental agreement was for two months.
Approximately one month after Jordan Ruttenberg and his roommate moved in, he started to notice messages on the Airbnb host’s Facebook page, in reference to her death. Ruttenberg reached out to one of the young woman’s friends, who verified that she had overdosed and died. He had this to say about the experience.
It was a crazy experience, really unnerving. It was her apartment with her clothes, her books and photos of her with family and friends, so that was really strange after she died. We didn’t reach out to Airbnb because we weren’t sure how they could help us. I got a prompt from Airbnb afterwards to review the place but I didn’t know what to say.”
How crazy is that? What’s even crazier is that Airbnb didn’t find out about the issue until Newsweek wrote about it. At the time, the company had no comment. In regard to whether or not it occasionally does anything to make sure all rental house are alive and well.
If you’ve been involved in an Airbnb nightmare of your own, feel free to share your story below.
[Photo by Thibault Camus/AP Images]