Anyone had someone "pretend" to be a guest to out your listing?

Been a long time Airbnb host and recently had someone “pretend” to be a guest (under the guise of the HOA). Have since been served with a violation order from the HOA (since it technically violates the building’s CC&Rs of rentals under 90 days). Is this legal for your HOA to do something like this?

Feeling a bit violated in SF …

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It depends if they lied about who they were. If they used a different picture or name this is not ok and you should flag their profile.

Just to clarify I’m only talking about whether the HOA being in the wrong here. The fact that you are violating the terms of the HOA is obviously wrong in any case

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You broke your CC&R’s and they likely broke Air BnB terms of service. They should get booted from AirBnB. You should get a fine from your HOA at minimum since “technically” you are 100% in error with your contract

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At worst it would only be technically not legal.

This is an interesting post. You feel violated but you are renting illegally? And what do you mean by pretend to be a guest? Did a person book your room and stay? You can report the guest but they were probably just a one time user anyway. It appears that you are going to have to quit hosting at your present location.

Some thing similar happened to us in SF in 2010 (throw flames all you want, ABB was new, we didnt realize we were breaking rules, we thought we were just making money while out of town, as that was ABB initial marketing ploy) The property managment company booked my then apartment atleast three times over the course of 6 months. To prove I was violating my lease, etc. They ended up paying thousands in reservations to do this, and bc of SF rent laws all I had to do was stop when they asked, to be able to stay in my apartment. It was a very interesting situation to say the least.

Im not sure the legalities of this bc a few weeks after the last ‘planted’ person stayed I got a call from their lawyer asking me to sign a release not to sue in lieu of a nice payout. I would reach out to a lawyer and ask them if your HOA can do this, I would think it falls under harrassment.


Yeah - it goes both ways …
The person did book and stay and I think the most will be just reporting it to Airbnb to prevent them from doing so in the future (they also did have some reviews)

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Wow - that’s crazy. Glad you had it sorted out and thanks for sharing your story here too.

I’d call them, don’t just flag or email.

That’s strange that they felt the need to book and stay. if they thought you were violating the rules why not just contact you and ask you to desist?

I’d read the fine print of my tenant agreement.
My friend isn’t allowed to Airbnb in their rental so they found someone who needs a place for 3 months and they have added them to the rental agreement. All perfectly within the rules set by the property management.

I think the issue is with this persons Home Owners Association, implying they may own not rent. @sfhost_1 what so your CCRs say about STR? Our happen to be from the 1960s, and only say ‘short term rentals permitted’. The other thing is if more than a certain % of the building is rented, I believe the HOA is almost forced to allow it (please check that as I heard it from a realator as a SF specifc thing)

I know a local host (NYC) who has been making extra money doing this - books an illegal airbnb and some third party (assuming it’s a hotel lobbying group) pays for it and his time.

I’m pretty ambivalent about it. The rent is too damn high. :confused: