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Found prior guest who checked out 8 days ago in my kitchen at 5 am today!


#1

I’m a single host, with a shared space listing. I live mainly alone, with the exception of my college age daughter who is home on occasion (currently here on break). I hosted a single man twice; just prior to Christmas (four nights) and for the long New Year’s weekend (three nights). His last check out was Jan 1 when he indicated he’d like to stay longer. I informed him I had guests checking in that day and would not be able to accommodate him. I ran into him that evening at a local restaurant while I was dining solo. The guest indicated he had rented a room at a local inn in town for a bit. He ended up very drunk, and actually fell over in the bar on his back after knocking over some bar chairs. Messy. The bartender took his keys, and returned him and his car to the inn and left the keys with the owners. He had asked me to drive him back and I declined - not putting myself into a situation!

Here’s where it gets crazy. At 5 am this morning my dog was barking furiously downstairs. My daughter was in her basement room sleeping, and I had two, first time, brand new to Airbnb guests in my guest room. I attempted to get my dog upstairs as I thought she was barking at the snow plow trucks going by. When she didn’t stop barking, I put on my robe and partially descended my staircase to find a man in my kitchen/dining area. I said “hello?” . . . and when the man looked up I realized it was this previous guest from eight days prior (from Pennsylvania, and I am in New Hampshire!). He had used the previous keypad code to enter - no knocking! I asked what he was doing here. He said he didn’t know anyone in the area and needed a place “to crash.” This man is over 65 years old and just happened to be in the area, during a huge snow storm, a days drive from home?? I told him he can not be here and needed to leave immediately. He did leave, but texted me later to apologize. I did not respond.

I called the local police department after the incident and planned to go to the station to file a report in the afternoon after work. I declined an officer coming to my house as I didn’t want to further disrupt my guests who were attempting to sleep. This guest later showed up at my Main Street business just prior to noon. I put my hand up and instructed him to leave. He attempted to apologize. I asked numerous times for him to leave and then threatened calling the police, which prompted him to finally leave. I went outside to see where he went but he seemed to disappear. There was a state police officer in his car out front, getting ready to go to the diner next door for lunch. I spoke with him about the situation, and he summoned an officer from the local police department. They found my previous guest in the diner - right next to my shop, getting a meal, and interviewed him and took his information.

Long story short, I provided a statement and a no trespass notice for my home and business to the police department. I am pressing criminal trespass charges and they are currently working on a warrant for his arrest. They indicated that from their interview with him that he’s checking into a stay in a neighboring town today, and staying until Friday (I believe at another Airbnb).

I did call Airbnb after the police this morning, and have been in contact via message today about the updates. I am urging them to suspend this man’s account as I feel he is unstable and may be stalking me, and worry for other women he may target. I also urged them to compensate my poor guests who dealt with this during their very first Airbnb stay. They did issue a credit toward their next stay, which I thought was very kind.

I will, needless to say, be changing my door code often, if not for each and every guest! I’m slightly worried about a bad review from my guests, but think they were very understanding (fingers crossed). What I’m more worried about is that this man may be targeting women to stay with, and I wish I could find out who is currently hosting him! Has anyone had anything like this happen, or have heard of this happening? This man has at least eight Airbnb reviews, so is not new to the program . . .


#2

Lesson Learned? CHANGE YOUR DOOR CODE AFTER EVERY GUEST – EVERY TIME – within 15 minutes of the guest leaving!!!


#3

Ditto what KenH said.

Exterior entry codes must be changed after any guest. And guests never get any keys they can copy. I’m sorry you had a frightening experience, you should be vigilant over the coming months. Seeing him at a restaurant, unrelated to his stay, is a big red flag to me - bold enough to enter your home, another big red flag. Then coming to your business?!? RED FLAGS!!

Be careful


#4

What a bunch of us do, @Tishiekate, is make the guest door code the last four digits of the guest’s phone number. My own lock allows for multiple codes, so I have a master for myself, and then a code for each guest. I change it right away - during the cleaning routine.
But door codes aside, you handled everything very well. I like stories with smart hosts in them. :slight_smile:


#5

@lawre, that’s a great idea. Easy to do and easier for guests to retain than a random number - thank you!! I do have a master for myself, but had gotten lazy with changing the code (read: too trusting of people). Big time lesson learned, and I feel fortunate it ended this way as it could have been much worse!


#6

@dropnothing . . . yes, red flags for sure, and I have been shaken, but not broken! Here’s to smarter/safer hosting in the future!


#7

What an absolutely horrible experience for you.

From what you say it sounds like this guy has an alcohol issue and may not even have a permanent home elsewhere.

You probably wanted to invest in one of those automated door locks which links to a guests mobile through Airbnb, which means the code is only available for the duration of the stay.


#8

I change my code after every guest and use the last four digits of their phone number on the reservation so it’s easy for the guests to remember and for me to delete.


#9

I do the same as @Lynick4442.

Frankly, I’m not as sympathetic as other posters.

Your not providing a unique door code to each guest and deleting it upon check out is irresponsible and puts other guests, your daughter and yourself in danger. It is your obligation to remedy this ASAP.


#10

@TuMo

The OP recognized the problem, had a scary experience & corrected the situation. Do you think your comment was beneficial? It is easy to judge a situation after it happens. It takes emotional maturity and restraint to realize that in this life, the best we can do is live & learn and give people grace as they do.


#11

Victim blaming is very very common.


#12

Yes. I made a mistake that could have ended much worse than it did. Being human, fortunately, offers great capacity for learning from one’s mistakes. I am inherently trusting of other humans, clearly to a flaw, but have learned a great lesson from this experience, and will be more diligent, mindful, and cautious from here on out.

Being human also offers the capacity for a modicum of compassion in the greater majority . . .


#13

Crazy!!! Glad you are all ok and that hopefully he will be banned from Air.


#14

I’ve got a good one for you, we have a door requiring a code and has a key. We made five keys–and lost ALL of them, including the MASTER! Your experience was educational, note to me, change password every time a guest leaves. Just thought of something, I do not know who the next guest will be, or their phone number. My reservations are not that close together. Maybe one interim password and then change it when a reservation comes in. Last night the reservation came in at 2 a.m. from California. That makes me fully booked for January.


#15

My own front door is frequently unlocked. I was wearing ratty sweats, no bra, hair askew on my hands and knees in the middle of my hallway scrubbing the grout. I heard my front door open and wasn’t expecting anyone so I got up to go towards the door and there were two complete strangers looking at me. I asked if I could help them and they asked for my airbnb guests. I directed them back out the door to the airbnb door (that is clearly marked with an airbnb logo). The female of the couple obviously wanted to die of embarrassment. I had a good laugh and went about my day.

This is not the same as finding a homeless drunk letting himself into my home at 5 am of course. I should be more careful I suppose.


#16

I am in Canada but I would like a revolver after reading this. I do have a bear spray next to my bed.


#17

Too common. Thanks for calling this out for what it is. The OP did a great job of taking back control of her situation.


#18

The OP’s issue with this guest extended beyond the entry code. He started turning up at places she frequents. If he was hiding in the bushes, he wouldn’t NEED an access code, would he? So realistically the situation was quite dangerous.

There isn’t a lot Air can do. They are umpteen miles away. And it’s always he said/she said.

That’s Air’s limitation. It’s all peace love and sharing until you get a jerk. The police told me flatly to quit hosting.


#19

UPDATE: The guest was served three orders of no trespass yesterday (my home, my Main Street business, and my family’s restaurant in town), as well as being arrested for criminal trespass. He had purchased a season pass to a local ski area, so had every intention of spending time in the area this season, and will also have to return to the area for his court date.

There were so many other details I could have posted. Details which spurred my decision after his second stay to NOT accept a reservation from him again. He brought me a Christmas gift at this second visit, and bottles of wine (perceived as generosity initially, but in hindsight?), told me he’d legally changed his last name many years ago after moving from one state to another (DUI and speeding tickets, he claimed, and also foreign, so wanted a more American last name), and other things I’ll save my breath/typing fingers over now.

Stay safe and vigilant, hosts! Here’s to a SAFE and prosperous 2019 for all!


#20

Oh @Tishiekate

This is really not what we sign up for when we host is it.

I think you have handled it so well but it is still a very uncomfortable/frightening experience. I am glad the police are supporting you. I do hope Airbnb have now removed his profile so he can’t book with other hosts and put them at risk.

‘Chin up chuck’ as we say over here.

I would suggest a stiff G&T but not sure it is appropriate under the circumstances :slight_smile:

I think I was right in my initial thoughts that he might not have an original home elsewhere. Definitely sounds like he has mental health and alcohol dependency issues.


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