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Illegally renting host

I am here seeking help from other hosts. The condo above me is being illegally rented out through Airbnb and this is according to the condo association bylaws. Tenants have been told by the property manager that she has been contacted to cease however, she has continues to rent. She claims they are all her friends coming to visit. But her listing is plain as day on Airbnb and I have seen the printed receipts myself. I have contacted Airbnb twice now. Next will be legal action but I don’t feel it is my responsibility to have to pay for a lawyer!

I am a single female who lives alone. Last night at 1230 A.M. I had a stranger with a flashlight shining it in my windows and doors WHILE I had guests! When my guest confronted him, he was polite enough however, it does not negate the fact that it was 1230 a.m. and clearly this scared me to death! In addition, each one bedroom condo gets one vehicle space. MY guest explained about the parking when asked by the renter. She does not have it posted on her site that you cannot have more than one vehicle. Additional vehicles are to be parked ON THE STREET but you will be subject to a ticket should the police see it parked without a parking permit. Last night, however, they apparently insisted on parking TWO vehicles in one spot (part of which was MY PAID FOR spot where my car was already parked). This morning I woke up to go to work to see the second car HIT my car and left it as is. Still parked there, still “attached” to MY car.

Every single renter knocks on my door looking for the “Airbnb rental” and it is all hours of the night! I am continually dealing with loud music, parties and parking issues. A few weeks ago, I had my front door open (screen door in place) and a woman walked past and stood there staring in my door looking inside!

So what do I do?

I would suggest:

  1. Report to AirBnB Neighbors if you have not already.
  2. Document everything if you are not already: time, date, type of interaction. Screenshot the AirBnB listing. Photograph or record what you can. Include documentation of when/how you contacted AirBnB and your property manager.
  3. Bypass your property manager and go to the HOA with the documentation.
  4. Be aware of your local laws and get law enforcement involved when appropriate. Most law enforcement won’t get involved in civil matters, but they may if the renters are violating your town’s noise violations.
  5. Get the license plate number and photograph the car that hit yours so that you can make an insurance claim.
  6. Keep your tone neutral, factual, and non-emotional in all interactions with AirBnB, the property manager, HOA, and police.
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Pictures were taken today as I left for work. Had I not been running late I simply would have knocked on the door.

I wrote a very professional message the other day and today to Airbnb. The other day they were pushing up to the higher level of management. They said they would contact me but I have not received anything as of yet. I wrote to them again today including a pic of the car and how it was positioned. I had been trying to be forgiving and stay out of her business but it is truly ridiculous. The property manager is worthless and states the condo association cannot afford an attorney. He ALSO said, “she says they are her friends.” It is just simply frustrating.

It is a shame that you have to come to this forum for support but it looks like you have come to the right place.
Xena has come good advice. I didn’t know about the AirBnB Neighbours site !
This is an outright infridgement of your space hopefully you will get some help and satisfaction from AirBnB.
I operate my AirBnB. Give my guests a short tour, keys to my house and I head off camping. Fortunately none of my neighbours even knew I was doing STL of my home! I would be mortified if it infringed on my neighbours.
Please report your progress and if you get any satisfaction from Air.
Good Luck.

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Thank you MaryMac. I knew about the Neighbors site and have reported twice on there. The owner prides herself as being the “Queen of Airbnb” but to blatantly disregard the condo bylaws is an issue. If it was just a matter of “foot traffic,” while it is annoying that everyone has to walk past MY door to get to the upstairs unit, I would simply adjust to it. But the renter last night was given clear instructions on the parking situation and disregarded it. A few weekends ago, another (2) renters parked in one spot however, the enormous Cadillac Escalade parked in such a way it LITERALLY parked in my visitor who was parked in the vistors spot. Legit parked it in right up to the bumper. Who thinks that is okay when parking? Now what has us tenants concerned is we live on a small, private beach with no rules/laws. What happens in the summer and people attempt to have parties?

Given all the bad publicity Airbnb had this week they are probably up to their ears in reports and complaints. Be persistent. Maybe tweeting your complaints with pictures will help.

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I don’t think that this is really a matter for Airbnb. All they could do, if they were bothered, would be to de-list the property. So the host would use another advertising service.

Yes, you could get them banned from those too but you’d have to do it every time and no-one has the spare time to do that.

What does the condo association say? Just that they can’t afford an attorney? Why do they need one? If the host is acting against their rules then of course they can do something about it without an attorney.

The chances are good that if this host is operating against the condo association rules, she’s also operating without the necessary licence or without paying the local taxes.

Similarly, she may not have STR insurance which could be disastrous for other condo owners. What if one of her guests caused damage to the building? Would the other condo owners be happy to have a huge assessment added to their condo fees to cover the damage? They would not.

One of the purposes of a condo association is to ensure pleasant dwelling for all owners. That’s one of the things they are there for. Because the host is doing this against condo rules, the association’s articles more than likely have some sort of fine they can levy for infringements. (This can be something like $100 per day).

Get the property manager on your side. As @Xena says, be unemotional and factual but do stress that the condo association must do something for the benefit of other residents. And stress that the condo association will have to pay for any damage to common areas (hallways, elevator, pool, parking lot, etc.) so it’s in their interests top sort this out.

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Hang on a minute - several times you’ve referred to ‘tenants’ and ‘other tenants’. Does this host own the condo or is she a renter?

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Jaquo,

But I researched and it states that Airbnb’s states you cannot rent out if it is against bylaws, etc… Said they could pull all her properties. The condo association can sue her for all the money she has made on it as well put a lien on her property but the property manager is lazy.

Jacquo

She owns the property and I guess I misspoke. They are “renters” in a matter of speaking I guess more so than “tenants.” They are only renting her place 1 or 2 nights at a time. Bylaws say you cannot do that and IF you rent it to anyone the lease cannot be less than 90 days at a time.

The property manager has a supervisor doesn’t she? Surely other residents don’t want this to continue. A group of residents need to appeal to the board. Or run for the board. :wink:

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@KKC hit the nail on the head. Often, the property manager is just a glorified name for a cleaner/maintenance person. He or she might not have anything to do with the condo association and is probably not even a board member. He or she might not attend condo meetings or even live in the building.

You need to go to the board directly. All condo associations have at least one meeting every year. (I think that here they are legally obliged to do so - it might be different where you are).

Put all this stuff in writing to the board, preferably the president. As a condo owner, you will also receive documentation informing you of the dates of meetings, plus the agenda of subjects to be discussed. So you’ll be able to see in the agenda when the issue will be raised.

If there is not a meeting coming up, then the condo association can call an emergency meeting. And this is an emergency - it needs sorting out quickly.

If the host is operating without licences, without paying TOT, without disclosing the income to the IRS, without STR insurance etc. etc. and the condo board knows about it, then they are complicit in the illegal activity - which they definitely don’t want.

The chances are that the board members will live in the building/complex so make contact with them (actual face-to-face contact, not email) as they should be as concerned as you, if not more so.

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Are you renting your unit, or do you own it? If the former, be sure to inform your landlord - they should be the one notifying the condo board on your behalf. At the very least, copy your landlord on your communications with the condo board.

That’s a good point KKC. I didn’t think of HIS boss.

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@jb1971 I will say this with the caveat that laws vary heavily from state to state, having said that, I used to be a deputy sheriff and with what you describe there’s likely a few things I could have charged people with here. I would imagine checking with your local PD or sheriffs dept would be helpful. I would imagine that if her obnoxious guests keep getting arrested or cited, that would stop her Airbnb pretty quick.

It sounds like it would be worth going up there, sitting down with them, and explaining the situation. They may be helpful, they may not.

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The only problem with that is she is never there no have never met her. She hires an outside crew to clean. I’ve never seen anyone with actual ties to the condo.

I’d post a sign on the condo door with a statement like this:

“Per HOA restrictions, condo units may not be rented for less than 30 days. Building residents who observe transient guests trespassing will report them to the condo board and local authorities.”

Then I would put the toll-free numbers for AirBnB/VRBO below and suggest they call to request alternate, legal accommodations and/or a refund. I think after just a couple of these calls, AirBnB and the owner will get the message.

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Grrrrr - don’t get me started on parking. I used to have an issue with my first Air property regarding parking. Guests do NOT read.
Luckily my driveway is long and double wide now so no issues here.

There must be some rules within the condo community for the parking. Lucky you on a private beach. Here’s hoping you get the inconvenience of those STLs under control.

Brilliant !!!

Well then, she won’t see the notice you post to notify future guests of the infraction. She will not be able to ignore the issue once her guests start panicking and contacting AirBnB.

I’d try to post it as close as possible to check in time as you can, just to avoid having the cleaners take it down. Keep reposting it during the guest’s stay, if you can. Surely there are other residents there you can enlist to help you with this?

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