Nightmare Hosting Experience

To make a VERY long story a little less long:

We booked a “verified” guest to check in March 13, a local woman who said she was renting our 3 bedroom house for her and her teenage son for 31 days. She moved in her boyfriend, TWO teenage sons, and 3 dogs. On March 22 I receive a phone call. The man on the phone said “I believe you have an AirBnB and are hosting guest’s name, I was her last host, and I’m calling to warn you”. The short version: she rented his place for 4 months. After the first 31 days, her card was declined for the second month. She squatted for 3 more months! This is in Los Angeles and the tenants and squatter rights are very extreme, so it’s extremely hard to evict someone. In the 3 months that she squatted, she caused about $30,000 of damage. I don’t think this other host handled things properly and AirBnB is not giving him any coverage for damage, but he did report this to them multiple times. They did not cancel her account and she was able to rent again.
On to my part of the story: I immediately called AirBnB to find out if this is true. They of course couldn’t tell me who her previous host was or give legal advice, but they said I SHOULD cancel her reservation, refund her, and pay AirBnB the fee for cancelling. Upon further correspondence, I was transferred to Trust and Safety who said “do not worry, we will handle it”. Nothing happened. They cancelled her reservation and gave her a full refund, but she refused to leave. It took 4 days and many visits from LAPD to finally get her evicted (I immediately sought legal advice and hadn’t reached the 31 days for her to get tenant’s rights, so I was able to evict much sooner than the previous host). She caused damaged to our 90 year old hardwood floors by locking herself and her dogs inside for days, broke some furniture, ruined a mattress, and we had to have the locks changed of course. My sister and I (we own the house together) are still picking up the pieces, having to take time off work, and flying into Los Angeles to handle the matter. AirBnB is sending an insurance adjuster to meet us to get the damages covered, but we want compensation for flights and time missed from work.
This isn’t the usual case of having bad luck with a tenant. This was a tenant who has been previously reported to AirBnB but still allowed to remain in good standing on the site. Simple negligence by AirBnB allowed this to happen. I have no hope that they will take full responsibility and cough up all the money we have lost due to this issue, so I’m trying to get ahead and make the necessary steps to fight this.
Has anyone taken AirBnB to small claims court and have advice for us? Any and all advice is greatly appreciated!
Thank you!

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Here are the previous posts on suing Airbnb in small claims court. Good luck, this poster didn’t win but is appealing. You need patience, deep pockets or both. Threatening them with the suit may help get a decent payout from them in the form of an offer to settle.

You obviously know now that any Airbnb rental for 31 days is a big red flag. Most hosts here don’t rent for more than 28 or so to avoid squatters. And those who do have leases and deposits, etc., like a regular tenant would have.

You got very lucky.


We got VERY lucky and owe the guy who tipped us off big time. Thanks for your reply! I appreciate it.


This might also be a good case to take to local media. They love “horror stories” that paint controversial companies in a poor light. They might be able to get better results for you more quickly than going through the court process.

Bear in mind though, that if you choose to go to the media route, it may impede your chances in court later on should you choose to take that route as well.


Where is Air in this? A much smaller example is a young man who made his rented rooms a de facto depository for bodily fluids while consuming large amounts of everything. Three horrible reviews, still on platform.

well, you were lucky to get tipped like that. I wouldn’t honestly figure out how to find out who the next host of a horrible guest is. So chapeau to him!

I had a similar experience with regular tenants while I was a regular landlord. That’s the reason why I swithced to STR and 1) I don’t rent local, with very few exceptions and only when i know who and why. 2) I only rent under 28 days because over a month they get treated like regular tenants by the laws and it’s very hard to evict. Been there done that. Never ever again.

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We were warned about nightmare guests 2 days into their 30 day reservation. It took 2 more days to get them out, and they left over $600 in damages. I was concerned about the next hosts, but didn’t know how to find out who they were. The guest profile is still listed, but no further reviews after ours, so I’m hoping Air actually did give them the boot.

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I just saw your post and I am a bit worried because I read more and more about homeless guests who have terrible credit and they can’t rent anything on lease, ussualy in addition some kind of desperate situation.
They use Airbnb as a source to find somewhere to squat. Either one night or several months.

I also hear over and over again how they let guests like this who were in trouble with multiple hosts keep going and keep renting.

I experience this myself when while I was away
I had 2 bad reviews one after another on my pool house because of lousy cleaner and Airbnb ended up suspending my listing alltogether though it had 5 very good reviews

But as you are saying this horrible guest keeps on going …

I don’t know may be it is the reason that lately I have one bad guest after another.
I am hosting over 4 years now and I am very busy with very high occupancy . The last 3-4 months all kind of things started happening.
Twice I had squatters only for one day though.
Then robbery, and other fun things.
2 weeks ago I had a phsyco couple , and yesterday I had to kick out a woman guest
with help of my long term guest.

She booked first for 6 days and was superweird. She didn’t want to close her door and was standing in her room in her bra.
Then she was trying to bring some trashy looking guy I to the house. It was one thing after another. Then she ended up booking another 5 days.
When I came home she asked me if I can cancel her reservation and she can pay me cash. When I refused she became a complete phsyco. Any way to make long story short my long term guest came down and started calling police and this is when she left.

After she left I went on line and started digging.
She had 26 reviews. 13 as a host 13 as a guest.
Out of first 13, 11 were 1*, all of them. Basically she rented an appartment, slept in a car while hosting and did some really weird things judging by reviews.
Out of othw 13 as a guest, she had 5 good reviews but all of them were from 2 people.
Then few were neutral like " Mishelle stayed 3 days" or" it was ok". Then There 2 reviews from one host from LA who was warning other hosts about her behaviour. That was in 2017.
I wrote to this host and asked her.
She answered right away and said she doesn’t remember, but if she wrote it twice then it was probably something really bad.
The host is running hostel. And she said she is hosting 2k a year guests and she usually never even writes any reviews .

Then I did Broward county search and found an amazing story on that woman.
In June of 2018 which was right on her birthday she got arrested for tresapassing. She wouldn’t leave the property upon owner request. And there was her picture with case number .
3 months ago she was arrested 4 times while driving with suspended license and judge put a bench warrant on her because she didn’t show up in court.

Also Michelle had an account with Airbnb since 2017 and you can see how she immediately started her ventures first in LA and then when she moved here in Florida .

And am sure Airbnb is aware of her actions. I am sure not once hosts called on her and complained like I did yesterday.

But Michelle was ahead of me . She called first and told them her side of the story.
So when this happens the policy is to block hosts account until they investigate . So now my account is blocked …but Michelle I am sure already found her next victim


Thats dedication. Wow. It just sounds like her life is a mess. Like one giant wreck.

Yes for sure. She also told me herself that she is sober …don’t know for how long though…

One of the reviews was that she asked guests If they are out off the house for a day so she can come and take a nap. Another was that she called guests at 5 am and asked them if they are out already so she can come home​:grinning::grinning:

Airbnb deciding to block a host for any length of time is a primary reason no one should only be on one OTA.

True…but that’s another story

Glad you were able to get her out before it got worse, but I’m curious how the previous host found you and especially how he got your number.

Once I had a request from a guy who booked me for 1 night and wanted to receive mail so that he and I go to the driver license center for him to get his drivers license with my address!!! He offered to pay me for that. I didnt know how to deny him faster.

another dude wanted to book for 1 night because he said he lived in his car and needed a shower. Denied.

But they were young people… so I think this is what happens when one lowers the prices too much.

Didn’t let in local pimp disguised as business man from the states and his sex worker who didn’t speak English.

The pimp’s phone number was on Google and he even had a homepage. Called Airbnb and got the RSV cancelled, lost income. I wrote to case manager that his account should be banned.

This was 4years ago. He never go banned. In act he accumulated many positive reviews. Probably some are by remote hosts.