Tenant refusing to leave

I have a tenant who will not leave ? What can I do?

I am asking about someone under a short term i.e. ten day airbnb guest.
She also has a foul mouthed boyfriend who isn’t on the agreement, do I have any rights to who she allows in as her guests ??

Open a case with Air immediately and follow their advice! You may even be able to call the cops to get them off your property! (You have a contract showing that they are now trespassing, I would imagine?) Waste no more time, call Air this second on their URGENT phone line!!!

Sorry for this nightmare, it’s one of the worst things a host can have happen. Please keep us posted on what goes down.


And no, a guest cannot bring someone else in without clearing it with you first. Sorry for your distress. Get on the phone with Air this second! (Sorry to be bossy but this is a real emergency…)


Luke, if I were you, here’s what I would do.

  1. Go talk to the guest. Remind the guest firmly that their reservation is now up and they need to leave ASAP. If you have a male friend, get this person to go with you. Two are better than one. Maybe the guests thought by accident they had another day. Or some other miscommunication. At this point the BF doesn’t matter. They are both trespassing.

  2. If they still don’t respond or won’t leave, print out a copy of their reservation showing their check out date so you have documentation and call the cops. If you have not already done so, call Air and open a case without delay. They will probably tell you to call the cops. I don’t think you have to be “licensed” to be able to call the cops. Their reservation is clearly up and they are in unlawful detainer of your house. I am sure this wouldn’t be the first AirBnB complaint the cops have responded to. They probably hear it all the time. As long as you have proof they shouldn’t be in possession of your premises, the cops should be able to get them out.

  3. Keep us posted… worried for you!

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Thank-you so much for the advice. Airbnb are trying to help .
I have even offered to pay extra to have them move.
I am going to speak to the Police to see if they will get involved.
Or a local security firm. Stressful but it will be resolved.

Great that Air is helping, but please don’t give the guests a penny if I might be bossy again. You were the one harmed here, and the one who deserves compensation if anyone does! So glad you are getting it resolved. Do come back and tell us if the cops came and hopefully dragged their sorry arses out of your personal home. I hope so!!! Where are you located?


Agree with you, aside from issuing the refund. Why should some schmuck get a refund when he’s been behaving badly on your property? He needs to go, and he needs to forfeit the rest of his reservation money. Refunding in a case like this? NO…why should you? You as the host did nothing wrong, and the guest is not entitled to one thin dime. That’s being way nicer than they deserve.

I also heard about the Palm Springs case. That’s why guests may stay 29 days or less at my place. If they become a month to month tenant, then you have to do a regular tenant lease agreement with them, and I don’t think that’s why any of us are on Air BnB.

When I had my problem with the Jennifer guest, Air told me I could call the cops. I feel like that is a last resort and may somehow get my place trashed even beyond just gently reminding them to please behave and have their extra guest they had hooked up with please leave. I was a wreck while these idiots were in possession of my house,…but I chose to suck it up and then count the minutes until Jennifer and her horrible friend (and the guy they had hooked up with) had left my home.

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I believe they will go tomorrow. However it was eye raising to learn tonight from the local police dept that they won’t get involved. You have to take them to court and it could take months and can be expensive !!! i will have to certainly step up the screening process.

Im in Hollywood LA by the way. Im disappointed that airbnb say the police will have them removed but that is simply a misleading and false statement.

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I’m disappointed and kind of amazed that the cops won’t help you get them out! Even though you have proof that their reservation is over? I guess because you gave them permission originally to enter the home. What did they tell you exactly?

You are the first person I’ve ever talked to who has had this happen, wow. It’s a scary thing for us all to hear.
I wouldn’t be surprised if you decided to never accept another guest. I think it is a pretty rare occurrence, very unusual, and no doubt, highly stressful for you.

Are the guests from out of the country? Keep us posted when these idiots DO leave. You poor thing. :((

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Luke, if you search under ‘airbnb reviews’, you will see that it is not the least bit unusual at all for airbnb to refuse to handle situations in any way at all once the '/:;#< hits the fan. It is in fact how they handle everything. They really only care about not losing money on their end. They are an Internet company, and have no real power, except over people’s money, and how to distribute it so they get the most out of the deal and decision making. By now they know the police can’t help, yet they say these things to get themselves off the hook, essentially duping hosts into a false sense of security both in airbnb and in the police. This is far from their first rodeo in this exact situation. Lots of tenants have refused to leave - airbnb has been totally ineffectual, and in most cases it has resulted in expensive, frustrating and terrifying legal proceedings. A few short web searches will turn up multiple cases. I do get tired of posting them though.

Luke, did they leave?
I’m brand new at this AirBnB thing and this is my main worry…
Were the guests verified? Although not sure what that guarantees against…

Verified just means the bad ones won’t open another account under a new name and keep on abusing hosts.

I’m a real estate broker in Milw WI and own multiple units.

First of all, I’m wondering if you can charge them for the extra days they have stayed automatically on their credit card (assuming it’s still valid and has a balance)…and with a properly worded contract. Also, what about charging a "security deposit’ or some type of deposit?..maybe until the unit is back in order. Does AIRBNB do that?

I have had tenants move out of properties and some miscellaneous relative stay behind and wouldn’t leave…thereby forcing me to evict “John or Jane Doe” because the police won’t get involved.

This scenario of having someone stay for the night could be a NIGHTMARE! …unless you have a rooming house license or a hotel/motel license I’d suppose.

I’d really love to rent some of my units out though AIRBNB, etc, but am very skeptical having been “though it all.” I could tell stories you’d never expect!

Any questions or comments are welcome.

I’m just using my imagination about what I would do in a situation like this:

-change the Wi-Fi password (for some people that really might be enough to make them leave.)

-Cut the power/water if it’s easy to do.

-Get on Craigslist or on of those micro employment websites and hire a bunch of guys to physically remove them.

-Blast obnoxious music: Peking Opera, bad country, the Barney song over and over…

-If you have a friend who has a few really obnoxious dogs, bring them over
(Or screaming toddlers. Who had too much sugar. And it’s a couple of hours past their bedtime. Host a toddler RAVE.)

-Do something to make the guy’s car alarm go off. When he runs out to check it, lock him out.

-Set off a stink bomb, same as above


NOPE!!! In the Palm Springs case, the host was forced to leave the wif-fi and the utilities on so the poor sshcmuck could work! Google it! A total nightmare!

You can’t do this either… !!! It has to go through the proper eviction channels. If you do that you are trespassing and committing assault, because now your tenant has all the rights of a month-to-month tenant!

Hosts in Florida don’t realize this, but tenants there are given full tenancy rights after just two weeks in residence! That is one slippery slope!

This is why I don’t do long term booking and don’t book off airbnb.


Overnight Guest or Unwanted Tenant: Invited Guests Who Overstay Their Welcome Can Become Your Costly Legal Problem
by Ross Poole | Sep 15, 2015 | Leases, Real Estate, Torts
When Guests Become Trespassers
House Guests are Like Fish

A few weeks ago, a friend of mine offered to let me use his lake house for a weekend getaway.
I was blown away by the generosity of the offer. As I talked to him about it, he told me that he often lets friends and acquaintances use the property (nice guy right!). He was also considering using a vacation rental website called airbnb.com to make extra money.

As lawyers, we are trained to always worry about the potential problems the best laid plans can bring. This time was no different. What if someone he let use the place stole things from the property? What if the person he invited in refused to leave on time?

The truth is that he hadn’t thought about what would happen if things went wrong. When pressed on the issue, he said that he would just call the police and let them handle it.
Unfortunately, when dealing with a once invited guest, the police will often not intervene. You see, once you invite someone on to your property, the police see the issue as a civil one, rather than a criminal trespass (like a robbery).

This is especially the case for an overnight or multiple night visit, a guest can argue that they are tenant and must be afforded the protections of state tenant laws.

Law enforcement officers are trained to be aware of tenant rights and so are wary of getting involved in what may be a landlord-tenant dispute.
With companies like airbnb.com and couchsurfing.com becoming common place, there has been a boom in these types of incidents around the country.
If you find yourself in a situation where an invited houseguest has become an unwelcome intruder, several legal principles come into play.
If you can convince law enforcement officials that the unwanted guest is not a tenant, you can have them removed from the premises as a trespasser.
Police will often consider a variety of factors in determining whether someone may have tenant rights. For instance: has the intruder brought personal property there (like clothes, furniture or other possessions)? Do they have personal care products, such as a toothbrush, there? Have they paid rent or bought groceries?
The length of the stay is a factor, but it is not conclusive.
If the police will not arrest them and they will not leave voluntarily, you may have to bring a lawsuit to get a court order for ejectment. Ejectment is when the court orders the sheriff to physically remove someone from a property and to lock them out. That is usually the remedy if someone is a squatter or trespasser, rather than a tenant who has overstayed their lease.
Once they are removed from the premises you can also bring a claim for civil trespass to recover for any damage that was caused by the unwelcome intruder. To state a successful claim for civil trespass, you will have to show:
(1) your lawful possession or right to the property;
(2) defendant’s wrongful act of trespass on the property; and
(3) damages caused by the trespass.
Unlawful Detainer / Eviction:
If someone is considered a tenant, you may have to seek a court order in unlawful detainer or eviction. The legal proceeding is sometimes called different things in different states. Remember that someone can be considered a tenant even by an oral agreement and you do not always need a written lease. If you can’t get rid of a house guest to the point that you need to take legal action, you should call a lawyer.
Unlawful detainers are court proceedings that can be time consuming and technical in nature. An unlawful detainer proceeding is usually initiated by serving a notice to quit (to get out) with a mandatory grace period. The Notice to Quit period can be anywhere from three to sixty days, depending on the situation.
Statutory requirements for service of the notice to quit must be strictly complied with.
Next, like civil actions generally, unlawful detainer actions are initiated by the filing of a complaint, issuance of a summons, and service of the complaint and summons on the defendant. The “tenant” will than have an opportunity to respond and a hearing will be held to determine whether eviction is appropriate.
If you find yourself in this situation, it’s best to consult with an attorney who is aware of all the statutes and ordinances applicable to unlawful detainer proceeding in your state. If you do it wrong, you can lose rights.
You may be able to use a paralegal or eviction processor for less than a lawyer. But those companies are best when you have a written lease and the tenant failed to pay rent. Other situations have trickier laws.
If the unwelcome guest leaves with any of your personal property, you may also have a claim for civil conversion. The easy way to understand conversion is that it is the civil damages claim for someone who stole your property and won’t give it back.
The legal definition of Civil conversion is: the unauthorized assumption of the right of ownership over the personal property of another to the exclusion of the owner’s rights. In other words, they took your property without your consent, or kept it after you withdrew your consent, and then they refused to return it when you asked for it back.
To win a claim for civil conversion, you will have to show:
(1) your ownership or right to possession of the property;
(2) the defendant’s conversion by wrongful act inconsistent with your property rights; and
(3) damages (more often than not, this is the value of the property taken).
Ultimately, allowing someone to use your property for any period of time has risk, particularly if you allow them to stay for an extended period. Before you start letting acquaintances use your property, or before you turn to companies like airbnb.com or couchsurfing.com to make some extra money, make sure aware of the risks so that you can make an informed decision. One squatter can cause substantial headaches, both financial and otherwise.
And that’s not even scratching the surface of what happens if someone gets hurt or victimized while staying at your place…. But that’s another blog post.
About Latest Posts
Ross Poole
Ross Poole
Lawyer at Bellatrix PC
Mr. Poole is a trial lawyer in the areas of business, employment and real estate. In any legal dispute, you would rather have him on your side than against you.