We rented to 2 young guys who had come from New Jersey.  We live about 2 hours away from the rental so our check in process is done contactless where they ring the doorbell camera and we can see it's the guest and remotely open the door.  Once in you get keys and a garage door clicker.  After that most guest don't really go thru the front door as the garage is attached. These guys originally booked for 2 weeks then extended for another 2 weeks.  They tried to extend again but I declined.  When we got to the house it was completely wrecked with damages estimated at approximately $4000.  Not only had the managed to completely smash our shower doors the broke our sofa in two and burned all of our nightstands with cigarettes and weed.  Nearly every room had the remnants of marijuana and the house stunk of smoke and weed.  They even broke a locked gate to get to a storage area where we store our various personal items.   We felt violated and completely in shock.  I immediately messaged him asking why they'd done what they'd done and he said that's what they pay cleaning for.  He did not care one bit about any of the damage he caused and even started sending me laughing emojis!   As we cleaned the house we noticed our personal mail was spread all over the house.  That raised immediate red flags so I went to the mailbox and found a 3" stack of mail from the EDD.  For those not from California the EDD is the unemployment department that's in charge of pandemic relief for those in California that are unemployed due to the pandemic.   Someone filing just one of these claims could easily get between $30,000-$50,000 maybe more.  It's been plagued by fraudulent claims from the beginning.  The one day of mail the we got after he'd left had 6 separate claims.  When the police went to the house yesterday they found another stack with around another 10 different claims.   Our mailbox is on the street approximately 45 feet from our front door.   Our doorbell camera is motion activated but we only get notified if someone rings the doorbell so we had no idea what he was doing.  Thank god the footage saves for up to a month because when we went back and looked you see this guy going and checking our mail everyday..sometimes 2-3 times a day.  When he goes in you can clearly see the EDD envelopes that he's carrying.  He set up a full EDD scam at our address and was collecting all of the California Pandemic relief even thou he isn't even from California.  We called the police who made a report and because it appears to be a large operation they put us in contact with the Department Of Justice who also have a fraud division.  The doorbell camera is in plain site and faces the street it's also in our add that we have security cameras.  If it weren't for the footage it would have basically been my word against his.

So while all of this is ongoing I'm also trying to communicate with Airbnb and let them know not only about all of the damage but the criminal activity.   As anyone who's every has had to deal with Airbnb will tell you it is not easy to get anyone on the phone.  I was also extremely busy trying to clean up my house.  I started sending messages immediately after I discovered the damage and also did as was instructed and sent the damages to him to pay first.   He denied everything and said he'd reported me to Airbnb.    As soon as he'd been asked to pay damages  he left a 1 star review where he claimed we lived in an RV across the street and spied on our guest.  He also stated we have cameras inside our house.  Both statements are complete lies but I can't get anyone at Airbnb to get back to me.  I  find it very funny that Airbnb lowers my rating if I don't reply within 24 hours to inquiries yet I'm still waiting after 3 days.  Keep in mind I've been sending them updated messages every single day since this started.  Today I woke up to find my account has been "temporarily suspended" because he claims I have cameras in my house! Are you serious?? I'm now absolutely livid so once again I've called and was put on hold for over an hour.   I had a meeting to get to and ended up having to hang up with the promise the will message me.   My ratings were perfect and no one has every said a bad word about me I'd fully expected to become a super host in October,  yet they take the word a someone who had never even used Airbnb before and suspend my account!   I am more then disgusted with what had happened and cannot be more let down by Airbnb.   This needs to change people can not continue to get away with this type of behavior and Airbnb condone it.  

32 Replies

Re: A story with everything. Bad guest, thousands in damages, criminal activity and a bad review!

in
Los Angeles, CA
Level 6

@Helen427  Thank you for all the lovely words!  Yes our camera did get him on numerous occasions retrieving the mail from our mailbox.  Pretty much everyday for 3 weeks.  It’s the reason the the police were so interested. They usually have no idea who these criminals are because they set up in friends and family names.  He has kind of an unusual name and managed to register under just his first and middle name, we had no idea what his last name was. Fortunately criminals are not the smartest people in the world and while we were cleaning we found his credit card under a bed with his full name on it!  Now the police know exactly who they are looking for. 

As he’d tried to extended his stay with us for a 3rd time I immediately thought that he’d try and book another Airbnb and tried to warn them but as usual it’s all bots and automated. I put up a review immediately trying to warn other hosts. 

while Airbnb have reinstated my account they refuse to remove his review which is full of lies.  Even when I’ve pointed out that the review is in violation of Airbnb rules they refuse to remove it.  His review not only slanders us (we live in an RV across the street to spy on guest) he also claims our pool guy is a spy. Both total lies. 

@Catherine-Powell really needs to read all of these stories. While I understand all the platforms may share similar problems It is not as hard to speak to a live person on an other platform.  In fact the other platforms are paying attention to these problems as someone mentioned to me that VRBO actually call their host to make sure everything is alright.   

this past week has opened my eyes to not only by my treatment by Airbnb but to people in general.  I had been so lucky up until now and had the loveliest people stay at our house who always treated it as their own.  What I could never have imagined is people like Coutchev even existed,  who thought nothing of not only ruining our house but breaking locks and going thru our personal things.  It’s like they needed to go thru every drawer and cupboard just to see what we had. They even went thru are garden shed ( which is located behind a metal locked gate) and took everything out and just left it everywhere. The feeling walking into the house was as if we’d been robbed. Things thrown everywhere weeks of trash just left in the kitchen with flies everywhere.  When I asked him why he’d left the house in such a state he said it’s what you pay cleaning for. He then sent my several laughing face emojis.  Just a trash person in general. 

Re: A story with everything. Bad guest, thousands in damages, criminal activity and a bad review!

in
Jamestown, CA
Level 10

@Laura4076  I am so sorry this has happened to you. Airbnb's support and reputation is getting worse by the day. There are too many of these horrible stories on the forum. 

 

@Catherine-PowellIt's terrifying that Airbnb does not protect hosts and their local communities. More needs to be done. Simply asking for a phone number verification and a form of payment is not enough to prevent criminal activity. Even worse that guests now bypass the rules. 

 

While Airbnb makes it easier for guests to book, Airbnb is failing to protect hosts and their communities. The lack of protection Airbnb provides to hosts and CS support is in-turn giving us hosts and Airbnb a lousy reputation. Previously News reports focused on bad hosts taking advantage of guests, but the direction seems to be turning due to the increase in guest criminal activity.  

 

Communities are getting fed up with Airbnb and are retaliating by banning new listings. Try this search string on Google you'll come up with 10+ pages of results "City OR County ordinance OR Bans airbnb"

 

In addition, all it takes is a one-star review for a guest to shut down our listing, and we're cut off from communication/information on our status. There is no real support. Call after call to CS goes unanswered or sidelined. The fact that @Laura4076 had to track down your email for some results is unacceptable, yet the one-star review remains from two criminals that destroyed her home. 

 

Somebody recently stated that Airbnb's are becoming a breeding ground for criminal activity. Something needs to be done.  

 

Northeastern links violent crime surges in Boston neighborhoods to Airbnb vacation rentals

https://www.bostonherald.com/2021/07/19/study-from-northeastern-links-rise-violent-crime-surges-in-b...

 

Two shot at Sunnyvale, CA Airbnb house party 

https://www.ktvu.com/news/two-people-shot-at-sunnyvale-house-party-involving-airbnb-home

 

Airbnb has secretive 'black box' team paying out $50 million a year to keep disaster stays out of press and gives staff blank checks to help rape victims and clean-up dismembered human remains'

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9688361/Airbnb-secret-black-box-team-forks-50-million-year-...

 

It’s the worst-kept secret in Spain’s capital city—everybody knows somebody throwing an Airbnb party.
https://www.thedailybeast.com/partiers-are-renting-luxe-airbnbs-in-madrid-for-secret-raves 

 

Re: A story with everything. Bad guest, thousands in damages, criminal activity and a bad review!

in
Los Angeles, CA
Level 6

@Jillian115 Thank you that was so well written!  You only have to read the comments left under my post to see what a big problem this is.  It’s like I’ve said before there really is no common sense being used by Airbnb.  

I’d been trying for the last 6 months to reach super host and I was so close.  My only downfall was not replying to realtors who pretended to be a potential guest to try and get us to sell our house.   Even thou they abused the website Airbnb refused to reconsider my response rate.  

Like you said I now have no chance of achieving super host as they’ve let a criminal leave a 1 star review.  To be honest I don’t even think I’m that bothered.  From what I’ve seen even super host are treated badly.   I also know this guy will never use Airbnb ever again I absolutely guarantee it.  He’s not only a wanted criminal he was only renting our house so he could use our address for the mail fraud.   

The fact that it’s so plainly clear who was in the wrong here is shocking.  Yet Airbnb still side with this person.   I’m really over people like this who continue to just get away with acting this way with no consequences.  He absolutely wrecked our house yet I’m the one who has to argue back and forth with Airbnb just for me to be made whole again.

 

 It will continue to happen over and over again until Airbnb changes it’s policies and starts having actual people and not bots handle these situations.  You can’t teach a robot to have common sense!

 

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