House Party - Pool Sex Party advertised on Instagram

in
Saint-André-d'Allas, France
Level 3
2,113 Views

I am an experienced Airbnb Superhost with 21 years in the tourism industry. In August 2020 I accepted a booking from an airbnb'er with 8 perfect guests reviews. He had agreed to our 'over 25 year old only, no parties, no same sex groups' policies. It turns out there were 7 young men aged 18-20 and one 25 year old. As Airbnb only provides hosts with minimal primary guest details, I knew nothing until I accepted the last minute booking request, the house being available due to a late covid cancellation. 

 

The primary guest then advertised my house on Instagram for a 24hr/7day Pool and Sex Party with free alcohol for girls (we found advertising flyers in the house afterwards). Due to Covid, I was stuck 1000km away unable to travel and so oblivious to what was happening, until the third day when the Spanish Guardia Civil contacted me after a neighbour complaint. I involved Airbnb who did help and evicted the guests, although not quickly enough for the neighbour it seems. Airbnb told me that they would help with this as Airbnb House Parties were a big problem (shortly after this happened they introduced new rules to stop them, however our primary guest would still get through these !).

 

6 weeks ago the consequences of this Airbnb Pool /Sex Party became apparent, I am now being taken to court in Spain as I am held 100pct responsible for the Airbnb'er guest actions. We bought the house in Spain for our retirement (it was only on airbnb because we lost all our income due to covid), our own home in France is being sold and completes in October, but now, I cannot go to Spain as I will have to go to court to defend myself. If I stay out of Spain I cannot be taken to court. My husband and I will be homeless as we cannot pull out of our house sale without paying 70K Euro in compensation if we withdraw.

 

Even if our neighbour withdraws the court proceedings we will have neighbours who hate us for our retirement, which is not a pleasant thought. I have contacted him to discuss (having of course apologised profusely at the time), but his reply was that he was a 'civilised person who lived in a civilised country' implying that we were not. He gave no indication of what he hoped to achieve by this or if he actually wanted anything. It seems he has not realised that if we cannot live in our retirement home, because I have a police record and cannot apply for Spanish residency, then the house will remain a holiday home (albeit no longer advertised on airbnb but on sites which provide a better quality of guest).

 

Airbnb will not respond to my emails. I must now pay for a lawyer to help me clear up this mess.

This is just a warning of what can happen if you host and what does happen when things go wrong.

36 Replies

Re: House Party - Pool Sex Party advertised on Instagram

in
Alberta, Canada
Level 10

@Xanthe3 I really don't know what to say. Horrible situation. You're an experienced host, so you don't need me to tell you anything, but for the benefit of newer hosts reading this post - hosting on Airbnb is really all about employing prevention and mitigation tactics. We can't rely on what guests tell us (lies), and good reviews alone (could be more lies). Case in point:

 

https://community.withairbnb.com/t5/Hosting/Asking-for-and-giving-5-reviews/td-p/1479316

 

Many hosts reject short notice bookings as they tend to be a big red flag. Remote hosts must have security cameras and a local co host to keep an eye on what develops, so a problem can be immediately halted. Never rely on Airbnb for anything except cancelling a booking when guests break major house rules so you can get them out ASAP.  

 

Best of luck getting this sorted!

Re: House Party - Pool Sex Party advertised on Instagram

in
Saint-André-d'Allas, France
Level 3

@Colleen253 

 

If you can't rely of  8 x 5 star guest reviews and speaking to the guest yourself before arrival (incidentally very polite, educated etc) then what is the point?

 

I seem to recall Airbnb saying that cameras are forbidden in their blurb, but when it happened that was one of the first things they asked, if I had cameras. 

 

Surely, you must state in the advert that you have security cameras at the property and surely that does put off a lot of potential guest both good and bad?

 

Just as a point of interest, being 'nice' isn't what it seems apparently !

When I was initially put through to the Airbnb 'special' department, the person dealing with it said that as soon as I told him that the guest 'seemed nice' it was a red flag and he cancelled their booking straight away.

Re: House Party - Pool Sex Party advertised on Instagram

in
Alberta, Canada
Level 10

@Xanthe3 Cameras are not forbidden. Yes, they must be disclosed in the listing and house rules. They may indeed turn off certain guests, but that's the point - saves the grief of whatever shenanigans they were planning. The guests who aren't planning shenanigans won't be turned off.  The majority of guests don't even realize they exist. Very few guests actually read the details of a listing, including house rules and safety sections. I would not even consider being a remote host without security cameras.

Re: House Party - Pool Sex Party advertised on Instagram

in
Saint-André-d'Allas, France
Level 3

@Colleen253 

 

As most Hosts agree that most guests do not read the advert details, I have to wonder why we write anything at all in the advert. 

 

Even living 1 mile away is remote to the rental. What happened to me had nothing to do with living elsewhere, it can happen anywhere to anyone even if you have security cameras. It takes time to evict people and by then the damage is done. 

 

Cameras are being considered if I continue with this business and a camera at the entrance gates would have alerted me earlier.

Re: House Party - Pool Sex Party advertised on Instagram

in
KCMO, MO
Level 10

@Xanthe3I have security cameras on the outside. One I monitor and one my co-host monitors. It's disclosed in my listing (there's a check box for it). No one has complained. And the beauty is that I can monitor the cameras away from my city (I was able to monitor the Airbnb and my own home while in Ireland, for instance). When you see a party coming, you can start working with Airbnb to evict them.

There's been a lot of bad articles around lately so Airbnb is becoming more sensitive. See if you can find the post where Catherine Powell is updating us on customer service. Tag her there. I certainly would expect that Airbnb would not only defend you but kick that user off the platform permanently. 

I don't always trust reviews unless there are a lot of them. Too easy for people to game the system by booking their friend's places or vice versa and leaving each other reviews. Kind of like Amazon, there has to be more to verification than that.

Re: House Party - Pool Sex Party advertised on Instagram

in
Saint-André-d'Allas, France
Level 3

@Christine615 

Thank you for your suggestion. I didn't know how to 'Tag' Catherine Powell, but I have hopefully sent her a link to this thread and connected with her on LinkedIn, so fingers crossed that will produce a result, as there is still no contact from the 'dedicated department' who are investigating the case. 😞

Re: House Party - Pool Sex Party advertised on Instagram

Level 2

The guest should be the one going to court. He had a rental agreement with you and violated said agreement. It is so terrible that your neighbor is pressing charges against you when all you did when you found out, was to get the guest evicted as quickly as you could. It is not your fault they were disingenuous. I'm so sorry to hear this and I hope your neighbor drops the charges so you will have a retirement home to live in. Best of luck to you! 

Re: House Party - Pool Sex Party advertised on Instagram

in
Jamestown, CA
Level 10

@Xanthe3 What a nightmare. I’m so sorry this is happening to you.

When we began with Airbnb it was much better I felt that there was a level of protection.

 

It’s becoming a very scary. Apparently Airbnb has unlimited funds to cover up this kind of bad press. I’m curious if this made the news.  

Re: House Party - Pool Sex Party advertised on Instagram

in
Saint-André-d'Allas, France
Level 3

@Jillian115

 

The French 'guests' turned the roof terrace into a 24 hour disco. As the house is on top of a small hill, with houses all around, the noise affected literally hundreds of people. I was told that it made the local press, although I did not see the article myself.
 
When I contacted Airbnb for help they told me that they would deal with it and that I was not to have any contact with the 'guests' or the neighbour. Airbnb did get the French guys out, although a day later than hoped causing the neighbour another night of abuse and threats which is what seems to have escalated the problem to court. 
 
For the last 6 weeks I have asked for help several times by email or phone. Airbnb's reply is that the 'guests' did not book through Airbnb so they cannot help, or that I am being put through to a specialist department and someone will contact me (I have been told this at least 5 times) but nothing happens. 

I have read that there is a department to deal with bad publicity that pays out 50M $ a year in hush money to neighbours or injured guests. They seem to be elusive though. 😞
 
 
 
 

Re: House Party - Pool Sex Party advertised on Instagram

in
Alberta, Canada
Level 10

“Airbnb's reply is that the 'guests' did not book through Airbnb so they cannot help”

 

@Xanthe3 what is that all about?

Re: House Party - Pool Sex Party advertised on Instagram

in
Saint-André-d'Allas, France
Level 3

It was 100pct an AIRBNB booking but because it went bad Airbnb have deleted all record of the guest, so the helpline people do not help as they cannot find the guest or booking number.

 

 

 

 

Re: House Party - Pool Sex Party advertised on Instagram

Level 2

Do you have the original Airbnb Reservation number? If you enter the number into the search bar under Archived messages, you just might be able to bring up the original message thread. Give it a try! Or type in his name in the this area. 

Re: House Party - Pool Sex Party advertised on Instagram

in
Zagreb, Croatia
Level 10

@Xanthe3 tell your neighbor what you told us- to chose from withdrawing his case from the cuort and you will not rent it anymore but live there or to continue with the court and you eill not be able to live there so you will continue to rent it. 

he should think about it

Re: House Party - Pool Sex Party advertised on Instagram

in
Saint-André-d'Allas, France
Level 3

@Branka-and-Silvia0 

Thank you for your help.

 

I have tried that solution, along with empathy, apology and finally straightforward asking what he would like me to do to resolve this. I have not had a reply. 😞

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