guest fraud

in
Bradford, United Kingdom
Level 2
472 Views

I have a new guest arriving in 5 weeks for a very long stay - 10 months. Without asking me he has used my address to make a welfare benefits claim well in advance of his arrival. When I challenged him he would not cancel but put in a request to Airbnb that I cancel. Obviously this would penalise me by blocking my dates for the duration of his stay. I have reported the guest as a possible criminal and I have contacted Airbnb support to explain my concerns in detail. I'd appreciate any help in this situation. As I have never cancelled before I won't be financially penalised but if I can't rent out the room for this long period then I am being held to ransom.  Does anyone have a suggestion e.g. is it better for me to leave it & let Airbnb cancel or cancel myself. I wondered if I should suddenly have 'extenuating circumstances'. I have 48 hours to respond.  Many years of hosting & suddenly two really troublesome guests one after another!

7 Replies

Re: guest fraud

in
Kraków, Poland
Level 10

@Colleen23 Let Airbnb handle the cancellation, do not agree - there is a trick they send you a form to agree and it works as if you have cancelled - beware of that. Do not risk having your calendar blocked for so long.

// "The only person you can trust is yourself"

Re: guest fraud

in
Bradford, United Kingdom
Level 2

Thank you for your reply. My gut instinct is to let Airbnb deal with this too but it would be helpful to hear from others.

Re: guest fraud

in
Bradford, United Kingdom
Level 2

Airbnb has cancelled this reservation on both sides without penalty which is fair. However, they don't seem to realise that the guest has behaved fraudulently by making a state welfare claim from my address without consulting me - he wasn't due to arrive for 6 weeks. I have reported him and hope that Airbnb will take this seriously as this was a long term guest who was unwilling to address my concerns.

Re: guest fraud

in
Bristol, United Kingdom
Level 10

Hi @Colleen23

 

You can also call the DSS fraudline and report him.

Re: guest fraud

in
Bradford, United Kingdom
Level 2

Thank you. I may do this but will certainly return all the DWP letters to them with a note clearly establishing that he does not live at the address and never has.

Re: guest fraud

in
La Quinta, CA
Level 10

@Colleen23  For my education, is it illegal for a tenant to use the rental address for welfare benefits?  Or, is the issue that this person did it before moving in? Forgive my ignorance.

Re: guest fraud

in
Bradford, United Kingdom
Level 2

The issue is that the guest used the address  as if he was a tenant, in order to make a welfare claim in advance of moving in and without asking permission.  Given that the guest's booking was for approximately 10 months it also raised suspicions that he was attempting to establish the address as a resident tenant possibly to gain legal rights of abode above and beyond that of a temporary 'guest' (this is possible in the UK). Lesson learned - ask more questions in advance! 

Join the conversation