Hi, Not with us but the story I think people should know about this would have to be your worst nighmare
Setting: a major city in France. On Monday a prospective guest – let’s call him Laurence – requested to book a room in my apartment where I also living for one week starting on Tuesday. He had a blank profile – no photo – but wrote a brief message saying he was a young man coming to the city for a job interview and wanted to look around. I accepted the booking.
On Tuesday, there was no communication from Laurence. I took the initiative and contacted the mobile number given asking for his arrival time. There was an exchange of messages. I repeated several times that I would not leave the key with my neighbour. Because the guest would be arriving while I was at work, he would have to arrive after I’ve finished work, around 9:30. My policy is always to be in when people arrive, I’m not giving a stranger keys to my home when I’m not there.
The young man arrived. His name wasn’t Laurence – let’s call him Gilbert. I showed Gilbert around the flat. He settled into the room, had a shower, and went to bed. On Wednesday I was out early, returned for lunchtime, and saw Gilbert briefly. I left the apartment mid-afternoon, and returned around 8:30. I wasn’t sure if Gilbert was in his room or not.
On Thursday I left early and was out all day, returning home around 7:15. There was no sign of Gilbert having been in or out the apartment. On Friday I left early, returned at lunchtime, and noticed the shutters to the guest room which faces the street are still closed. I knocked on the door to the guest room several times. After getting no response I entered to find a very dead Gilbert curled up under the duvet. His suitcase was opened but not unpacked. There was a bag next to it with quantities of medications, and blister packs opened. I didn’t look too closely because I didn’t want to touch anything. There were several empty beer bottles.
The remainder of Friday afternoon was spent dealing with the police. Eventually the body was removed and I spent that evening deep cleaning the flat. I’ve had to throw out the mattress (looked like blood had been vomited) as well as the bed linen. On Friday night, his parents called me, saying they had not heard anything from Gilbert since Wednesday, asking if he was alright.
“The police will call you Madam.”
“What do you mean the police will call me? I don’t understand…”
“The police will call you Madam.” That’s all I can say. I put the phone down and switched it off.
On Saturday, his parents flew into the city. The mother called me in tears. I agreed to meet and let them in the flat to see the room where their son died. On Sunday, I was back at the police station repeating myself: “When did I last see Gilbert? Did I hear anyone else come in or out the apartment on Wednesday night? Did he allow anyone into the apartment? Did I observe anything about his mood?” Anyway, I’m not suspected of anything, but this is still nerve racking and extremely unpleasant.
Until the autopsy is carried out on Monday, the cause of death can’t be determined. I guess he either chose my place to commit suicide, had some undiagnosed medical condition, or died accidentally. I’m continuing to host on Airbnb and I’ve changed the settings, so everyone has to request to book. I’ve made the house rules even more explicit and will copy and send to prospective guests who must read through and confirm them before I’ll accept the booking.
I’ve reiterated I have zero tolerance for alcohol/drug intoxication as well as stating I must be told about any underlying medical conditions such as diabetes or epilepsy which might cause an emergency. Guests should also give me emergency contact details. I’ve said that I will meet guests in the street outside the apartment and if their photo ID doesn’t match the name of the person who made the booking they won’t be allowed in the building, let alone given the keys to the apartment. You have to protect yourself in this day and age.
I did start sometime ago asking guest for emergency contact numbers I thought was a good idea here in Phuket we have many accidents on the road
This post is about being prepared. Doesn't matter if it was 2 days old or 2 years old its relevant NOW.
Some hosts are not prepared when thing go bad at their units. There have been Numerous murders and deaths in AirBnb's since this original posting 2 years ago. Sometimes people need to be reminded to have their units insurance and other things in order to protect themselves incase something crazy happens.
This was bumped because a Host in Canada had someone die in her unit and she feels abandoned by AirBnb. I don't believe that she had insurance. She was not prepared. Are we prepared?
42 People shot at AirBnbs in 6 Months.
Vitally important to specify the article you posted is exclusively related to the USA. This suggests it was less about Airbnb culture but the gun culture in USA.
How many people have been shot and killed in Airbnbs in the UK? I believe the number is 0, presumably because we don't have the legal right to carry guns.
Please note that I did not say it was about you or your view on guns.
I simply responded to the article you posted re shootings, to highlight the differences between the USA and UK.
Nor did I respond to your advice that Hosts prepare themselves for all eventualities.
I do not wish to enter this part of your discussion.
@Laura2592 I think it popped up because i linked to it in a response regarding the guest death this week. The host was asking if anyone else had experienced guest deaths in their property and I provided some links so (hopefully) she felt less alone. She hasn't come back yet... I hope she's okay.