Breaking news: 4 dead, many injured in an Airbnb party house in Orinda CA last night ( 10/31). The house is just few steps away from my second residence in the same street. About 10:00pm, My daughter and I were driving back to our residence, noticed that the street were full of cars. After a while, we heard police helicopters and ambulances arriving ....Neighboor next door told us there was a mass shooting in the Airbnb house few steps away.
The head of Airbnb trust and safety announced that they will conduct serious investigation, according to the news.
My dear fellow host, I have been posting many times regarding my concerns to Airbnb unsafe booking process. My own house has been targeted several times for huge parties/criminal activities, but it couldn’t get enough attention from Airbnb trust and safety
Please protect yourself and be safe!
Thanks for your encouragement. I believe my distress arises from the fact that she said my descriptions on-line were NOT accurate. Plus the even uglier comments about being "filthy".
Calling it inaccurate is not acceptable.
Try as I might, I cannot what would drive a guest to fabricate such horrible evaluations - must be a very strange mind.
For me the fact that I could compare last year's 10 reservations during the same period this year (after that review) ZERO.
Too compelling to be a coincidence.
I’ve just read the August 19 review you refer to. I think it reflects (-) more on the guest than it does on you. Some people are never happy and still think the world is flat. A microwave toast! Whatever next!
Nice comment about the toaster/microwave - it's really a jewel. Saves space in my small kitchen.
Certainly reflects on what a strange mind that guest must have had to say the dreadful things she did.
I hope other hosts read that I marked her as "do not rent to" - she could do the same to anyone.
I agree that many hosts do have systems in place to minimise risk but by no means all. @Branka-and-Silvia0
I am always surprised by the number of hosts who have remote listings who have neither CCTV or other video surveillance and rely on management companies as co-hosts who don't operate an out of hours service.
Then there are hosts who use IB but do no vetting of guests.
@Helen3 I agree with you about security cameras but then I've seen many posts here on CC where the host was delisted because of cameras even if they were mentioned in the description and placed in the right place.
And even if we have a security camera and we see unregistered guests and we call Airbnb to cancel their stay - we still have to kick those guests out by ourselves. As @Lan1 said - she couldn't. She is one female against the violent crowd on drugs and alcohol in the middle of the night. Would the police help is questionable and vary from country to country, they often confuse tenants with guests or in Lan's case - they asked for evidence of drug abuse! What???
Airbnb should do something to help hosts and to prevent such things. They could collect actual security deposit as VRBO does, not allow registration without full names and actual profile pictures, shouldn't refund evicted guests, should ban them from Airbnb forever, remove their retaliatory ratings and reviews.... and stuff like that.
Of course hosts shouldn't put themselves at risk I agree @Branka-and-Silvia0 - that's why hosts whose places attract party goers need to have systems in place for when these rare situations happen.
I have certainly read of hosts who employ security to help them break up parties in these sort of situations.
Hear HEAR!! good comments - bring up a lot of interesting questions.
WHATEVER, Airbnb has MORE RESPONSIBILITY to their hosts than they are exhibiting.
Hi @Lan1 , All. I'm a fellow Orinda-based Superhost. We have a small, 1-bedroom apartment over our garage, that sleeps 4. The majority of our guests have been amazing. I was resistant to Instant Book for a long time - I like to know exactly who's going to be here, and for what reason. This past winter, our slow period, I gave it a try and there was an immediate uptick in bookings. However, the quality of guest was poor. No longer were people leaving the apartment clean and organized. They invited unwelcome guests.. Parties (although small), smoking... The list goes on. I had to increase my cleaning fee and the nightly rate, and doubled our security deposit.
And now, with Open Homes, the scammers have been ruthless! A half dozen (presumed) bogus requests in the past week alone, from the fires.
I have since turned IB off, because frankly, it's more work and more risk, and more damage/disrespect. We are on the fence about delisting (even before this situation ½ mile away) and having a long-term rental, instead.
But, @Lan1 , to your point - if you have a guest who wants to party, there's no reasonable way to get them out. They don't reply (or deny), and retaliate with a huge mess or worse.
I stand with @Helen3 perspective. We ask too much of this booking platform which is a tool for a specific type of hospitality business. If as a host you are not able to inspect what you expect atnyour listing, especially for party planners, you are at risk.
A few days ago 2 blocks away from where I live, an underage party at a short term rental house (don't know if Air BNB specifically) resulted in the death of a young person. The party organizer posted on social media and, duh, someone showed up that wasn't welcomed. Of course, having a gun readily available just added to the tragedy.
Any whole house that is booked for a single day should raise a red flag and the host should have systems in place to manage the space.
> Any whole house that is booked for a single day should raise a red flag
This is a ridiculous statement. I have three whole house listings that are often booked for one night. One of them (a tiny house) is MOSTLY booked for one night. And so far had zero parties, but that is due to my vigilance. AirBnB current policies have made it more and more difficult to vet guests. No way to see anything about the guest till after they book and only allowed to cancel so many without hurting our listing. No actual deposit and policies around trusting guests instantly can make it difficult to deal with troublesome guests. Heck they keep making it harder to block a guest as a host, what is the reason behind that move?
So Airbnb is only a booking site, driven relentlessly by the pursuit of profit, hence the lack of any proper vetting or controls on guests they send to our accommodation.
I have no doubt that someone at Airbnb HQ has concluded that lax controls on guest would yield a far greater income than any expenses incurred, particularly when the Host picks up most of the costs and grief and Airbnb are effectively trial, judge and jury.
Linda, if I’m not very much mistaken you stated that you were a retired therapist which I find incongruous with your support for Airbnb’s stance on so many things, there is so much evidence that something has to be done on guest vetting I find your opinion flabbergasting.
This is why government legislate to protect the vulnerable…
What a host can do is limited and with the expense of potential economic loss. An IB could get more bookings as mentioned by @Greg6 . Airbnb provides IB as a way to increase bookings. That is great. But Airbnb should provide a better screening system to prevent bad guests taking the advantage of IB.
When a host chooses two or three day minimum nights requirement, it blocks the possibility of party guests while it also blocks some legitimate bookings.
From hosts perspective, safety and security is more important than making money. One or two bad guest groups could ruin your business entirely. Please do your diligence to use various ways to avoid those bad guests from booking your place as suggested by @Helen3 and @Linda108. Orinda is a quiet small town, which is relative safe place in SF Bay area. However, Oakland is not far away from it. People from unsafe neighborhood in Oakland could book Airbnb listings in cities nearby.
As discussed by many other hosts in this forum, Airbnb seems to be shifting their strategy toward commercial businesses instead of small hosts. Therefore, who knows what will happen in the area of the home sharing business. In the meantime many cities start regulations to ban Airbnb. In the next five years, we will see the business quite different from now.
"Safety and security is more important than making money..." is right @Mike1034 however, remote hosts without local contact, using IB, accept self-check in for one night from someone relatively local. Then complain that Air BNB isn't doing their job.
What about the host's job and good sense? I think people are making the potential of income supercede smart, safe business. Even @Lan1 who expressed concern about being "targeted" accepted a local with no reviews for a single night. Why would a guest make a reservation for 4 when the house can accommodate 14, as in this case. Fortunately, @Lan1 is not remote and handled the situation appropriately.
Vetting is the host's job. Contacting Air BNB is not the first step to remove guests who are actively breaking rules and causing concern for safety and security. I've read posts from hosts that call Air BNB before calling the police when there is an urgent safety issue.