Stolen Property - How to Successfully Move Forward

Level 10
Toronto, Canada

Stolen Property - How to Successfully Move Forward

Hi all,


Recently I had the displeasure of hosting my worst-ever guest.  Before checking in, she asked to check in early...I accommodated her request because my condo was ready.  When it came time to check out, I had to remind her 30 minutes past check-out time that she was supposed to have vacated the premises at 11 am and that my cleaners would be arriving shortly.  She did not respond.  When my cleaners arrived, they found my home had been completely upended - dirty dishes caked with food in the sink and on the tables (not in left to wash in the dishwasher as stated in the rules), linens soiled and on the floor, garbage everywhere, the smell of marijuana in the unit (legal here but no smoking is allowed in my home), etc.  Before leaving, they realized that my house key and key FOB that allows access to my private underground parking and my storage locker were gone.  I tried calling the guest, messaging her on AirBNB messenger, texting her...finally she texted back saying 'who's this?' and when I explained that I was looking for the key, and did she know where she left it?  She blocked me.

Keep in mind her check-out date was New Year's Eve, so I was left scrambling to:

1 - Find new parking accommodations for the guest checking in within the hour

2 - Find a way for my cleaners to access my storage unit without the FOB so they could replenish stock and clean the unit

3 - Try and secure a replacement key and FOB which turned out to be impossible as they take TWO WEEKS to order, affecting my future guests for that time frame and leaving me no choice but to block out the dates without guests until this is resolved.

I immediately called AirBNB as this was all happening, as I always do in situations like these because I want to be sure I'm addressing the issue correctly.  They told me to submit a resolution request *before* the next guest checked in, which literally left me 15 minutes to get that done.  They told me to estimate on the high end of things what it would cost to replace.  Keys are $100 to replace, key FOBs are another $100.  I also asked for $500 to change the lock, as this guest now has access to my building AND my unit any time she pleases!!  (She lives locally so this is entirely possible.)  I included a $50 late checkout fee, as listed in my rules, for a total of $750.  Seems high, yes, but my assumption is that they'll split it down the middle and that won't even cover my full costs.


Does anyone have any insight or advice moving forward?  The 72 hour period for the guest to respond ends this afternoon.  (Spoiler alert - she never acknowledged the request, big surprise.)  I'm going to escalate it to the AirBNB resolution team today, but want to make sure I have all my ducks in a row before I do, as I've never had to do this before.  If anyone has any advice or tips, I'd appreciate it.  VERY frustrating that this guest most likely (I hope) accidentally took my keys and simply refuses to acknowledge it - just return them!!  Who does that?!

3 Replies 3

@Danielle476  A local books an Airbnb in their own city, absconds with your keys, and blocks your number when you ask about them? It would be an extreme stretch to think this is some kind of accident.


Fortunately, it sounds like you've done everything perfectly well in seeking a resolution. Changing the locks was certainly necessary, as is ensuring that your storage locker is secure. You might also initiate a report with the local police - the theft itself is petty but it fits a pattern that other hosts have reported , in which someone returned with the keys and committed a major burglary. It's possible that this guest turns out to be someone who's on a tear with similar crimes. (I hope her profile had Verified ID, so that at least you could submit her full name - if not, you might reconsider your preconditions for booking, especially to local residents).

Hi @Anonymous ,


Thanks for your thoughtful response. I want to believe it was an accident, but you summed up my fear perfectly. 

I require that all guests be ID Verified, so I at least have that going for me. Unfortunately she doesn’t have any reviews or a profile picture so there’s not much for the police to work with. I’ll report it anyway, should I ever need to make an insurance claim as I’m sure that would be the first question they asked if I was robbed. 

Sigh. People can be so unkind. 

going forward make sure you have click the icon " require a profile photo to book." After booking I just found out you have the guest who booked invited the other guests.