House Party - Pool Party advertised on Instagram

Xanthe3
Level 3
Saint-André-d'Allas, France

House Party - Pool Party advertised on Instagram

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.

45 Replies 45
Xanthe3
Level 3
Saint-André-d'Allas, France

@Liv

@Paul89

@Gregory525 

@Helen3

@Jillian115 

@Mark116 

@Paul8914 

 

Liv just to let you know that I sent the Court Documents relating to the Airbnb guests to CS but no one has ever contacted me. Each time I try to reach out to Airbnb for a reimbursement of my lawyer,  notary and travel expenses the case is closed by Airbnb CS before I get through to the correct department or person.  As far as the court case, is concerning it is still an open ongoing matter.

 

Gregory525 was correct in what he said. Thank you for sticking up for me. 

 

Aiden38 I think you have misunderstood what I was attempting to say. As far as I was aware there was nothing to indicate the sexual orientation or preferences of anyone who booked through AIRBNB for their illegal Instagram Advertised Pool and Sex Party. My personal objection is to being sued by my neighbour due to the unacceptable noise caused by the AIRBNB guests, not to anybodies sexual preferences & I do not discriminate against same sex groups based on their sexual orientation. 

 

Helen3 as @Paul8914 says there are more things that Airbnb can do to prevent things like this from happening to hosts. A guest age restriction limit only apply to the primary guest (unless this has been changed recently by airbnb), therefore it is easy for guests to get around this rule. Airbnb should not penalise Hosts in cases like these by taking fees etc from the Host when the stay is cancelled. Giving hosts the option to block 'same sex groups' from booking is advised by people working in the tourism industry in Spain, as it is a top destination in Europe for Stag and Hen Parties. This is not a discrimination thing, it is a logical thing; not all rentals are suitable for large partying groups of potentially intoxicated people; the same as not all properties are suitable for the elderly or for children to stay in. 

 

Finally, what is the point of the Host Insurance policy if it does not cover expenses when you are being sued because of an AIRBNB reservation? It does seem to be rather misleading.

 

Interestingly,  I have also noted that someone has changed the title of this post from the original. I wonder why this might be?

Paul8914
Level 2
Cambridge, United Kingdom

I took a booking for 2 girls for 1 week, I have a ring doorbell on my front door. I witnessed countless men coming in and out, Airbnb cancelled the book.

The next week I took another booking for 2 girls for 1 week, and the same happened, Airbnb cancelled the booking after 3 nights and gave them a FULL refund! they clawed back from me the remaining fee! over £500! I had countless frustrating calls with Airbnb and countless messages.  It appears they protect sex workers and penalize hosts. 

**

!  I am going to the press with this as Airbnb should not do enough to stop this happening **.  

[Content removed in line with the Community Center Guidelines]

Bhumika
Community Manager
Community Manager
Toronto, Canada

Hello @Paul8914 ,

 

While I do understand your frustration regarding the matter and the ordeals you have gone through, I would like to remind you of our Non-discrimination Policy for future reference. You have also posted some statements that do not go in line with our Community Guidelines.It will be really great if we can be more respectful towards others and not be prejudiced by appearances. Thanks for understanding🙌
 

We're happy to announce the Month of Celebration!

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Helen3
Level 10
Bristol, United Kingdom

Hi @Paul8914 

 

I have already replied to your previous post on this matter.


While I appreciate how frustrating it is as the business owner to have this happen I can only suggest more careful vetting will help you minimise the risk of your listing being used by prostitutes.

 

Can I ask apart from cancelling the booking, what you would expect Airbnb to do in terms of this happening and how you expect Airbnb to stop prostitutes from booking your listing. Have they banned those who booked your place from the platform for example?

Paul8914
Level 2
Cambridge, United Kingdom

I would expect Airbnb to have more stringent security in place.  One of the bookings had 16 5-star reviews!  when I started to look at them, it was obvious to me they were gained by either friends or other sex workers, probably booking their place, and sending them back the money, just to get reviews!  They could actually help the host better than helping the sex worker!

Helen3
Level 10
Bristol, United Kingdom

Hi @Paul8914 

 

The problem is sadly not with Airbnb but your fellow hosts.

 

What I have found is that larger Airbnb portfolio owners and airbnb property management companies tend to leave standard positive reviews if their places are left clean and tidy. So I am not at all surprised your guests who were sex workers had a string of positive reviews.

 

I am still not clear as to what 'stringent security' you expect Airbnb to have in place.

 

What house rules and vetting do you put in place to minimise the risk to your business of having sex workers and other at risk guest groups staying with you?

Xanthe3
Level 3
Saint-André-d'Allas, France

Hi Paul8914,

 

I am sorry to hear of your problems.

 

My own problem relating the the Pool and Sex Party has not been concluded. I now have the 130+ page Court document in Spanish which lists the Airbnb guests names, I paid for a lawyer myself. I have sent the document to Airbnb as they requested but they are not interested in helping me, I am just fobbed off every time I try to contact them. I am told to wait for a dedicated person to get in touch but it never happens, then the case is closed again. I have just spent the last few months trying to get a response but nothing happens. It is a complete waste of my time trying to get Airbnb to help me even though they told me they would.

 

If you are interested in getting your Airbnb experience out there I would be happy to join you.

Sounds like you deserve to be sued for being a homophobe. I hope they squeeze every penny out of you!
😄

Gregory525
Level 1
Orlando, FL

** [Inappropriate content removed in line with the Community Center Guidelines]

Brian-and-Robin0
Level 2
Kelowna, Canada

I just attempted a reply (which was less than complimentary to "cs" (customer service) and it said there was a technical error so my reponse did not go through.

Jillian115
Level 10
Jamestown, CA

@Brian-and-Robin0 That happens to me almost every time I try to post. For some reason if I submit two times it posts the second. But I hear you. CS has become completely ineffective and horrible to hosts since they outsourced. My hope is that when the admin says there is a special team assigned, the team is special enough to clear it up. Horrible that @Xanthe3 has been told nothing in several weeks. It’s painful the way AIRBNB cuts hosts off from communication when they are in dire need of support. unfortunately it’s very common. I don’t trust Airbnb to support me anymore but I am hopeful that with something this extreme they will. 

Liv
Former Community Manager
Former Community Manager
London, United Kingdom

Hi @Xanthe3,

 

I'm really sorry to hear about what you're going through.

 

I checked on your case internally and CS tells me a dedicated team is currently working on it. They'll get back to you as soon as possible.

 

I hope this helps and that the issue is resolved soon.

 

Please keep us updated and let us know if you have any other concerns.

 

Thanks,

Liv

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Xanthe3
Level 3
Saint-André-d'Allas, France

Hi Liv,

 

Thank you for your assistance with looking into this for me and for taking the time to reply.

 

I am sorry if I am not up to speed here but could you tell me what CS stands for please? 

 

I do appreciate what you are saying, but please forgive me for being sceptical as I have been told this a couple of times already by AIRBNB helpline employees.  In the meantime, 6 weeks have gone by without any contact from the 'dedicated team'. You would think if AIRBNB were dealing with it then someone would at least have been in touch to say     'we are looking into this and will get back to you shortly'.  

 

Instead I only receive 'case closed' messages.

 

I think I have now reached the point where I must contact a lawyer for advice as well, just in case the court case happens whilst I am still waiting for the right department in Airbnb to contact me. 😕

 

 

 

 

Till-and-Jutta0
Host Advisory Board Member
Stuttgart, Germany


@Xanthe3  schrieb:

I am sorry if I am not up to speed here but could you tell me what CS stands for please? 


CS = Customer Service

[Unless stated otherwise, my comments are based on my personal Airbnb hosting and travelling experiences.]
Xanthe3
Level 3
Saint-André-d'Allas, France

Yes, realised that after. 

 

I thought it was in reference to the 'dedicated department'.

 

CS are no help with this.

Jillian115
Level 10
Jamestown, CA

@Xanthe3 since @Liv  is an admin she has a bit more influence and direct communication with customer support. I think it’s pretty good news for your case. Hopefully everything is cleared up for you soon. 

Xanthe3
Level 3
Saint-André-d'Allas, France

This is the second post as the first was deleted due to some error !

 

Hi,

 

As you were all so kind to comment on my problem I thought I would provide an update for you.

 

So, I had to make a 2250km round trip to give power of attorney to a local lawyer. He confirmed that I do run the risk of being arrested if I move to my home where the AIRBNB party took place, even though my current home sale completes in 4 weeks. I also run the risk of having a criminal record which will prevent me from applying for residency. So in 4 weeks we will need to rent a property to live in 😞

 

If I have a criminal record I cannot apply for residency either.

 

CS were of no use whatsoever, despite many promises, although I have been asked to send a copy of the court documents to a NY address so that airbnb can see if they are mentioned or not. I think I might pass on that and let them have the bad publicity. 😉

 

So far I have spent 1000 Euro and it is set to rise once it gets to court.

 

 

Xanthe3
Level 3
Saint-André-d'Allas, France

@Colleen253  @Jillian115  @Brian-and-Robin0 Jennifer2948  @Fred2329 @Liv 

 

Hi,

 

As you were all so kind to comment on my problem I thought I would provide an update for you.

 

So, I had to make a 2250km round trip to give power of attorney to a local lawyer. He confirmed that I do run the risk of being arrested if I move to my home where the AIRBNB party took place, even though my current home sale completes in 4 weeks. I also run the risk of having a criminal record which will prevent me from applying for residency. So in 4 weeks we will need to rent a property to live in 😞

 

If I have a criminal record I cannot apply for residency either.

 

CS were of no use whatsoever, despite many promises, although I have been asked to send a copy of the court documents to a NY address so that airbnb can see if they are mentioned or not. I think I might pass on that and let them have the bad publicity. 😉

 

So far I have spent 1000 Euro and it is set to rise once it gets to court.

Mark116
Level 10
Jersey City, NJ

@Xanthe3  What is the 'criminal matter?  Isn't this a civil issue?  If you were found guilty, what would the charge be?  And even if found guilty, would it not be a misdemeanor?  Would you really be arrested and taken to jail for being the owner of a property that had a loud party?  That seems excessive.

 

It does sound like you are going to have to pay for a Spanish lawyer.  

Xanthe3
Level 3
Saint-André-d'Allas, France

@Jillian115 

 

I will keep you posted on this and I am crossing my fingers hoping that they will do the right thing and contact me to help or take over. However, my experience over the last 6-7 weeks is that I have been told the exact same thing several times already and no one has contacted me yet, not even a 'we are looking into it' message. 

 

It is my opinion, right or wrong, that AIRBNB was a 'partner' in my business and enjoyed the profits over many years. If they really care, as they say they do, then they should now shoulder some of the problem, rather than refusing to accept part responsibility.  But, it seems they can pick and choose, as I do not see them refusing to accept the 2021 rental payments.  

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