In addition to the fact that AirBnB is likely not legal in your neighborhood, another potential downside to the vacation rental service is that you might have to take renters to court to evict them. Business Insider reports on an AirBnB host who's having to do just that with her condo in Palm Springs. The "guest," a man whose profile identified him as Maksym, rented the woman's condo for a month and paid upfront, but after two days said he was dissatisfied and demanded a refund. And that's where the trouble began ...
The property owner, now feeling uneasy about the visitor, contacted AirBnB so that he could get his money back and leave. It turns out that, aside from the initial AirBnB fees, the company was "unable" to collect for actual time stayed in the condo. At a loss for what to do, and after a chain of "antagonistic texts" with the guy in her condo, the property owner decided to let him stay for the term of his reserved time, hoping he'd leave afterward.
But on the last day of his reservation, when the condo owner emailed the guest and told him to leave or she'd shut off the utilities, he responded with a caps-lock-riddled tirade claiming that he was occupying the condo legally and that he was going to sue her because his brother got an ulcer from drinking the tap water in the condo. It turns out, he was only partially crazy.
When the condo owner hired a lawyer, she discovered that, in California, tenants who rent property for 30 days are considered month-to-month-lease tenants, meaning that in order to kick her squatter out, she would actually have to go through the whole process to evict him. Eviction is neither fast nor cheap: it could take as much as half a year and cost around $5,000 in lawyer's fees. AirBnB always reminds hosts to be aware of their state's laws, but if they'd include a footnote about this exchange, maybe people would actually pay attention to that warning.
· Airbnb Host: A Guest Is Squatting In My Condo And I Can't Get Him To Leave [BI]
· The Few Places in Los Angeles Where Airbnbs Might be Legal [Curbed LA]