Well, this is awful. San Francisco resident Cory Tschogl, 39, decided to purchase a condo in Palm Springs after being priced out of the SF market, and she's been helping to pay the mortgage by renting it out on Airbnb. Starting in late May, she had a new Airbnb guest who opted to pay 30 days up front for a 44-day stay, into mid-July. But now, after more than a 30-day stay, the "guest" technically has tenants' rights under California law, and he's refusing to leave. Airbnb so far hasn't done enough to help, says Tschogl, so she's gone to the Chronicle for some attention for her squatter problem.
Tschogl hasn't had such troubles in the past, but this guest sent up red flags from the get-go.
"When he first checked in, he complained about the tap water - it's hard water with minerals because it's in the desert," Tschogl said. "My gut alarm-bell went off. I agreed to give him a full refund, not even charging a cleaning fee. But then he changed his mind and decided to stay."
Also, he failed to pay for the final two weeks of his scheduled stay, for which Airbnb ponied up the rest, and then he started sending legally threatening missives to Tschogl about her threats to turn off the power to the unit, and claims about his brother having to go to the hospital after drinking the tap water.
While Tschogl says she attempted to get this troublesome squatter problem escalated at Airbnb, she felt the responses to her complaints were too slow and inadequate. Only after some angry tweets from her sister and some unwanted calls from the Chron did Airbnb escalate her problem and offer to cover her legal fees.
Per Airbnb's press rep, Nick Papas, "Our initial response to this inquiry didn't meet the standards we set for ourselves and we've apologized to this host."
It's expected that it will take three to six months to evict the tenant now, who will in the meantime be living for free in Palm Springs and doing god knows what to Tschogl's condo.
[Sydney Morning Herald]