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Airbnb Squatter

The Crazy Tale of an Airbnb Squatter

Listen up, all you part-time landlords out there. Sometimes renting out your place on Airbnb doesn't quite go as you planned. Just ask Cory Tschogl, who rents her place in Palm Springs, CA, on the site to help cover her expenses in San Francisco. Recently, she found herself with a tenant who wouldn't leave — for more than a month!

Business Insider has the details:

She was happy with Airbnb until a man who goes by the name "Maksym" contacted her through Airbnb asking to rent her Palm Springs condo for longer than a month. He told her he needed accommodations for an extended business trip, Tschogl says.

He didn't have any reviews on Airbnb, which she says in retrospect should have been a warning sign.

The homeowner Tschogl decided to go ahead with the extended booking. Airbnb provided a 30-day advance, and then she was supposed to get the rest of the money later. But way before that, things got weird:

On day one, after the guest checked in, he called her and complained about two odd things, Tschogl says. He didn't like the tap water (complained it was cloudy) and he didn't like the gated entry to the condo complex. He asked for a full refund, according to Tschogl. She had a bad gut feeling about him, she says, so she agreed to a refund.

Unfortunately, Tschogl then had a hard time getting a hold of Airbnb. Once she did, the company told her that they told the guest to leave. But here's the thing: he wouldn't.

The story continues:

After a number of antagonistic texts with the guest, Tschogl says she decided that perhaps the best course of action would be just to let him stay for the duration of his reservation.

Then came the second hiccup. On June 25, when payment for the last part of his reservation was due, Airbnb couldn't collect the money. Airbnb warned Tschogl in an email, she says.

Both Airbnb and Tschogl contacted him and warned him to pay or leave, according to Tschogl.

Two days later, on June 27, he was still in the condo, she says.

On the last day of his reservation, still unpaid, Tschogl says she sent him a text message telling him if he didn't vacate the property, she would have the utilities shut off.

So why didn't she do that? Or just call the cops? Well, her not-so-friendly guest threatened to sue her and told her he had rights as her tenant. Indeed he did.

She hired a lawyer and discovered that, in California, once someone rents a property for 30 days, that person is considered a tenant on a month-to-month lease.

To get the tenant out would require the whole eviction shebang, which could take three to six months and $3,000 to $5,000 in legal fees. She couldn't just ask the police to haul the guy out.

Airbnb says it will compensate the owner Tschogl for the original 44-day reservation, but it's on her to know the eviction laws for her state. As for the squatter, apparently he's still there.

Image Source: Thinkstock
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