Now in Legal Rebels:
Posted Jul 23, 2014 12:38 pm CDT
A San Francisco woman found out about the downside of a 44-day Airbnb rental after the renter refused to leave her Palm Springs vacation condo.
Cory Tschogl says she knew something was amiss when the guest who goes by the name “Maksym” complained that the tap water was cloudy and he didn’t like the gated entry to the complex. Tschogl had a bad feeling so she agreed to his request for a full refund for the 30 days he had paid in advance. But then the guest changed his mind and decided to stay, Tschogl tells the Chronicle.
The man refused to pay the remaining balance due, however, and he refused to leave. Tschogl decided to let him stay for the full 44 days. But the renter still wouldn’t leave, so Tschogl threatened to turn off the power.
His response: He was legally entitled to stay in the condo, and the loss of electricity would threaten his at-home work, which pays up to $7,000 a day, the Chronicle says. He also said his brother visited and became ill from the tap water.
The Chronicle quotes from the guest’s text to Tschogl threatening to press charges for “blackmail and damages caused by your negligence and malicious misconduct, including $3,800 PID Espresso machine as well as medical bills for my brother’s hospital visit after he got sick here drinking unfiltered tap water.”
Tschogl says Airbnb was slow to respond to her requests for help. The company now says it has paid Tschogl the full cost of the reservation and is providing legal assistance, USA Today reports. “We’re also reviewing our procedures and making changes to our platform to give hosts more information about long-term reservations,” a company spokesperson said in a statement.
ABC News has a story on the legal protections for renters, which vary by state. Lawyer Robert Spitz says California requires Tschogl to provide a three-day notice of eviction and then a 30-day notice.
“At the end of the day [tenants are] liable for the amount of money that they owe but the landlord is still frustrated because the landlord is unable to get possession of the property back during that period. The unlawful detainment process can take up to two months,” Spitz said. “If the guy’s a deadbeat, what does he care? He paid one month and he gets three months.”
New York state also protects renters who stay more than 30 days, a real-state lawyer told ABC.