OAKLAND (KPIX 5) — An Oakland couple who rented out their home on Airbnb came home to a shocking surprise. Their home had been trashed during a raucous New Year’s Eve party.
There was spilled beer on the floor, cigarette butts everywhere and lingering marijuana smoke in the air. Their new furniture had been put on the deck.
Reshma Vansanwala and Jim Santi-Owen were enjoying a relaxing New Year’s Eve out when they got an alarming message from a neighbor that their Airbnb guest had turned their home into party central.
“Next door neighbor texts me and says, ‘there are 40-50 youth here throwing a party, they’ve been shouting for over an hour and there’s 4 or 5 police out here,” said Santi-Owen.
The couple came home to broken pots, beer cans, even blood splattered on the wall.
“My house was trashed,” said Vansanwala.
Airbnb released a statement:
“We have zero tolerance for this kind of behavior and our team is working quickly to make this right. We have banned this guest from Airbnb.”
Still, the couple claims it took the company hours to connect them with the right people.
“We don’t trust the company anymore, and we don’t feel safe,” said Santi-Owen.
Airbnb covers guest’s up to $1 million for damage. The company said more than a million people used their listings for New Year’s, and problems like the one at this Oakland home are rare.
With cleanup underway, the couple is pressing charges against their guests. It isn’t likely they’ll be listing their home on the vacation rental site anytime soon.
“I can’t see doing this again,” said Santi-Owen.