When Airbnb host Cory Tschogl rented her Palm Springs home to a man on accommodation site Airbnb, she never expected that he would end up refusing to leave.
The guest, who scheduled a 44-day stay using the popular home-sharing site, refused to budge when Ms Tschogl requested he vacate the property. Instead, he claimed correctly that it was his legal right to stay.
According to Business Insider, despite repeated requests from Airbnb and Ms Tschogl for the guest – known only as Maksym – to leave the property, he remained and even threatened to sue Ms Tschogl.
“I have consulted my attorney,” Maksym wrote in a text message to Ms Tschogl.
“As I said multiple times already, I am LEGALLY occupying the domicile. I am pressing charges for blackmail and damages caused by your negligence.”
Unfortunately, when Ms Tschogl did some research she found that Maksym did have a claim to the property under Californian law.
According to Californian law, anyone renting a property for 30 days is considered a tenant on a month-to-month lease.
Worse, to evict the tenant would require a three-to-six month legal process costing up to US$5000 in legal fees.
Ms Tschogl is still working to evict the tenant, who may get away with a few months of unpaid accommodation as a result of the laws.
Airbnb have also promised to pay Ms Tschogl for the full 44-day reservation.
In the meantime, Ms Tschogl is hoping her story will notify other potential hosts about the risks of using the site.
“Thousands of vacation rental owners are vulnerable, and they don’t know it. The public needs to know, lawmakers need to know, and sites like Airbnb need to know and improve upon their policies, procedures and protections,” Ms Tschogl said.