As someone who has had to evict both a renter (who stopped paying their rent when landlord/mom died), AND a squatter who was taking advantage of an elderly lady (mom,) from my mom's homes when she passed away, I'm not at all unsympathetic to this owner's plight. However, anyone who thought this was a good idea deserves what they get.
At first I felt sorry for her because she is faced with the most idiotic regulations in the United States - the California law makers care little about what makes sense, just what makes money. This is one of the results of such regulations - to have a tenant rent to a tenant and make a business out of it - no equity in the game and no respect for laws.
AirBnb did what all the internet companies do: kick people off the site and pretend they had nothing to do with it.
As the article states, the family never paid the fees in the first place. So I would conclude that at a minimum AirBnb should have helped her get rid of the people occupying an apartment illegally.
Yes I know, I'm dreaming.
In the end the means do not justify anything in this case - she stepped over the line, but so is the judge now.........I did not read anything about an eviction notice issued.
I followed the posts about this mess across multiple VR groups.This host was encouraged and egged on by many others to do things that were illegal, even to threaten the squatters with a gun. The squatters originally booked and paid for 3 nights then wanted to extend their stay. The host agree to extend but they never made payment for the additional time. They claimed they had moved from NC to Ca for a job that fell through so they couldn't pay. Who moves across the country with 3 kids and only books a place to stay for 3 nights? They knew they were planning to stay without paying all along. They enrolled their kids in the local school. Now they are playing the victim.
All that said, the host should have gone through the legal process to remove the squatters. I feel sorry that she put herself in this terrible situation but taking the law into your own hand is not a wise choice. She knew this was not the way to handle it, in fact she commented that she didn't want to end up in jail.
Note: I use the word host because she is a host but not an owner.
While I totally agree that owners have lost so many rights when it comes to situations like this, when we disregard the law we are only setting ourselves up for more heartache. Since this is not a primary home and is considered transient housing we should be able to do whatever it takes to remove the offending guests, but the laws may say otherwise. I try to only allow those that have a primary home that is verified, as it is one step in assuring that they won’t just stay indefinitely, not that it can’t happen, but it may lessen the risk.
A Few observations that I noted in some states as to whether transient or primary housing, again just my reading and not state specific. Laws will always trump everything else.
1. Do they have a primary residence
2. Do they have a “key” to the Vacation Home
3. Do they receive mail at the Vacation home
4. Any stays over 30 (in most states) converts to landlord tenant act regardless of anything else.
I read this article yesterday and was happy to hear she ended up in jail! She is not the owner, but instead she rented a number of apartments on a long-term lease and turned around and rented them short-term via Air, likely without the owners' knowledge and also possibly in violation of her "lease" with the owners. "On the web, Saini described herself as an expert short-term rental host who leased apartments and then offered them on Airbnb and other sites to make a profit." Also, she has been in trouble with the law before: "Saini has been in trouble with the law before. She has an active $20,000 bench warrant for her arrest in San Mateo County, said Stephen Wagstaffe, San Mateo district attorney. Saini failed to appear in court for a jury trial that was scheduled for June 3 in a misdemeanor vandalism case in which she was charged on suspicion of keying a person’s car in 2015 after the two met at a public storage unit in San Mateo. Saini had expected to purchase an item, but it did not meet her expectations, and she became frustrated when the seller refused her demand for $20 to compensate her for gas and time, Wagstaffe said Thursday."
I hate to see anyone go to jail, but you are right she was flying in the face of the law. The unfortunate thing is that on those web spaces, Facebook etc. by her actions was encouraging others to encourage her to do wrong. Some owners are fairly new to the VR business and could easily fall for some of these types of antics. The whole thing was sad for the owners, for those that want to follow the laws and for guests reading this Mess in the news. AND worse yet makes lawmakers even tougher on owners for fools like this, making an example of why we need tougher VR and LTR laws. ARGH!!
IMO both the host and the guests involved in this situation were wrong and committed a crime.
The host does rental arbitrage, she is not an owner. Rental arbitrage is quite common on ABB. She has posted often that the landlords are aware of and compensated for her STR business. I have no way of knowing if this is true or false.
She posted for at least a week in multiple groups asking for advice. She was given some good advice but most of the advice was illegal and dangerous. She acknowledge that she was aware the advice was illegal.
She said sought help from the police and that they made the situation worse by telling guest they had tenants rights.
She said she spoke to an attorney but the cost and time would be prohibitive.
IMO she knowingly committed a crime.
The "guests" booked 3 nights when moving from NC to Ca for a job opportunity. I find it hard to believe a family of 5 moved across the country and secured only 3 nights housing.
They asked to extend their stay, never made payment, enrolled their kids in the local school and refused to leave.
They then claimed the job had fallen through and they had no funds to pay the rent. Really? Are we supposed to believe they moved across the country with 3 kids and only enough funds for a 3 night stay?
IMO they planned to squat from the start, they booked three nights knowing they had no intention of leaving.
They have portrayed themselves to the media and the legal system as tenants being harassed by a landlord. In fact they are squatters not tenants, tenants pay rent.
IMO they knowingly committed a crime.