Calif. couple says home was trashed after putting house on Airbnb

OAKLAND (KRON) — An Oakland couple who put their house on Airbnb are still cleaning up a mess, after they said their home was trashed during a party with dozens of under-aged guests.

In this 8News sister station KRON story, Jeff Bush talked to them. Jim Owen and Reshma Vasanwala were out of town for New Year’s Eve when they got the call from their neighbors that a big party was going on in their house.

They had arranged for a guest to stay there on Airbnb.

“We got a phone call from our neighbor around 10:30 or 10:40, saying that there were about 50 to 60 kids in my house, partying in my house,” Vasanwala said.

They were contacted by a man claiming to be from Chicago, who said he and his sister were the only two who would be staying at their house but that turned out to be untrue.

“Sofas were outside. The TV was in my bathroom. Objects…photos, memorabilia….I have pictures of my nieces that are on my fridge that were completely on the floor, trampled on and torn, with shoe prints all over…their cute, little faces,” Vasanwala said.

The house was in disarray, with broken glass on the ground and beer cans everywhere, not what they expected. They have used Airbnb for some time and said they have had almost no problems with the company.

Jim and Reshma said their guest was not who he said he was.

“So, we were duped,” Owen said. “He came here and they were looking to have a party. We found out later that it was his 18th birthday, so another issue is that he was an underage user.”

Jim and Reshma said it took more than 12 hours to get a response from the company.

They said they will not be using Airbnb anymore.

An Airbnb spokesperson issued a statement regarding this incident:

“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, and our Trust and Safety team is reaching out to the host to work with them under our $1 Million Host Guarantee, which is designed to cover a host’s property in the rare event of damages. Over 1 million guests stayed on Airbnb on New Year’s Eve, and problems for hosts are extremely rare.”

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