Cory Tschogl says she has an Airbnb squatter - a guest who rented her Palm Springs vacation condominium, then stopped paying rent, refused to leave and threatened her with legal action.
"It's a horror story," said Tschogl, 39, who lives in San Francisco.
It's also a cautionary tale, illustrating the tenuous nature of new marketplaces that let people rent homes or rooms to strangers.Not exactly. It has to be in the right place, for the right time period;
Now she's hired a lawyer, who will cost several thousand dollars and take three to six months to evict the tenant, who now has renters' protections under California law because he has occupied the unit over 30 days.Sonny Bono's Law (as explained to Chris Matthews on Hardball about 15 years ago): There are people who will game any system. In this case, those 'renters protections under California law'.
But hey, the lawmakers' intentions were good. What could go wrong?
The guest booked the space for 44 days from May 25 to July 8 and paid for the first month in advance through Airbnb. After 30 days, Airbnb notified Tschogl that its attempts to collect the balance due "did not succeed" without specifying why. The company eventually paid her the two weeks' missing rent.
After numerous e-mails and calls from Tschogl, Airbnb offered to pay for the man to stay at a hotel for 30 days, but said he didn't respond to e-mails and his phone was disconnected.
Once the 44 days were up, Tschogl texted the renter that his reservation contract was over and that the power would be shut off in 24 hours.
The guest texted back saying he was legally occupying the condo and that loss of electricity would threaten the work he does at home that brings in $1,000 to $7,000 a day.
The texts threatened 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."That's what.