Airbnb Guest Demands $100,000 To Leave After Squatting For 500 Nights, Because California

A California dentist put his multi-million dollar home’s ‘in-law suite’ on Airbnb and lived to regret it.

  • Their guest booked a six month stay at $105 per night for $20,793.

  • They’ve been there for about two years, rent free for 18 months

  • And they’re demanding $100,000 to leave – with California law on their side.

  • She even wants a refund of her twenty grand for the first six months of her stay, too!

Five months into the stay, the guest complained about the electronic blinds in the standalone unit not working. The owner found water damage inside and mold around the sink when he inspected, which he says weren’t there prior to the stay and that had gone unreported. So he asked to book a Hilton hotel stay for the guest while he had repairs made, or give her $1,500 to find her own lodging. She refused citing fear of Covid-19 and ‘chemical sensitivities.’

  • She wouldn’t leave at the end of her stay. He had other Airbnb reservations, which he had to move. Finally he sought to have her evicted.

  • She researched permit history on the detached dwelling and found that there was a shower that hadn’t been permitted, and that there was no separate occupancy permit. So she complained to a housing investigator. He was fined $660.

  • The city determined he had to bring the unit up to code before he could evict his tenant. She wouldn’t let him in to make address the deficiency. Ergo, the unit couldn’t be brought to code and she couldn’t be evicted.

The woman is still living there, and under the city’s rent control laws the dentist can’t simply evict her. Los Angeles statute requires him to pay her a relocation fee. Her lawyer says “$100,000 is [the] cheapest way of getting of the whole ordeal… It is the home of the tenant until the landlord gets a judgment.”

Don’t put property on Airbnb that hasn’t been fully permitted in California, because the penalty isn’t just the fines it’s that the customer can continue to live there forever without paying rent.

Now, I lived in California as a teenager and my family was in the car business there. A mechanic in their repair shop cheated on his wife, and contracted an STD. He denied the affair and concocted the story that he’d gotten the clap from a spider bite while working on a car.

Since he was all in for the story, he needed to claim workers comp for the injury. It didn’t matter that’s not how STDs work. Since this was California, his claim was approved. The state government helped keep his marriage together, and my family’s workers comp coverage got dinged with a claim it shouldn’t have.

Another frequent issue there was hiring workers who would get injured on the job as soon as they could. Our record was an employee who cut his finger on an oil filter in his first 10 minutes on the job. Usually it took at least a few hours for an intentional workplace injury that qualified for a claim!

I recently wrote about New York City’s rent control laws allowing a hotel guest to claim ownership of the entire hotel after staying just one night and requesting a six month lease.

A housing court judge sided with him, allowing a deed for the property to be listed in his own name. When the legitimate owner fought it in court, the guest actually won the right to move back into just their own room as a rent-subsidized tenant. It’s not just California that’s gone insane.

(HT: Running With Miles)

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Didn’t one guy just wait for the squatter to leave, then moved in & changed the locks? Or else hire a scary looking massive man with a threatening demeaner. “Hey, lady. This is a very dangerous neighborhood for single women. Unexplained accidents. Stabbings. Hmmm, the last victim looked JUST LIKE YOU. I’d be very careful were I you. Something bad, bad, bad could happen. I wouldn’t want to be you”.

  2. I never thought i’d live long enough to see the exact same process of destruction of Venezuela, now in the once most powerful country on earth. Fast forward just a bit and you’ll know why I sold my commercial property back in Venezuela for cents on the dollar as you say here.

    The most recent was a mall space, in once one of the best malls in the eastern part of Venezuela, before socialism I could sell for 150K, but recently I happily offloaded at 12K. After 5 years sitting empty and paying administration fees that kept rising. It’s always better this way in current state Venezuela (exactly like now in CA) because the tenant could simply stop paying with all the law on their side.

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