Need Help! How can I enforce removing Airbnb listing as an owner

5 Replies

Hello fellow investors!

I am recently running into a nasty situation with my business partner, involving an Airbnb listing and selling a house.

My partner and I are flipping a house through a JV agreement. I am the capital investor who is the sole owner of the property. My partner is responsible for rehab and sell the house. Nobody can lease the house for any purpose. All of these are stated in the JV.

The rehab was done a while ago. The house has been listed on market for a few months and not moving anywhere. my partner started pocketing income by listing the house on Airbnb without any written consent from me. It has been creating tremendous difficulties for showings since the property is always occupied and Airbnb guests of course are not happy about open house or potential buyers visiting. And some of potential buyers are kicked out by tenants.

My partner has been ignoring my requests to cancel the listing. Surprisingly, Airbnb refuses to make any enforcement for this. All they are willing to offer is to forward a letter to the host who is my business partner. 

My highest priority here is to sell the house and recoupe my capital back. With Airbnb in the way, I can hardly do it. Any suggestions on how I can legally take the house back and remove it from Airbnb website? Again, I am the sole owner of the house. There should be plenty of ways to do it legally. Can you please suggest one which is most efficient and causes less damage?

Thanks in advance!

@Joshua Yang

A few 'stake-out' nights, or perhaps even confrontational barging in and letting airbnb guests know the situation and that they cannot stay there, and informing them they need to give a 1 star review, will have a huge impact.

If you want to go all the way, as well, you might see if you can get law enforcement involved.  Some people don't get certain messages unless they are faced with dire consequences, unfortunately.

If AirBnB will not take action based on your contacting them, have a lawyer send them a letter with proof of ownership. CC elected officials who are just looking for a reason to restrict AirBnB. Make it clear that this day forward, if any more people are found inside the home, you will contact the police to have them arrested for trespassing. Last thing AirBnB wants is bad publicity. 

Or you could be more creative and continually check to see when the home is not available for rent as it has already been rented and go that morning and change the locks. I assume the place is furnished. Remove all the furnishings. Turn off the utilities. Or just book the listing every day and take the cost of you renting your own home out of the sale proceeds. 

@Jim Goebel , @Greg M. ,

Thanks for your replies. I have thought about changing the lock, but is it legal? Like in landlord/tenant disputes, the landlord has to take legal actions to evict the tenant, instead of changing the lock to lock the tenant out right away.
The difference here is, tenant is protected by the lease agreement. I, as the owner, never signed any contract with Airbnb or guests. So Presumably I am not obligated at all.

Advise Airbnb that the person who set up this account has no legal authority to do so, send them the docs showing he does Not have the authority to rent (if this is spelled out) and tell them you are changing the locks so no guest will have will be in their interest to cancel the listing and any bookings..  It will be a sh$tty thing to do to guest with booking soon, but you could change the locks, Not while someone is there because they Do have occupancy rights once they are in, while the unit is vacant.

More importantly, you need to get a grip on your partner, whatever you need to do.

@Joshua Yang

I agree you can file a complaint with Airbnb but they aren't the problem. You need to hire an attorney and enforce the agreement with your partner. He clearly doesn't take you seriously so hit him hard and shut him down. If you keep toying around with him, he will keep pushing boundaries.