Evicting renter from a vacation rental property

306 Replies

You may not be able to turn off the electricity but what about the cable, broadband, and phone? I'd consult the lawyer but try to make less pleasant for the deadbeat.

Hi Cory, 

I've had a similar issue before, with the exception that I've always been paid in full. When a guest tries to over-stay, I simply let myself in and start cleaning.  I tell them the next guest will arrive very soon, so they need to go.  If they give me any trouble, I let them know I'll call the police for trespassing.  You would need to check with a lawyer to be certain, but I believe they don't have the right to stay without a lease.  If you're intimidated, you could also hire a security guard for an hour to do the talking for you.  

Had a problem with some of my renters.  3 guys had been splitting $400/week for about 46 weeks.  One guy left.  The two remaining guys thought they just had to pay $133 each, and that's all they would pay.

So I had their electric and water meter removed on a Monday morning.  I even found them someone else's furnished house to move in to and gave them the number.  I go by Wednesday and see that they had used 2 heavy duty scissors wrapped in electrical tape to make jumpers across the terminals of the meter box. 

Called the city and they cut the line at the pole, police took pictures.

Turns out the person that they are now renting from is the city engineer.  The city engineers father used to be the plant manager at the refinery where the 2 guys I kicked out work at.

I run a corporate/business rental from my home and luckily I haven't had any issues with guests becoming such a problem.  The only time where a guest did stay over their limit was using AirBnB to fill a gap, when they forgot to ask for an extension, which resulted in me charging them an emergency booking fee (which I completely made up on the spot).   

When renting for longer than 1 month I make sure to put in writing that while they have right to use the property on a temporary basis, I have full rights to retain use of the property with 30 day notice.  However, this IS My primary residence as well so perhaps that makes it easier to resolve.  I also only give month to month leases that have to be renewed frequently with money up front.  Unlike a normal long-term lease I never include passive language such as a lease being assumed to be renewed if no one terminates it. 

I'd probably just cycle the alarm system off and on every 10 minutes until they left

Originally posted by @Michaela G. :

Did you read this comment?

"If the Airbnb screenpic of the renter since removed by SFGate was correct the "tenant" is a software engineer from Austin TX whose experience includes "Global platform for web applications that allows to manage bookings for property owners and supports online-booking by travelers"(indeed.com) . Interesting since he presumably works for SoftServe (linkedin.com) the Ukranian company who handled the web development of Airbnb's competitor HomeAway. "

There may be more to this than just a squatter, if the above is correct

 Just discovered this fascinating thread and I when I got to the above comment I did a bit of a double-take when I saw HomeAway mentioned. A few comments prior I tried visiting the OP's blog (www.myairbnbsquatter.com) and was disappointed to see it now redirects to HomeAway's website. Dun dun duuuuun!

@Jeremy Z. Just discovered this thread. Engrossing! Read through 12 pages in couple of hours. This could be a movie—I'm speaking as a screenwriter. 

The text message is just a scare to you. Did your Airbnb rental agreement allow for a business to be run? Do you advertise filtered water or did your guest just assume? Proceed with an attorney as a guest who is overstaying as a tenant eviction in CA can take months!  

Originally posted by @Jennifer Niez :

The text message is just a scare to you. Did your Airbnb rental agreement allow for a business to be run? Do you advertise filtered water or did your guest just assume? Proceed with an attorney as a guest who is overstaying as a tenant eviction in CA can take months!  

Did you realize that this was 4 years ago? 

I wish a moderator would read this and remove the sticker, now after 4 years, and avoid this thread to be pinned at the top.

Oh, California! Laws favor squatters. Brings back bad memories of trying to get rid of my cousin out of my deceased fathers house. Get a lawyer quick

Originally posted by @Anthony Uva :

Seems to be a good case for having electronic locks. You could just change the code and lock him out.

Hm.....are you really suggesting a self.help eviction? While. This particular situation is years old and over with, locking a tenant ( which is what they were after 30 days) leaves you open to all kinds of legal liabilities. 

@Cory T. My heart goes out to you having to deal with scum like this. You’re approaching it correctly by getting legal help (and I’m not an attorney).

I always thought about this situation and

1. Never do extended stays beyond 28

2. You “may” have to do some emergency repairs to the unit that could disrupt the illegal tenant (however you’re almost at their mercy bc they could trash your home)- so approach cautiously and with actual legal advice.

Wishing you the best spirits and outcome!

@Cory T. After 30 days in CA your guest is considered to be a long term tenant and has to be dealt with accordingly. Get an attorney involved, stop communication with him (he will use anything you say against you) and start a formal eviction process . Airbnb is not going to help you. We had an issue when the guest was refusing to leave because “his car was stolen”. Airbnb told us they could not help us and suggested to call police. We later realized the couple was doing drugs on our property and they never filed a police report for the stolen car. We also have video surveillance of them using Uber. You have a professional scammer on your hands and if you don’t follow the eviction process exactly , he can potentially stay in the unit for a long time.

Originally posted by @Olena M. :

@Cory T. After 30 days in CA your guest is considered to be a long term tenant and has to be dealt with accordingly. Get an attorney involved, stop communication with him (he will use anything you say against you) and start a formal eviction process . Airbnb is not going to help you. We had an issue when the guest was refusing to leave because “his car was stolen”. Airbnb told us they could not help us and suggested to call police. We later realized the couple was doing drugs on our property and they never filed a police report for the stolen car. We also have video surveillance of them using Uber. You have a professional scammer on your hands and if you don’t follow the eviction process exactly , he can potentially stay in the unit for a long time.

Ahem.....this thread is many years old and long resolved. But reading the whole thread is a really great learning experience.  

@Cory T. Hi Cory. About the deleted messages. I believe every time your guest sends you a message, Airbnb will send you an email with that message. Perhaps you can go through your inbox and find all the deleted messages that way. Good luck with this one and keep us posted

I agree. This is one minor topic of many dozens in the short-term rental space. It doesn't really need to be pinned anymore, just gets in the way. And confuses new people a little probably

Originally posted by @Michaela G.

Ahem.....this thread is many years old and long resolved. But reading the whole thread is a really great learning experience.  

Originally posted by @Ken Latchers :
I agree. This is one minor topic of many dozens in the short-term rental space. It doesn't really need to be pinned anymore, just gets in the way. And confuses new people a little probably


Originally posted by @Michaela G.

Ahem.....this thread is many years old and long resolved. But reading the whole thread is a really great learning experience.  

 I think it's a great threat and it's great if it's pinned. My comment was meant for the person who didn't pay attention to the date. Didn't bother reading the thread and just gave her comments. And again after I brought it up.

@Cory T. I am sorry that you are going thru this. I would not reach out to the renter again unless your lawyer tells you to. And next time stay more on top of things so that you don’t find out about the problem 14 days later. It would of been better to start the court process on day 1 of not paying instead of losing two more weeks of income.