If I were to write every detail and every word said, I could write a short novel so let’s just say there was a lack of respect and disregard for communication from the beginning. This guest was to stay for 7 nights and it was his second night at the house. Let’s call him “John” . John was sneaking in another guest at 2:30 a.m. I happen to be awake since I had just used the restroom a few minutes earlier. I was hunkering down in the basement for a month. I rented my room to a short-term roommate since I had been unemployed for too long and it was time to get creative. It is amazing how you can tell how many people are coming in the door and up the stairs by the rhythm of the steps and noise feet make on hardwood floors.
I have developed spidy senses since starting to run an Airbnb. You know, the kind you get when you have children. I made my way up the basement stairs into the living room before they could make it upstairs to the bedroom entirely. I asked John if he had another person with him. He said yes. There is an additional fee per night for an additional person. Having people over that are not part of the reservation requires prior permission. When you have a home, you are responsible for everyone under the roof. There are liability issues at play not to mention it looks shady.
After hearing confirmation there was another person, I walked away. I began to feel upset, disrespected, taken advantage of – all the negative feelings welled up. I immediately went upstairs, knocked on the door and told them the guest couldn’t stay. They were both very drunk and didn’t seem to think I was being serious. The girl John brought back to the house began to walk towards me to introduce herself and shake my hand. I mentioned again that she wasn’t welcome to stay.
Girl with slurred speech: How will I get home?
John: Can’t we just talk about this? I mean I am sure we can come to an agreement.
Me: We are past talking about this. She can Uber or take a taxi.
Girl: Who is going to pay for that?
Me: John is going to pay for it and you have 5 minutes to figure it out. (Meanwhile, I called the taxi)
I could tell by the level of intoxication that it wasn’t going to go well. It is very challenging to speak logically to drunk people. Drunk people tend to repeat themselves over and over. It’s exhausting.
When the taxi arrived, I went upstairs to inform them it was time for the girl to go. I knocked on the door before proceeding to open it only to be met with John using his body to block the door so I couldn’t get in. This kid is 6 2′ , tall and skinny but still bigger than me! I had to push the hardest I could several times to make my way past him. There was no movement towards the unauthorized guest leaving. After more round and round conversation, I saw the house key on the dresser, I put it in my pocket, went downstairs to call the police’s non emergency number and Airbnb for assistance/direction.
The police asked for a description of her so I went back into the room only to find her hiding under the covers of the bed 85% passed out. I pulled back the covers and relayed details: brown hair shoulder length, caucasian , female about 25 years old, wearing jeans and an orange t-shirt. As I sat on the phone describing her, John was in the background saying over and over “Can’t we just talk about this? ” For the 1,000th time- No Dude. What don’t you understand here? Which part is confusing?
Next phone call to Airbnb took about 15 minutes to get to someone who could actually help when the police arrived. I hung up with Airbnb to talk to the police who ended up saying there wasn’t much they could do. They can’t show up and put people on the street just because it’s asked. John had a right to be there. Reluctantly and towards the end of the conversation they mentioned they could ask them to leave as a courtesy. Yes, Please! Thank you! The presence of the police brought the reality of the situation down upon John and the girl. They gathered their things and were escorted out.
In the morning I called Airbnb, I was assigned a case manager who had already noted that John sent an email to them saying “She kicked us out”. This guy was in for a surprise. I learned that there is a special department at Airbnb for these situations. They want you stay on the phone with them when the police arrive so they can give you the language that will allow the police to take more action.
In the end – he was violating the terms of the agreement which gives me the right to not have him stay and keep his money. Which I did along with a break for the next five days.
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