2016 is starting out rough for some people out there. First, there were the Uber users who woke up on January 1 to find they’d spent crazy amounts of money on their rides the night before. And now, we’re hearing about some Airbnb landlords who were also in for an unpleasant surprise after ringing in the new year.
Apparently, a few renters threw some New Year’s Eve parties at their temporary digs. We’re not talking about elegant wine and cheese get-togethers. We mean full-scale ragers. And while we love a good par-tay, it’s just not cool to leave someone else’s home in a mess. Unfortunately, that’s exactly what happened.
First off, we love the idea of heading to an exotic locale for New Year’s Eve. We didn’t realize it was such a thing. It totally is. According to Airbnb, 1 million people used their platform to find vacation homes for the holiday. ONE MILLION.
That’s a lot of partying New Year’s travelers! Thankfully, most of them were courteous and left the properties in a completely acceptable condition. According to TIME, Airbnb contends that cases of damage are few and far between. They also have a practice of removing such users from their platform, saying, “We have zero tolerance for this kind of behavior.” It still happens, though. And while such destruction may be rare, it’s a hot mess (literally). Here are a few of the worst cases from New Year’s Eve: Underage drinkers…50 of them Jim Owen and Reshma Vasanwala rented out their California home to an Airbnb user who said he was from Chicago and that he and his sister were looking for a place to stay in the area on New Year’s Eve. He also said they would be the only two people staying at the home. That wasn’t exactly true. According to WKRC News, the renters threw such a huge bash that Owen and Vesanwala’s neighbors called them to let them know what was going on. “We got a phone call from our neighbor around 10:30 or 10:40, saying that there were about 50 to 60 kids in my house, partying in my house,” Reshma said. “Sofas were outside, the TV was in my bathroom.” The “man” who’d arranged the rental turned out to be a kid looking for a place to throw himself an eighteenth birthday party, which meant that at the time he contacted the couple, he wasn’t even old enough to use Airbnb. Of course, he wasn’t old enough to legally drink either, but that didn’t stop him.
Totally inappropriate behavior
Freelance writer Justine Smith of Montreal, Canada, rented out a room in her apartment for the big night and realized pretty much right away that her renters were using cocaine. In her living room, guys. According to The Daily Beast, she went to the bathroom, saw baggies on the coffee table and heard her renters cutting the cocaine on her glass tabletop. She was willing to let it slide. She was even willing to turn a blind eye when they starting having sex on her sofa. She says, “We’re like, ‘That’s weird. They have a room,’ but we thought, ‘Whatever, it’s New Year’s Eve.’ We’re not going to be like, ‘Stop having sex on out couch!’ That’s just impoliteness.”
(Real talk: it’s not impolite to ask people not to have sex on your sofa. In fact, we’d contend it’s impolite for anyone to put you in the position of having to say such a thing.)
Smith finally had enough, though, when she woke up the next morning and found two additional naked people on her couch who she’d never seen before and definitely hadn’t rented space to. Oh, and have we mentioned that New Year’s Eve was also Smith’s wedding night? It totally was.
At least the renters apologized.
Come on, though, is being “honestly just f’ed up” an excuse for this kind of thing? Um, no. Meanwhile, in England… Things were arguably worse across the pond. Christina McQuillan rented out her home in the Putney area of London through Airbnb for just one night. It became obvious that was one night too many when her neighbors called to tell her about the choas that was going on at her home. According to the Evening Standard, McQuillan rushed home to find hundreds of people partying in the street. When she and her partner confronted the renter, things got worse. She says, “We entered the property and we told her to shut it down immediately. This girl just laughed and said ‘no, I’m holding a party.’” The police eventually showed up, but only after McQuillan was “attacked by a man in a hooded top who punched her in the stomach as she tried to break up the rave.”
Airbnb does have insurance protection of up to $1 million for bodily injury or personal property damage. You can read more about their host protection policy here. It might be a good idea to give that page a read before next New Year’s Eve. Just a thought.
(Image via Shutterstock.)