Learn how to spot an Airbnb squatter as well as what to do if an Airbnb guest refuses to leave. You’ve finished a long and stressful day of work, and you’re so exhausted that the last thing on your mind is checking whether the Airbnb guest staying in your home is actually a squatter. Unfortunately, this is exactly what happened to one unlucky landlord. After spending months fixing up his house and getting it ready for guests, he came home one day to find his stuff trashed, obscene messages scribbled all over his walls, and a stranger claiming squatters’ rights.
You see, there are many horror stories about people renting out their homes on Airbnb or VRBO (Vacation Rental By Owner). These strangers can break into your house, damage it, and then refuse to leave when you ask them to go. What makes things even worse is that many of these intruders claim squatters’ rights under local laws protecting tenants from unfair eviction. So how can you protect yourself against such situations?
Airbnb and Squatters
Airbnb is a popular app used by hosts to rent out their homes to visitors from out of town. In fact, Airbnb hosts can make as much as $40K a year on average. However, the same technology that makes it so easy to list a room or an entire home also makes it easy for squatters to take advantage of hosts.
Squatters are people who take up residence in a property without the permission of the owner. Squatters could also be people who have permission to stay on your property, like Airbnb guests who overstay their welcome. Squatters don’t pay rent and often cause damage to the property by not caring for it.
Airbnb is a multi-billion dollar online marketplace that allows homeowners to rent out their unoccupied housing for short-term stays. It has already become a giant business, with its value being estimated at around $40 billion. However, despite the fact that it has been around since 2008, it has also had its share of disputes. One of the most common issues that Airbnb hosts face is that of squatter guests. That’s why you should always be on the lookout for signs of an Airbnb squatter.
What Happens if an Airbnb Guest Refuses to Leave?
What happens if an Airbnb guest refuses to leave after the agreed-upon date? Well, the situation is a lot worse than just an annoyed guest asking you to be more quiet. You see, most states have laws that prevent you from evicting your guests by simply asking them to leave. So if there is no legitimate reason for evicting them, they can claim they have the right to remain in your home and that you must go through proper legal channels to remove them. This means that legally you’re stuck with them and their belongings in your house until you can get them removed by the authorities.
And even then, the process might take some time and cost you a good deal of money. Besides, the damage these intruders can cause your property is immeasurable. They are likely to damage carpets, bedding, and any other soft pieces of furniture in the home. And if you give them access to your appliances, they might completely trash them beyond repair.
If an Airbnb guest refuses to leave after their reservation has expired, you can call the police. Since these guests have no right to stay in your house, the authorities will have no problem removing them against their will. If you are renting your property on a short-term basis, state laws usually require you to evict guests at the end of the rental term. This is because you have an obligation to respect the rights of your neighbors and abide by local zoning laws.
However, if you’re renting out your home on a long-term basis, you can’t just kick out a roommate who is refusing to leave. The laws are different here, and you’ll have to go to court to get them evicted.
Can You Kick an Airbnb Guest Out?
Unfortunately, the idea that your Airbnb guest has to leave the moment their booking is over is a big misconception. You see, most people think that the agreement between hosts and guests is a simple rental contract. And while this is true in some instances, many times Airbnb guests are actually treated as tenants. If your Airbnb guest refuses to leave, it’s best to not get into an argument with them. Airbnb guests are there as paying guests, and it’s illegal for you to physically remove them from your home. Moreover, it is not recommended to attempt to do so, as it may lead to a violent confrontation, or even result in you being charged with assault or murder! If the police come and tell your guest to leave, they will most likely comply. But if they don’t, there’s not much you can do to make them leave against their will.
How to Spot an Airbnb Squatter?
Airbnb squatters are basically people who stay in your house or apartment, rent-free, against your will. There are certain signs to look out for if you suspect that someone might be a squatter in your home.
1. If you notice a car that doesn’t belong to any of your guests sitting in your driveway, it could be a sign that the guest has brought a friend (or partners).
2. If you notice that the guest is bringing in large amounts of luggage, it could be a sign that they’re staying for a long period of time.
3. If you notice that your Airbnb guests are receiving regular mail, this could be a sign that they’re staying in your home long-term.
4. If you notice that your guests are paying for their stay in cash, it could be a sign that they’re involved in some kind of illegal activity.
While some squatters might be obvious, there are those who try to disguise their criminal behavior by putting on a facade. You see, many Airbnb squatters try to pass themselves off as legitimate guests by booking a room, staying in the home for a short period of time, and then refusing to leave.
In fact, many squatters take advantage of the fact that hosts are busy people. So they might book a room for a long time, knowing that you have no way of knowing whether they actually have plans to vacate the premises at any point in the near future. However, there are a few signs you can look for to spot an Airbnb squatter before it’s too late.
Airbnb Squatter Refuses to Leave
If your Airbnb squatter refuses to leave, you’ll need to report the situation to the police. However, before you do this, there are a few things you can try and do to get your unwanted guest out.
First, you need to talk to the squatter and politely ask them to leave. You can also try to negotiate with them and offer them money to leave. If they refuse to go, you’ll need to give them a written notice that they’re violating the terms of their Airbnb booking.
You can also request that Airbnb ban the squatter from ever booking a room on their platform again. This way, they won’t be able to book another room in your home or in someone else’s home. You can also ask Airbnb to get a police report in order to have the squatter evicted.
If an Airbnb squatter refuses to leave your home after the end of their booking, your first course of action should be to talk to them. Sometimes it might be just an innocent misunderstanding. In some cases, it could be a malicious attempt to disrupt your life, or a person who is just desperate and confused.
If you have tried to talk to the guest, and they still refuse to leave, your next move would be to call the police. The authorities will usually disperse them with no questions asked. If the police fail to remove the guest from your home, your last resort would be to go to court.
Does Airbnb Protect Against Squatters
Sadly, Airbnb does not provide any protection against squatters. The only way for you to guard against squatters is to carefully screen all potential guests and to make them sign a legal contract before they stay in your home. If someone refuses to sign a contract, or if you feel that there’s something suspicious about them, don’t hesitate to let them go.
Unfortunately, Airbnb usually sides with their guests in these situations. They often cite their Terms of Service by saying that they’re not liable for any damage done to your home. They also say that they can’t force an Airbnb squatter to leave unless the guest breaks local laws, such as by committing a crime.
However, there are a few ways you can safeguard against Airbnb squatters. The first thing you should do is to do a thorough background and credit check on each guest who books your home. This way, you can spot any red flags and refuse service to potential guests who might cause problems. You should also set a limit on how long a guest can stay in your home. You can do this by adding a clause to your Airbnb policy stating that guests can’t stay longer than a certain number of days.
Here’s Why You Should Be Very Careful of Airbnb Squatters!
Squatters are basically people who refuse to leave your home after their reservation has expired. They stay in your house, rent-free, against your will. To protect yourself against squatters, here are some things you need to keep in mind:
1. Only rent out your home to long-term guests. Short-term guests are more likely to be in trouble.
2. Make sure your guests have enough money to pay for the entire duration of their stay. It’s not uncommon for people to promise to pay you back at the end of the stay, and then never do.
3. Speak to your potential guests on the phone before you let them stay in your home. This will give you a better idea of who they are, and it will also give you the opportunity to ask them some questions. If a guest seems vague, or hesitant to answer your questions, they might be trying to hide something.
Steps to Safeguard Against Squatters
Besides carefully choosing your guests, there are a few other things you can do to safeguard against Airbnb squatters. First, you need to set ground rules for your guests. You can do this by adding a clause to your Airbnb policy stating that guests are expected to leave the home as clean or cleaner than they found it. You can also include a clause about not bringing in unapproved guests.
Next, you need to check the guest’s references, background, and reputation online. This way, you can find out who they are and if they have a history of causing problems. You should also get a good insurance policy before renting out your home to guests. This way, if your home is damaged or destroyed, you’ll receive compensation.
1. Adhere to the law. Make sure that the lease agreement is compliant with your local laws and that it conforms to the minimum standards.
2. Choose your guests wisely. Always check their identity and make sure they can provide valid and verifiable information.
3. Speak to their references.
4. Request a security deposit from them. Use a standardized lease agreement that is compliant with your local laws.
5. Make sure that your guests are aware of the rules and regulations of your neighborhood. Make sure that the Airbnb guest and their visitors follow the rules and regulations of your neighborhood.
6. Get your home insured against squatters. Get a good home insurance policy. Get insurance against squatters.
7. Call the police immediately if you suspect that you have an Airbnb squatter.
8. Clean and secure your property. Before renting out your home, make sure your property is clean and safe for guests.
9. You also want to make sure that your property is secure, so take the following steps:
- Install motion sensors and security cameras in your home.
- Put up a fence so that nobody can access your backyard.
- Install deadbolts or padlocks on all exterior doors.
- Close and lock your garage door.
- Make sure that windows are locked and have curtains on them.
10. Put away all valuables, especially those that are visible from the outside.
11. Remove any personal information from your property.
12. Clean your property thoroughly so that it’s presentable for guests.
Protect Your Airbnb With Insurance Before Renting to Guests
If you own a home, and you plan to rent it out on Airbnb, you should consider getting insurance coverage. If you’re worried about the damage squatters can cause to your home, you should consider purchasing renters insurance. All homeowners’ insurance policies don’t cover Airbnb guests, which means that if there’s an accident in your home, or if your guest damages your property, you will be liable for the repairs. Fortunately, there are a few insurance companies that specialize in insuring Airbnb hosts. You can get a quote from these companies, and if you qualify, you should get your policy as soon as possible. Your Airbnb insurance policy should cover:
- Liability coverage – If a guest gets injured in your home, you may be held legally responsible for their medical bills. Your liability coverage will cover these costs.
- Property damage – If a guest damages your property, or if they cause a fire, your property damage coverage will pay for repairs.
- Medical coverage – If a guest gets injured in your home, this coverage will pay for their medical expenses.
If you want to protect yourself against the possibility of Airbnb squatters, the best thing you can do is to get an Airbnb insurance policy before renting out your home. An Airbnb insurance policy will protect you in the event that a guest damages your property or refuses to leave, among other things.
You also want to make sure that you hire a good property management company to handle your guests. Property management companies can help you screen your guests, collect their payments, and make sure that they follow your rules.
Legal Action Against Airbnb Squatters
If nothing else works and your Airbnb squatter refuses to leave the home, you can try to take them to court. You can also get in touch with their previous landlords and see if they have a history of squatting. Besides this, you can try to get the Airbnb squatter’s ISP to terminate their internet access. This way, they’ll lose the ability to book rooms on Airbnb and won’t be able to profit from being a squatter.
You can also contact the phone company and request that the squatter’s phone service be terminated. This will prevent them from using their phone to call or text people and stay hidden from the public eye.