Airbnb Renters-Turned-Squatters Refuse To Vacate

( – One Airbnb host in North Carolina is discovering just how difficult it can be to deal with squatters who use the service to rent properties for more than 30 days. Farzana Rahman has a property in Durham that she rented for $1,900/month for the period from October 25, 2023, through May 25, 2024.

When cleaners arrived at the property on the 26th, they found that the renters were still inside. When asked when they should come back, they were advised by a man who was inside not to. Rahman said that the man won’t leave unless presented with an order of eviction. She suggested he and others staying there were trying to get free rent.

Rahman reached out to the Durham Police on May 28 and two police went to the property to interview the squatters. They spoke with an unidentified man who refused to leave.

Rahman said that when she reached out to Airbnb to get as much information about her “guests” as she could, they refused to provide additional details about the renter. They suggested she file a complaint with local authorities.

Rahman told local TV news that she wasn’t able to get inside the property and assess whether there had been any damage. She said at the time that she smelled a strong tobacco and marijuana scent wafting from inside.

In her court filing, she wrote that the situation is impacting her ability to rent the property to others and thus harming her income. She also is demanding daily rental fees for the unpaid arrears, plus interest, and to be reimbursed for having to go through the judicial system to have the squatters removed.

Rahman was described as a single parent by local media. Airbnb did not return requests for comment.

Airbnb warns hosts that guests who rent a property for more than 30 days could establish tenancy rights, depending on the town, state and city in which the property is located. Airbnb said that guests who refuse to leave “are incredibly rare” and promises to “work with you” to “help resolve the problem.” Refusing to provide additional information about the offender in question while telling their host to contact police and going through the legal system doesn’t seem terribly helpful.

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