If anyone is interested in an international, COVID, global pandemic AirBNB horror story, then please read on.
Warning. Anyone reading this story will never want to use AirBNB again. Since we got kicked off the AirBNB system, we decided to sublease an apartment in the Upper East Side Manhattan from April 15th 2021 through August 31st 2021.
We used AirBNB’s 4 week+ stay program to travel to Panama. It’s a great deal. No credit checks, no background checks and no security deposit required to book an apartment for 3 months. Sound crazy? We thought so too, but let’s give it a try.
We are photojournalists who have travelled the world by living in weekly stays and temporary housing for over 10 years. When the global pandemic hit, we were unable to pay rent. So we looked into AirBNB.
We rented a condo in Panama from October 18th 2020 until January 18th 2021. Amazingly simple. The condo was wonderful. Unfortunately, the other condo owners did not feel the same about AirBNB guests. Understandably so. The other owners did not like having strangers moving in & out of their building, bypassing condo association bylaws. I totally understand. But nevertheless, the condo owner extended our stay twice. But when the owner received a larger than normal electric bill in January, he complained to AirBNB. We are not sure what happened next, but we received a call out-of-the-blue from AirBNB demanding that we check out immediately, even though we had PREPAID through March 2021. They would not tell us why. We felt that we had to leave the premises immediately. Since Panama was under very tight COVID restrictions we began to get concerned how we were going to get another place. Men & women were not allowed outside on the same day. If caught, we would be arrested in a foreign country. So the that day, we bought last minute tickets back to Las Vegas.
After living in a condo for 3 months with no complaints and paying timely, we were kicked off the AirBNB system with no explanation. They asked us to leave immediately. But because there was a curfew in effect, it was illegal for us to be in public. Men & women were not allowed to be together in public. We had to leave the country abruptly on Jan 7, 2021.
We did not understand why we were being kicked out. There was no hearing. So we started another AirBNB account using my wife’s name. That worked. We rented a unit from January until April. Two days ago, we received the same cookie-cutter emails saying we violated AirBNBs terms & conditions that we receive in Panama. When we asked why, they refused to provide an answer.
Somehow, AirBNB has been able to circumvent state & local residency laws in Nevada. Las Vegas hotels have very strict rules. If a guest stays longer than 28 days, they are legally require to make the a legal tenant with tenant rights. Therefore, no casino in Las Vegas allows guests to stay longer than 28 days. But not so for AirBNB.
In Nevada, if a person stays in a hotel longer than 28 days, then that person is considered a legal tenant and has tenant rights. AirBNB cannot make someone leave their home without going though a legal eviction process.
On the day AirBNB asked us to leave, they also debited our account for the remainder of our balance through April 13th 2021. Bizarre but ok. Since we are paid through April 13th, we are going to stay here until then. The owner has no issue with us. It’s just AirBNB.
My name is JediRich. I am an independent artist. This where I post my “raw” projects as they begin to formulate.