AirBNB Inc in San Francisco, California risked the lives of Jedi Rich Lightowler and his wife, Jedi Joy Lightowler when they booted them onto the streets of Panama with no explanation.
The Jedi had been staying at Aldridge’s condo in Panama City, Panama for over 3 months. They moved in on Sunday, October 18th, 2020. During the first week, they received a complaint that they weren’t throwing the trash out in the correct manner. They were embarrassed but said, “OK, great. Moving forward, they will definitely let us know if we are doing anything wrong.” The Jedi stayed in regular contact with Aldridge. They asked if they could extend their stay. Aldridge agreed. He extended the Jedi’s reservation until February 15th, 2021.
On December 28th, 2020, Panama announced they were going into a full lockdown beginning on January 4th, 2021. A full lockdown in Panama means all non-essential businesses must close. Additional restrictions means men & women are only allowed in public on alternating days, for 2 hours at a time each. Only one person per household are allowed to be in public. At 7pm, lights out. If you’re caught in the streets, you had better have a good excuse or you will be arrested. Curfew ends at 5am.
The Jedi decided they could not live confined to Aldridge’s apartment. They looked into flights and found another AirBNB. They decided to leave Panama and move back to the United States. They informed Aldridge on January 3rd, 2021 of their decision. They asked Aldridge to change cancel their extension which would begin on January 15th, 2021. That would give the Jedi 2 weeks to pack and safely travel back home.
Aldridge said, “I don’t understand.” He wrote in Spanish that he could not make the change. He told the Jedi to contact AirBNB to make the change.
The Jedi decided that Aldridge probably needed them to stay for financial reasons. The Jedi decided to stay: They promised to rent it out until February 15th so they were going to stick their commitment. That’s how Jedi do business.
On January 6th, 2021 AirBNB booted the Jedi with no explanation
Wednesday was like any other in Panama. The Jedi had decided to stay in Panama until February 15th, 2021. They even started a countdown, “Only 40 days and 40 nights” they said as they stayed locked down in Aldridge’s condominium.
On January 6th, 2021, Aldridge sent the Jedi a message about noise, smells and an $1100 gas & electric bill. They were stunned. They haven’t had any guest. They don’t make a lot of noise. In fact, Jedi Joy was in Las Vegas off-and-on for 5 weeks between November 2020 and January 2nd, 2021.
The Jedi cook every meal at home. They eat smoked meat. They are social media stars who photo document their diet to help others lose weight.
Later that day on January 6th, 2021, the Jedi received an email message from AirBNB’s Trust & Safety Department stating that they have violated the rules and they must vacant the premises immediately.
AirBNB risked the lives of Jedi Rich Lightowler & Jedi Joy Lightowler
Shocked (and embarrassed) the Jedi sprungto action. They had no place to go during the middle of a full lockdown. It was not safe to be on the streets of Panama without a place to stay, Jedi Rich contacted the airlines and booked the next available flight that they could afford out of Panama on January 7, 2021 at 11:30 AM. Jedi Joy made arrangements for another long-term stay in Las Vegas. Fortunately, the Jedi had the resources and abilities to quickly get out of Panama safely without violating any Covid restriction rules. They have vacated the place within 18 hours of receiving the evection email.
The Next Door Neighbor Was Hosting Loud Parties during the Holidays
Is it possible that it was the neighbor who is making the noise that’s generating the complaints to management? It is my opinion that Air Bnb needs to have proper resources in place in order to handle an eviction process when guests have stayed longer than 30 days.
I would not travel with Air BNB for this reason. They do not have the resources in place to mediate between landlord and tenant in a situation such as this. The Jedi had been living there for over three months. They have been promised they could stay there for over a year. Two days later, they were on the streets a Panama with no place to go thanks to Air BNB and Aldridge.
Former banker and CEO, JediRich Lightowler changed his life at age 48 to follow his passion of photography, music, video and production. He visits Las Vegas during spring and fall, the tropics during the winter, and travels during the summer to New York and London.