Along with others, I teach a course on how to screen guests. This one was certainly a judgement call.
I received a request from a woman about 3 days before. She said she was travelling with her aunt and her brother. She said she was from out of town (Mississauga) but had no reviews. I thought it should be okay because 1) If she is with an older relative she wouldn't likely cause trouble, 2) If she was lying about the relative it would be easy to spot on the cameras, and 3) She most likely would see my house rules that clearly state "DOORBELL CAMERAS" and if she was looking to cause trouble she wouldn't book.
Wow. And then the nightmare reservation begins.
She shows up with another young lady and 2 guys. This leads me to believe she was likely lying about the "Aunt".
About 1 hour passes. The 2 guys leave. Another 2 hours pass. The 2 girls exit leaving the place completely empty.
Then, at 12AM, 3 random dudes show up to the place. This is very strange since the reservation was supposed to be 2 girls and one guy. They seem very concerned about the camera -- They constantly talk about it.
I decide to call Airbnb and to issue the guest with a rule violation and to tell the dudes to leave. She said that she would get them to leave and the did leave.
The two girls then show up to the place and let themselves in. Another girl shows up to the place and over the door the girls inside appear to tell the girl on the outside to sneak into the back where the doorbell camera cant see them.
Then you can hear guys inside the house talking really loud. Obviously they had snuck in through the back door.
At this point it is 2AM local time. I call Airbnb to have this reservation cancelled. The guest messages me assuring that they had 2 extra guests and that they were all going to bed. Also, Airbnb said that they would have to give the guests a full refund including the cleaning fee if the reservation is cancelled. We decide to let them sleep and kick them out in the morning.
During the night, the smoke detector went off 6 times. This is a long video including all those times. Fuckers were smoking in the unit! Video is kind of funny because the guys were screaming at the smoke detectors.
The next day they offered $200 to stay, we told them they needed to go. They all left at 2PM, 3 hours after checkout.
Luckily, there was NO damage to the property but the entire house smelled like they smoked inside and there were ashes everywhere. It was a good cancel.
- Large properties with more guests should have more stringent screening. We are moving forward with in-person screening for last minute bookings with no reviews.
- Better to tell the guest about the cameras BEFORE she books. This may have prevented her from booking.