“Too much trust will kill you.”
This saying us much indeed appropriate to the incident happened to an anonymous redditor who narrated his horror story about an Airbnb guest who used to stay in his apartment.
Here’s the full post:
This is a bit of a read, so thanks for your patience.
I’m an Airbnb host based in Europe, renting out my apartment in Manila. My best friend manages it for me while I’m away. I typically prefer long term guests and screen them thoroughly (ensure they have good reviews, get to know them first, verified IDs) before accepting. Here is where the horror story begins…
My guest was a British guy (nice reviews, was pleasant during the initial contact) who after staying for 28 nights, requested to extend for 2 more nights because he claimed he was out of town and unable to check out on the agreed date. Despite being short notice, I agreed, since my unit was available for 2 more days before the unit is occupied again. My best friend was his POC throughout his stay and they agreed to meet for checkout on a Saturday. Our last contact with him was on a Thursday, when he said clearly that he will be checking out on agreed date. Multiple calls, texts & emails after, he was unresponsive. On Saturday, with growing worry, my friend went to check on my apartment, and found my place completely trashed. Weed, used rubber, broken stuff, AC left on, rotting food were found in the apartment together with the guest’s belongings (laptop, guitar, pants, shoes & empty bags). Since I was expecting the unit to be occupied the next day, my best friend took photos, started to clear up the apartment and took home some of the guest’s belongings like his laptop. We were planning on filing a police report and contacting Airbnb the next day, as we were extremely worried. I also left a letter instructing the condo management not to allow entry to the guest should he return.
The next day, I get a call from the condo admin saying that the guest returned and despite not being allowed to go in, went inside the unit and took some of his stuff. I then get a call from the guest himself, who at first was defensive, but turned apologetic over the phone and offered to settle the damages.
Airbnb usually mediates in situations like these. But the rules say it is preferred to talk it out with the guest first and come to an arrangement if you can. The guest said he lost his phone, hence the no contact, and that he got stuck in the ferry in Batangas. I arranged to Skype with him and my best friend, and during the very professional conversation, we came up with an arrangement for him and my friend to meet to pay for damages and to return the laptop of the guest.
My best friend and the guest met at a semi crowded coffee shop later that night. My friend brought two friends with him to bear witness, just in case. While his two friends were getting drinks, the guest showed up together with another foreigner, took the laptop, and started beating up my best friend. Several people witnessed this, one was a lawyer who advised to report the crime to Bureau of Immigration.
My friend who suffered minor head injuries, is safe, but deeply traumatised. We’ve reported the case to PNP, NBI, and BI. We even reached out to the British Embassy, but they are absolutely no help. We are hoping to get a Hold Departure Order, but it takes at least 2 weeks to process and it has to be processed by the RTC. PNP is also useless, delaying investigation, and keeps putting us off.
Today we found out through Immigration that the guest is still in the Philippines, but we can’t do anything, until we file a case with DOJ and the Hold Order is released. This is truly frightening and we’re scared for my friend’s safety. We’re slapped with bureaucracy and indifference, which is extremely frustrating. One would think that the authorities will prioritise their own citizen who was assaulted by a foreigner.
I’ve used Airbnb for years, and have had nothing but great experiences, until this traumatising ordeal. Airbnb has been really supportive, offering to pay for medical expenses and damages. They have also quarantined the guest’s account.
Well, we have to commend Airbnb for addressing the issues and helping the victims. The next time you negotiate to someone, be careful enough.
Do you experience similar things? Share to care?