Featured News 2014 Palm Springs Woman Faces Airbnb Nightmare

Palm Springs Woman Faces Airbnb Nightmare

A Palm Springs, California woman is facing a legal nightmare after a man that rented her home on Airbnb for a month has refused to leave. Airbnb is a website that allows people to rent out their apartments and homes to travelers. Every home, homeowner, and visitor is rated per visit with the intent of filtering out bad renters and bad homeowners. This service has become hugely popular worldwide.

Short Term Tenant Gone Wrong

A women in Palm Springs had rented her home to a man that had reserved the space from May 25th to July 8th. She received payment for the first month upfront. After receiving complaints from the tenant and requests for a refund, the woman contacted Airbnb to obtain the refund and request that the man to leave. However, the renter refused to leave or pay for the rented home. When the woman threatened to have electricity and water to the home discontinued, the renter countered with a lawsuit. The suit alleged that his brother needed hospital treatment due to drinking tap water provided at the property and that his work depends on access to electricity.

Due to tenant protections in California, he is within his legal rights to continue occupying the space. California law states that if a tenant stays longer than a fixed term of a month, the tenant becomes a month-to-month renter.

Tenant Protections in California

Because the tenancy agreement spanned over a month of time, the man is legally considered a tenant and the woman his landlord. Due to the tenant-landlord agreement, very specific steps must be followed to complete the eviction process as per California law. This process could take between three to six months and cost $3,000 to $5,000 in legal fees.

To evict a tenant in California, a landlord must:

  • Establish that the tenant did not paid rent on time, broke the rental agreement, damaged property, used the property for illegal activities, or stayed after the lease was up;
  • Provide a three-day written notice to correct faults;
  • Provide a 30 to 60 day notice for faults that cannot be corrected;
  • Serve court papers to the tenant;
  • If evicted, the landlord must pay a relocation fee to the tenant.

If the agreement had been less than a month, police would be able to forcefully remove the visitor from the home. Now both parties must go to court to resolve the dispute.

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