Airbnb renters-turned-squatters refuse to vacate property unless evicted: court docs

Airbnb renters-turned-squatters refuse to vacate property unless evicted: court docs

An Airbnb host in Durham, North Carolina, filed a complaint in court against renters-turned-squatters after they refused to vacate the property until they received an order of eviction, according to court documents.

The documents, obtained by Fox News Digital, show the current guests agreed to pay the host, Farzana Rahman, $1,900 per month from Oct. 25, 2023, to May 25, 2024, to stay in a condominium on Chimney Ridge in Durham.

But after May 25, the guests refused to leave the condominium.

Rahman told a local ABC station that her cleaning person went to the property and noticed the renters were still inside.

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“They answered the door, and they said, ‘No, we haven’t moved out.’ She (the cleaner) said, ‘Should I come tomorrow?’ And they said, ‘No, don’t come back,’” Rahman said.

In court documents, Rahman said she contacted the Durham Police Department on May 28, which resulted in two officers being dispatched to the rental property.

The officers reportedly spoke with a man at the property – who was not the primary renter or named in the complaint – who said he would not leave.

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Airbnb, Rahman said, would not provide information about the guests to the owner, and the company instructed her to file a complaint with the local authorities to force the guests to vacate.

Rahman also noted that she had not been able to enter her property to assess the damages, though standing in the entryway, she reported a strong odor of tobacco and marijuana from inside.

The situation has affected Rahman’s ability to host future guests, she said in the filing.

“I demand to be put in possession of the premises and to recover the total amount listed above and daily rental until entry of judgment plus interest and reimbursement for court costs,” she wrote.

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The station reported that Rahman is a single parent.

She told the station the occupants are refusing to leave until they receive an eviction order.

“I think they’re just trying to gain time to stay there for free because they haven’t paid,” Rahman said.

Airbnb did not immediately respond to requests from FOX Business for comment on the matter.

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The company’s site warns those looking to rent their properties through them that guests who stay in a home or apartment for a month or longer could establish rights as a tenant.

In some jurisdictions, those rights mean that local tenancy laws could protect them from being removed unless a required eviction process goes through the court system.

When guests refuse to leave, Airbnb said, “These situations are incredibly rare, but if they happen, we’ll work with you to try and help resolve the problem with your guest.”

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The company also suggests owners consider utilizing a rental agreement signed by the guests, which sets the requirements and rules of the house in a formal document signed when the rental is booked. The agreements, though, could be governed differently depending on where the property owner is located, so they are encouraged to check local laws first.

“Statutes exist in nearly all jurisdictions that permit landlords to use summary proceedings to evict tenants. A summary proceeding is a judicial proceeding that lets a landlord regain possession of leased property in an expedited fashion,” the site reads. “You should contact a landlord-tenant attorney or your local county courts to learn more about eviction laws where you live, as they may affect your ability to evict a guest who overstays a monthly stay.”

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