So much for the kindness of strangers.
Reshma Vasanwala and Jim Santi Owen of Oakland, California, decided to rent out their home for new Years Eve through Airbnb to someone they thought was an older man from Chicago, but the renter was, in reality, a teenager who invited 200 friends over to celebrate his 18th birthday. The teenagers trashed the floors, fence, walls and upholstery, smoking cigarettes, cigars and marijuana and even leaving bloodstains.
Owen told the The San Francisco Chronicle he plans to press criminal charges and file a civil suit against the birthday boy, adding, “Obviously he’s, as far as we know, ultimately responsible, but so are those 200 or 300 kids,” Owen said although a neighbor texted him that there were “40-50 youths here throwing a party, they’ve been shouting for over an hour and there’s 4 or 5 police out here,” Airbnb took 14 hours to contact him.
Owen wondered, “It was an emergency, urgent kind of situation and it would’ve been nice to feel that they really had our back as all this was going on. We don’t know for sure if they’re going to pay, we’ll have to see. They’re communicating in such a way both to us and the press, that they will take responsibility, but we don’t know that.”
Airbnb told an inquisitive media that they will help the owners based on their $1 million host guarantee.
One partygoer returned to the home later, prompting the Oakland couple to contemplate installing a security system.
They told ABC7 they will not rent their home out again.