Airbnb nightmare: Squatters take over host's condo

Chris Weeks | Getty Images for Airbnb

A San Francisco woman who rented out her condo on Airbnb is now dealing with squatters and some steep legal fees, according to a report by the San Francisco Chronicle.

"It's a nightmare," said Cory Tschogl, the Airbnb host who rented out her one-bedroom Palm Springs condo to a man and his brother, who are now two months later are refusing to leave Tschogl's property.

Tschogl said that she agreed to rent out her condo for 44 days to the men. The tenant paid for the first 30 days through Airbnb, but after 30 days Airbnb notified Tschogl that it could not collect the remaining payment.

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After the 44 days were up, Tschogl told the tenant via text that she would turn off the electricity if he and his brother did not leave. The tenant replied he was occupying the property legally and threatened her with legal action. And because he had been staying at the property for more than 30 days he is protected under renter's protections under California law, according to the report.

When Tschogl reached out to Airbnb for assistance, she didn't get much help at first, she said.

"Airbnb made the whole process much more complicated than it needed to be," Tschogl told the San Francisco Chronicle. "They were almost absent. There was no phone number or direct contact email. I got email responses only every 24 to 48 hours."

However, Airbnb said it is now helping resolve the issue.

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"Our initial response to this inquiry didn't meet the standards we set for ourselves, and we've apologized to this host," said Airbnb spokesman Nick Papas in a statement. "In the last week, officials from our team have been in incredibly close contact with this host and she has been paid the full cost of the reservation, and we're working with her to provide additional support as we move forward."

Read the full story on the SF Chronicle's website