young drug addict man wearing hood preparing a shot for snorting or sniffing cocaine lines on mirror with rolled banknote at airbnb

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‘The smoke detector had been taken apart’: Airbnb host claims guests turned his rental into den full of illegal substances

‘There were crushed pills all over every countertop and coffee table.’

 

Kahron Spearman

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In an alarming incident shared on Reddit, an Airbnb host, u/Quacktards, recounted a startling discovery when he checked his split-level property after suspecting a guest violated house rules. In a post titled, “Guests turned home into a drug house,” the host, who claims to be “a police officer by profession,” has since allegedly battled with Airbnb for compensation for significant damages and cleanup costs.

“Every time the air conditioning would kick on in the home, that distinct odor of cigarettes would be present,” the host wrote, describing the start of a problematic series of events. While initially dismissing the faint smell as possibly emanating from the guest’s belongings, he was soon jolted awake on the fourth day by an overbearing stench of cigarette smoke. He also received notification of tampering with a smoke alarm in the unit.

After contacting Airbnb about the potential breach of house rules and seeking permission to inspect his unit, the host’s fears were apparently confirmed. The unnamed guest was not present when he entered, but the scene awaiting the host was shocking.

“The smoke detector had been taken apart. There were crushed pills all over every countertop and coffee table. There were used heroin needles filled with back-drawn human blood, uncapped and strewn about the unit. Blood spatter on the hardwood floors,” the host detailed. More troubling discoveries included drug paraphernalia like spoons for heating drugs, a broken lamp, stained sheets, and countless cigarette butts.

Airbnb’s immediate response was to cancel the guest’s stay. The host also discovered the guest had not viewed any of the Airbnb app messages. Eventually, local police intervened to remove them.

In the aftermath, the host faced predictable challenges in cleaning the “drug house” activities. “I did not feel comfortable having my normal cleaning lady do the job,” he admitted, citing concerns about discarded needles, blood, and potential drug residues. As a result, he claims to have hired a biohazard cleanup company, incurring costs of $1,400. Additionally, he believed many of the unit’s items, including pillows, rugs, and towels, needed to be replaced due to probable contamination.

The host’s battle for reimbursement with Airbnb was ongoing as of the posting. He had submitted all required documentation and claims to the guest, who remained unresponsive. “I know bad guests will happen eventually but this was BAD,” he quipped. “I’m a police officer by profession, so I feel that qualifies me to judge this scenario.”

The story is a cautionary tale about the unforeseen challenges and risks hosts face in the sharing economy. While bad guests are an accepted risk, severe instances such as these raise questions about platforms’ responsibilities in ensuring host safety and compensation.

Community responses to the post were a mix of shock and empathy, with many users sharing their experiences and offering advice. 

One Reddit commenter commiserated with the user “drug house” experience: “Oh yeah this happened to us a couple of times. It sucks but it’s rare. I involved police once to hand over some leftover drugs. Otherwise, you just clean it up and forward all expenses to Airbnb as you did and carry on.”

One user asked, “Did you not do a background check on them before you accepted the booking?” It also appears the host also did not make it known that they were in law enforcement, which might be a deterrent for potentially problematic guests. Airbnb has information regarding illicit activities in rental units and user-generated content on the site on identifying drug dealers or users.

From previous posts, the user appears to be in the Chicago metro area, and rules and regulations for short-term rentals differ throughout Illinois. However, the common consensus in the comments was the importance of stringent vetting processes and the hope that Airbnb would support the host.

The Daily Dot contacted u/Quacktards via Reddit comment and AirBnB via email for further information.

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