An Airbnb host’s Maryland home became the site of a house party, and getting recompensed for thousands of dollars in damages proved difficult.
In August 2017, Danielle Edwards rented her Mount Rainier house to a woman who said she wanted a quiet girls weekend with friends.
“She said two of her friends were going to spend the weekend in D.C., and they just needed a place to sleep at night,” Edwards said.
But that’s not how the house was used, she said.
“When I pulled into the driveway, I saw Jell-O shot cups all over the front yard,” she said.
Then she went inside.
“There was trash everywhere,” she said. “There was also vomit everywhere.”
Floors were scratched, the walls had footprints on them and things were coated in slime, she said.
“There was underwear and a lot of feminine hygiene products just out and about on the floors,” she said. “I mean people had clearly been laying on the floors with their feet on the wall. I mean the things I was finding started to paint a little bit of a picture.”
The home caught the attention of police.
“The police, when I called them, said, 'Yeah, we had a report last night for a giant party at that property; we shut it down at 3 a.m.," Edwards said.
The damages totaled more than $10,000, but Airbnb's host guarantee offers property damage protection up to $1 million for every host and every listing at no additional cost.
However, collecting on that protection did not go smoothly, Edwards said.
She received an email from Airbnb saying most requests are resolved within a week.
“Every time we would contact them, they would say, ‘We don't have a record of this,’” Edwards said.
Her case dragged on for two years, and Edwards ended up paying out of pocket to get her rental home repaired.
“It was almost like they had it arranged to make sure you didn't get anywhere,” she said.
But soon after NBC4 Responds reached out to Airbnb, the problem was resolved.
"We regret that our original handling of this incident did not meet the high standards we set for ourselves and we apologize to Ms. Edwards for the delay in resolving this matter,” Airbnb said in a statement.
“It would have not have gotten resolved,” Edwards said. “I would not have been able to resolve it. There was no doubt in my mind there was nothing that I could have done.”
Because of the huge popularity of these rental websites, insurance companies are offering home-sharing liability insurance that can be purchased on a month-to-month basis, but read the policy carefully because there can be limitations.