What realtor and property manager Eagan Lim walked into several days ago at one of his San Francisco buildings is nothing short of a nightmare.
"Working with a home that was occupied by squatters, dilapidated hoarders, nothing would have prepared me for this. It was something out of a horror movie." says Lim, cringing.
Mark Prior, a trauma scene practitioner with the crime scene cleaning company Private Clean, described the conditions.
"It was horrible, horrible!" he exclaimed. "For the person who was renting here, he had defecated through the entire home and urinated all over the place as well. Using drugs and having his needles all over the bedding. The pillows, too. That was pretty horrific. People from the outside walking by could smell it, so you'd have joggers stopping and going, 'Wow, what's that smell?'"
While the home's address and neighborhood are being kept private at the owner's request, the property is valued at just over 5-million dollars and in one of San Francisco's toniest neighborhoods with views of the Golden Gate Bridge.
Renters ransacked the in-law suite of the home.
Prior showed the white industrial bucket filled with more than 150-needles. Some are for acupuncture while the majority are the kind used for shooting drugs.
The suite was rented for three and a half months for one hundred dollars a night through Airbnb. Lim can't even estimate how much damage was done.
"We're going to file a complaint. A formal complaint."
Airbnb does have a 1-million dollar host guarantee in case of damages. The company sent us this statement in response to our story, saying they were in touch with the home's owner and "There have been over 300 million guest arrivals in Airbnb listings to date. In 2017, there were more than 49 million trips at Airbnb listings worldwide. Significant property damage (claims that were reimbursed under our Host Guarantee program for over $1,000) was reported to us only 0.004% of the time. At that rate, you could host a new reservation every single day for over 63 years without expecting to file a significant property damage claim under our Host Guarantee."
Lim says this incident won't deter him from managing properties through rental sites again and in fact, plans to rent the same suite out again.
"I use AirBnB myself, and I'm still very confident using it or any other vacation rental site. Anybody is subject to this kind of vandalism."
The owners do plan to add security cameras outside the property before renting it out again.
The in-law unit in the $5.3 million home with sweeping views of the Golden Gate Bridge was rented for $100 a day through Airbnb. The renter spent 3.5 months in the home while the owner was out of town.
The real estate agent knew something was wrong over the weekend the moment he arrived to inspect the unit. The smell was the first sign of a problem.
An Airbnb spokesperson sent a statement calling this type of incident rare:
"We have zero tolerance for this type of behavior and have removed this individual from our community," the statement reads. Airbnb says its representatives have reached out to the homeowner to offer support under its $1 Million Host Guarantee Program, which covers damage up to $1 million and is free for all Airbnb hosts."
The company went on to say they're "in the process of working with the host to help them file a claim" under their Million Dollar Host Guarantee, which covers listings for up to $1,000,000 in damage and is free for all hosts and every single booking.