Oh, Those Annoying AirBnB-ers

I had very little sleep last night. It’s those darn annoying AirBnB guests. So strap in for another story of entitlement, lying, and outright sense of privilege 😛

It was around 8:30pm last night and we hear people shouting “Happy birthday!” out in the hallway. I think both of us immediately went into “wary” mode because we knew what was coming based on previous experiences.

In fact, I think I’m beginning to come up with something like a litmus test for AirBnB guests — if they stand out in the hallway and greet people loudly, and/or bang their door loudly with no concern for the neighbours, they are going to turn out to be troublesome guests.

The test was 100% positive in this instance. Soon, more people arrive and they again greet each other loudly. Then the loud music starts.

The music wasn’t so loud that we could hear it in the bedroom, but we could hear it from the living room. And we knew that as the night progressed, the music and the noise would grow louder since that’s what happened in the past.

So, we call the host. After the last incident, the host came over and apologized for the noise and asked us to call them if it happened again. I tell the host that the noise wasn’t so bad at the moment but that it looked as if it was going to be another party night. She tells me that the booking was for a guest plus one, but not for any other people and certainly not for a party. She says her husband is on the way to deal with the situation.

Almost immediately after the phone call, the music stops. So I think that maybe the host had called the guest and they’d turned the music off and that would be it. But nope, that’s not what happened …

The husband arrives a little later and knocks on the door. Somebody opens the door and he says “OK, there’s supposed to be two of you in here but there’s a lot more people. How many people are in here?”

The person who opened the door calls out to somebody else and says, “It’s for you.”

Another person comes over and tells the husband that she had booked the apartment for herself and her friend. So the husband’s like, “But there are a lot more people here.”

There are a few people crowding the doorway by now and so I don’t know who’s saying what. But somebody says, “It’s her birthday. She didn’t know about it. We wanted it to be a surprise. A few people dropped by to wish her for her birthday but they are leaving within the hour.”

The husband obviously does not want to be a bad guy. He wishes the person happy birthday and then says that they should make sure to leave in an hour. While he’s talking to them, two more people turn up and it’s evident that this is not going to be a one hour visit — it’s a full on party. But the husband appears not to want to push the issue and goes away.

The noise is low for a while and we try to go to sleep. But I just can’t sleep after all that has gone on. Around 10’clock (or maybe a bit later), I hear noises again and it turns out that it’s so loud in their apartment that one of the people has opened the door, come out, and is trying to make a phone call. She’s yelling at somebody and saying that they’ve got the wrong address and is telling them to come to the right place. It’s not clear at this point whether these are more party-goers or a delivery.

A while later, there’s more noise and it turns out that the person who was on the phone has arrived. It looks like an Uber delivery person and they are delivering something in a white bag — I assume alcohol. It’s way over the one hour that they promised the host at this point and the party is still on.

I finally fall asleep around 10:30pm for a while and wake up about an hour later to find that my wife had woken up and had had to call the host again because the noise levels had gone up again. The host had been surprised because they thought the party had broken up, but her husband was again on his way over.

The husband arrives 10 minutes later and knocks on the door and a whole bunch of drunk people come to the door. There is no mention of the fact that they’d all promised to leave within an hour about two hours ago. Instead, they all proceed to explain to the husband why they need to be there.

One guy says something like “We’ll give you 200, you can go away, and we can forget about this.”

Another tells him, “It’s her birthday and this is probably the last time in her life that we’ll get to celebrate her birthday like this.” and I’m like, “Huh? Why won’t you be able to do this again?”

Another says, “She flew in from Italy for her birthday. Come on, you want us to go home?”

The husband tells them that there are noise complaints and that they should keep quiet. And one of them responds with, “Sure, we made some noise, but it wasn’t too bad. We kept things under control.” So you’re aware you’re making noise but you think it’s OK as long as it’s “not too much” in a residential building on a weekday night?

Finally, a bunch of them tell the husband that they are all leaving in 10 minutes and that they are just waiting for their Ubers. The husband isn’t taken in this time. He moves off for a bit but hangs around. Some people come out and appear to leave. But a little while later, a couple of the people who left come back. A further few minutes later, more people come back. So apparently they didn’t plan to leave at all.

The husband comes back and tells them that they need to leave immediately since the booking was for one guest plus another person. They try to negotiate with him. I think he tells them that he’ll have to call the police if they don’t leave. They again make motions about leaving, but only a few people leave.

The husband walks into the apartment. I don’t know what he did there (yet) but I assume he’s checking to see how many people are in there. While he’s in there, some of the people who left, come back 😛 The husband comes out of the apartment saying what sounds like “Everybody has to leave.” But nobody leaves.

Things quiet down for a bit, some more time passes and (possibly) some people leave. We begin to wonder if we can finally go to sleep. Then we hear more noise. It’s the police.

It appears that the husband has called the police because the people in the apartment just refuse to leave. The police are trying to talk to the guest and she’s basically not letting them get a word in edgewise. She keeps telling them, “This man walked into MY apartment, sat down and said he he wouldn’t leave. I am angry. They called me at 8 o’clock and said I was partying and I wasn’t even here. I landed at 10:00pm and came here.”

So I’m thinking, if she arrived from Italy tonight, how come she doesn’t have to self-quarantine? Is that not a thing any longer? Also, if she wasn’t at the apartment till 10 o’clock, who were they wishing happy birthday to around 8:30pm?

Additionally, if they didn’t know who the husband was, why were they negotiating to stay longer with him? And, why did they think the apartment was theirs? Did booking the apartment for one night give them the right to claim the apartment as theirs?

The police didn’t seem to be bothered by any of this though. They didn’t even ask any questions about the fact that the guest probably had to self-quarantine after international travel or the fact that they probably were breaking COVID lockdown regulations by having large gatherings.

They simply kept asking the guest to show that they could have multiple people in the apartment. The guest kept insisting that the agreement was for the guest plus two others, even while there were at least 3 people in the apartment for the police to see. The police simply told them that they’d have to leave if they can’t prove what they said, but when the guest couldn’t prove her claims, the police are like, “We’ll talk to the owner and tell them that you are going to keep quiet, and if he agrees, you can stay.”

As they leave, they ask the extra people who were in the apartment, “How soon are you leaving?” They say, “In an hour or so …”

The police come after a few minutes, tell them to keep things quiet, and leave. We finally went to sleep but it was around 2:00am by this time.

I woke up at 6:00am and I hear people leaving — there were at least two people leaving. So either the guys who were supposed to leave in “an hour” left four hours later, or, more people came in later. I have no idea.

But I do have to wonder, why were these people given such a total pass by the police? They were clearly breaking a lot of laws and yet, they were handled with kid gloves. If they hadn’t been white, would the situation have been the same? I don’t know, but I do have to wonder …

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