OKLAHOMA CITY – Property owners see Airbnb as a good investment opportunity. Travelers use it as a cheaper alternative to hotels. But, one Oklahoma City host recently found out they are also being taking advantage of as a party pad.
“They left their hat, their New Year’s hat,” said homeowner Shyon Keoppel.
That’s just a small piece of the mess a group left New Year’s Day at the Airbnb property. Photos show the rest of it.
“Filthy. Spilled drinks on the floor tile. Stained some stuff there. Broke some statue-type decorations,” Keoppel said.
Keoppel said it was rented from Airbnb. They told him they were college students, but that was apparently a lie.
“Come to find out it was a group of younger kids, from what I know now,” he said.
They found out after a concerned parent saw a Snapchat photo taken that night and called the owner to let him know that some of them were allegedly high school students.
Keoppel didn’t find out that until the group tried to rent out the property again January 13.
The owner waited until the last minute to cancel the reservation to deter the group from finding another Airbnb to party at.
“It was good to know and the parents have called to find out about that, that they called us and let us know that it was happening and, so, we were able to cancel it,” Keoppel said.
Airbnb told News 4 the person that booked the room is 21 years old. 18 is the minimum age to use the site.
Airbnb spokesperson Laura Rillos also sent us this statement, saying:
“We have no tolerance for illegal activity or disruptive party behavior and ban guests from the platform as appropriate. We have suspended this guest while we investigate and are offering the host our full support through our Host Guarantee program. There have been more than 260 million guest arrivals in Airbnb listings to date and negative incidents are extremely rare but, even so, we’re constantly working to improve our platform, our policies and our protections, because even one incident is one too many.”
Keoppel has since removed the home from Airbnb, but he hopes others will hear this story and will serve as a warning.
“You can’t just go around renting houses and destroying them like that… I mean they’re kids, they don’t think like we would yet… So, they don’t understand how I feel like, but I feel like this could be a lesson for them,” Keoppel said.
The person who rented the property did pay for some of the damages. Right now, that person is suspended while Airbnb investigates.
Keoppel just sold the home. And, if it looks familiar, it’s because it was recently in a Foot Locker commercial featuring Thunder player Carmelo Anthony.
For more information on Airbnb, visit their website.