Airbnb Rental Turns Into Tenant Dispute

A North Carolina single mother, Farzana Rahman, is facing a distressing situation after her Airbnb property was taken over by squatters who refuse to leave. Rahman, who owns a condo in Durham, has been struggling to make ends meet and support her son through college due to the unauthorized occupants.

The ordeal began when the squatters checked into Rahman’s condo on October 25, 2023, with an agreement to vacate by May 24. However, when her cleaners arrived after the agreement ended, they found that the renters had not moved out.

Instead, the squatters informed the cleaners that they had no intention of leaving, even posting a “no trespassing” sign and demanding an eviction order.

The condo, which is available for rent at $2,684 for a minimum stay of 28 days, has now been occupied without payment for months, causing significant financial strain for Rahman. “This is my place, and I mean, I’m counting on this income; my son is in college. I’m a single parent,” Rahman told ABC.

When Rahman visited the property with law enforcement officers, the squatters promised to leave the next day. However, they remained in the condo the following morning and posted a sign stating, “We will vacate the property when you file the proper paperwork with the civil magistrate for an eviction, for we are legal residents of this home.”

Rahman has sought help from Airbnb, but the company has only provided messages about personal safety and legal advice on evicting the squatters. According to Airbnb’s website, guests who stay for one month or longer can establish tenant rights under local laws, making eviction more complex.

Airbnb advises landlords to use summary proceedings, a judicial process that allows landlords to regain possession of their property quickly. The website suggests contacting a landlord-tenant attorney or local county courts for more information on eviction laws.

Rahman’s situation highlights the challenges faced by property owners in dealing with squatters and the limitations of short-term rental platforms in addressing such issues. With her income on hold and her son’s education expenses mounting, Rahman is navigating a difficult legal process to reclaim her property and restore her financial stability.


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