A Saratoga Springs woman says her home was destroyed after she rented her townhouse through Airbnb. The estimate for damage is in the tens of thousands of dollars.
When she didn't get immediate answers from Airbnb, she reached out to CBS 6 investigates for help.
Becky Kendall planned to spend most of the summer in the Adirondacks with family, so she put up her primary residence on Airbnb to make some extra cash.
“The police could not believe what they saw. They said they had never seen anything like this,” Kendall said.
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Everything was going smoothly, until August 9th when she got a strange message from her latest renters.
“That said we had to leave early today, but there was a small leak in your shower,” Kendall said.
Kendall rushed home to Saratoga Springs, but the renters were already gone. She found water marks streaming down the walls, chunks of drywall missing from the ceiling. Water appeared to have run from upstairs to the first floor, all the way down to the basement. And the hard wood?
“All of the floors were soaking wet and buckling like mountains,” Kendall said.
Days later, Kendall's home is unrecognizable. The flooring and much of the drywall had to be removed, and Kendall says a plumber confirmed something wasn't right here, telling her there was no leak, but rather it appeared the water had been left running for some time. Neighbors had also noticed something odd the day before the renters reported what happened.
“My downstairs rug was outside Saturday hanging over my balcony soaking wet,” Kendall said.
Kendall provided video from her Ring doorbell from that same day showing the renters going in and out of her home. She called police, but was told they couldn’t press charges, unless she could prove the damage was intentional. She says this was her experience when she called Airbnb.
“You knew they were just reading off a script. They wouldn’t answer any of my questions,” she said.
After CBS 6 reached out to Airbnb Monday, Kendall got a call back the same day. Airbnb tells CBS 6 it covers hosts for damage up to $1 million, but with her home left in shambles, Kendall feels the renters should be held accountable.
“What kind of world are we living in that you could destroy a person's home not tell them about it, leave, and not be held responsible?,” Kendall said.
Airbnb tells CBS 6 the company will do its own investigation and if it's determined there was intentional damage, we’re told the renters could face removal from the platform or other consequences. In the meantime, Kendall has to wait for her claim to be processed before learning if Airbnb will be covering the cost, or if she'll have to go through her own insurance.
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