Watch CBSN Live

Squatters refuse to leave Airbnb condo

San Francisco landlord Cory Tschogl cannot simply kick the two non-paying renters out because they are protected under state law
San Francisco landlord Cory Tschogl cannot si... 02:45

A San Francisco landlord can't get rid of squatters who rented her condo on home-sharing service Airbnb. She's caught in legal limbo in a case that highlights the downside of the growing online marketplace, CBS News correspondent Teri Okita reports.

Cory Tschogl started feeling uneasy soon after two brothers rented her vacation condo in late May. They found the place on and arranged to stay for six weeks. Her first red flag: they didn't pay in full. Then came a text that read, "I'm not leaving. I'm legally allowed to stay here."

"My heart sank, and it just felt like I was being bullied," Tschogl said.

Tschogl discovered that, under California law, a person who lives on the property for more than 30 days is considered a "tenant," so she couldn't just kick them out.

"I just thought, uh-oh. This is no longer just a guest who is not paying. This is someone who might be a professional con artist or scammer," Tschogl said.

Tschogl has since hired a lawyer to help her evict the tenants. Airbnb couldn't get the men to pay up or leave, either.

The company told CBS News, "We've worked closely with this host and provided our full support. We've refunded the complete cost of the reservation and we're working with her to cover additional expenses."

Airbnb is quickly becoming one of the world's... 04:36

In the new world of the so-called "sharing economy," new technology can easily connect private parties to help make ends meet. But businesses like Airbnb, Uber, Flipkey and Lyft are operating in uncharted territory.

"They're growing much faster than regulations and laws can keep up with," said Lindsey Turrentine, Editor-In-Chief of CNET Reviews. "And different localities have different issues that they're trying to grapple with."

In San Francisco, officials are worried that Airbnb is eating into a tight rental market, driving up prices on already-high rents. And in New York, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman raised concerns about hosts running illegal hotel operations.

The men who rented Tschogl's condo have not issued a response, but Airbnb says they've been permanently banned from the service.

"I wouldn't wish this on anybody," Tschogl said. "It's been a really stressful rollercoaster ride. But I do think that others can learn from this cautionary tale."

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.