KATY – One Katy family said their planned stay at an Airbnb nearly turned into them living on the streets after their host was caught breaking the rules by letting them stay in the unit.
Now, the family is warning other renters to be aware.
Annie Wisdom and her husband have their hands full with three children, including an 18-month old boy.
The couple has been in the process of building their dream home and thought they had found the perfect solution to the one-month gap before they could move into their new home.
“I relied on [Airbnb] to check all the dots and cross all the t’s,” Wisdom said. “We are building a house, and so, we only had about a month left to our close date. My husband and I found the perfect Airbnb.”
It was a room at a luxury apartment complex in Katy.
“It was right down the street from where we were building, it was close to the daycare and it had room for three kids,” Wisdom said.
However, after moving in the first day, she had already run into trouble.
“I asked the [staff], ‘Hey where are your packages? I’m trying to find mine. And she said, ‘Oh, okay. Are you a resident?’ And I was like, ‘No, I’m just staying at the Airbnb. I’m just getting a package delivered.’ And she just looked really concerned and started asking me a bunch of questions,” Wisdom said.
Wisdom said her heart sunk when she began to realize what was happening.
“I knew at that point, [the host] is not supposed to be subleasing,” Wisdom said. “I didn’t want to give her too much information because we didn’t have anywhere else to go.”
However, a day later, she got a rude awakening.
“The very next day, the host shows up at the door telling us we need to get out,” Wisdom said.
She said she had 30 minutes to pack up all her stuff. The family was stressed.
“We sat in our car for a few hours trying to figure out what to do,” Wisdom said.
Thankfully, they said a local hotel was open and available. However, Wisdom voiced concern over the fact that the situation could happen at all.
“Any of those types of services, they should request a copy of the person’s lease or proof of ownership. It shouldn’t be up to the consumer to determine if I’m allowed to stay here or not,” Wisdom said.
KPRC reached out to Airbnb and they issued the following statement:
“Airbnb hosts certify that they will follow local laws and regulations when they accept our Terms of Service. The Wisdoms did the right thing by calling our 24/7 community support team right away, and as a result, they were quickly refunded in full. The listing was removed in early February.”
Wisdom said she hopes there is accountability and that more renters and rentees are aware so that what happened to her doesn’t happen to them.