MUNCIE, Ind. – A homeowner in Muncie says his place was trashed and even became a crime scene after he rented it on Airbnb.
Malcom Tanner rents property through Airbnb in Florida, Texas and multiple places in Indiana, but he said he’s never seen something like this.
On Sunday, he arrived at his property on North Burns Street prepared to flip the house for his next renter.
“I was just planning on changing the covers, changing the towels, maybe wiping up a little bit and back out the door. I didn’t expect this at all,” said Tanner.
He arrived to find police tape tied to his trees, bullet holes in the living room ceiling and damage throughout the house.
Walking through the house, he pointed out trim ripped off doorways, dining room chairs now broken, and cabinet doors that had to be reattached.
He says police later told him that a massive party took place Saturday night and ended with shots fired around 2 a.m. Sunday. A woman was shot in the leg.
The renter, named Jonathan, was verified on Airbnb, but had no ratings or reviews. Tanner says he trusted Jonathan because he said he is active military.
“It’s up to you if you rent to them if they have a bad rating, but he didn’t have a bad rating. He didn’t have any rating.”
Jonathan says it’s because this was his first time renting through Airbnb. He says it was supposed to be a small get-together with friends and quickly got out of control. He claims that he was intoxicated and fell asleep.
“I guess people got invited that weren’t supposed to be invited,” said Jonathan, adding that it wasn’t his intention. “I honestly don’t think it was my fault, but since I was the one that signed for it it’s in my position to be the one that pays for it.”
While Tanner says he’ll be more cautious, he doesn’t blame Airbnb, which does background checks on every renter. He says sometimes things happen.
“Will it scare me some? Yes, but with every business opportunity there is risk.”
It’s a risk not everyone signs up to take. Neighbors next door say they are trying to move thanks to the short term rental. Another across the street says he mostly wants to keep his distance.
“That’s on them,” said 65-year-old Jerry Harris. “As long everything stays across the street, I ain’t got no nickle in that dime. As long as it don’t come across and affect this house. I don’t have no problem with it.”
Tanner says he believes the background checks work, and even keep neighborhoods safe. He says the company can’t be responsible for those brought to a party.
In the meantime, he is trying to figure out how to keep the house open for business.
Airbnb provides up to $1 million in insurance to cover damage in situations like this.
Tanner wants the renter held responsible, and says if he doesn’t pay he’ll consider legal action.
Meanwhile, another renter is supposed to stay in three days.