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Property: Airbnb customer refuses to leave flat forcing landlord into legal action

A Californian woman is facing the prospect of bringing legal action to evict a tenant from the Airbnb letting website, after the tenant refused to leave her home in Palm Springs, California, reports the London Evening Standard.

Airbnb landlord Cory Tschogl is being forced to go through the formal legal eviction process via her attorney in order to evict a tenant she invited into her home from the Airbnb lettings website.

Airbnb allows any home owner to become a short-term holiday landlord, by offering a forum to bring together people looking to make extra money from their property with potential tenants from around the globe.

The website now boasts property in hundreds of cities around the world, and offers accommodation ranging from apartments to houses, mansions, caravans and even windmills. Any property owner can list their property, and sets their own fee to stay for the night, paying the website a percentage.

The site became popular in London during the Olympics, when there was a deluge of demand for short-term lettings.

Miss Tschogl let her 600 sq ft apartment to an Airbnb user under the name Maksym. Although Maksym had no previous lettings on the website, and therefore no feedback, the landlord accepted his request to stay for a month for business purposes.

The user paid for 30 days upfront, but complained shortly after checking in about a faulty tap in the apartment, and the fact the entrance to the block had a gate.

The user requested a full refund, and the landlord agreed, notifying Airbnb that the agreement was terminated and asking the tenant to leave on 27 May 2014.

The tenant stayed, and the landlord decided to show some compassion, allowing him to remain in the property till the end of his original reservation free of charge. However, when the day came for him to move out, he responded with angry messages informing Miss Tschogl that he would not leave as he now had occupiers' rights.

It could now take three to six months to formally evict the tenant.

Airbnb said in a statement they would refund the landlord the full amount for the 44-day letting, plus assist her with the cost of legal fees.

"In the last week, officials from our team have been in incredibly close contact with this host and she has been paid the full cost of the reservation and we're working with her to provide additional support as we move forward," they said.