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Md. Man Says Airbnb Guests Hosted Large Party, Trashed Home

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A Maryland man says his first guests on the temporary rental website Airbnb left behind an expensive mess at his Hyattsville home. News4's Jackie Bensen reports. (Published Tuesday, Jul 22, 2014)

    A Maryland man says his first guests on the temporary rental website Airbnb left behind an expensive mess at his Hyattsville home.

    Airbnb allows hosts to rent out extra rooms or entire apartments or homes to visitors for a fee usually cheaper than a hotel stay. 

    Mike Novak did just that last Friday, when he let two women in their 20s from New York rent out his Hyattsville house for the weekend. He then headed to Virginia Beach, oblivious to the damage he would be returning the following week.

    "Saturday night, she had a humongous house party here," Novak said. "I think she posted on Facebook and it blew up. … A major flight broke out in the backyard between multiple people, they broke through the neighbor's fence, went on in their back yard, they broke the other side of his fence."

    The party-goers left behind dozens of liquor and beer bottles, cigar wrappers -- and even underwear.

    "People slept in all the rooms," Novak said. "I found lingerie in the rooms. I've been cleaning my house, Febrezing everything."

    Neighbors told Novak someone was using a wheelchair ramp to ride a motorcycle up and down right before police arrived. 

    Novak contacted Airbnb about the damage under what the company calls their "host guarantee," which they say covers damage up to $1,000,000. 

    "It was a little difficult getting in touch with them but I finally got a call from a woman today and I have a direct line to her now,' Novak said. 

    An Airbnb spokesperson told News4: "Problems like this are incredibly rare, but when they happen, we try to help make things right. We are working quickly to reimburse the host under our 'Host Guarantee' program, and we have permanently removed the individual who rented this space from our site."

    Novak said he has filed a police report. The experience, he says, hasn't deterred him from hosting Airbnb guests again.