WASILLA, Alaska (KTUU) - After a Halloween party at an AirBnB in California resulted in five shooting deaths, the online rental company has been under scrutiny for a string of incidents involving renters who use the service to throw house parties.
Turns out, at least one Alaskan is having problems with their AirBnB rental as well.
Around the same time of the much-publicized California incident, a party of comparable size was thrown at an AirBnB in Wasilla. The owner of the listing, April Whitmire-Polis said that fortunately, no one was hurt at this party.
But she says she is shocked with what happened at her home.
Whitmire-Polis says that video evidence showed there were around 150 people at her house on October 25. She said the person who put on the party was a member of the Airforce and that he booked her house for a family get-together.
“They turned my house into a dance club, but without bouncers to control everything,” she said. “He was charging a cover charge for $15 for each person.”
Whitmire-Polis got a hold of some Snapchat stories that were taken at the party and saw parts of the party through her door-bell camera.
In the door-bell videos, you can see people flooding in and out of the home. At one point you can see one of the attendees convincing his friend to go into the party by lying about paying. There were strobe lights, neon lights, large speakers, a DJ, and a very large crowd spread through the house.
Whitmire-Polis said that the party went on for a few hours into the early morning. She found out about it from a neighbor’s concerned email, who apparently also filed a noise complaint. Whitmire-Polis said that the troopers eventually came out to shut the party down after getting a 911 call from inside the home.
Now she’s left with the mess and no listings for her property. While the house sits there, Whitmire-Polis said the bills are stacking up and the mortgage is due.
Her home sustained a good deal of damage from the event. The hardwood floors are scratched throughout the living and dining rooms, there’s cracked tiles, scratches on the cabinets, stains in the couches and carpeting, and most notably, her kitchen island that used to be nailed to the floor now slides back and forth and the countertop is loose.
“We were thinking they were pushing it over so they could have more dance space,” she said. "It feels awful. There’s so much here and the longer it sits here the more I have to pay for and I’m wondering, ‘is this going to be covered?’”
Whitmire-Polis said they had a contractor do an assessment of the cost of repair and it amounted somewhere in the ballpark of $40,000.
There were also bags of party trash left in the kitchen, the floors were sticky with old alcohol, gum stuck to the floors, cigarette butts in the yard, and pieces of costumes left behind in some of the bedrooms.
Channel 2 reporters reached out to AirBnB spokespeople about the incident.
They said they are aware of what happened and that they are trying to work with Whitmire-Polis.
AirBnB has a $1 million guarantee to fix damages in situations like these. However, the spokespeople said that they need to send their own claim specialist out to assess the damage. The issue, according to AirBnB is that they don’t have one in that particular area of Alaska so they been able to assess Whitmire-Polis’s house.
As far as house parties in general go for the company, their CEO made a statement last week about ‘high risk human review,’ on November 6.
The company said that starting on December 15, it will make adjustments to their screening process for high-risk reservations to try to prevent these parties from happening.
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