A sleepy Dunedin street became a centre of seediness as Airbnb guests allegedly turned a man’s home into a busy brothel for two weeks.
The property owner and sole occupant, who requested anonymity, said he was on holiday in Asia for a month in July and August, the New Zealand Herald reported.
His daughter helped him rent his North East Valley home on Airbnb to two women, who were Chinese nationals, for 14 days.
When he arrived back it “felt icky and stank of cheap perfumes’’, a stock of 50 toilet rolls was gone and a few towels were missing.
The owner earned $A1640 from the guests, but a graph of his power usage shows it quadrupled in August, costing him about $A556 for the month.
A Dunedin homeowner was horrified his Airbnb guest turned his home into a brothel.Source:istock
He also spent hundreds of dollars on cleaning and plumbing costs.
The guests were not there long before the hot water system broke.
They contacted the owner’s daughter saying they were unable to have showers and she called a plumber.
The plumber, who also did not want to be named, said it was “amazing’’ how they transformed it into a centre for sex services.
“These girls had come down from Queenstown, travelling the country,” he said. “It was very obvious what was going on.’’
They ran four phones, had a room each, and operated through the night.
One was in her 40s, the other was “lucky to be in her 20s’’.
“I was up in the ceiling working. I got there early in the morning, so I wasn’t interfering with their work.
“They were heavy drinkers, drinking red wine.’’
Airbnb appears to have deleted the account of the people who booked the home. Picture: Martin Bureau/AFPSource:AFP
They had curtains drawn, the heat pump on constantly and extra heaters operating, he said.
The owner said he was annoyed he was not told about this before he returned.
A few days after his arrival a man came to his door asking “where are the girls’’.
When the owner said they were not there, the man at the door verbally threatened him.
A police spokesman confirmed a complaint had been made, but said he could not comment further.
A neighbour said she was outside in her garden when the “client’’ had an altercation with the owner.
That same man had visited the house while the owner was away, the neighbour said.
“One night he banged on the door and got no response and was drinking something from a can which he threw in the garden.’’
Throughout the time the guests were at the house she saw many cars park outside the
“They wouldn’t stay very long, usually 20 minutes, some for a bit longer.
“It started when I was noticing the light on at night and we started getting suspicious.’’
She took photos of some of the vehicles.
The man was mortified his beloved family home had been ‘violated’. Picture: iStockSource:istock
She was told by the owner there might be guests in his absence, but was “kicking herself’’ she did not get the number of him or his daughter before he left.
“I can understand it’s like a break-in. It’s like a violation.,” she said.
Another neighbour said he did not notice regular visitors, but did once see a van parked
outside with a “scruffy looking man’’ inside.
It seemed suspicious so he took down the number plate.
Correspondence with the owner and Airbnb shows the company has deleted the account of the people who stayed.
It was investigating the situation and asked for receipts of the power bill and cleaning and
would consider reimbursement.
The company has been asked to comment further but did not respond yesterday by deadline.
The owner said he wanted Airbnb to consider payment for “emotional trauma’’.
His mother, who once owned the house, would be “spinning in her grave’’, he said.
“It’s been the family home for 55 years. I just have that feeling of being violated.’’
This article originally appeared on the New Zealand Herald and was reproduced with permission