Montreal man comes home to find condo trashed after renting on HomeAway

In this file photo, a woman cleans a home that is rented out for short-term rentals, Monday, September 18, 2017. John Locher / AP Photo

Carlos Ivazeta says he couldn’t believe his eyes when he walked into his condo, after having rented it out for four days on HomeAway.

“I came into the apartment and the apartment was totally destroyed,” Ivazeta said.

He said he’s rented out his home before, using several different websites.

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He’s had minor incidents in the past, but nothing to this extent.

Ivazeta claims several items were stolen, including his TV and almost $3,000 worth of belongings, a sound system and lamps.

He told Global News he contacted HomeAway to inquire about insurance coverage, but was told insurance protects individuals renting the property — not the owner.

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“People don’t know that this is not a cover for them, it’s a cover for the guests only,” Ivazeta said.

In addition, his own insurance company told him his coverage does not cover thefts in short-term rental cases.

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In a statement, HomeAway told Global News that it “recommends that homeowners carry insurance policies to protect against theft and damages. Should we be asked to assist the authorities in this matter, our customer support team stands ready to do so.”

Ivazeta contacted Montreal police, but didn’t take pictures or contact the individual who rented the condo.

Manuel Couture, spokesperson with the Montreal police, explained officers can track down a perpetrator because users of sites like Airbnb and HomeAway are required to create an account with them.

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“It depends on what was stolen. If, for example, the person rented the place with a false ID, we can claim fraud,” he told Global News.

 “But, for example, if the person stole something and they left with the object, it’s considered as theft.”

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No arrests have been made in Ivazeta’s case.

“Of course, we have more [cases] than before,” Couture said.
“The best thing [for prevention] is to meet with the people directly and have their driver’s licence with their face on it.”

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