VRBO Renters Awaken To Terrifying Message

by SharonKurheg

When you rent a place from Airbnb or VRBO, you expect things to go smoothly. That wasn’t the case for a group of 11 friends who rented a home in Fairfield, CA.

Fairfield is just 14 miles from Napa Valley and the group expected a relaxing vacation in wine country. Instead, when they woke up to their third day in the rental, they discovered the tires of their rental van were slashed and two threatening messages were spray painted on the property’s garage.

“This is your final warning,” was written on one garage door. “The tribe has spoken. Leave this place or else.”

“You have no idea who live on this mountain,” the other said. “Do not underestimate our people!”

“I was terrified. Honestly, I thought it was a joke,” Alana Harrison, one of the 11 people staying at the property, told ABC7 News.

But it was no joke.

The vandalism occurred due to a neighborhood feud.

The owners of the rental in question had renovated the home with 7 bedrooms and 10 beds, intending to use it as a rental party house. Not wanting “that” kind of home in their otherwise quiet residential neighborhood, over 100 local households had signed a petition imploring the county to not allow the owners to use the house for that purpose.

The county apparently listened, and the owners had been denied the proper permits to use the home for short-term rentals. But they continue to book guests anyway.

After the incident, Harrison and her friends didn’t feel comfortable staying in the home and told VRBO they planned to leave. However VRBO was not the least bit helpful – they wouldn’t help them find a new rental and the group could not find any affordable alternatives. Without any other choice, they eventually wound up staying in the same home for the rest of their vacation. Despite the scary situation they had endured, they still had to pay for every night of their stay.

Harrison posted about this incident on a very popular (1.2M members) travel group on Facebook. That eventually got VRBO’s attention and the company reimbursed the group for part of their stay (I’m in that group – said post has now been deleted).

Harrison says they still had to pay out of pocket for the cost of the slashed tires.

The group did file a police report, however, to date, the vandals have yet to be caught.

Oh, and worst of all? The house is still available for rent.


Feature Photo: VRBO

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