"TAHOE, Calif. - A Santa Clara County Sheriff’s deputy who left his personal, loaded handgun and his badge behind in a South Lake Tahoe Airbnb rental is on paid administrative leave after the weapon was discovered by a group of children." [read the rest of the article here: https://www.ktvu.com/news/santa-clara-county-deputy-on-leave-after-kids-find-loaded-handgun-in-airbnb]
Be leary of the guest that states that they left money, jewelry, camera, computer, or any other expensive item (more than likely, they left their drugs!). Let them know in the house rules that you do not accept any responsibility for lost, broken, damaged, stolen, or left behind items. Then, if they insist that you and your cleaning team are in cahoots, tell them to speak with their insurance company (they usually suddenly have 'found' said item). Short Term Rental Hosts could tell you some stories that would make your head spin regarding some of the items that have been "accidentally" left behind, but the one that probably sticks with them the most (besides cleaning up after what seemed like a 70's rock band's hotel room), is when a firearm is left behind.
Many scenarios initially run through a Host's mind: Why bring the firearm in the first place? How on earth could you forget something like that? If your checkout instructions specifically state to check every drawer, shelf, cabinet, under bed and mattress - how did we end up here? How does the guest intend to retrieve their property (It's not like you can just mail it back.). For most other items, generally, a Host will request postage, time, and travel reimbursement for themselves or a staff member. Some Hosts return items at no cost. But, then there is the firearm dilemma. Oftentimes, Hosts have elected to just drop it off at the local police department and the previous guest can figure out the logistics. Some Hosts allow the guest to retrieve the item within a set period of time. I've even read that one Host allowed a friend of the guest to come by and get it (wouldn't necessarily be my mode of operation). There is no correct answer in this scenario. This is just to give you something to think about in the event you may have to deal with (if you haven't already) this situation in the future.
What would you do if a guest "forgot" their firearm in your listing? We're curious to know what you would do. Provide your feedback in the comments or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org with your input.
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