Airbnb hosts get unexpected guest -- a woman in need of help

Posted at 4:35 AM, May 31, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-31 12:02:02-04

A Valley couple didn't know what to do when an unexpected guest showed up to stay at their Airbnb.

"Just at first appearance, this was someone who could not walk without a walker,” said Maryrose Hall. She and her husband, David Lins, had been renting out several rooms in their Mesa home through the online service since August.

“[The guest] can't hear unless you are making direct eye contact and projecting your voice."

Hall and Lins say the woman who made the reservation appeared as a younger, active and artistic adult. The woman who showed up, who ABC15 is not identifying, arrived in a taxi at their door with nearly all her belongings. Soon, the couple found out she was homeless.

"This is an individual who needed help and we were not quite sure how to give it," Lins said.

The couple reached out to Airbnb and filed a report with Arizona Adult Protective Services. For nearly two weeks, the length of her reservation, they were caring for the woman almost non-stop. Hall drove her to medical appointments and made sure she was fed. The woman required several medications and suffered from short-term memory loss, the couple said.

"She didn’t write the profile, that was obvious. The picture is not an up-to date-picture, that’s obvious. So whoever set up the reservation was not her," Lins told ABC15.

On Saturday, Lins and Hall talked with the woman and dropped her off at the Banner Baywood Emergency Room.

Police tell us the couple went “above and beyond” –  adding that most hospitals will keep someone for up to 72 hours while they attempt to track down family, then notify local police.

At minimum, police say you should call 911 if you come across a homeless senior requiring medical attention.

Laura Rillos, an Airbnb spokesperson, provided ABC15 this statement:

In an emergency situation, or if personal safety is threatened, contact local police or emergency services immediately.

We work hard to make sure everyone has a positive experience on Airbnb, and in the rare event that doesn’t happen, our 600-person global Trust and Safety team is on call 24/7 to help.  If a host receives a booking request and is unsure if their listing meets the requirements outlined by the guest, they should immediately contact Airbnb and we will work to find a resolution. Our team offered to help the host and guest’s family, but they made their own arrangements.