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Airbnb.com renter turns into 'nightmare' squatter, threatens to sue homeowner

Travelers can rent a place to stay in a local 'host's' home across thr globe through the website Airbnb.com. (AP Photo)
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PALM SPRINGS, Calif. (ABC NEWS) - A woman who rented out her home using the popular website Airbnb.com recently found herself living what she calls a nightmare.

She said, the guest was supposed to only stay about a month and a half, but now he's refusing to leave, squatting in her home and forcing her to hire a lawyer to try and get him evicted.

Cory Tschogl told ABC's "Good Morning America" she rented out her stunning 600-square-foot condo in Palm Springs, California through Airbnb, but now, more than 30 days later, the man who rented it won't leave and is even threatening to sue her. She turned to Business Insider for help.

"She was extremely frustrated. She described the whole situation as a nightmare," said Julie Bort of Business Insider, who interviewed Tschogl.

Tschogl told Business Insider that the "guest" - as Airbnb calls him - wanted to rent for 44 days, and paid for 30 days up-front. He said he needed a place to say for "an extended business trip."

But, on day one, Tschogl said he started complaining about what he called "cloudy water," and about the condo complex's gated entry system. He then asked for a full refund.

"She said, 'OK, that's fine, just take the refund. Just leave. That's all great,'" Bort said Tschogl told her.

But he didn't leave. So she waited, thinking he would go when the reservation was up. The guest still didn't budge.

Tschogl said she texted him, threatening to turn off the utilities if he didn't leave. His reply:

"He started sending her threatening texts. He actually threatened to
sue her, claiming damages," Bort explained.

According to a legal expert "Good Morning America" spoke with, this man and other Airbnb "guests" can be considered actual tenants - which means, to get her guest evicted, Tschogl now needs to go through a full eviction process, which could take months, as well as thousands of dollars in legal fees.

"Airbnb is extremely popular, but its really, really up to you to understand the rules and the laws that govern your area," Bort said.

As of Tuesday morning, Airbnb has paid Tschogl for the full reservation, and tells ABC News, "We're working with her to provide additional support as we move forward."

ABC News tried to reach the renter for comment, but was unsuccessful.

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