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09th Sep 2023

Couple take revenge on Airbnb host by leaving taps running and gas on for 25 days

Steve Hopkins

The couple fled the country before the owner could confront them

A couple reportedly took revenge on their Airbnb host by leaving the taps running and the gas on for their entire 25-day stay.

The property owner was left with an 840,000 won (£1,260) bill after a falling, including over the location of the accommodation, in Seoul, South Korea,

Initially, the host told SBS news, that the couple – who were travelling from China, tried to cancel their booking three days before, claiming they had caught covid.

When he asked for proof, and it wasn’t forthcoming, the guests elected to proceed with the booking.

Problems also arose over the location of the property. It was in the suburbs, rather than the city centre.

But rather than trying to negotiate, the couple elected to take revenge.

First, however, they confirmed whether the property was fitted with security cameras.

The host, identified in media reports only as Mr Lee, told them it wasn’t, but there were cameras at the entrance and exits.

The guests then turned on all the lights, taps, electrical appliances and gas taps.

They stayed for five days, then returned five further times during the 25-day booking, staying just five minutes each time.

Lee was unaware of the couple’s plan until it neared check-out time. The gas company got in touch fearing the soaring use, might be due to a gas leak.

When Lee went to check the property, the gas was on, but the windows were open.

The couple wasted 12,000 litres of water, which Seoul’s Waterworks Headquarters told SBS is the same as what eight adults would use in two months.

Lee was left with a $116 (£93) water and electricity bill; $730 (£587) for gas and $728 (£585) for “miscellaneous expenses”.

“Seeing how the utility bills went up quite a lot, I wonder how unkind they have to be to be to do such a thing,” Lee told SBS.

Although Airbnb’s AirCover protects hosts by providing cover for damage to the property or host’s belongings, it does not cover utility bills.

Lee was reportedly advised to settle the bill with the couple directly, but they had left the country.

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