Woman forced to pay $1,700 to get rid of nightmare Airbnb renters

indexThink about the worst possible roommates you’ve ever had, the ones who rummaged through your stuff, who swiped your snacks from the fridge and otherwise made it miserable to spend time at home.

Poonam Sandhu can top even your worst sophomore-year horror stories. The 33-year-old from Watsonville, Calif. had hoped to earn some extra cash by renting out her spare room on Airbnb. She took on two tenants – a couple – and they paid her on time for two solid weeks.

At the start of the third week, they told her that they were waiting for their paychecks and asked if she’d accept a cash payment. The kind-hearted (or naive) Sandhu agreed. They paid her in cash “on and off,” then they stopped paying her at all.

At that point – more than a month into their uneasy arrangement – Sandhu had enough. She’d had to call the police on more than one occasion to break up fights between the pair.

She’d installed eight security cameras so she could see which of her personal possessions they were handling. On one occasion they did something so heinous to her plumbing system that the water had to be shut off for three days. She told CBS San Francisco:

It’s essentially like watching burglars in your house, constantly waiting for them to pick up the next item.

She tried to kick them out, but they refused to go. She offered to get them a hotel, but they declined the offer. She hired a lawyer and served them with eviction papers, which they totally ignored. And – worst of all – California law is on their side. Attorney Leo B. Siegel told ABC News:

Once someone’s been inside your house for more than 30 days, they’re considered a tenant. They’re entitled to 30 days’ notice before you can even file the lawsuit.

The couple has at least three other eviction judgments against them in the county, so despite their disheveled appearances, they appear to know exactly what they’re doing – and what their rights are. After all of her nerves were frayed beyond recognition (and enduring what she called “the worst thing I’ve ever experienced in my life”), Sandu offered them the oddly specific amount of $1,700.50 to get them to pack up and leave for good, and they accepted.

In a statement, Airbnb said:

This not an Airbnb reservation. We encourage and remind all hosts to only book guests through Airbnb.

Although it started as an Airbnb reservation, Sandhu lost the company’s insurance protections after allowing them to pay her in cash instead of through the online platform. The company has said that it is working on changes to its terms and conditions to add a financial penalty for anyone who overstays their approved-upon welcome.

Airbnb has also advised amateur landlords to do background checks on their tenants. “All these things I’m learning the hard way,” Sandhu said.

She could not get them out because she did not play on the same level as those asswipes did. Play the game by different rules and you can win more often.

Technology President Obama didn’t ban is also the most dangerous

After the protests turned into riots in Ferguson, Mo., last summer, it became abundantly clear that the surplus of military vehicles and weaponry from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan had found their way onto the streets of middle America. Americans watched in awe as Ferguson police responded to protests and minor looting with armored vehicles and the same kind of tear gas used in war zones. Jackboots and assault rifles seemed to be the official uniform of what should have been a measured response by a mid-range police force.

For many protesters, this widely circulated imagery of a military encampment was enough to incite deep-seated rage about what was already a tortured relationship between police and civilians.

As many news reports following Ferguson would make clear, the spread of military gear throughout America’s police forces was widespread and trickling down from the federal government itself. A 2014 story from ABC’s Luis Martinez and Colleen Curry referred to Ferguson police as a “small army,” tying it to the historic relationship between the government and the military.

Jackboots and assault rifles seemed to be the official uniform of what should have been a measured response by a mid-range police force.

“The distribution of military equipment to local law enforcement began in the 1990s to help agencies fight the so-called War on Drugs,” Martinez and Curry explain. “It was expanded after 9/11, with the creation of the Department of Homeland Security, to help law enforcement fight terror threats.”

As part of a long overdue effort to demilitarize America’s police force, President Obama announced new policies this week that will place heavy regulations and restrictions on what kinds of vehicles, armor, and weaponry the military is allowed to sell at a discount to state and local police departments. Banned equipment now includes camouflaged vehicles, grenades, high-scale weaponry, and even bayonets. Restrictions have also been placed on aircrafts, riot gear, and mobile command units, forcing police to seek federal permission before obtaining or selling such equipment.

Then there is the STINGRAY:

In all, police in 21 states have used Stingray devices to track and locate cell phones without the phone’s owner aware. The devices—roughly the size of a suitcase—locate cell phones by intercepting the signal that phone would normally send to a cell tower. Stingrays convince the phone it is talking with a secure cell network in order to collect information from the cell signal, including the phone’s precise location. They collect the cell signals of phones within a given range, meaning police can collect bulk data from entire city blocks.

They ignore a rather gaping loophole in federal security equipment that has quickly spread through local police departments.

It’s perhaps absurd to believe a president who has spied on more American phone records than any before him would care to implement restrictions on how local and state law enforcement should go about doing the same thing. According to a report from the ACLU, Stingrays are in use by the FBI, the NSA, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Secret Service, and all five branches of the military.

Thus, it’s abundantly clear the warrantless use of these devices isn’t keeping Barack Obama awake at night as a moral or legal quandary. Why should he feel the need to justify or restrict their use among police?

Typically, any electronic surveillance conducted by a police department requires judicial oversight and a warrant granted by a judge. And while the program has been justified by police and federal agents as a tool for finding and preventing terrorism, Stingrays have become a regular part of policing in just about any case wherein it could make the cops’ jobs easier. In Tallahassee, police confessed to using Stingrays over 200 times in a four-year period. According to LA Weekly, the Los Angeles Police Department uses Stingrays for 13 percent of every investigation they encounter.

In only one of the 21 states wherein Stingrays have been used by police have any restrictions been implemented—the FloridaSupreme Courtruled in 2014 that police must obtain a warrant before using Stingrays.

The technology is being used and they have stopped other things like tanks and such but they are still very active in the Stingrays use.

Retro of the day: Tommy James & The Shondells

Crystal Blue Persuasion” is a 1969 song originally recorded by Tommy James and the Shondells and composed by Eddie Gray, Tommy James and Mike Vale.

A gentle-tempoed groove, “Crystal Blue Persuasion” was built around a prominent organ part with an understated arrangement, more akin to The Rascals‘ sound at the time than to James’s contemporary efforts with psychedelic rock. It included melodic passages for an acoustic guitar, as well as a bass pattern, played between the bridge, and the third verse of the song.

“Crystal Blue Persuasion” has been used in numerous media and entertainment properties, both onscreen and off.

“Crystal Blue Persuasion” has appeared in the films A Walk on the Moon (1999), The Secret Life of Girls (1999), Zodiac (2007), “The Nanny Diaries” (2007) and the TV show How to Make it in America (2010). The song is also featured in the movie The Expendables 2 (2012), while Barney (Sylvester Stallone) is flying his plane.

The song is referenced in Marvel ComicsFantastic Four Annual (Vol. 1, #21) from 1988. The name references the character in the book, Crystalia Amaquelin, the blue area of the moon where part of the story takes place, and the plotline which is formed around coercing Crystal to return to the Inhumans.[5]

The title of the song is referenced in the song “He Do the Police in Different Voices”, the opening track from the 1993 album Plants and Birds and Rocks and Things by The Loud Family.

It was also used in the pilot episode of the television series The Wonder Years, the episode “Back to Where You’ve Never Been” (2012) from the television series Fringe, and an Estée Lauder commercial.[citation needed]

In 2012, “Crystal Blue Persuasion” was used in the eighth episode of the fifth season of Breaking Bad, “Gliding Over All“, during a montage depicting the process involved to bring main character Walter White‘s methamphetamine operation and its signature blue crystal meth to an international level. This montage was subsequently parodied as the opening scene in The Simpsons season 24, episode 17 “What Animated Women Want“, using the same song.