MESSY

01.05.16 5:01 AM ET

Does Airbnb Have an Orgy Refund Policy?

Some Airbnb hosts unwittingly opened their doors to guests determined to celebrate the New Year with an excess of sex, drugs, and booze.

Justine Smith didn’t really mind that the two people who were renting out a room of her Montreal apartment through Airbnb on New Year’s Eve were doing cocaine in her living room.

“We could hear people cutting the coke,” Smith told The Daily Beast, explaining she had a glass coffee table. “I went to the bathroom and could see the little coke baggies, but they weren’t being disruptive, and it wasn’t worth a confrontation.”

It also didn’t really bother Smith, a 26-year-old freelance writer, that much when she could hear the couple having sex on the couch, even though they had specifically rented out a bedroom space with, you know, a door.

“We’re like, ‘That’s weird. They have a room,’ but we thought, ‘Whatever, it’s New Year’s Eve.’ We’re not going to be like, ‘Stop having sex on out couch!’ That’s just impoliteness.”

Smith just wasn’t too thrown by the partying Airbnb guests, even though she had gotten married only hours earlier and had been looking forward to relaxing at her home after the reception.

She and her now-husband, Francisco Peres, had meant to disable their Airbnb opening for that night, but had forgotten to do so.

“It was our wedding day and eight hours before, we got an instant booking,” Smith explained. “We called to cancel, but they [the guests] said, ‘Please, don’t. It’s going to be impossible to find a new place.’”

So, Smith and her husband agreed, with her husband and father even leaving the reception for part of the time to bring the guests the keys.

When she and her husband returned home from their wedding, they noticed trash piling up. “It was mostly garbage and stuff,” she said, but stressed, “There’s no long-term damage.”

The tipping point for this exceedingly calm Canadian bride was when she woke up the next morning—after the trash, after the cocaine, after sex noise—and saw two additional strangers, not the ones she had rented the room to through Airbnb.

“I get up to go to the bathroom and brush my teeth, and there are two naked people on my couch we didn’t rent to,” Smith recalled.

After the entire fiasco had played out, the apologetic note the Airbnb guests left for Smith and her husband went viral.

“Sorry for being such bad guests. We have no excuses for our behavior. We were honestly just fucked up. Congratulations on your wedding!,” the note stated.

And they gave Smith and Peres a five-star rating, a subtle way to thank the couple for being so chill about the illegal drugs and group sex.

While Airbnb is fast becoming an essential tool for traveling on the cheap (or cheaper), the house-sharing site has earned some criticism.

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Some Airbnb hosts have skirted state laws to lease through the site—and there are affordable housing advocates who argue Airbnb limits the housing rental market and, thus, raises prices when long-term rentals become even scarcer.

New Year’s Eve churned up another concern: What should one do when your Airbnb guest hosts an orgy?

“I got really angry,” confessed Smith, “but then I thought things through, ‘If I scream to people, ‘Get the fuck out of my apartment,’ it’s not productive.”

Smith added she “was more upset having to clean up the day after the wedding” because she realized that “if they’re going to have their naked friends on my couch, they’re not going to clean up their mess. That was my train of logic.”

While certainly logical, most people would let their outrage get the better of them at this point. Instead, Smith spoke to her husband who, seemed, remarkably, even more polite and level-headed about the unexpected Airbnb fracas.

He went to the bedroom in the apartment where the two people who actually booked through Airbnb were sleeping, she said.

“My husband knocked on the door and said, ‘I’m sorry to wake you, but there are strangers on our couch.’”

According to Smith, the couple, who she estimated were around 20 or 21 years old, admitted that while they booked the night for two, five people had ended up staying over.

This number was verified, Smith said, by her other Airbnb guest. That’s right: There was another Airbnb-er in this New Year’s Eve special (Smith and Peres have a three-bedroom apartment and have posted two of the bedrooms on Airbnb since March of 2015).

This other tenant told Smith and Peres that in the middle of the night, he “opened up the bedroom door to go to the bathroom and saw there were five people having sex, so [he] shut it and held it in.”

Smith requested the guests pay an additional 30 Canadian dollars for having more guests than they reported, but other than that, she had no long-term ire towards the group.

“They’re from Ottawa. It’s a boring town. They probably came to the city and went a little too crazy. They probably realized it was inappropriate, but they were just enjoying being young and crazy and not really regarding the consequences,” Smith said.

She also appreciated that the guests did make an earnest effort to clean her apartment. “They didn’t deep-clean my apartment or anything, [but] they did a good job cleaning. It wasn’t a half-assed cleaning.”

As trying as this Airbnb experience was, Smith was hardly the only Airbnb host to ring in 2016 with a fiasco.

In Oakland, Reshma Vasanwala and Jim Santi Owen rented out their apartment on New Year’s Eve to a guest they thought was an older man from Chicago. In fact, it was a 19-year-old man from Berkeley posing as one.

After a neighbor texted Vasanwala and Owen to say police and scores of teens were piling into their place, they ultimately discovered that their Airbnb-er was throwing a raucous party.

According to the SF Gate, the couple found “dirtied furniture, beer cans everywhere, cigarettes, broken glass and even blood stains on a wall” when they returned.

Police said the 19-year-old was arrested on suspicion of felony vandalism when he returned to the rental the next day, according to the San Jose Mercury News.

In London, Christina McQuillan claimed her Airbnb renter threw a party with 100 guests on New Year’s Eve, a party she attempted to shut down after neighbors called her “complaining of loud grime music and the smell of cannabis coming from her garden apartment,” according to a report in British newspaper The Mirror.

“My partner decided to cut the power upstairs and in the bedroom they were having a mass orgy,” McQuillan told the London Evening Standard. She also said that when she tried to shut things down, one of the partygoers punched her in the stomach.

An Airbnb spokesman emailed The Daily Beast a statement regarding the New Year’s Eve incidents:

“We have zero tolerance for this kind of behavior and if something goes wrong our team works quickly to make it right. We have banned these guests from Airbnb, and our Trust and Safety team has reached out to the hosts to work with them under our $1 Million Host Guarantee, which covers a host’s property in the rare event of damages. Over one million guests stayed on Airbnb on New Year’s Eve, and problems like this for hosts are extremely rare.”

The spokesman specifically cited that Airbnb offers “tools for guests and hosts to get to know each other before a reservation, including detailed profiles, authentic reviews and our messaging platform,” and said Airbnb “recommend[s] that hosts use these tools to help ensure that the guest has a history of behavior that they would feel comfortable with.”

Owen complained to SF Gate that it took 14 hours for Airbnb to respond to his complaint. “It was an emergency, urgent kind of situation and it would’ve been nice to feel that they really had our back as all this was going on…. They’re communicating in such a way both to us and the press that they will take responsibility, but we don’t know that.”

Smith appears to have had a more favorable experience with Airbnb, though Twitter may have had a hand in that.

She said the company responded “within five minutes” when she tweeted at the @AirbnbHelp account. When she shared a photo over Twitter of the apologetic note her guests left behind, Smith said @Airbnb reached out to her to offer to pay for a deep-cleaning of the apartment.

“I posted the note because I thought it was hilarious. I think because it caught on, they got back faster,” Smith said. She added that she’s only had “positive experiences” with Airbnb.

In fact, she has absolutely no intention of stopping renting out the couple’s extra rooms through the site. When we spoke this morning, Smith said they already had a new guest.

“We like the experience of meeting new people,” Smith said. “It’s more exciting than having a roommate and, strangely enough, often more reliable.”