It is CNN that brought something to my attention. This is all about a decent landlord (yes, we all have them). An option was devised through Airbnb and as such a landlord is making a little bit of cash, as any landlord should be able to do. Yet, all this comes to pass in the extreme negative when laws are changed and we find out that the law is now more clearly protecting criminals and criminal endeavours. Was the law ever meant to do this?
It seems that California has a lot to learn when it comes to protecting its own financial future!
The story and the video (at http://edition.cnn.com/2014/07/23/travel/airbnb-squatters/index.html), which shows that people using the site Airbnb to rent out locations. In this case a tenant, who paid the rent upfront, has become a squatter and the man, known as Maksym Pashanin is sitting pretty at seemingly at the expense of others. There is more to the story that is linked to Maksym Pashanin, but for now, let us focus on the landlord tenant issues for another moment for now.
The CNN story states “He and his brother moved in, but after 30 days they refused to pay out the balance of their account”, how are these people still tenants? Does NOT paying rent mean that a person was voided his rights as a tenant?
I was amazed at the massive amounts of information on the internet, more interestingly, the fact that there are ‘game plans’ for squatters and how to maximise on all of this. One of them has a “Wikihow” and a starting quote “Squatting, the practice of living in abandoned or unoccupied spaces that a squatter does not legally own, is a great way to avoid paying rent, if you’re willing to take the risk”
The interesting note in regards to the CNN article is “Abandoned or unused“. The other part is that the person calling himself Maksym Pashanin is that they call themselves tenants and not squatters. “In California, renters who occupy a property for more than 30 consecutive days are considered full-time tenants on a month-to-month lease with rights to occupancy protected under the state’s tenant law”
Would this not include the need to pay rent? If the initial part is not paid, they become trespassers (or at least they should be seen as such), they are not tenants as such and as this place was never abandoned or unused it is not a squatters place at all. I know that legally speaking (especially as I am unfamiliar with Californian law) my goose is slightly cooked, so to speak. Consider however that in all this, the actual intent and drive for this Pashanin person to pay rent, if he had done so, there might not have been an issue.
Yet, I think that Ms Tschogl’s goose might get a nice ending.
When looking into Maksym Pashanin, I found that he was ‘Kickstarting’ a video game (two actually). Now, this is a market I truly know! Looking at the Kickstarter’s project and comparing it to the CNN story I found the following: CNN stated the tenant details were from Austin, Texas (where he started he second Kickstarter project before the first one had come to fruition). The Kickstarter details states he is from Navarre Florida. Now, this person might have moved, which is fair enough. The issue that the Kickstarter project and through this his backers (for a total of $39,739) was not updated is, especially as it involves state lines, makes it not just a federal case, but particularly the fraud squad should take a deeper look into this. Consider that he does a Kickstarter project, moves to another state and does it again. So, is the FBI looking into this? I also noticed that the Kickstarter project had the release and beta set for July 2014, is that not really bad engineering as well as a bad business sense? Kickstarter has every reason to keep its own reliability high by investigating this.
The next part is less clear, the quote “The guest texted back saying he was legally occupying the condo and that loss of electricity would threaten the work he does at home that brings in $1,000 to $7,000 a day” gives us two things. It could be a bluff or a lie. Perhaps even criminal activities as this all should be taxed. Is it? We have a possible crime that goes over state lines, which means the FBI could help Cory Tschogl by quickly investigating this. If it is all true then the person claiming to be Maksym Pashanin could pay the rent and there would be no issue. In addition, if they have such an income, then why have a game through Kickstarter? A game that looks like a low resolution game and views substandard to many games produced 10 years ago.
In regards to the tenant issues, it is clear that this system can be played. The law should alter to clearly encompass that a tenant is only a tenant if the rent is paid, with no less than 7 days delay (in case people still rely on ‘the check is in the mail‘ option). When tenant laws were made, the lawmakers clearly ignored the need to protect land lords like Cory Tschogl, whilst giving a massive amount of freedom for scam artists to continue on their path. I read all the issues on how lawyers can fix this, yet above all else, state laws has a defining need to be clear, not be deafeningly clear for the need of lawyers.
If the American dream is about enterprise and the dream of one’s own home, California State Law seems to have come up short twice on the basic protection of a dream, not a good achievement!