Dealing with Airbnb Home Rental Nightmares

From stolen property to trashed apartments, what renters can do to protect themselves.
6:41 | 08/05/15

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Transcript for Dealing with Airbnb Home Rental Nightmares
We begin tonight with some horrifying rental disasters. If you're thinking of having a mini Vaca in someone else's home or letting a stranger stay in your this is summer, listen up. Here's gio Benitez. Reporter: You're watching a home burglary in action, police say, but this is no break in. This woman actually rented out this home from its owner on airbnb. The guest turned alleged burglar caught on surveillance camera, stealing over $35,000 in valuables, according to authorities, after being told to stay out of the locked closet and office. She basically the doorknob and door itself. Reporter: Theft is just one nightmare for homeowners. This is awful. Reporter: Mark and Starr king, parents to two young sons headed over the keys to their Calgary home to rerntss who were supposedly in town for a wedding. Anything imaginable that would violate a home has happened here. Reporter: According to neighbors, the guests started their own party. Within three or four hours that we exchanged keys, a party bus was here. Reporter: A party that lasted several days and left their once-immaculate home unrecognizable. We don't want to touch anything. Broken glass everywhere. There's barbecue sauce on the ceiling. Reporter: The total amount of damage, roughly $50,000 worth. According to the kings. A airbnb covers up to $1 million in property damage and they say that situations like this are incredly rare but we have zero tolerance for this kind of behavior. But sometimes those nightmares can play out while you're still at home. Worst thing I've ever spearsed. Reporter: She rented out her master bedroom but agreed to switch to cash-only payments. And that's when trouble started. I asked, it's time for you to go. Reporter: But her renters refused to leave. And that's when she installed these security cameras. Her unwelcome guests helped themselves to anything in her refrigerator and cabinets. This man is seen wandering through the house at night. In a lot of states, if you stay in a place for at least 30 days, it's deemed to be a rental. To get someone out who doesn't want to leave, you effectively have to evict them. Reporter: Ultimately, the owner paid them more than $1700 to gts them to leave her house rather than engage in a potentially lengthy vision process. These laws are generally intended to prevent people for losing their homes, from getting kicked out on a day's notice. They're not supposed to be for people who want to stay longer for an airbnb rental. Most of the time the system works, but it takes just a few people exploiting the system, stealing, damaging, staying, fighting, to make everyone worry about renting out their home. Reporter: Despite these horror stories, airbnb is growing in popularity. There are 1.5 million listings nationwide. And 40 million guests have booked a place. Not only renting my places but other enabling other people to get into the industry and start to make some extra income. Reporter: Scott shatford is an airbnb host. One thing is really selling yourself. Reporter: He's made a six-figure salary renting multiple properties in the Santa Monica area to over 1,000 people, even writing an e-book on the subject. And they want to like you just as much as they want to like the place that they're staying at. Reporter: He says airbnb can be safe and ruk rative. Beware of last-minute bookings. I tend to scrutinize more, people that are staying at my property that live in my same city. Because I, I know they're not going on vacation. I don't really know what the purpose of their travel is. Reporter: Also, set up your airbnb account so that only experienced, verified renters can book your place. This is really, really important. Because if somebody trashes your house or steals your stuff, you know exactly who you're going to be chasing down. Reporter: And finally, doing some social stalking. If, you know, the picture on Facebook of your guests is, you know, somebody doing a keg stand, you probably don't want them coming to your spring break rental, right? Reporter: When it comes to home renters renters should beware too. This house is amazing. How could that be? And I thought maybe we were lucky. Reporter: Aseemingly perfect vacation home for cherry mchalfry's extended family, 14 members, her husband and daughter were the first to arrive. Kind of like a Bali style. Reporter: Followed shortly by the actual homeowner. I took a peek through the slats of this window here and recognized there were total strangers in my house. All of a sudden, we saw a man come in. The little girl sort of screamed. I was kind of surprised. I didn't know who it was. I informed them that I was the owner of the house. He basically said, sorry to tell you this, but you guys have been scammed. Reporter: Turns out. The mchalfries fell for a fake listing. Less than one in 10,000 listings are fake. All sides of this growing rental business ripe for ex-employ tarks but at least one alleged thief is no longer a threat. She was quickly and easily recognizable by one of our investigators who put it together and once we were able to see her photo and match it with the video surveillance, you could tell that it was her. Reporter: The suspected sticky-fingered San Francisco renter in police custody tonight. For "Nightline," I'm geoba knee tez in New York.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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