The Airbnb squatters want to make sure their "10/10, would squat again" experience lasts as long as possible. Forcing their "host" to undergo months of expensive legal work to evict them was only the beginning. Now the startup swindlers are reportedly wearing disguises to avoid being served an eviction notice.
Business Insider says that Airbnb host Cory Tschogl has been unable to serve Maksym Pashanin an eviction notice, despite the fact that he and his brother have occupied her Palm Springs condo for over a month without payment. The reason? Pashanin has been wearing a "disguise," telling those who approach him that he is his brother, Denys.
According to the Daily Mail, Pashanin's disguise of choice is a sweatshirt with the hood pulled up and a black face mask underneath. An attorney tells Business Insider that donning a disguise is an effective delay tactic in California:
Judges prefer what's known as "personal service" when the process server verifies the identity of the person ("Are you Maksym Pashanin?") and hands the papers over directly.
Most judges won't agree to proceed with a case until "you've made a compelling argument that the person is evading service." That often requires three failed attempts at serving papers. And it's helpful to have photos of a person sneaking away, too. (That's where the disguise comes in.)
Because neither Tschogl nor her process server can deliver a court summons to Pashanin, Tschogl is unable to get a court date to proceed with the eviction process. Airbnb spokesperson Nick Papas tells Valleywag that the company is helping with legal costs:
We've paid the host the complete cost of the reservation and we're working with her to help cover additional expenses she may incur as the process moves forward. We're continuing to reach out to this host to help her during this difficult time.
In the meantime, the Pashanin brothers will continue to enjoy months of free rent—and Tschogl and the $10 billion company that facilitated the brother's stay are helpless to do anything about it.