An upscale London apartment was "ruined" over the weekend when it was rented via Airbnb by a woman who hosted a party with “hundreds of drug-taking ravers” that were "high on nitrous oxide".
During the past three years, apartment owner Elizabeth Sterling has been renting out her £2.5million five-bedroom flat located on Phillimore Gardens in Kensington. The upscale home features special white resin floor, silver antiques, silk rugs and crystal Baccarat ornaments as well as paintings by Andy Warhol, Jasper Johns, Joan Miro and Picasso. She never had an issue with guests renting out the apartment, until now.
Sterling never suspected a problem would arise from the “softly spoken young lady” named Kudzi who requested to rent the apartment for a dinner party celebrating a pregnancy and an upcoming wedding.
“I was so touched I wanted to make their stay special,” she told The Sunday Mail. “When she came to get the key, Kudzi looked like butter wouldn’t melt in her mouth. I was impressed by her softly spoken assurances that she would turn off any music by midnight. I took her on to the high street to buy pink nappies and candles — she didn’t correct me when it was obvious that I thought it was a baby shower.”
Sterling, who was staying in the back of the apartment, would find out the true nature of Kudzi's stay when she was woken by loud music to find hundreds of people partying in her home.
“I saw four well-dressed men smoking joints. I was confused because it was supposed to be just women inside. I asked what they were doing there and one said, 'It’s a surprise.' I asked him to turn the music off, but it just kept getting louder. I was furious. I tried to get into the house, but I was jostled and threatened as I forced my way through. Three tall girls kept asking, ‘Who are you, b**ch?’ I shouted that I was the owner of the house.”
Police were called to the apartment, but were unable to remove the party until a court-order arrived. According to reports, the 120 people who were inside were later dispersed and no arrests were made.
Sterling says that there is thousands of dollars of damage, including scratches on her resin floor and cigarette burns in the carpet. The Metro received a statement from Airbnb saying that all hosts are covered by a guarantee of up to £758,000 in damages.
"I feel violated," Sterling said. "I can’t think of it without shaking. I consider myself a super hostess and always go the extra mile for my guests. Airbnb has been an easy way of earning money while I write a book, but this has shattered my trust – and my faith in my own judgment."
Harrison is Mixmag's US Editor. Follow him on Twitter here