Being scammed in Malibu

  • Hi Guest, welcome to the help forum. You can get fast answers to your customer service questions here. We have a dedicated team of advocates who are ready to help. Just go to the section that matches your question and ask us!
  • If you've posted a question or issue for our advocates to assist with, please be sure to check back frequently for responses and requests for clarification.
  • Did you know you can get email notifications when something new posts to your favorite forum? It's easy. Just click the "watch" link right next to the "post new thread" button at the top of your favorite forum. The rest is easy. Now you'll never miss another conversation.
  • Want to become an expert user? Drop by the How to use this forum section and all will be revealed. We'll show you how to make the most of your experience.
Aug 24, 2019
I have rented homes/condos/flats all over the world and never had one problem with the owners. Rented a small house attached to a bigger house in Malibu. The rental is really old like built in 1949 (per county records) and never updated imo. Old wood paneling and rust all over the furniture and what ever else is metal outside. The rental is on the beach and that’s why I rented it! The beds were lumpy and we had to throw the toilet paper in a trash can instead of the toilet. The furniture in the rental was from decades ago and when I dug deeper online found out the house is in a trust and the couple living upstairs (yes owners were upstairs) were in a family trust. I dealt with the “ wife” online and she was a beotch but I gave her the benefit of the doubt. She also made me buy rental insurance and charged us 1000$ in a security/damages deposit.
Now my problem... we are leaving and we ask first a walk through with her husband who is at the house plus the cleaning lady. We talk with him and leave. We get a text that the 50 + years coffee table has a scratch per the cleaning lady. We tell the wife we didn’t use the coffee table at all. The wife says the cleaning lady is meticulous (house had cobwebs everywhere) and knows the scratch wasn’t there before we checked in. I know she wants out 1K for an old coffee table. What do I do or need from her like an estimate of the repair? Thank you
Apr 10, 2017
If you bought rental insurance that should cover the coffee table. In my experience with vacation rentals you either get insurance OR pay a damage deposit. I've never been required to do both.


Verified Member
Dec 11, 2014
Who did you rent the house from? Directly from the owner or through VRBOHomeAway/Airbnb? What difference does it make that the house is owned by a family trust? That has nothing to do with anything.
Sep 9, 2018
Is it possible that you accidentally caused the scratch? Why would you need an estimate for repairs or even pay $100 if you didn't cause the damage?
Likes: VoR61
Sep 19, 2015
Some of the complaints are petty and have nothing to do with the damage issue. The house was built in 1949 and is in a trust—so what? 1949 is not really old for a house. Having something in a trust is often for estate planning

Where I live apartments that were built pre World War II are amongst the most desirable. And people buy older furniture— mid century modern is the trend now. Mid century modern is ca. Late 1930s to 1965– as in older that 50 years.

The toilet paper issue may have to do with a septic tank.

The only issue is the scratch on the coffee table.


Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
San Francisco
Please don't call this a scam. It appears to be an issue of unrealistic expectations, not a scam. It's the chance you take with vacation rentals ... some owner/managers are good guys and some aren't so much. Some seem to take pleasure in charging a renter $100 for a scratch on an ancient coffee table, others don't. The vacation rental scene should not be compared to a nice hotel ... the differences are vast.