The owner of a rental house in Melbourne’s west watched on helplessly as her home was trashed, with windows smashed and holes knocked through walls, during an out-of-control party involving more than 100 revellers.
The party-goers hurled furniture, including a television, onto the street in the early hours of Sunday morning.
Kelly, who has owned the Ryan Street house in Footscray for about four years, said she had been renting the house for short-term stays.
She said she took a booking for five guests on Saturday night, but as the night went on more and more people arrived.
Neighbours first called Kelly at 2am and she raised the alarm with police, but officers warned her against going in to the house, because it was dangerous.
She said she was told by police that because the people had rented the house and invited the guests, officers were not able to enter the property.
“There’s a door broken in half…damage to almost every door handle…pictures ripped off the wall,” she told reporters outside the house on Monday.
“It was terrifying…there’s no other way of saying it.”
Kelly earlier told radio station 3AW she stood outside the house with police and looked on as the house was trashed.
“We all looked in as, basically windows were being smashed, massive holes in the walls, doors knocked through,” she said.
“It felt like I was watching my house burning down.
“The police say because these guests, these tenants invited people to the house and they had a right to be there, and they were not able to enter the building.”
Kelly left, but at 7am, neighbours contacted her again – this time informing her that the party-goers were throwing televisions and furniture out into the street.
“Neighbours called me at 7am and said ‘they’re there destroying all of your televisions, furniture, smashing it across the street’,” Kelly said.
Kelly called triple zero, and when she arrived at the property police were moving in.
She believes fake names were used to make the booking, which was made via Booking.com.
Kelly said the site had been reliable until now.
“We have the best types of guests… and the best experiences usually,” she said.
Police confirmed that when they got to the house they found a group of people were throwing furniture onto the street.
It’s understood the people who had rented out the $600 per night property claimed to be from Adelaide.
Kelly said they used an invalid credit card to make the booking and she’d received no payment, leaving her further out of pocket on top of the tens of thousands of dollars worth of of damage.
She also claims her insurance provider has so far refused to foot the bill for the damage, stating the property is not insured for malicious damage.
Kyle Challinger, 19, was walking home from work along Cowper Street about 7.30am on Sunday when he heard raised voices and saw about 30 young people leaving Ryan Street.
“I thought it was a bit strange but I was pretty tired so didn’t think too much of it,” the Ryan Street resident said.
“But when I turned the corner to walk into my street I saw heaps of police cars and knew something must have happened.”
Mr Challinger said his housemate later told him she did not sleep on Saturday night.
“She said the music didn’t stop all night and she could hear people fighting outside,” he said.
Another resident, who did not want to be named, said the party spilled onto the street in the early hours of Sunday morning.
“I saw about 50 or 60 teenagers on the street,” she said. “Some were dancing and coming right up to my fence, others were yelling and fighting, it was just chaos.”
The woman said she later heard glass smashing and people arguing on the street but she was too afraid to go outside.
“I just called the police… I didn’t sleep all night,” she said.
The woman said she saw police arrive at the house about 9pm on Saturday, but they left soon after without making any arrests.
“They just came and then left and the party continued all night,” she said.
Victoria Police confirmed officers were called to the house on Ryan Street on Saturday night however no offence was detected at this stage.
But police returned at 7.30am on Sunday, following reports partygoers were throwing household items onto the street.
The house suffered significant damage “both internally and externally”, police said.
A 19-year-old Point Cook man was arrested for drunken behaviour.
No one was injured, police say.
The incident follows a string of out-of-control parties at Airbnb rentals that police have been called to.
Just last week, a North Melbourne townhouse became the scene of a teen party where police cars were smashed.
Booking.com has been contacted for comment.