Girl, 16, is arrested after planning a party on Snapchat where revellers caused £40k of damage to property as they tear down walls with sledge hammers at holiday home her mother rented for her online
- Property rules state that no parties or events should be held during the stay
- Residents witnessed people scaling the building in order to gain access
- A mother had booked the room on booking.com for her teenage daughter
- Owner of the property has had to cancel bookings with possible customers
A 16-year-old girl has been arrested after she invited revellers to a luxury apartment, who went on to cause £40,000 worth of damage.
Party-goers tore down walls with sledgehammers at the flat in Belfast, which had been rented through booking.com by a woman who purchased the one-night stay for her daughter.
Despite the rules of the property clearly stating that parties were not allowed, the teenager took to Snapchat where she invited people to the flat on Saturday night.
Now the owner of the property has been left devastated, after vandals broke furniture and smashed windows during the party.
The property was left in an awful state after vandals smashed through the walls (right) in the halls of the property and in the kitchen (left)
A picture of the property before the incident, as it is advertised on booking.com
Speaking to Belfast Live, William, who owns the property, but did not want to give his surname, said the incident had been a complete disaster and that he was shocked that it had happened.
‘The extent of the destruction is unbelievable, it makes me sick to the bottom of my stomach.
‘There is now a hole in the wall between the kitchen and hall because they used sledgehammers to break through.
‘The windows have been smashed, doors broke, the kitchen and bathrooms are wrecked, everything is ruined.’
The owner of the property is looking at a £40,000 repair bill for the damage caused to the kitchen (left) and other rooms in the property which were vandalised (right)
William has rented out the property for two years and when advertising the flat, explicitly states that parties and events are not to be held.
Despite this, up to 40 youth descended on the property, which is usually let out to tourists.
Residents who witnessed the event said some people had even been scaling the railings of the building to try and get in.
Restrictions at the property
The advertisement for the property on booking.com boasts that the flat is in a central location and that free private parking is available.
However restrictions clearly state:
– Pets are not allowed
– Smoking is not allowed
– Parties/events are not allowed
It also states that a damage deposit of £100 is required on arrival, which will be reimbursed on checkout.
It also clearly states than bachelor/bacherlorette parties are not accommodated for.
William now believes the mother who made the booking should also be arrested, and held accountable along with her daughter.
‘I have been told that the repairs will cost around £40,000 which I have to cover myself.
‘I’ve contacted Booking.com to report what happened and their solution was to waive the £9.80 commission fee which isn’t going to be much help.
‘I have no faith that I will get a penny back from those responsible.’
William had been in Enniskillen for the Easter break when he heard the news and has since returned to Belfast to help with repairs.
As well as the costly bill, he has also had to cancel 42 bookings and give refunds to potential customers.
He said: ‘It is an absolute shame. We were fully booked over Easter and it was heartbreaking having to cancel on people who were looking forward to their holidays and give full refunds, which is just extra money lost on top of the refurb costs.
‘The contractors have said the place should be ready again within a month but this has really put me off doing anything like this again.’
The head of Charterhouse Property Management, which runs the apartments, Kieran Smyth said: ‘Short term letting through these agencies are causing widespread concern with people who own apartments in Northern Ireland.’
This is while a Booking.com spokesman said they encourage partners to reach out to local authorities in the instance that a customer engages in unlawful behaviour.
‘We support our accommodation partners fully and will cooperate with law enforcement in their official investigation as necessary.
‘In this instance, we have also taken additional precautions to block this customer from making any further reservations via our site.’
A PSNI spokesperson said: ‘Police are investigating a report of criminal damage being caused to an apartment in the Short Strand area of Belfast on Saturday, 13th April.
‘A 16-year-old female youth was arrested by police and has been released on bail pending further enquiries.’