Reasons why you should NOT use Airbnb – Uncensored Airbnb Stories is dedicated to helping hosts and guests spread the word about the risks and dangers of using Airbnb.  If you had a bad experience using Airbnb either as a Host or as a Guest, please Share Your Story Here.

Here is a summary list of reasons why you should NOT use Airbnb.  At the very least, beware of these serious issues with Airbnb services and consider other options including Airbnb Competitors.

If you are a potential Airbnb Guest:

  1. If any of your personal items or cash are stolen (by the host, other guests, or burglars) you are 100% out of luck and have no protection from Airbnb.
  2. If there is a foul odor, loud noises, or any other problems with your room that are not easily documented with photos, you are out of luck and your claim for a refund will be denied.
  3. There is no guarantee how many people might be living in a given home/condo while you are there.  If there is a shared bathroom you might end up sharing it with 1 person, or 20.
  4. A “fully stocked kitchen” means very different things to different people.  One pot, 2 dishes and a handful of silverware does not mean you can actually cook a meal there, yet this is not enough evidence to seek a claim for refund
  5. If you buy groceries and another guest or the host uses them or throws them away, you’re out of luck.
  6. If the host or another guest has a party every night, you will have to thoroughly document each incident with video recordings and time stamps to seek any sort of claim or refund.  Even then, it will be a battle that may take weeks.
  7. Airbnb charges you about 15% on top of what the host actually receives for your reservation.  That means you COULD get your reservation for about 15% LESS if you booked directly with the host.
  8. If you have to cancel your reservation at the last minute, the host has the right to keep some or all of your money for your entire stay.  You will not have any ability to write a review of your host if you cancel your reservation, even if you end up paying for your entire stay and the host double-books the rental space.

If you are a potential Airbnb Host:

  1. If your guests claim any sort of insect/pest/vermin problem, airbnb will instantly return 50% of your guests money, even if it’s a year long reservation and the claim is false.  This is a common scam tactic.
  2. If your guests steal your cash or other difficult-to-prove assets, airbnb will do nothing.
  3. If you make any claim regarding damage to reclaim part or all of the security deposit, airbnb will make your life a living hell by demanding receipts for your original purchase even if it’s furniture that you’ve owned for 20 years.  If you don’t have receipts, you’re out of luck, and even if you do, it will take weeks or months to get any resolution.
  4. If you wait more than 24 hours to make a claim regarding damage from guests, your claim will be denied by default.
  5. Airbnb takes 3% of every reservation from you, but they also take about 15% from the guest!  That means your guests are WILLING to pay 18% more than you’re actually receiving but you’re not getting any of that extra money.
  6. Even if you use a Strict Cancellation Policy to protect yourself from flaky guests canceling their reservation at the last minute, Airbnb has the right to override that policy at any time and without warning or explanation refund the guest the entire amount of their reservation, even if it’s less than 24 hours before the guest is scheduled to check in.
  7. The “1 million dollar host guarantee” is virtually impossible to actually claim.  Don’t fall for this marketing ploy!


Read the 10 most recent uncensored Airbnb stories from Hosts & Guests:


Hali the ‘river gypsy’ operating a slum-boat in North Amsterdam

This report follows on from my report about Shay Hwa in Delft, The Netherlands, ‘Airbnb host never showed up.’ As a result I had to make several other Airbnb bookings. I booked to stay with Hali at her boat in Amsterdam on the 1st to the 3rd of September 2015. I arrived at the location […]

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Airbnb host never showed up

I had a plan to stay in Delft, the Netherlands for ten days, starting on the 25th August 2015. I flew from the UK and kept an appointment at 3pm on that day. The host Shay Hwa did not turn up. I tried to call, sms and email via airbnb. I spent five hours in […]

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Filthy and Overpriced

Rented a carriage house in Kerhonkson, NY. Upon arrival we knew we had made a mistake. The property was not close to ANYTHING and you couldn’t even get cell service for miles around the property. When we entered the carriage house, we saw that it was absolutely filthy. Dirt covered floors, dead and live insects […]

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USD AMEX conversion SCAM

Several weeks ago I booked a trip for my family, we didn’t want to travel to the US like we normally do because of high conversion rates so we booked a “local vacation” on airbnb.  Our account price is set to CAD and language to ENGLISH, we have a Canadian billing address and a CANADIAN […]

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Host account deleted by Airbnb but they forgot to tell guests

My host account was entirely deleted by Airbnb with no warning, no explanation, and any attempt to find out why has lead to the same automated email stating they do not have to give me any reason and will no longer communicate with me. Fast forward one week later (today) and a guest traveling all […]

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Dirty Airbnb in Chicago

On a long vacation with my wife and 2 kids, I did enjoy an spectacular apartment in South Boston using Airbnb.  Next we flew to Chicago, using Airbnb again, I found a “CAVE”, dirty and a totally mess! I immediately left that disaster and notified Airbnb about that situation. They encouraged me to talk with the […]

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Hell in Valbandon, Croatia at a bargain price

If misery truly loves company, then this spiritual home belongs in a little Croatian enclave called Valbandon, where myself and my travelling companions spent a week-long getaway lasting all of 45 minutes. Let me preface this by saying that our overall experience of Croatian hospitality was impeccable, with our hosts in Pula going to great lengths […]

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NEVER Again Will We Use Airbnb

NEVER Again will we use Airbnb. You THINK you are getting a better deal than staying at a hotel. NOT THE CASE. You can literally find yourself not only paying for commission charges from Airbnb, and the per-night charge from the ‘host’, you leave yourself wide open to a ridiculous security deposit, and claims of […]

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Do NOT rent from SOFIA KASIANENKO, Brooklyn, NY

Do not EVER rent from Sofia Kasianenko in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, NYC (30 Rogers Ave, Apt 3D), you will regret it! Link to listing: User: Stayed at her place for a month – turned out to be a complete utter nightmare. It was so bad that AirBnB even refunded our money, given how […]

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Airbnb Host kicked off of platform and never told why

Some background. I have no idea, whatsoever, why I was kicked off the platform. I had many excellent reviews and a 4 star rating. I had 6 properties (all owned by me and manged by me) on the platform. I asked repeatedly what I did and they stated “Airbnb reserves the right to make the […]

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