AirbnbHell.com is dedicated to helping Hosts and Guests share their stories 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 the Airbnb service and consider other options including Airbnb Competitors.
If you are a potential Airbnb GUEST:
- If any of your personal items, cash, or valuables are stolen (by the host, other guests, or burglars) you have no protection from Airbnb.
- 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.
- If you rent a single room, there is no guarantee regarding 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.
- 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
- If you buy groceries and another guest or the host uses them or throws them away, you’re out of luck.
- 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 and you are unlikely to win.
- 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.
- 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:
- If your guests claim any sort of insect/pest/vermin problem, airbnb will instantly return 50% of your guests money for their entire reservation, even if it’s a year long reservation and the claim is false. This is a common scam tactic.
- If your guests steal your cash or other difficult-to-prove assets, airbnb will do nothing.
- 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.
- If you wait more than 24 hours to make a claim regarding damage from guests, your claim will be denied by default.
- 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.
- 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 and 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.
- The “1 million dollar host guarantee” is virtually impossible to actually claim. Don’t fall for this marketing ploy!
- Airbnb has been known to cancel and remove even long-term hosts listings without warning and without any explanation. This may cause you to lose communication with your current guests, and lose significant income for all upcoming reservations which are also instantly canceled.
I received about five emails in Chinese yesterday morning from “firstname.lastname@example.org”. I marked them as spam and was about to go on with my day, when I checked my account. Someone in China had hacked my account and made a reservation in China (I’m in North Carolina). After a good amount of time searching for a […]
My niece flew to a large city to surprise me for my birthday weekend. My wife had agreed that she could stay in an Airbnb instead of our hotel. I would not have allowed that if I had known. When we went to take my niece to her Airbnb destination I became quite anxious as […]
I’ve been looking to rent an apartment in Barcelona and two people have already tried to scam me using Airbnb’s name. The initial contact is by email, and the format is always the same: *The Bait* “Bought the apartment but moved, it’s a great deal/very low price, can’t be bothered to show the place beforehand, […]
After investing a considerable amount of time reviewing the terms and conditions of host agreements with Airbnb I invested even more time in listing two vacation rental properties with them that I have rented for years through VRVO and vacation rentals. At first, I thought I was the problem because I was accustomed to direct […]
I have been a member of Airbnb for many years. I almost forgot I had a membership, then someone wanted to reserve my room and I cheerfully accepted. I have checked my payment history preferences and changed it to accept direct bank transfers. My guest came and left, and everything was ok. Then I saw that my […]
Three cancellations in my last few trips and each time Airbnb treats me like i am trying to cheat them. I had to make a total of four reservations (now maybe five) for this three-week trip! The first was a very nice, complete apartment at a great price for the full three weeks. Apparently too […]
So, we recently moved to Portugal and needed somewhere to live for three months before our permanent home was ready. We found (what we thought) was a lovely listing on Airbnb. The host was great – the pics looked great – there was a river view, and it was a pretty decent price at around […]
Our family of five booked our holiday to Montreal, four months before our planned date with Airbnb. Ten days before our arrival date, I received an email from the host and Airbnb stating the host had sold her condo. Of course, ten days before our arrival, there was not another suitable spot to rent in the […]
Update: Still accurate but this very minute they have come up with the refund they promised. My experience with Airbnb was atrocious. I tried to book a holiday cottage and the host tried to send me an offer. According to the host, the button on the website did not work and she then asked me to […]
I was interested in two listings in London. Both were fraudulent. They posted email addresses in the photo section with Airbnb in the script. When I messaged them through official channels they asked me to email them directly to check on the dates. I then got official looking booking emails that connected you to what […]