Airbnb Hosts Given no Recourse for Guest Damages

Airbnb has been making money off of my property for four years now, and I’ve had quite a few problems with them. I had a guest cause permanent damage to a $1200 Italian wood coffee table: scratches and deep liquid/heat cup stains that of course she didn’t inform me of when she left, and I discovered afterwards. Airbnb had the gall to call it “standard wear and tear” (even though every other guest for four years had managed to use the coasters there on the table) and gave me none of the $200 deposit I required with each booking, nor any other way to seek recompense or repair. This stuff cannot be repaired, as it turns out.

Recently, a guest’s cat damaged a leather chair, destroyed two new bath towels and two throw pillow. She told me she wanted to “make things right”, very convincingly. I trusted that she would. I lowballed the cost of replacing the towels and throws, and didn’t include the cost of my time, not even knowing if repairing the chair was within my abilities. I posted a very good review for her because I believed her, her only review so far. Now that I know she was lying, and has disappeared without sending the agreed upon check, I wish to change my good review, or at the very least, remove it. Airbnb’s call center (who claims to have no way for me to contact the actual Airbnb company except through the general “feedback” box on the website – no phone, no email address, not even a mailing address), told me they “had no way to edit it” and it was protected as “free speech”. I said, “Yes, my free speech! Which is no longer accurate!”

They said I should’ve waited until long after the guest left to post a review (even though we are prompted to leave one starting the same day guests depart), after she failed to mail the check she promised. All I want to do is prevent other hosts from reading my review and opening their homes to a guest who will damage their property and abuse their trust. It’s not only in the best interests of fellow hosts, but of Airbnb as a company, when those other hosts get snowed. The so-called customer service contact talked in these positively insanity-creating circles. She said nothing could be done because I hadn’t filed a claim through their claim resolution within 14 days and that no one was able to remove my positive review, as if there were bots who’d overthrown management and hijacked their website. She could not refer me to anyone who is empowered to correct or take down the review. We hosts are nothing more than cash cows for Airbnb as they pull at the udders of our property, allowing flagrant abuse of our trust, and of our homes, to their great profit.

Expected to Clean a Guest’s Blood After Stay

I hosted a mother and daughter at my apartment in Sydney February 17th-20th, 2017 for the entire home. I returned to the apartment upon check out and went to change the bed as is my usual practice after guests. I noticed my sheets were missing. After twenty minutes of searching I found them scrunched up at the bottom of my laundry basket under my washing. I pulled them out to find them splattered with blood. I also found my quilt underlay had been turned over by the guests and it also had blood on it. I opened a Host Guarantee claim for the damage. The guest admitted via Airbnb messages that the damage was done by the mother and they didn’t think they had to clean it, something I still find remarkable. I told Airbnb I refused to clean it because I am not touching someone’s blood as it’s unhygienic and unsafe. They refused to compensate me for the damage as they told me I had to attempt to clean it to show that it had been permanently damaged. Unbelievable!

Drug Traffickers use Airbnb Hosts’ Addresses

My last guest was using a name that was not his real name. How he can use a different name from the verified one? He also didn’t have a picture on his profile, but he had mostly good reviews. He booked for two nights. He arrived late the first night and early the next day I had the police at my door with a big FedEx box. The police were part of the Package Interdiction Team; they showed me the closed package with my address on it and the guest’s first name. They asked my permission to enter my house and locate the guest. They brought the guest downstairs, opened the box in front of him, and it was full of drugs. The guest was arrested. The police said this was happening a lot: drug dealers were using Airbnb to do the trafficking, so they could use temporary addresses. I had to deal with returning the guest’s rental car, which was also a nightmare. I reported this incident to Airbnb and never got a call back from them.

Apartment Trashed, Airbnb Closes Case After 24 Hours

My guests came, held a party, and trashed my place, causing thousands of pounds of damage to the furniture and fittings. I was made redundant last year, and I rented out my apartment as I could not sustain the cost. The previous tenant moved out on February 24th, 2017, and the new tenant took up residence on March 16th, 2017. Given that I had three weeks when the apartment was vacant, I decided to use Airbnb to ease my strained financial situation. This was my very first time using Airbnb, the auto accept function was on, and I was too naive and should have checked the guests had reviews before accepting.

The guest held a party, trashed my apartment, and caused damage to furniture, the wooden floors, and fittings. It was a traumatic shock when I came in: there were stains from alcohol everywhere; the wooden floors were badly damaged as they moved furniture; the furniture and fittings were also damaged. I immediately called Airbnb on the day. I was supposed to get a call back, but didn’t get one. I again chased them down, and  was eventually directed to the resolution centre. I sent in the pictures of the damage, but unfortunately I had not been able to get the receipt for my furniture from the manufacturer. I also could not get the contractor to come around in time to assess the damage to the wooden floor and fittings, and this is the only contractor we are allowed to use under the building lease to maintain standards.

I explained the situation to Airbnb, that I was chasing the contractor, but they kept decreasing the time I had to submit the documents, from 72  to 24 hours (and they sent their emails at 2:00 AM). They closed my case, explaining that it was in line with their terms and conditions, and that the final decision rests with them. The problem is exacerbated for me as my current tenant is saying that the damage to the floor and furniture was not there when he agreed to the contract, and wants the floor fixed and the chair replaced, otherwise he will vacate. This is going to cost me £5,000, which is very difficult at this stage given I don’t even have a job. I know Airbnb has the final say, and they have gone by the terms and conditions laid out. I implored to their sense of compassion, as the ramifications are more far reaching than just the damage; if I don’t fix the damage, I may lose the tenant, which would be a disaster given my already strained financial situation. However, my case has remained closed.

Guests Book Airbnb for their Dirty Laundry, Full Refund

A woman and her spouse booked my room for a night. They came over and everything was cordial. I greeted them, gave them the tour and left them to it. The woman had asked if she could use the washer and dryer. I said yes, so they brought in loads of clothes. That was still okay with me. I left to go have dinner at a neighbor’s house. I received a text from the woman saying there was an emergency. I got up and walked back to my house, where they proceeded to spout lies. Then is when I knew they were only there to wash their dirty clothes. I asked them if they wanted to leave because the issue was they thought I didn’t wash their sheets; they said they sound a strand of hair on the sheets. Before they even arrived I washed the sheets and made the bed. They proceeded to say everything was fine, they would stay and leave at 6:00 AM. I agreed. 6:00 AM arrived, and they got their things together and leave. Now once they left they somehow cancelled the reservation and I didn’t get paid. They stayed the night and left my room a mess. I don’t know if I will continue to be a host after this experience.

Bad Airbnb Guest Invites all her Friends to Stay

I had a guest who stayed at my place for two months. In summary, she violated Airbnb policy many times by bringing many guests, including her boyfriend and more male friends. I clearly told her to stop (except once for her boyfriend) when she asked whether it was possible, but this girl keep pulling it off night after night bringing in different guys. I didn’t want to make it embarrassing so avoided confronting her as I had other guests. One day when I went overseas, I reminded her not to bring unregistered guests as she was alone in the house. To deter this girl from bringing guests I placed an IP camera in a visible location at my main gate a few days before I left. This girl has a very thick skin; she brought another guy home again. When I texted her from overseas to remind her, she argued that it was her right to bring guests because Airbnb didn’t mention anything about additional guests and blamed me for it. Then she made all sorts of crazy threats regarding reporting me to the authorities and a ton of other BS. I tolerated her and tried to behave as professionally as possible.

A few days later she proceeded to cancel her booking without my knowledge and blamed Airbnb for the cancellation, explaining that they had made a mistake. She stayed on the property. I checked with Airbnb but they took two weeks to respond and concluded that this girl had actually cancelled her booking. Airbnb refunded her money and refused to honour my cancellation policy, blaming me for surveillance of the entrance of my rather large property. I leased a room, not my house. This girl basically stayed for free for half a month and left the room in a filthy condition after using it as a motel and without notice or penalty. Further calls and complaints to Airbnb were ignored. The Airbnb Service Fee was fully deducted for two months obviously. There were no deposits, no documentation, and one non-paying guest. Who believes in Airbnb standards now? I am really tempted to expose the guest and the evidence which I have submitted to Airbnb’s resolution center. I think the problem here is not with the guests who don’t follow rules, but Airbnb’s insane policies and self-interested actions that have destroyed the experiences of many hosts and guests. I would strongly recommend others find an alternative to Airbnb or build a platform that can replace this selfish monster.

Airbnb Refuses to Pay Host Protection Insurance for Stolen TV

I am a new Airbnb host. I started listing my property on December 1st, 2016. The first 45 days were ok: the guests were friendly, and using Airbnb helped me earn some money. However, on the eighteenth of January, 2017, everything changed. One guest stole my $600 TV. He checked in at 11:30 AM. At that time, the room still had not been prepared so I let him stay in the living room (where I keep the TV) for a half hour. I believe that he saw the TV when he was waiting for his room. Then, at 2:15 PM, I went to school. When I left, he was the only person staying in my house. Then, when I came back at 4:00 PM, I saw my TV was missing. I tried to knock on his bedroom door, and no one answered me. After I opened the door, I saw his room was vacant. That means he left my house. That’s when I knew that he stole my TV. The guest was a thief. His profile certainly was deceptive. Airbnb is always saying they are part of a community of safety, but their guests are stealing people’s property.

I want to share the horrible experience when I contacted Airbnb customer service. I contacted them on the day that the TV was stolen. The representative answered the call, asked about the situation, and then she promised me that Airbnb will solve the case and pay me. She set up a case for me and I provided the evidence. After that, I was thinking my case would be solved easily; in actuality, it was not. After two weeks, customer service contacted me and told me that I needed to set up a case in resolution center, as it was the only way to get paid. Why didn’t they let me know that when I called on January 18th? After I submitted the case, there was still no resolution to my case for two weeks.

Two weeks later I received an email stating I had not provided evidence to them so they closed the case. I actually provided evidence on the first day. I called customer service again. They said they have no information about investigations with the Trust and Safety Team, so the only way I could get compensation would be to set up another case in the resolution center. I did that, then they closed my case again today without any notice. It has already one and a half months, and I still have not been paid. Where is the trust? Where is the HPI (Host Protection Insurance)? Where are the promises from Airbnb customer service? Now I believe Airbnb’s host protection insurance and their customer service are both jokes. I am appealing to hosts who have similar cases to get together with me and sue Airbnb for their unreliable HPI. The HPI is fooling hosts.

Listed on Airbnb without my Knowledge or Permission

This is under “host stories” but I was actually an unwilling host. A woman named Richelle rented an apartment in Vancouver from me on a 12-month lease ostensibly for herself to live in, under an ordinary tenancy agreement. However, I soon discovered she had it listed on Airbnb (and Craigslist) as a “luxury apartment”, charging $125/night in low season, under a profile name, “Ragna” (in which she appears in disguise). The ‘house rules’ in the ad advise guests to be “discreet” about their stay. “Ragna” has some 434 reviews for other properties on Airbnb – all very likely owned by people who have no idea that strangers are staying in their property over and over again. Of course, trying to contact Airbnb to have the ad removed is like going down a rabbit hole. How it can be that Airbnb would allow someone to post ads for a property they do not own without proof that the actual owner has given permission is perplexing.

Airbnb Guest Destroyed Flooring Amounting to $1,000

My very first guest stayed at my condo for two weeks. Needless to say, I was quite ecstatic since it was my first time hosting. I thoroughly cleaned the place, stocked up up the kitchen, provided clean linen and extra towels, the works. Throughout his stay I was kind of worried because whenever I texted him he would not respond. I trusted him enough to let him have a late check out time and self check out. To my demise I walked in the unit a few hours later after I finished work and my laminated floors were all damaged from moisture. There was a huge puddle under the split-type air conditioner. I messaged the guest several times (he was on his way back to California) and got a response two days later; he admitted that he saw the leak, just simply cleaned it up with the towels, and declined to pay the measly $300 that I was asking for a cheap band aid solution. I got in touch with Airbnb and it was only then that they said I should get a proper documented estimate. I got in touch with our building’s supplier which naturally cost more. I gave Airbnb two options: one for $1,000 and another for about $1,600. They got back to me just now (I filed the complaint on February 12th, after the guest left) and the emails state that they will issue me a check for $1,000. I’m really looking forward to getting the check and having the repairs done but sufficed to say, I’ve unlisted my space for good. Just a tip: never list your space on Airbnb if you are not ready for damages and the stressful process of it all.

Airbnb Guest Snuck Boyfriend into Room Overnight

I hosted someone from Airbnb on February 10th. He asked me if his boyfriend could check in earlier; usually I allow guests to check in at 3:00 PM but I was flexible so I let him do it at 1:30. An hour later a friend of his boyfriend came over with his things; he told us he was looking for a hotel. When I arrived that night I thought they were sleeping, and in the morning I knocked on the door at the check out time (12:00 PM). No one answered so I opened the door and found a condom in the bed, drugs, and the belongings of the friend that was supposedly looking for a hotel. They weren’t there. His things are still here, they have the key of my house, they don’t answer the phone, and I’m feeling insecure because I don’t know these people and when they are going to come and give me the key. I need Airbnb to respond as soon as possible to this abuse. I need an answer and a solution right now. I don’t want anyone breaking into my house. I can’t even rent the room with the mess that these people left in my house.