Do Airbnb Hosts Take Any Pride in Their Homes?

Upon arrival we noticed the home hadn’t been clean. All primary areas in which we were to occupy were dirty. The home was not clean enough to stay in. The shower had mold, and the fridge and stove looked as if they hadn’t been cleaned in weeks. The linen was dirty with stains and what looked like pet hair. You could physically feel the dirt on the comforter. There were two locks and the key wouldn’t work for the bottom. Only the top lock worked, but it became stuck and hard to turn or remove the key. Some of the windows within the home did not have locks and the neighborhood appeared slight sketchy; the overall feeling wasn’t safe for two women traveling from out of town. Overall we did not feel safe. When attempting to contact the host to inform her we felt uncomfortable and unsafe she became very confrontational and basically said she didn’t care what we did as she had her money. She stated that the house had been throughly cleaned and cut me off as I was explaining the door situation. The host knew the home she provided didn’t conform to health code standards and should have been ashamed; no one would be comfortable staying in those conditions. Safe yourself from being robbed morally, financially, and probably even physically while using Airbnb.

Items Stolen by the Cleaners after Holiday Stay

The host in this story has told me to just accept that my items are lost, so that has now pushed me to the point of pure anger. I’m seeking some closure by hashing this out on my keyboard.

I went to my friend’s 30th birthday in Dorset, UK, only an hour or so away from us. Our mutual friends were staying in an Airbnb nearby for the week leading up to her 30th, so we went to stay in a spare room of the house for the one and only night we were there. Being a typical high-anxiety kinda gal, I like to take a few items of clothing to choose from when I know I’m going out in public, just in case I change my mind at the last minute because one actually makes me look like a primary school teacher/whale/idiot. I took two dresses and two suit jackets, and the morning after, I stupidly left all of those things hanging behind the bedroom door: barely worn, nice-ish labels (Phase Eight, ladies), average size for a woman, combined worth of £150.

Now, whilst I admit this was entirely my fault, naively enough I figured that of course any normal person would have found these and put them in a safe place ready to return to me, right? That’s normal; people are kind, right? My friend emailed the host to explain I’d left some things behind. There was no response. Then I emailed the host, saying I was happy to send over some money as per Airbnb’s “resolution centre”, and a few days later I got a response:

“Hi, I’m really sorry there was no sign of anything when I went in on Friday. Will talk to cleaners tomorrow for you as they are in.”

Great, that’s fine. Sure, it had already been a week by now and the cleaners were only just going in which was strange, but fine. I should mention here that I’m a cleaner of holiday lets myself. I heard nothing back for a few days, so I checked in, and the response was:

“There was nothing that I could see the other day. I will take a proper look on the next change over day. Will be in the new year now.”

It was December 27th, 2016. Ok, that was fine. There are people staying in the house over Christmas and New Year. I know this because Airbnb says it was booked out. However, that was fine; my clothes will stay wherever they’ve been left by the nice cleaners I’m sure. I waited until after New Years, or January 8th just to give her some breathing space. By this time I had let Airbnb know of the situation, and they were also trying to ring her, getting no answer. I got a message back a few days later:

“Hi Natalie. The cleaners are not aware of anything fitting that description. I have just been very busy and don’t live near the area. I’m not planning to visit the place until the end of the month. You might have to accept you have lost the items. I got a voicemail from Airbnb enquiring for you.”

So… no. “I’m really sorry, but we can’t find your things” or “I’m so sorry that we can’t resolve this but…” I just don’t understand this way of dealing with people at all. She’s not sorry, she doesn’t give a crap, and that’s that. But that just makes me even more concerned, and I kept prodding. I wrote:

“As a woman to woman thing, would you accept that you’ve ‘just lost the items’? I can’t just nip out and replace them. Do you understand that as a customer I therefore rely on you to help me? I paid to stay at your property and I feel like I’m being fobbed off. I’m sorry that you’ve been too busy to help out but it is a business you run based on trust and respect to your property and the people that stay there, and I have lost all sense of that. It is totally my fault that I left them there but if it was me, running a business like this, I would endeavor to make sure my clients were reassured. Can I please be put in touch with your cleaners as I’m guessing they live closer? Or your brother that goes around daily? Somebody who could go and check. As I said, I can wire money via Airbnb to post them back and I’m happy to add on more than the cost. I just want my things back.”

And nothing. That was it. Three or four cases opened by Airbnb, and closed again after 24 hours due to ‘no response from the host’. There’s been a bit of moaning and complaining to get their attention on Twitter. They told my friend that they saw no reason to continue any case for it (even though absolutely nothing was resolved) and they kept closing them. The scenarios that are going around in my head are: she took them, and she’s obviously not going to own up to that; the cleaners took them, and she’s also not going to own up to that (but she should); the cleaners are just bad at their jobs, didn’t see them, and another guest has taken them. Working out what happened with no proof just means thoughts pop into my head every now and again, I feel sick, like I’ve been robbed, and then I go back to realizing there’s nothing I can do. That’s my vent. I’m sure some people have real problems. Thanks for listening and don’t stay here.

Giving up on Airbnb after Colorado Stay

There was dust, dirt, bugs, pet hair, cat poop, and an odor throughout the house. I told the host before I booked that I was allergic to pets and she said it would not be an issue. This was not true as the pet hair, dander, and poop smells had me wishing I had only booked one night and not five. I wanted so badly to be staying back in the two-star hotel from my first night. I did Linsey (the host) the favor of feeding her neglected and emaciated old cat with what little food she had available for him. When there was no cat food remaining, I used cans of fish at my expense to feed the poor creature. I also shoveled the driveway and sidewalk to help out more. The listing stated there was one room available. I was surprised by a strange man she concealed from me who came out of the basement. Apparently, Linsey had been renting the basement out to some random person. She told me she did not tell me because he was supposed to leave on the second day of my five-night stay. This was another lie from Linsey. The man returned on my last night. He is a permanent resident of her basement. Any travelers should be made aware that there will be another man here during there stay.

One of the host’s male friends who was over one night also drank one of my beers, so a guest can expect his or her food and beverages not to be secure as well if staying there. If you are good with pet allergies, uncleanliness, an unfriendly, nitpicking, irresponsible, and demanding host, a surprise strange man in the basement, and the police being called on you, then by all means stay here. Linsey was very quick to answer requests. I thought her quickness would translate into a good stay. This was not the case. I had expected Leslie to be friendly from her posting. She was not friendly nor willing to interact with me. Linsey kept sending me unwanted texts about the lights in the house, and accused me of not “respecting her house energy policy” by leaving a 15-watt fluorescent bulb on in the upper hallway at night. I thought that with the money a guest spends, one would not have to stay in a house of darkness.

I was a little late checking out. Linsey did not bother to contact me by text or phone as she had done so many times before about trifling things that should have been no issue, but she did manage to call the police to assist me in my check out. What I had expected from the posting and her promptness to be a friendly, peaceful, and relaxing stay, turned out to be a truly trying ordeal with an irresponsible and meddling host. I do not recommended anyone stay at her place. The host was dishonest, nitpicking, and unfriendly. She put my personal safety in jeopardy while at the same time I kept her place clean, shoveled her driveway, and fed her neglected cat. The location in Longmont was good, but I would highly recommend against staying here. For some place that was advertised as “420 friendly,” Linsey calling the cops on her guest was very unfriendly and very much not cool. She put me in jeopardy to satisfy her own crazy mental disorder. Based on this experience with Linsey’s house, I will no longer be using Airbnb.

Drug-Addled Maniac Damages Guests’ Car

Six of us paid to stay at this Airbnb for three nights, from January 13-15th. The first two nights went great; we met some of the people who lived in the house and it was peaceful and pleasant. On the third night (Sunday the 15th), one of the people who lived in the house, Q, told a member of our group to park his car in the front yard of the house. We then went to a concert in downtown Atlanta, 30 minutes away. While we were away, we received many urgent phone calls telling us that the car had to be moved because it was blocking one of the tenant’s car in, and he needed to get to work. We explained that we were 30 minutes away, Q told us to park there, and that we would pay for an Uber to get the man to work. He would not accept this offer, and two members of our group went back to the house to move the car. Upon arrival, our group member saw that his car was keyed and there was a crazed, drug-addled maniac screaming at them. He tried to force our group members to pay him $250 for the work that he missed (he was only an hour late) and was screaming at them and giving them death threats. He told them to pack up all of our stuff and get out of the house. Our group members were frightened beyond belief, and while they were moving their cars the only thing the people at the house said was “don’t cry and drive.” We then had to purchase a hotel room and stay there for the night. I do not think this house should be listed on Airbnb. I would like a refund at least for the one night that we needed to sleep in a hotel because of these crazy people, and if possible a reimbursement for the money spent on the hotel room and to fix the damage to the car.

Airbnb College Party Bachelor Pad with a Breeze

When you’re traveling alone for business, you would think it might be nice to save a few dollars and spend it elsewhere by getting an Airbnb a few minutes away from the conference you’re attending. I can put up with a lot but when you start to feel like a vagrant in a homeless shelter, I think that’s where I draw the line. I should’ve figured something was up when I exchanged texts with my host who told me to head upstairs and open the door because it would be unlocked. Nothing of value and nothing to worry about, I suppose. I walked into what was obviously a college student’s bachelor pad. All furnishings were kept to a bare minimum except for a rack full of men’s sneakers. At least it looked clean, if not bare. I walked in to find a partially exposed full-sized mattress on a bare metal base with a single dingy dirty flat sheet, a thin ratty looking blanket on top, and a blue/brown pillow that looked like it should’ve been either blue or brown (but not both).

However, it was late at night, I was tired, and I tried to overlook this but I couldn’t get over how cold it was there. The “furnished living room” was surrounded by windows across two walls with a connected balcony door. That’s when I discovered that there was a gaping hole in that balcony door and a thin garbage bag taped over the opening was still flapping in the wind. Now, mind you there was an extreme cold advisory and windchill warnings in Portland, OR that week. It was 29 degrees outside and there was a hole in the window. The heat wasn’t working – of course – and despite what my host said should have been an easy flick of the knob, I wasn’t able to force it on. So I sat on this dingy ratty looking mattress with a dirty looking sheet, blanket, and used looking pillow and thought about why I made such a poor decision to take a risk on Airbnb. I went to the bathroom and found it bare, stained, and moldy looking with no toilet paper. None. Nowhere to be found. I mean, I was already thinking that it’s a little ridiculous to ask me to bring my own bath towel, but should I have brought my own toilet paper too? Even public restrooms stock their toilet paper. What am I paying for?

In the end, I left because even the host had decided he wasn’t going to stay there until the window was fixed (likely after a drunken college party as I found bottle caps and tabs under the bed). He was at dinner with his friends and wouldn’t be back for a few days, after the window was fixed. I tried to get a refund, which is obviously a joke. The host said he was never paid the full amount, Airbnb said he was. He would only give me the “portion” of the money he received, because he didn’t want to give me money of out his pocket (I guess only fools like me do). Airbnb said the $25 service fee was nonrefundable but I laid into the poor man I spoke with on the phone and he gave me a $25 credit on the site. I’m not sure why I agreed to that (maybe because I obviously wasn’t going to get anything else).

Reservation total = $125 for 2 nights. The host refunded me $57 out of the $97 reservation cost; so I’m out $40 for being stupid (-$3 which just disappeared) with a $25 credit to be stupid again. I’m so disgusted with the whole situation.

Cheap China Airbnb Host from Hell

I had been receiving kind and warm Airbnb experiences until one month ago when I was in a rush booking a room for myself. The problem was that I did not carefully check the comments left on the webpage about the house. I was desperately in need of a place to rest immediately somewhere as close to my company as possible. One Airbnb option captured my attention. It was cheap and it looked clean enough with a spacious bed for one person. Here is how it went with this host: she acted perfectly welcoming, meeting me at the beginning, giving me advice on settling in. But let me tell you, it was difficult to use the hot water to shower. Each time I did, the host complained she paid a lot for electricity and water, so why would I shower two times a day? She offered the same bar of soap for every guest, as well as a used disposable plastic bowl and chopsticks which she had left over from her meals. It was extremely disgusting and insanity.

Apart from this, she offered also a disposable napkin to wash the disposable cookware she offered. It felt like she not only intended to exclude me from her life but also implied I was a walking petri dish. Given the situation, I had literally no idea how I could use the disposable napkin to wash the disposable cookware without any dish gel at all. This apparently made her snap and she shouted: “No adults in world don’t know how to wash a dish! If you’re complaining that much get out of my place at once!”

She was pointing at my nose losing her temper. That night around midnight, she stood at my door, shouting “Please, get out of my place at once!” I thought she was breaking down or had some mental disorder. I called the police because there was no reason I should get out at the middle of the night after receiving threats. It makes me feel sick even just thinking about it. Here’s how the police solved the conflict. They recommended that the host give me a refund immediately and took me somewhere safe for the night. Away from this psycho host with her mental disorder. For more details about where this place is and what I did afterwards calling customer service, please leave comments.

Beautiful Airbnb in Thailand Infested with Rats

We rented a beautiful two bedroom house with a pool about five minutes from Ao Nang in Thailand for six nights. Within the first day I thought I was seeing rats but just brushed it off. Well, over the rest of our stay I saw them everyday. I emailed our host and let him know about the rats and to see if he had someone that was doing pest control. He said he had never seen any rats and was surprised about it. He had security cameras everywhere on the outside of the house for the guests’ protection and probably for any theft that might occur when the property was empty, but apparently never saw the rats running around on the property. I’m writing this here because Airbnb doesn’t allow for changes in reviews and it seems that a lot of them are very generic. My wife did our review without my input and kept it very basic. The host’s review of my wife mentioned we should not be traveling to Thailand because of geckos and other things common in Thailand. Funny enough, I just don’t like rats. I have now been to Thailand three times and have stayed at many places that did not have rats, including a relative’s house in Hua Hin that borders lots of vegetation. However, they do animal control in their area. I’m not saying we never saw rats – we did – but not anywhere we had stayed until now.

My First and Last Airbnb Stay, Accused of Damages

I graduated recently from school, and my parents were visiting me for graduation from outside of US. I decided to take them to Florida, and I booked my first Airbnb. Being a first timer on Airbnb, I was very cautious of everything. I tried to keep the entire house clean and tidy, and I tried to make sure I did not damage any part of the property. I won’t damage the property of anyone either now or in the future. My stay was good (not perfect, but nothing is, so I kind of ignored any small problems). I didn’t want to sound like a complaining guest; I didn’t know I could make complaints and get a refund (partial or full).

So here’s what happened. On my third day (last day, the day I checked out), I was washing the dishes in the kitchen sink of the property hosted by a shady couple. While doing that, I started the garbage disposer in the sink and within a moment, before I even realized what was happening, the plumbing below the kitchen sink broke and dirty water started to spill onto the floor. It could have caused an electrical short circuit as well as a fire. Anything was possible. I’ve attached the pictures of water coming out on floor. Then, I texted my hosts immediately. First, the woman told me that she would come and see what happened. Then, after some time, the guy called me and asked me what happened. I told him what happened and he was very calm after that. He said he knew what must have happened, as if he knew the plumbing was fragile. They also told me to put towels on the water and then leave the house; they would come and take care of the damage later.

I trusted them (my biggest mistake) and left the property. I was roughly four hours away from the property by car. I stopped at a gas station only to find out my hosts were demanding $200 in compensation for a broken pantry door (when did that happen?) They said that we broke the pantry door. If you think carefully, there is a connection. The plumbing was broken. They must have had to spend some money on the repairs. However, it was their fault, so they could not ask for money for that. Instead, they found another way out. If you look at the door, the wooden strips that are not present in the door are easily removable. They just removed them, took pictures, and filed a claim with Airbnb. There were slots to put the strips in or remove them if required. And it worked. Airbnb asked me to pay $152 in the end, because the hosts were so called “superhosts” and I was just a recent graduate staying at an Airbnb for the first time. Now it was their word against mine, and I lost.

If they had asked me for another $100 while booking the property for any legitimate reason, I would have given them that money. But, in this case, they falsely implicated me. My parents traveling 9500 miles to see me were not visiting their property to damage it. If we had damaged it or if there were any accident, we would have told them promptly. To add to that, when I gave a bad review of the property, the host used the weapon of good reviews and ratings they had in past(as I expected them to do), to say my claim was false a and make themselves feel secure. When you are so good at hosting, you can get away with doing one wrong thing so easily by pointing at all the previous good karma. That is what they did and victimized me.

I know some of you readers may find them right and more credible than me, but remember: you could also be in my place someday if you do not take enough care. I should have demanded the host walk me through the property at check-in and check-out so I could have confronted them easily if they said anything was damaged, but they used clever planning to avoid doing so, so that they could later blame me. My family and I were pretty much shocked and saddened by what happened. I quit Airbnb and will not return.

A few things went wrong or felt odd during my visit. These so called superhosts did not walk me through the property at check-in and check-out. I did not get sufficient information on how to get around the house and operate appliances; I had to figure it out myself. It would have been best to walk guests through the house at check-in and check-out so that host could have made guests aware of any pre-existing damages and any problems the host may have found at the time when guests walk out of the property. Because they filed a claim four hours after we left, I could not go back to the property to verify anything. To top it off, as Airbnb says, if the host and guest cannot reach an understanding, hosts can go to the Airbnb resolution center. However, this host did not contact me at all; he went straight to the resolution center. They didn’t talk to us directly before reporting the damage to Airbnb, because they were super liars.

The property was immensely dark in and around at the time of check-in. It was very frightening because when I lit the house I found some chameleons walking on the grass and trees around the house. The pantry door, shown in the picture above, was perfectly in the good shape, except one wooden strip below the door knob was not placed properly in its slot on the right side. The kitchen had empty chocolate wrappers (that’s how much cleaners attended to the property) and a rotten apple. My mother was this close to eating it, but fortunately, she decided to cut it in two pieces before she ate it and she found that it was rotten. The kitchen was not complete: there was no single appliance with its lid, so when I wanted to cook rice, I couldn’t. The soap bottles and shampoo bottles were almost empty. And they were Suave, which is very cheap. Everyone knows that. The lowest quality soaps were purchased to show the host didn’t care about guests and wanted to maximize his profit. The water pressure in the shower in the bathroom was also very low, equivalent to the gardening bucket we used to water the plants. Despite so many problems I did not want to complain, but I should have done it. Since it was my first stay, I was unaware of all the ins and outs of the Airbnb. Now I have decided not to continue using Airbnb but to book a regular hotel next time I need to go somewhere. If I can afford four days with Airbnb and two days in a regular hotel, I will still go with a hotel. At least there won’t be insecurity and frustration of being falsely implicated for damages which I never caused.

Airbnb Host with Moral Issues Yelled at Guests

Here is a description of how we were moral policed and character assassinated during our stay at a host’s residence. Some details are left out due to the sheer number of these instances we had to put up with during our stay. The description of the place on the listing was not even close to the real condition of the residence; the room and linen smelled musty (we had to insist that the linen be changed periodically), the room was infested with mosquitoes at night, the walls, fans, and bathroom were dirty, and we had to either take the initiative to clean the place ourselves or personally supervise the cleaning as the host would grudgingly offer to have place cleaned or come back to us with statements like “previous guests put up with this so why should it be a problem for you?”

My partner and I have both backpacked (in India and abroad) and understand that hygiene levels slightly vary from the listing to reality but I’m talking about hygiene levels akin to living in a shanty, (things like coats of dust, grime and oil stains on the walls and switches of the alternative kitchen we were given, a filthy bathroom). The host even had the audacity to lock her kitchen at night without informing us (reason being – she did not list that non-vegetarian food was not okay and hence locked the kitchen to keep us away from using her utensils and basic cooking items). Though highly unacceptable, we tolerated these aspects (primarily because she refused to negotiate a refund or solution) and either cleaned things ourselves or made sure we were supervising when these issues were not taken care of (a clear responsibility of the host that was not fulfilled).

However, what was uncalled for and down right insulting were the remarks, attitude, and judgement that the host and her husband had towards us during the entirety of our stay. The final straw was the incident on the last day when the host’s husband simply insulted me by openly making a character judgement. Earlier they had turned down our request to have a buffer zone of a couple of hours to use their facilities on the final checkout day as we had a train that same night. Having taken enough time already, we checked out at 11:00 AM and were waiting for our taxi with our luggage at the main gate. I went to get a taxi to our location, while my partner monitored the luggage. The host’s husband passed my partner at the main gate without saying a word and then halfway down the road met me and started yelling – literally yelling at me on a busy street in front of all to see – saying:

“You came home at 5:00 in the morning – I know what kind of a girl does that!”

“Is this the behavior that your family raised you for?”

“What type of character does a girl like you have to behave like this?”

“Take a good look at your behavior and disgusting character! My wife and I are extremely glad you are leaving! Take a look inside yourself and stop being like this!”

This could have been completely denied by the host but instead she called us to confirm that this incident took place and went onto say that her husband always behaves like this and creates a problem every time. Then she sheepishly told us that “I know you will leave a bad review because of this and we have only been good to you.” I mean, there are ways of being two faced and this host really showed it. Basically she was calling to do damage control for this entire incident and tried to make it seem like she had nothing to do with any of the moral policing, insults, and character assassinations that we had put with for the past nine days. We were essentially being held for ransom to continue staying there because she had our money and refused to come to a negotiation even though we made it clear on numerous occasions that we were unhappy with the hygiene conditions, insults and passive aggressive judgements of the host and her husband. This is one experience that has definitely disgusted us and made us really wary of choosing listings.

Hour of Hell: Quick Glimpse at Potential Nightmare

This is the review I left on the host’s page:

I stayed for an hour. When I met Jason to pick up the key, which he was in a hurry to do so he could go watch a football game, he invited me and my under-21 kids to come back and “kick it” with him. He talked and talked about his job and how he broke his hand punching the wall. The bathroom had cockroaches as did the room I was going to stay in. The room is right next to the street so you hear all cars and anyone walking by. Around 8:00, in he came with a friend laughing, talking and turning the TV on very loudly. There is no trash can in the bedroom which I feel is needed. The entire home is very dirty with paint peeling, dirt and dust. My hour here was a nightmare!

This is the host’s reply…

First of all, I want to say that I take great care and effort in hosting Airbnb travelers in Charleston. This review is a slander in order to get a refund where this traveler ended up staying with one of their kids attending CoFC. I offered a complimentary bottle of champagne of which I do to some guests upon their arrival. The distortion of relayed information on how I broke my hand unloading my DJ equipment off a stage the night prior is in no ways hitting a wall, first and foremost. I have never even seen a cockroach on my property and considering the traffic my house sees with guests it gets cleaned daily. No trashcan in the bedroom is a first for a complaint [for this property] which has almost 50 great reviews… The timelines don’t even match up with an hour there when her check in was earlier and I never even saw her after check in. I really hope this isn’t a common practice with this Airbnber with her check ins abroad as it is wrong to a host to do such practices and falsify information. I took the high road and decided not to even leave a review for this Airbnber.

As of November 2016, I have sent numerous requests to the “Resolution Center” to no avail. I am now in contact with our company’s legal department.