Rude Airbnb Host in LA Stole My Jacket

My host’s name was Vince. He lived at a house near Venice Beach in LA. While listing his property, he posted a different address; the real house was much farther from Venice Beach than the address posted. I would like to say the following to him. When I first passed this message along to Vince, he didn’t recognize me as a guest and I felt ignored. With this evidence, I would like to thoroughly clarify the Airbnb messages we exchanged.

Hi Vince,

Upon arrival, I noticed right away how your listing misrepresented the property. It was unsanitary, to say the least. Your advertisement made me falsely believe that I was going to share a secure and clean room with 4~6 people, while in reality there were closer to 35 people on the entire premises and the conditions were extremely unsanitary. I felt very uncomfortable and felt the urge to cancel my reservation right away, but decided to give it a couple of days since your rates were affordable. However, this morning, I was extremely shocked to find out that someone had stolen my leather jacket, which was kept securely in the closet in my room. It is one thing to stay in a place that has been misrepresented and unsanitary for its affordability, but it is absolutely intolerable to stay at a place where security is at concern. 

I doubt he even lived in the house. He said there were four hosts, but I didn’t know who were the hosts and who were the guests. When I asked for a refund, Vince suggested that I could stay longer if I worked on the house. I was skeptical about his management system as a guest. I cannot believe people who call themselves hosts anymore. There’s just too much uncertainty using Airbnb.

Beware Booking Airbnb Properties in Los Angeles

We tried to stay in three Airbnb properties in Los Angeles over the past three weeks. The first one in the Echo Park area was great. The host was kind and helpful. The property was clean and very suitable for our needs. The other two were very bad. The second one in Mid-City had parking, but we had to go through two gates to reach the parking lot behind the house; the first one was padlocked. It was in a rundown neighborhood with garbage and used mattresses sitting on the street near the house. When we first entered the house we noticed that the rugs were filthy. We heard water running in the bathroom and found that the bathtub faucet had an annoying leak. There was a built-in heater already on which we couldn’t turn off , though the outside temperature was over 85 degrees. There was no air conditioning. When we opened the windows to cool off a little, we found that all the screens were ripped. We left the next morning, and got a refund of at least some of the money (we still lost hundreds of dollars). We then found another place on Airbnb to stay on short notice. It was a clean apartment in the La Brea area. Not until we checked in, however, did we learn that the owner and his wife actually lived in the house. We faced the choice of sharing the place with total and complete strangers, which was a total surprise and completely unacceptable. We immediately cancelled, but because of the strict cancellation policy of this property we lost over $500. Interestingly, each of these properties had multiple rave reviews on the Airbnb website. Be aware.

Uncomfortable Airbnb Experience in California

I booked an Airbnb for the first time for a recent two-week stay in the Los Angeles area. I was messaging the female host who sounded pleasant but upon arrival was greeted by her “boyfriend” who I was never even told lived there. He helped me with my luggage and I was taken to my room. I was never greeted by my host, saw her in the flesh or spoke to her in person. I started to question if she was even real. The boyfriend told me to keep quiet to the neighbors about him as he wasn’t on the lease. The whole thing felt sketchy and I was a woman traveling alone. There was no way I was going to stay there for one night, let alone two weeks, so I left and got a hotel. I called Airbnb, told them that I did not feel safe and that the listing was not as advertised which they seemed understanding about. I am now in a dispute with the company and had the full prepaid amount of nearly $1000 reversed from my bank as the case was being disputed.

Today I received a letter that I lost the dispute because of the Airbnb reservation policy and will only receive a partial refund of about a third of what I prepaid. I was in the room for less than one hour and their policy includes you must be greeted by the host. This is ridiculous and I am looking into small claims court. Has anyone else experienced something similar? This service came highly recommended to me by friends who both host and others who have been guests. I am beyond disappointed with this experience and being told I’m obligated to pay for a misrepresentation of the service being offered. All hosts should have to supply documentation of other residences and have a formal letter from their landlord or coop that they are allowed to host.

You Charge a Cleaning Fee? For What?

To whom it may concern: this location, though convenient to LAX, was the worst Airbnb property at which I have ever stayed. I have stayed in eight other Airbnb locations this year, and all have received good reviews. I normally don’t leave bad reviews, but the public needs to be warned. This place is that bad. The first thing that hits you is the smell when you walk in. Being that is a very old and dirty apartment, it’s not surprising there is mold growing everywhere and an unidentified slime coming out of the wall. The carpet is filthy, there is miscellaneous junk sitting along the edges of the wall in different rooms, and when you start looking around you begin to notice all the places the walls have been patched. The ceilings of both bathrooms and inside the cabinet over the kitchen sink have mold growing, literally hanging down like moss on a tree in the rainforest. The handles on the refrigerator have been ripped off and are on top of the refrigerator along with 1/4 inch of filth.

The cabinet above the kitchen sink is like something out of a horror movie. In the cabinet above the stove is more filth and a sticky trap with a dead cockroach and cricket. The ceiling in the top of the cabinet looks to have been finished by a drunk auto-body man who got a volume discount on Bondo. In the cabinet under the counter top stove are 220V wires just wire nutted together. This place has so many health and safety violations it should be condemned. The three bedrooms were sparsely furnished with cheap $5 pictures from Walmart but the worst part is the linens. For the room in which I slept (rather fitfully), the queen size bed had a king size fitted sheet, no top sheet, and a comforter that appeared threadbare and very old. The room at the front of the house was so bad that the person assigned to sleep in that room opted to sleep on the couch. All the vertical blinds had missing slats and did not allow for privacy from the neighbors. If we had not gotten into town so late we would have gone somewhere else. I think the part that makes me so angry is that I was charged and I am assuming previous occupants were also charged a cleaning fee. I have to believe that all the recent reviews that say the place is clean are fake. Unless you are okay living in filth do not book this dive.

Lost Everything in Airbnb Theft… Inside Job?

We moved to Southern California on July 15th, 2016 and unfortunately, while staying at an Airbnb in Pasadena and looking for a permanent place, our apartment got broken into and everything we had brought with us including our passports, birth certificates, national ID cards, all our academic diplomas and transcripts, and every single immigration document we had got stolen (including the copies of them). This is in addition to the huge financial loss due to the jewelry, laptops, even specialty contact lenses being stolen. Obviously the police were immediately notified and involved. We are still in shock and I don’t think it’s something we can easily recover from. We’ve compiled the list of the items we remember that have been stolen and every day still remember some new items that are missing and realize they were in our suitcase or backpacks… The truth seems to be far from what the reviews and the Internet suggest!

Unfortunately, some of the documents are irreplaceable such as both of our undergrad and masters original transcripts and diplomas as they are issued only once in our home country. This can have a significantly negative impact on our professional lives and careers. The magnitude of the damage is beyond repair. The host and management company failed to change the lock on the unit, after the previous tenant had not returned the keys. The Airbnb host and the apartment management are telling us conflicting stories. The Airbnb host says he had asked for the locks to be changed but management denies it, as says he only asked for a duplicate key.

The apartment management claims that the security cameras were being serviced exactly in that hour when the burglary happened and thus no footage has been recorded. There was no evidence of forced entry (remember this is a gated apartment complex with a digital entrance, gated parking, and a key to the unit). These all suggest that it was an inside job. Nothing that was originally in the Airbnb property was even touched by the thief, whereas all of the stolen items belonged only to us! The property loss is about $20,000 (jewelry, laptops, bags, clothes, etc.). Financial loss is something that you can forget and recover from, however the loss of all identification documents, educational records, and most importantly the feeling of having been violated this way, is something that will be haunting us for a long time. We firmly believe the people who caused this need to pay for it and make sure this does not happen to anyone else…

We believe Airbnb should have done something to make sure any apartment that is being rented using Airbnb’s name is a safe place and that if a tenant does not return a key, that it is immediately reported, and the unit made unavailable as soon as possible. I hope this will not happen to anyone else!