Dirty Airbnb House Not Suitable for Children or Adults

We rented a house in Massachusetts for $4,500 for one week for the entire family: adult children and grandchildren. The host told me we could enter the night before our start date. I thanked him and said my son would probably do that. At 2:30 AM, my son arrived at the host’s house. Early Saturday morning my son called me and said he was very disturbed by the condition of the house. He hadn’t even wanted to sleep there with his wife and three small children but felt he couldn’t find a hotel in the middle of the night. He reported to me that the house was not reflective of the pictures on the Airbnb website: it was dirty and in disrepair.

I phoned the host and told him what my son had reported, saying we could not stay in the house. Almost immediately he said he would return our money. Additionally, he said he’d drive from Boston and meet me there at 12:30. At 12:30, the host and a companion of his met me at the house. I was distraught over not only the inside but the outside of the house. It did not look like the Airbnb picture; it was overgrown with weeds, some of them four or five feet tall around the garage door. The three of us entered the house, and there was no resemblance to the pictures of the house I rented.

The host asked me to show him exactly what I was unhappy about, which I did. As a result, he got angry and said I was rude. All I did was document the condition of the house as he had asked. As an aside, I am not a rude person; I’m a psychologist and I’m accustomed to dealing with all kinds of people. My son arrived while we were going through the house. We continued to cite the unacceptable conditions of the house.

When the conversation became heated, I asked the host for our money back. His companion said: “Just give them their money back”. He said he would but we had to “cancel the reservation right now so I can rent it.”

My son and I went out to our cars and immediately canceled the reservation. I had no contact with the host after that morning. He was supposed to refund $500. We’re in a resolution dispute with Airbnb. They have not responded to phone calls and emails were returned as ‘Airbnb did not receive this email’. I believe that at one time this was a nice house and actually looked like the photos on Airbnb; however, it has been abused and neglected. It has not been thoroughly cleaned in a very long time as indicated by the considerable thick dust on top of the refrigerator and other areas. The insects, mold, and broken moldings, as well as the state of general disrepair are not only a health hazard but a safety hazard. I have 38 photos of mold, insects and filthy broken furniture. Screens with holes big enough for a child to climb through. I want my money back. My biggest frustration is that Airbnb will not respond.

Airbnb Not as Advertised for Elderly Parents

We arranged for my elderly parents to stay in what was advertised as a full house/apartment in Greenville, SC. When my parents arrived, we met them at the Airbnb they had reserved and discovered it to be a room with a king size bed, one chair, and no dining room table. There wasn’t even a full kitchen (a sink, coffee pot, microwave, and fridge). This is not an apartment or a full house. Neither a person nor a couple could live there for two weeks. They could sleep and shower there, but that is all there is room for.

When we told the host we would have to move, my parents and I said we would like a refund for the booking on the first night. She told us we must just not like it and that she had had only good reviews so far. If we had a complaint, we needed to take it to Airbnb. We took it to Airbnb. Their customer service people have been trained to be empathetic and understanding, so one thinks their case will be heard and that they will help. However, after several hours total on the phone and online chat, my parents only received a 50% refund. The 50% refund was because “they had not received a response from their email.” Not only had they received a response, they had received more than one response.

All told, we have contacted Airbnb six times. The last time they sent us back to the owner, who has not yet responded. The third line in the cancellation policy says if you leave early you will be refunded the remaining balance. This did not happen. Airbnb also said, on the fifth call, that we had not provided photo evidence of our complaint. This is true. However, we were never asked to provide photo evidence. We cannot even give a bad review as they make sure there is no place to do it.

We cannot request money for the trip because the trip has already passed. We cannot make a report to the BBB because my father or mother have to do it. My father had a major stroke a month ago and is unable to do it, and my mother, who is his power of attorney, wrote a letter to the BBB asking them to allow me to complain on her behalf because of her poor health.