Guests Refuse to Use our Plates, Cup and Cutlery

We have been hosting with Airbnb for two years now and have had over 400 guests (we live near an airport in the UK) from 30 different countries. There have been mostly very good experiences but obviously with over 400 guests you do meet a few weirdos. This one booking was for six weeks for a guy living in Australia coming to the UK for a training course. He was an aircraft engineer and very nice guy in general. However, I noticed from the first day that he seemed to have an issue with using the cutlery, cup, and spoon provided in his room and was downstairs in the kitchen, i.e. washing the items then cleaning them quite thoroughly. I thought this was very strange as we make sure everything is spotlessly clean. A couple of days in and he was asking for more toilet rolls to be put in the bathroom as he was going through at least one a day. It seemed like he had a cleaning fetish of some kind or a compulsive cleaning disorder.

Anyway, we had to go to our property abroad for a month and left him alone in the house (our part of the house we can keep locked so he only had access to the kitchen, bathroom, and garden). On our return he was due to leave in a few days but on the last day asked me if I wanted to keep the cutlery, plate, bowl, and mug that he had purchased new because he did not need to take them back to Australia. He obviously did not want to use our items and we found this to be incredibly rude, to say the least.

Another time we had a young girl arrive for three weeks with a large suitcase and a big box full of cooking pots and herbs, spices, and food. This girl was cooking Indian food twice and sometimes three times a day because she didn’t want to eat food from the supermarket. The house stunk of Indian food for the whole three weeks and I was having to apologise to our other guests (as we rent two rooms in our home) every day due to the smell. Lastly, we had a girl stay for a couple of weeks and she had to be told to stop using the kitchen at midnight. She was always cooking (like a frying pan full of eight chicken legs) late at night and the smell would move throughout the house, even into the bedrooms. Since the last guest, we added “no cooking after 8:00 PM” to the house rules.

Terrible Experiences and Service from Airbnb

I’ve now used Airbnb three times and each time was a nightmare. The first time, the house had no heater and we froze. I left the host a note, but being a nice guy, chose not to review them. The second was in a lovely location, but the unit was dirty and had safety issues. Worst of all, it was built into a garage full of automotive parts and old cars; it smelled of oil and gasoline. My wife has a serious medical condition that is severely impacted by strong chemical smells. We contacted the host and cancelled the rest of our stay and had to find a hotel, which ended up costing a lot more. The third time, I contacted the host in advance and told them about my wife’s condition. I was given assurances that the rental did not have chemical smells and was told to expect an upscale luxury retreat in a great location. When we arrived (after eight hours of driving) the condo complex was a dive, with sketchy people standing outside smoking, nestled between two freeway overpasses. The real issue was that when we went inside, there were strong air freshener smells that immediately made my wife ill. Throwing open the window flooded the place with foul mold smells from the sprinkler system and smoke from the shady guys outside. I contacted the owner, who started to deny all of it, but then apologized and told me to take it up with Airbnb. I will say her taste in decorations was very nice, but I had to find a different place for us to stay again. Once again, it ended up costing me a lot more. I’ve been battling with Airbnb customer service ever since. I did manage to get my money back, but conversations about compensation for my extra lodging has (which one agent promised me) have gone nowhere and I never receive the calls they promise me.

Deceptive Listing Leads to False Damage Claims

Our party rented a house in Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina. The house was not as represented. The overall cleanliness of the house was gravely subpar. Upon entering the house, stains on the carpet were noticed immediately and discussed between members of our party. The overall consensus was that the carpeting was in such bad condition that it gave us concern. The entire house was re-cleaned prior to our party moving in. The lamps, light switches, doorknobs, sinks, toilets, showers, dresser drawers, TV remotes, hand rails, counter tops, and stove, as well as the cupboard doors and refrigerator were cleaned by our party. The filth that was picked up from the towels we used was evident by turning all of the white towels dingy, and then black. Some items in the kitchen were used and required washing before and after our use. Most items had food residue on them.

On the first day, we noticed two chairs were significantly unstable. They were placed next to the wall and excluded from use to ensure nothing would be broken as a result of our stay. Evidence on the chairs suggest that they had been previously repaired. Later, on the second day, while grilling outside, the septic tank began to spew out foul water. Upon presenting this issue to the owner our party was told that we were taking too many showers. At that time, there had been only six showers taken within the approximate 24 hours we were present. The owner suggested that showers be taken outside. All subsequent showers were taken outside to avoid overflowing the septic tank again. She stated that someone would come to the property to assess the situation. No one was observed on the property.

No further information was provided by the owner. As adults we knew to stay clear of the septic tank area to avoid harm because of the unsafe health risk of sewage on the property. Due to our understanding that the initial response was going to be observation only, we continued to take all showers outside. On the sixth day, we assumed that the septic tank issue was resolved and attempted a couple showers. The septic tank overflowed with a greater stench present at the rear of the property than that four days prior. We were willing to make accommodations by only bringing this to the owner’s attention and not Airbnb’s. We did not allow the lack of meeting our expectations to ruin our vacation. When we returned home, the host filed a claim for $500 to replace the carpeting. Despite providing our proof and complaints, Airbnb sided with the host.