Uncensored Airbnb Stories & Reasons Not To Use Airbnb

AirbnbHell.com is dedicated to helping Hosts and Guests share their stories about the risks and dangers of using Airbnb.  If you had a bad experience using Airbnb as a Host or Guest, please Share Your Story.

This website is ran in partnership with iPropertyManagement.com, a website that provides informational resources on short and long term property management.

Here is a summary list of reasons why you should NOT use Airbnb.  At the very least, be aware of these serious issues with the Airbnb service and consider other options including Airbnb Competitors.

If you are a potential Airbnb GUEST:

  1. If any of your personal items, cash, or valuables are stolen (by the host, other guests, or burglars) you have no protection from Airbnb.
  2. If there is a foul odor, loud noises, or any other problems with your room that are not easily documented with photos, you are out of luck and your claim for a refund will be denied.
  3. If you rent a single room, there is no guarantee regarding how many people might be living in a given home/condo while you are there.  If there is a shared bathroom, you might end up sharing it with 1 person, or 20.
  4. A “fully stocked kitchen” means very different things to different people.  One pot, 2 dishes and a handful of silverware does not mean you can actually cook a meal there, yet this is not enough evidence to seek a claim for refund
  5. If you buy groceries and another guest or the host uses them or throws them away, you’re out of luck.
  6. If the host or another guest has a party every night, you will have to thoroughly document each incident with video recordings and time stamps to seek any sort of claim or refund.  Even then, it will be a battle that may take weeks and you are unlikely to win.
  7. Airbnb charges you about 15% on top of what the host actually receives for your reservation (even more if you need to exchange currency).  That means you COULD get your reservation for about 15% LESS if you booked directly with the host.
  8. If you have to cancel your reservation at the last minute, the host has the right to keep some or all of your money for your entire stay.  You will not have any ability to write a review of your host if you cancel your reservation, even if you end up paying for your entire stay and the host double-books the rental space.

If you are a potential Airbnb HOST:

  1. If your guests claim any sort of insect/pest/vermin problem, airbnb will instantly return 50% of your guests money for their entire reservation, even if it’s a year long reservation and the claim is false.  This is a common scam tactic.
  2. If your guests steal your cash or other difficult-to-prove assets, airbnb will do nothing.
  3. If you make any claim regarding damage to reclaim part or all of the security deposit, airbnb will make your life a living hell by demanding receipts for your original purchase even if it’s furniture that you’ve owned for 20 years.  If you don’t have receipts, you’re out of luck, and even if you do, it will take weeks or months to get any resolution.
  4. If you wait more than 24 hours to make a claim regarding damage from guests, your claim will be denied by default.
  5. Airbnb takes 3% of every reservation from you, but they also take about 15% from the guest!  That means your guests are WILLING to pay 18% more than you’re actually receiving but you’re not getting any of that extra money.  Airbnb also takes a very aggressive 3% Exchange Rate Fee for transactions not in USD, for a total of about 21% in fees taken off the top!
  6. Even if you use a Strict Cancellation Policy to protect yourself from flaky guests canceling their reservation at the last minute, Airbnb has the right to override that policy at any time and without warning or explanation and refund the guest the entire amount of their reservation, even if it’s less than 24 hours before the guest is scheduled to check in.
  7. The “1 million dollar host guarantee” is virtually impossible to actually claim.  Don’t fall for this marketing ploy!
  8. Airbnb has been known to cancel and remove even long-term hosts listings without warning and without any explanation.  This may cause you to lose communication with your current guests, and lose significant income for all upcoming reservations which are also instantly canceled.

Read the 10 most recent uncensored Airbnb stories from Hosts & Guests:

Horrible Host + Horrible Customer Service = Airbnb Nightmare

Airbnb guests who leave early after encountering a disgusting mess in the shower are given the runaround from a host refusing a refund and no contact from customer service.

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Host Cancelled My Reservation One Hour Before We Arrived

An Airbnb guest proposes both a boycott and lawsuit after being locked out of their account and nearly homeless in an unfamiliar city.

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Nightmare at Mexico Airbnb Makes Us Leave Early

An Airbnb host unable to provide what what advertising in the listing causes guests to leave a poorly maintained property ahead of schedule.

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Horrible Experience Hosting New Age Guru

An Airbnb guest leaves a host’s home covered with burn marks and strange items after baiting them with a fake profile picture and description.

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Ransomware Attack Doesn’t Qualify as Extenuating Circumstances?

Airbnb guests who can’t travel due to the state of emergency across the southern U.S. are unable to get a refund from customer service.

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Airbnb Host Tries Bait and Switch Over Memorial Day Weekend

A family looking for a comfortable place to stay in the U.S. over a holiday weekend is met by a seemingly sketchy host willing to place them in an alternative property.

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Host Lied About Cleaning Filthy Airbnb During Pandemic

An Airbnb host seems not to understand the need to properly clean and sanitize a property between guests during a pandemic.

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Airbnb Verification Process and Dysfunctional Customer Support

Airbnb usually has ample time to verify accounts weeks before a major trip, but one guest found messages requiring a photo ID with only a few days to spare.

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Xenophobic Airbnb Host Harasses Guest After Stay

I am a college student whose lease started after the school was scheduled to close. This meant for the few days in between I was on the brink of being homeless. I had finally found a way to move in early but I still wasn’t given a consistent time and date. My Airbnb host knew […]

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Account Deactivated Over a Dismissed Felony Charge

I recently started an account with Airbnb for a reservation for my family and myself. I paid for it, got the email confirmation, and was so happy. Thirty minutes later I got an email saying that I did not pass the background check. The problem was they had a DUI from over seven years ago […]

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