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.

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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:

Unable to Find Airbnb, Nowhere to go in Scotland

On the seventh day of our vacation around Scotland, we spent the day sightseeing around the northeast. At about 4:00, knowing we had about an hour of daylight left, we headed for our Airbnb which was twenty minutes away. Unable to find the location, we called and messaged the owner. While waiting for a response, […]

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No Key? Just Open the Door with a Knife!

I booked a whole apartment for a COVID-safe stay for work at the beginning of 2021. The host told me to contact her through her private telephone number so all communication was done through Whatsapp messages (she refused to pick up her phone and didn’t answer her Airbnb messages until I’d Whatsapped her). I arrived […]

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Never Use Airbnb — Hosts Will Leave You High and Dry

I booked a private room with Airbnb for accommodation in Dubai for five nights. I paid for this in advance. Upon reaching Dubai, the Airbnb host told me that he could no longer accommodate me. He provided me a different address and asked me to go and stay there for two nights and he would […]

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Politically Motivated Account Suspension from Airbnb?

I just received this cryptic email from Airbnb: “We’ve determined that your account is affiliated with someone not permitted to be on Airbnb. The types of affiliations we consider to make this determination include things like your location and the email address associated with your Airbnb account. As a result, we have removed your account […]

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Airbnb Guests Might be Waiting a Month on Refunds

During the early days of the pandemic I understood that people were unsure about hosting strangers, especially someone traveling from another country in their house. In March, I had a few hosts either just not respond to my booking or else politely tell me that they’d suddenly had a family member turn up and therefore […]

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Airbnb Unable to Accommodate Non-Smartphone User

We added a new gite (vacation home) to our existing Airbnb account. I reached the end of the process but was then thwarted by the verification process. I scanned and attached a passport (which I had not been asked to do on my first gite and although a message is now there the posting is […]

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Airbnb Host Posted Photos of a Different Apartment

I rented a suite on Airbnb for 29 days. Upon check in, the entire place was filthy: hair on the floor, dirty sheets. Absolutely no towels were provided. We left immediately. The place was disgusting. We messaged the host right away and he denied it, so I contacted Airbnb. We checked in at about 2:30 […]

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Airbnb Account Suspended Without Notice

We have three different properties and are Superhosts with 250+ reviews. We started on Airbnb three years ago and have added a new property each year. This morning we woke up to guests blowing us up wondering why we cancelled their reservations. We came to find out with our own research that we had been […]

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The Grouchy Airbnb Host that Stole Christmas

I booked a room from Nov. 30 to Jan. 4. I had just moved back to Colorado springs and was attempting to get re-established. Upon checking in, it seemed a bit of a strange set up. There was the main area with the living room, the kitchen, and the den. Up the narrow staircase there […]

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Reservation Cancelled for No Reasonable Reason

I made an Airbnb reservation at certain price for five days. The same day I made the reservation I contacted the host with some doubts and she asked me for an increase per night on my reservation and an increase of days; if I didn’t agree, she asked me to cancel my reservation. I didn’t […]

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