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.

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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:

Illegal Airbnb Took Money That I Worked My Whole Life For

My host was illegally listing a property. I moved across the country to take a prestigious research job and to study at a prestigious school, but when the town apartment inspector showed up, she told me it was illegal. Airbnb promised to refund me my hotel room, gas and toll money back to my former […]

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Suspended as a Host and Guest Following AC Incident

We went to Todos Santos, Mexico to relax and unwind staying at an Airbnb. However, Airbnb turned that into the most stressful week of our lives. We have a cabin on our property in British Columbia that my wife rents out on Airbnb. However, she has had her account suspended from Airbnb by the safety […]

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Scammed in Lima: Abandoned by Airbnb

I booked a one-month reservation in Lima, Peru, and paid over $1,250 for a listing that purported to be a luxury apartment in an upscale neighborhood. Upon my arrival, it was a lower income neighborhood and clearly not the type of place you would feel comfortable walking around at night. Upon my arrival to the […]

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Held Hostage and Extorted on an Airbnb Boat Rental

We booked a sail boat on Airbnb with the promise of sailing. The listing was named “Sail the Eagon” and promised a trip to different beaches. We booked two nights. Once we sailed into the ocean the host asked me for an extra €200. What for? He stopped the boat and explained the €400 I […]

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Retired Public School Teacher Staying in Costa Rica

Our first stay in Costa Rica we used Airbnb for a stay that should have lasted three weeks. Because of problems with the host and his large dog, the host agreed to let us leave early. After we left he did not return our messages and eventually sent an email saying that he had decided […]

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Anyone Can Walk in, No Soundproofing

I booked an Airbnb for two nights and I should have known I was going to have an issue when the host never responded to my inquiry about early check in. Later I messaged them again and she seemed really confused and didn’t get back to me with any firm information until 12:30 the afternoon […]

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Nightmare Experience in Portugal Involving Creepy Host

I’m going to preface this by saying I have stayed in countless Airbnbs in three different continents and have had nothing but positive experiences until I stayed at this place. My roommate and I faced one absurdity after another. Conveniently my review (and all other negative reviews) have been removed by Airbnb. The apartment itself […]

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Airbnb Fails to Follow Its Own Guest Refund Policy

I rented an Airbnb for a four-night, five-day stay at a cost of $1906.76. On the host’s Airbnb primary webpage, there was nothing listed about the host having dogs that frequently barked, and one described that ‘may’ bite. Nor was there anything to indicate that the host might not be present at the property during […]

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Airbnb Neighbors Make Nightmare of a Summer in Palomares

I bought a house on a very quiet street in Palomares, Almeria, Spain. I was told the house right next to me was empty because the owner lived in Barcelona. I should have asked more questions. My first night in the new house was a nightmare. Eight young men were staying in the house next […]

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Airbnb Guest Sublets Our Property to Film a Commercial

We are a Superhost family who has been using Airbnb since September 2019. This was the second time around the Airbnb had sabotaged our listings. We recently had a nightmare guest, who had horrible reviews on Airbnb. We tried to give them another chance and decided to host them. She was a nightmare. She sublet […]

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