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:

A Terrible Experience with Airbnb During Omicron

In late November 2021 we booked a trip to Los Angeles for a week in January and paid $3,100 for a stay in a condo in Marina del Rey. In late December, omicron appeared and we realized that we could not risk traveling, especially with a two-year-old. We contacted the host a few days before […]

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Airbnb Accused Us of Extortion After Host Lied

We stayed at an Airbnb in Paris. The apartment was okay, but had some issues (dirty dishes, smoke smell) . We posted a review that mentioned these things, but also the good points. I guess the host did not like the review, so they told Airbnb that we had told them that if they gave […]

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My Airbnb Host Lied about COVID to Cancel My Trip

Picture this: you are a 20-something business professional who event plans for a job and loves to celebrate every birthday. 30 is a big one, right? All you want is an amazing home with family and friends where you can eat delicious food and drink yummy wine. After hours and hours of scouring Airbnb, you […]

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Airbnb Host Hiding from Negative Review with Proof

I stayed at an Airbnb near downtown Atlanta from Dec. 24 thru Dec. 28 and left an honest review that was deleted. The house had had so little toilet paper and paper towels we rationed them. The hand soap was refilled with water to stretch it (I threw away the bottle to force them to […]

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Lying Airbnb Superhost in Vancouver Kicks us out

Compared to other stories, this is not the worst, but it was truly upsetting, especially for old friends, one of whom was dying. We rented an apartment with a view, which was beautiful, but nothing else was up to snuff. The apartment was so tiny that one of us had to sleep on a love […]

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Airbnb Refunded Guest After Telling Me They were Ineligible for Refund

We received a booking in December 2020 for check-in on Dec. 25. The guest messaged us a few days before to say that they were nervous to come down as the COVID numbers had been increasing. We offered them a keyless check-in and to keep to all the COVID protocols strictly. On the day before […]

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No Support for Hosts, Airbnb Gives us the Runaround

I decided to rent out my property for the Christmas holiday. I was selective as some people had too many in their party, or had large dogs — I accept animals under 25 lbs. I rented to a woman who said there would be her and two dogs. I usually only accept one pet but […]

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Airbnb Booking Leads to Trailer Park Nightmare

I booked an Airbnb in Canada for myself, my girlfriend, and her three kids for a trip around Alberta for a couple of weeks during the summer 2021. It was in a mobile home park, but Airbnb did not tell us it’s a mobile home park on the website. It was one of the very […]

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No Help, No Refund in an Airbnb Emergency

My son and girlfriend rented a room in Ft. Lauderdale. The room was not as presented, but they tried to deal with it. They were supposed to have a double bedroom and no used condoms on the floor. While there, my son was robbed, threatened to be shot, and left the property. They tried to […]

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Airbnb Truly is Hell When They Defend Guests Like These

I was happy to stumble across Airbnb Hell, as that’s exactly what happened to me as a host. I had used the platform for years as a guest and loved the community and having the comforts of home when traveling. When a chance to travel to climb and work presented itself, I felt this was […]

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