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:

Cheap Airbnb Host Charges Extra for Everything

I was looking to stay at a place for ten weeks and found a good deal. The minute I expressed interest the host basically harassed me until I signed and kept saying that “if I didn’t agree he had others lined up.” He actually cancelled on me until I went back and said yes (this […]

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Dirty Hip-Retro Cabin in Big Bear — Not Airbnb Worthy

The first weekend in November, my family and I (girls only trip), I stayed at an Airbnb property in Big Bear. The visit to this beautiful city, generally speaking, was nice. We arrived with no snow anywhere and were able to experience a snowstorm and see the landscape change to all white overnight. Now I […]

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Chicago Airbnb Listing Gone Horribly Wrong

Even though I thought my host was attentive in the beginning, she dropped the hammer when it came to my noise complaint. She basically said that I was a light sleeper and that the refund policy is strict. I did feel that this was in bad taste. I don’t expect a full refund but I […]

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Airbnb No Longer Reimbursing Hosts for Material Damages

Two guests booked two days for our 35-foot motorhome during a local Renaissance fair. We’ve been hosting 3.5 years. I should have been suspicious when three guests showed up. The guests were drunk when in residence — a bit loud, but tolerable because the motorhome is remote. Then we went to clean for the next […]

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Calendar Blocked, No Idea When Airbnb Will Contact Me

After a decade with Airbnb, they suddenly blocked the calendars on all my listings with no explanation. I found out when I was checking my Airbnb calendar (because I have been very busy) and realized that all the dates were blocked. I have called several times a day for six days now and gotten no […]

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Host Violates Texas Property Code, Airbnb Doesn’t Care

On Oct. 4th we moved into an Airbnb for a four-month stay for a military temporary duty travel. We noticed that the back door had water damage to the frame and the property did not have a strike plate for the locking deadbolt. The host was notified of this issue and said they would fix […]

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Airbnb Host Repeatedly Lied About Cleanliness

I booked an Airbnb apartment for the weekend of Oct. 23-25 for me and my daughter. When I initially made the reservation, I listed one guest not thinking that it mattered that I was bringing my 15-year-old daughter with me, since it was a two-bedroom, two-bath apartment. Upon arrival, the host met us and gave […]

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Airbnb Host Refuses to Believe Her Property Has Spiders

I thought I would share a recent Airbnb story which has made me decide I will never use the app again. My partner and I booked into a lovely place recently that was part of a series of different units. It had great reviews and was set in a beautiful setting. When we arrived the […]

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In a Country Experiencing Political Unrest Near My Airbnb

I’m in an African country that is having current political unrest because of upcoming elections — sort of like the U.S. After a day or two at the location, I started hearing shooting and what sounded like bombs going off, as well as tear gas right outside of the Airbnb I’m staying in. It sounded […]

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Racist Host Cancelled Over Holiday Weekend

What was supposed to be a peaceful, relaxing weekend away with some of our closest friends for Thanksgiving weekend turned out to be a nightmare. Our group consisted of a total of six individuals, ethnically diverse (east Indian and Korean) professionals, a mix of women and men. One might wonder why is it important to […]

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