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:

Airbnb Fraud Lets Unsuspecting Guests Access Our Home

My husband and I own a house out of state that has been vacant and on the market for over a year. The other night our neighbors contacted us to notify us there were multiple cars and motorcycles parked in our driveway with a party going on inside. After an investigation by the police, we […]

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Guest Lied, Airbnb Shut Superhost Down

I have been an Airbnb Super host since my first review in 2015. In April, two men checked in saying they were twins in town to meet sisters they had never met. I rent a lower level apartment in my home. Their three-night reservation began with a loud, drunken bash until 3:00 AM that included […]

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Lost $900 Because of Airbnb’s COVID Policy

I have tried getting Airbnb’s help over the phone, I’ve tried getting help from the host and I have messaged four senior executives, including the CEO. I have not received a positive response so far. So now I’m sharing my issue publicly, to see if the company does something about it. I booked a trip […]

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Airbnb Superhost Extorted Me for a Good Review.

I encountered a very calculating and dishonest host. She will go to great lengths to make sure your negative review never sees the light of day. I left my stay early due to the pool being frigid and unheated. I mistakenly assumed since the pool was the front featured amenity, it would be heated. I […]

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Customer Service? Airbnb Doesn’t Know the Meaning

I joined Airbnb in 2020 but had to cancel all my trips due to the pandemic. Now that the EU is considering opening up to fully vaccinated Americans, I thought I could re-visit Italy. Having had a good experience with the different hosts on a previous trip (booked by my traveling companion), I made the […]

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Guests Who Pay Are Your Only Customers — Airbnb Doesn’t Care

I started using Airbnb in 2014. Recently over my last trip to Foster City, San Mateo, California, I picked an Airbnb apartment for a long term stay. The host operates as a leasing and servicing management team, who cared less about servicing or even providing amenities through the nearly two-month stay. While in the middle […]

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Airbnb Host Fraud Lets Strangers into our Home

My husband and I own a house out of state that has been vacant and on the market for over a year. Last night our neighbors contacted us to notify us there were multiple cars and motorcycles parked in our driveway with a party going on inside. After investigation by the police we found out […]

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Get a Good Set of Headphones for your Airbnb Neighbors

I’ve lived in my house for almost 20 years now. One by one, all of the neighboring properties were purchased by the same owner. All of them became Airbnb rentals, and because of the same owner and close proximity, frat parties are a frequent happening. This has reliably happened for over two years now. They’ll […]

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Airbnb Literally Endangering People’s Lives for Profit

After making the responsible choice last year to cancel all reservations when the pandemic hit and subsequently not receiving any compensation, I received $25. I took it as an opportunity to review my cancellation policy to better protect myself to reflect the new realities of travel. Fast forward a year later and I made my […]

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SuperHost and Five-Star Property Being Banned due to Airbnb’s Policy

The guests I had the most problems with were from Airbnb. I was protecting my home, property, and neighborhood and there is no age discrimination where there is the potential for an increase to my risk and liability. I have rented to all races, ethnic groups, and religions. I would never discriminate in those case, […]

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