I have been an Airbnb host since 2013. I have managed two city apartments over the last seven years and had hundreds of four and five star reviews. I have even had ‘Superhost’ status for a while. During this time I have made tens of thousands of dollars for Airbnb in service fees. I have also stayed in several Airbnbs myself, always receiving five-star reviews. I took pride in being a good host and always did my best to make sure my guests had everything they needed to enjoy their stay.
This week, without any warning, I received the following email from Airbnb:
“After a comprehensive review, we’ve determined that we can no longer support your account on our platform. We have deactivated your listings, and you won’t be able to book or accept new reservations as a guest or a host on Airbnb. You can reply to this email within seven days if you’d like to contest this decision.”
My listings have already been deactivated and I could not see my listings, earnings, messages, reviews or anything using the Airbnb app or the website. My upcoming bookings had been cancelled.
I was in shock and extremely worried about the income I depend on by renting my apartment through Airbnb. I emailed them straight away asking why this had happened and stating that I was worried my last guests may have made a false complaint.
The reason I was concerned about this was that my last guests were dealing drugs from my property and, after numerous complaints from neighbours, I had Airbnb cancel their booking before the check-out date. Airbnb fully supported this course of action at the time. As a result the guests lost their entire payment (Airbnb’s policy) and were not happy about it. I worry that they have told Airbnb lies about the state of my property to try to get back at me. I can’t think of any other reason that this might have happened.
The following day I received an email from Airbnb saying that they upheld their decision and contacting them again would not change the outcome. No reasonable explanation was provided and surely not enough time had passed for them to properly investigate the matter. It appears that an unsubstantiated complaint with no follow-up by Airbnb is enough to have this happen.
I’m still at a loss to understand how Airbnb can treat a loyal host in this way. They would only have had to look through my previous bookings, correspondence with guests and reviews to see that there was no problem with my property or my conduct. In future I am never allowed to open another account with Airbnb as a guest or host as they have said they will shut it down.
I will be continuing to rent out my apartment using other booking platforms. I urge anyone thinking of booking a short-term rental to look at these before Airbnb as often the same properties appear on several platforms. I hope this helps others to protect themselves against something similar happening to them. If I had my time again, I would definitely not be relying on Airbnb as a dependable company who should be doing the right thing. They can bring you crashing down in an instant for seemingly no reason at all.