On July 27th – only last week – I hosted a guest from the UK at my apartment in Spain who arrived with wife and two children at 4:00 PM. He was met by my third party meet and greet lady (who also cleans and looks after apartment for me). Within two hours he was sending me emails complaining, first about a gas bottle in the kitchen. He quoted health and safety and demanded that it be removed immediately. He also complained about cleanliness, a standing fan in the bedroom, and various other issues including he couldn’t work the TV.
I responded to each and every issue and explained that it was common practice to have gas bottles in Spain as there was no main gas line. However, if it worried him, I would get it moved the next day. He continued to complain all evening just about everything, sending pictures of a few grains of sand on the floor (we are next to the beach), hats that are there for guests, and other really petty issues, e.g. one toilet was not working.
The next day my third party went around there to address all issues and apparently he had all the china out of the cupboards and the pillows uncovered, taking pictures. Any solution to appease him did not seem to satisfy him. Later in the evening I discovered that he had called Airbnb and told them there was a gas leak and the second toilet had broken (two in 24 hours).
The booking was cancelled but instead of leaving he asked could he stay an extra night as it would be more convenient for him. I said yes and he sent me a very polite message saying how grateful he was and appreciated my generosity. If there was a gas leak who would put their children at risk?
I explained this to Airbnb, that there couldn’t be a gas leak as there was no main gas line and the bottle had been removed. However, they cancelled all subsequent bookings without even informing me. I received several emails from guests asking why. They explained that it is now being dealt with a case manager from the resolution center and the health and safety team is investigating.
That was six days ago. Until this point I had never had a complaint. Previously the rental I used was well below average and I think this guest was expecting a five-star hotel for a two-star price. Prior to booking, he did not ask me anything regarding the apartment. However, the photos are accurate so it should not have been a surprise. It is a private family apartment used for holidays, not a hotel.
I do not believe this is the first time this man has done this to get a free or upgraded holiday. The thing that has upset me the most was he frightened neighbours on the block that there was a gas leak, which obviously scared several residents. This has since been confirmed to be completely untrue and I am now seeking compensation through Airbnb’s host guarantee for £2400 in lost bookings as a direct result of this guest’s lies, not to mention the distress it has caused both myself and the lady who looks after the apartment for me. She said she looks after over 20 apartments in Spain for over 20 years and never encountered a guest like him. As for telling everyone there was a gas leak I think he should be prosecuted.