Airbnb Host Tries Really Hard to Dissuade us

We received a text from our host asking if we would like to cancel our booking because there was a water leak in the room and it had become very damp. We said that we still wanted to come because we had made, and paid for, travel and entertainment arrangements that we could not cancel.

She phoned to ask again if we would cancel the booking because the room was very damp. We confirmed that we did not want to cancel and that we would be arriving the next day. She then said that we must not arrive until after 5:00 PM because she was having someone come to give her a quote for the repair work. We don’t understand why we couldn’t check in just because a workman would be coming to look at a leak. This meant that we had to spend the day in Edinburgh with our luggage; therefore, we had to pay £10 for luggage storage.

After paying £10 to store our luggage, we then arrived at the accommodation (described on Airbnb as a large double room and that check in was flexible from 2:00 PM). We found that it was, in fact, a tiny room approximately 12’x8′. The double bed took up most of the room and it was certainly not big enough for two people and their accompanying luggage. It felt more like a cupboard than a room in which we would spend the next eight days.

In addition, the kitchen was very small and had a microwave situated very high up, meaning that it was in a dangerous position for handling hot food. Airbnb obviously does not carry out checks on the accommodation they sell and I wonder if this host and Airbnb carry Indemnity Insurance? Interestingly, there was no evidence of the room being damp and the only evidence of a possible leak was a small patch of dampness on the ceiling. Why would a host tell lies about the accommodation being damp when it wasn’t?

During the night, my husband had an episode of diarrhea with great urgency. He is diabetic and this happens when his blood sugar goes too high. He did make a mess on the toilet but he cleaned the toilet afterwards. The soiling was nowhere other than on the actual toilet. The host obviously went in our room after we’d gone out as she sent a text message to say that we had left the bathroom in a terrible state and that she had had to clean up the mess after us.

If she had found evidence of soiling on the toilet, it must have only been small because the toilet had been cleaned before we left the room. My husband is partially sighted but neither of us had noticed that the toilet was soiled. He explained about his illness and also that he had taken a sleeping tablet. Later, the host asked if he was feeling better and said that we were welcome to stay and hoped that we would be comfortable.

The host went out in the evening and did not return until the following day, when she must have gone in our room again. She sent a text message to Airbnb, while we were out, to complain that we had left the room in a ‘bad condition’. She told us that we had to leave the premises by 4:00 PM the same day.

We are unsure what ‘bad condition’ means. The room was clean but untidy. Nothing else. It was untidy because it was so small that there was nowhere to put anything.

On each occasion that the host raised these complaints, she had entered our room while we were out. She had never asked our permission to do that and, as such, she had no right to do it. My husband has to check his blood sugar three times a day and his blood testing kit was in a case on a shelf in the room. It was not there when we packed our belongings to leave. He now has to spend the rest of this week without testing his blood sugar. This could be dangerous. Where has his blood testing kit gone?

Finally, it is my belief that this host had another motive for evicting us using a fictitious reason of a room in a ‘bad condition’. Why did she contact us twice before our check-in date to try to get us to cancel our booking? What she said about the room being damp was not true so what was her reason for not wanting us to be there? Had she also booked someone else? Perhaps someone who was willing to pay more?

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2 Comments

  1. She was scheming something by the sound of it.

    You should be refunded in full for days paid from when you were illegally evicted also reimbursement of STG10 for luggage storage as she did not honour check-in time.

    She had no right to enter your room and would require photographic proof of her complaint of ‘bad condition’, a before and after shots and date stamped same as the toilet.

    Your husband’s episode was beyond his control and deserves sympathy and understanding.

    I would demand replacement of his missing blood testing kit from her or you’ll file a report with the police for theft and trespass in order to claim insurance. I would even expect compensation for added expense and inconvenience of the illegal eviction as well as adjustment for a small room advertised as large.

    Seek advice from a local Citizen’s Advice Bureau in Edinburgh.

    I’d very much recommend making an issue of it, cause trouble, informing her you are quite prepared to escalate the matter to police for theft and trespass, the advertising standards authority, the agent AirBnB, and the local court if your claim is not settled promptly. I’d expect from reading your report that you’d have the sympathy of the court and the police. Be polite but firm and just state the facts.
    Good luck!

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