We decided to book an Airbnb property as part of my partner’s 40th birthday trip to New York. From booking all the way through to leaving the UK for the USA, the owner’s communication was just as you would expect from who we thought was a good host: at first, responsive, informative, and helpful. Unfortunately, we soon learned that this was as good as things would get; his manner soon turned into being patronising and condescending when issues arose once we arrived (this is evident in his responses to negative reviews), even at one point via Airbnb text message, referring to my partner and I as squatters.
We arrived at the property at approximately 15:30, and we were disturbed and extremely disappointed by what we were greeted with. The Airbnb photos were of the property, but they were very old. The outside of the property was unwelcoming and off-putting, with overgrown weeds and litter strewn on the driveway. Security was a concern, as the front door was only secured via a single deadbolt, due to the whole mechanism for the door handle being totally removed.
Entering the property, we were immediately struck by how tired, dark, and filthy the property was. It seemed like the property hadn’t been properly cleaned or repaired in years: lights that didn’t work or were missing; dirty grubby walls and doors; ceiling fans caked in dust and dirt; a bathroom that hadn’t been cleaned since the last occupant, complete with an unflushed toilet featuring a toilet seat caked in what looked like mould/urine; the heating was turned off and could only be controlled by the owner, who refused to turn this on despite calls and messages; the bedding was dirty and beyond worn, and was only good for throwing out; the ironing board was covered in stains. I could go on; the flat was just dirty and a dive.
We refused to stay there and booked a hotel for the night following 10 hours of waiting for a response from Airbnb for a resolution. Booking this flat resulted in us losing two days of our holiday (waiting for correspondence from both the host and Airbnb), being pushed beyond the breaking point trying to resolve the matter, and leaving me short of £497 (a combination of hotel fees, phone call costs, and transport). Airbnb did give me a full refund of my booking and payment for one night’s hotel stay.