My roommate and I had a guest staying at our apartment for December break, since we were home visiting our parents. One guest in particular stayed on the 27th of December and decided to host a party. When I say party, I mean that the police were called multiple times, and we reached home two weeks later to find an eviction notice slapped to our front door due to multiple noise complaints. Since the maid service who had cleaned our apartment in between guests had only told us about damages in the apartment and the mess that it was left in, we were shocked to say the least. We went to the building manager to sort things out, and we were met with another surprise. The party that the guest had was not only loud and noisy, but her attendees were throwing things off the balcony, had broken the entry door as not all of them had the access key, and – here’s the kicker – pooped on the stairwell outside our apartment.
Airbnb had been contacted after the guests’ stay as the maid service had informed us about extra cleaning charges, and so we emailed them again telling them the new information. They gave us a two-day extension to provide us with an invoice for the damages. For those of you who have never had to live in an apartment building with a highly bureaucratic administration, you’re so lucky. For us, any little thing that has to be fixed or replaced has to be reported to management, who then has to file a maintenance order for it, report it to their office who will then call a company to take a look at the damage or assess repairs, and then they will call another company to do the actual repairs. The delay between each of these communications is at least two days.
Added to this chain, there is a legal team who is currently handling our file, as they are trying to review what has to be paid for and if we should pay for it. This team is not reachable by our building office or by us; communication has to go through the manager who will then ask them. This adds another few days. I explained this to Airbnb and they gave me another extension of another two days. This went on for a week. Finally, they emailed me saying I have 48 hours and no more extensions. I have repeatedly gone to the office and explained to them that I need the invoice asap, but my urgency was probably not conveyed to the legal team. When I emailed the case manager and told him this he replied saying that this is their protocol and he cannot change it. He refused to connect me to a manager and said that there is no customer care helpline I can connect with (I checked, there is).
Airbnb knows that we are helpless and is using that to get out of paying for the damages caused by that guest. The manager told me that including the cleanup and everything, the damages would amount to approximately $800, maybe more. We cannot pay for this ourselves. We’re students; we were just trying to make up a portion of our rent for the month that were away. Most of it went towards a maid service who cleaned the apartment between visits. Airbnb has turned a blind eye to us, and emails to the CEO have gone unanswered. We cannot pay the amount in damages, and we are at our wits end, missing classes to go talk to the building manager, and staying up looking for other channels of communication since our case manager has shut the door in our face. We cannot afford to start off a term like this, just as we cannot afford to pay an insane amount for absurd damages. Airbnb said that they would commit to better service after their 2011 situation. But everything they had promised isn’t being held up by their representatives, and I don’t know what to do.