This is one of those rare Airbnb horror stories that is so wild, it’s hard to believe. Luckily, I have attached the slew of text messages the host exchanged with me as proof. The first thing to note is how misleading the location of this Airbnb is. All the pictures, as well as Franck’s description of the environment, makes it seem like a “calm” and “cozy” apartment in a cute side street. This is far from the truth. Franck’s apartment in Montreuil is in the middle of a GHETTO. The street two steps away from his apartment is LITTERED with destitute African migrants – the majority of whom ask you if you want to buy drugs when you pass by. In addition to this, there’s a very apparent stolen goods market there – people always peddling things in the streets. At night, the place feels very dangerous to walk through – I can’t imagine how it feels for a young woman. If you’re a white European, you feel like a stranger there. I felt like there were nightwalkers as well. There’s NOTHING cozy about this neighborhood. It’s also beyond filthy. That’s just the environment.
The host, Franck, is an entirely different monster. Before I even arrived, Franck send me over 100 WhatsApp messages, most of them having nothing to do with my rental of his Airbnb. He was sending unusual pictures of his friends partying, and implying that I should respond to him ASAP because he might be “too wasted” to let me into his apartment on time if I don’t tell him when I’m arriving. I thought “whatever” at first… maybe he’s too friendly… but that shouldn’t be a problem. I’m one, like most Airbnbers, to just keep to myself. However, the messages kept on coming, long before I even arrived. Most of them were verging into very business personal territory, until finally, at 3 AM one night, the host messaged me with totally inappropriate drunk texts. This made me feel insanely uncomfortable, obviously. I am not homophobic, nor do I have any problem with staying at a gay Airbnb hosts apartment. I simply stop replying politely to the messages and expected he would get the hint.
However, when I arrived, the host’s attitude had completely changed. He appeared angry or upset about my lack of responding to his (literally) 75 texts. I began to feel as though this guy was expecting a “friendly” (quotations relevant) guest but didn’t get what he wanted. The worst thing to come was when I stumbled upon one of his neighbors in the building, who demanded to know who I was. When I told them I was an Airbnb guest, THEY told me Airbnbing in this complex was illegal and that tourists were generally not welcome. NOW I began to be extremely uncomfortable. I decided at first to stay quiet about it and make it through one more night, but after my host sent more passive aggressive messages (totally inappropriate) in regards to demanding to know when I’ll be in and out of the apartment, I spilled the beans. I told him I paid him and I don’t need to talk to him or explain myself period. I want to be by myself and left alone. I also told him I don’t appreciate the constant comings-on, or so they could be interpreted.
Lastly, I said that it was making me uncomfortable being in an illegal Airbnb, especially since the neighbors said that cops have been called in the past regarding this. He told me that it wouldn’t behoove me to leave a bad review of him regarding this, because via Airbnb review policies, I am at bigger risk than he is. One bad review won’t do anything to him, but leaving a bad review of me as a bad guest essentially ruins my chances of Airbnbing. Needless to say, it was a complete clusterf#$k. I left the Airbnb without much of a hassle after that, and told myself I would not leave a bad review and we can just go our separate ways. Two weeks later, the host leaves a completely libelous review of me, way after the period in which I could have left a review for him. He timed it out perfectly. The review was an immature scatological reference that apparently accused me of “not flushing” (it’s the best he could come up with). The irony, of course, being that after all the questionable prescription drugs I found in his apartment, I never even considered using his toilet. (Needless to say, the guy has an open homosexual lifestyle – not that there’s anything wrong with that – but he’s not the clean type).