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Host Violates Texas Property Code, Airbnb Doesn’t Care

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On Oct. 4th we moved into an Airbnb for a four-month stay for a military temporary duty travel. We noticed that the back door had water damage to the frame and the property did not have a strike plate for the locking deadbolt. The host was notified of this issue and said they would fix it.

The host told me two days later to reduce the length of my stay to end on Dec. 4, and then from there I could pay them directly to stay for the rest of my time. On Oct. 24, the problem was still not fixed. There was no action at all by the host.

I contacted Airbnb for assistance. Airbnb said the host would send a handyman to fix the issue. The handyman came and replaced the doorknob and deadbolt, but did not install a strike plate due to the water damage and rot to the frame. He said the frame and door needed to be replaced and he would come back later to do it. He later said it would take another week to fix the issue.

Airbnb closed the case on Oct. 31. By Nov. 12 the issue had still not been fixed. I opened a new case with Airbnb, requesting to end my stay early since I found a new place to stay. Airbnb closed the case on Nov. 19 without resolution, so I opened a new case.

During my call with Airbnb, they told me my case was an “urgent priority” and someone would contact me. The support ticket chat tikd me that they couldn’t get a response from the host, so they could not do anything. They said: “Well, it seems that you can lock the door and the door opens and closes. I wish you a great rest of your day. Kind regards.”

I told them to elevate the case to someone above them. They did and said “He’ll be in contact within 24 to 48 hours.” 48 hours later, and there was still no contact. I called Airbnb again, and was told by the “catch and dispatch” person that answered that they would elevate my ticket to urgent and the case manager would contact me shortly. I demanded they let me talk to someone above them, and they forwarded me to a case manager.

The case manager, who had a thick accent, said that they could not do anything for me since the ticket has been elevated. They said that the supervisor should get back to me within 72 hours of the elevation and might call me in a few hours. I said I would call back tomorrow if I did not hear anything.

Texas Property Code, chapter 92, sections 92.154 and 92.164 state that all rentals must have a locking deadbolt with a strike plate. If the issue is not repaired within 7 days, the tenant can unilaterally nullify any agreement, leave the property, and be refunded a prorated amount for payments made. Airbnb and the host do not seem to care at all about this.

What are my options? A chargeback on the credit card?

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Airbnb Host Repeatedly Lied About Cleanliness

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I booked an Airbnb apartment for the weekend of Oct. 23-25 for me and my daughter. When I initially made the reservation, I listed one guest not thinking that it mattered that I was bringing my 15-year-old daughter with me, since it was a two-bedroom, two-bath apartment.

Upon arrival, the host met us and gave us the key with a list of rules while staying. My daughter and I then left to run errands before we got settled in. When we returned, we had our shoes on as we ran back and forth to the truck to gather our belongings. Then put our own socks on while in the apartment. One of the rules was there were to be no shoes while in the apartment and she supplied socks for guests. Being that COVID does exist, we chose to wear our own socks.

We then toured the apartment and began to wipe everything down. When I went into the guest bathroom, I noticed that it had not been cleaned. There were old bars of soap in the tub area, splatters in the toilet as if someone just had diarrhea, toothpaste on the mirror and hair on the floor. The floors had not been vacuumed and there was food in the refrigerator.

I texted the host through the app with my concerns of the cleanliness. She came and cleaned the toilet and that was it. When I asked her if someone was living in the unit full time, she said yes. So I asked her about the other issues such as the leftover food in the refrigerator, she said it must have been from the prior guests. That was the first lie.

I grabbed bleach and bleach wipes and began to clean the unit myself because we didn’t have anywhere to go on such short notice. When I wiped down the kitchen counter tops, my Clorox wipes were brown. While wiping down the remote in the living room, I noticed that there was a camera on. I immediately unplugged it and called Airbnb customer service.

In the apartment listing it states that there is an active recording camera at the “door way,” but this camera was actually in the living room recording our every move. I told the representative that we wanted to check out because we were no longer staying there. My daughter had undressed in the living room area and was now paranoid. The representative sent me a policy stating that the host can have a recording device in the common area and it must state that in the listing. Well, that didn’t happen. That was the second lie.

They reached out to the host with all of my concerns and she said that there was nothing she was going to do. Although the policy states that I have the right to check out when I arrive and receive a refund for the nights not stayed, she still refused to refund me my money. The next morning I texted the host myself with my issues, saying that we were uncomfortable and that we were leaving at 10:00 AM.

She then called me on the phone with an attitude saying that Airbnb contacted her with my concerns and still refused to refund me for the next night even though I gave her notice. She also said that she noticed that I had a guest with me when the rules said that would be grounds of cancellation. Keep in mind, the “guest” was my 15-year-old daughter.

She then said that she noticed that we had shoes on while in the apartment. Again, we were going from the apartment to the truck to get settled. She claimed she cleaned the apartment herself and it’s not her fault that I had expectations. Well, I am a clean person and if I’m renting anyone’s place using my own money then I do have expectations for cleanliness.

She began to yell over the phone so I hung up on her. My daughter and I ended up leaving and checking into the Marriott, which was another expense for me. A case worker contacted me over the course of the weekend, but as of today, there has been no resolution.

I find it disappointing that Airbnb would be okay for a host to have an active recording camera in the living room, violating one’s privacy, and the fact that they find it okay with a host having a listing that nasty. I have never had a bad experience from a host and the lack of concern from Airbnb is very troublesome.

Every time I rented, the host always left a good review about me. When I went to leave my review, they said that I missed the cut off time to do so. I was told that I only had a few hours after my check out time, but again this was no concern of theirs. I did get pictures of the apartment and will attach them to my post.

My biggest mistake was over overlooking the fact that the host only had one review at that time. Save your money and the headache and rent from a host that not only cares about the money, but their guest’s peace of mind.

Airbnb Host Refuses to Believe Her Property Has Spiders

I thought I would share a recent Airbnb story which has made me decide I will never use the app again. My partner and I booked into a lovely place recently that was part of a series of different units. It had great reviews and was set in a beautiful setting.

When we arrived the place was well set-up and clean. The only issue was that there were quite a lot of cobwebs around, particularly around the windows and furniture —like a lot. My partner dutifully picked up the broom and began cleaning the place of cobwebs. Other than that, our stay was very enjoyable. We didn’t think it was a big deal to clean them up; we figured they may just have been missed in cleaning since properties are just opening up again after COVID-19 lockdowns.

After our stay we made sure that the place was clean and tidy and left a very positive public review on Airbnb. We received positive public feedback from our host who said we were wonderful and clean and would be happy to have us back. We did make use of the private feedback option, and just noted that there were a lot of cobwebs around appliances, corners, furniture, light fixtures and windows. We chose not to say this publicly because we really liked the place and just wanted to support them for the future.

Fast forward a few weeks later and we stayed again but in a different unit. Again, lovely place and looked clean, well-set up and beautifully designed, I actually liked this unit better than the first one. But there were cobwebs everywhere again. This time, however, there were also lots of spiders. I don’t mean just a couple of them or little ones. I mean big black nasty ones. I think we killed over 30 and they kept coming out of places. We cleaned up the cobwebs and kept trying to kill the spiders, but when they began dropping from the ceiling through cracks we just couldn’t manage it.

In the middle of dinner, we messaged our host saying we were having issues. The host turned up with their partner, and immediately accused us of lying. They said our private feedback about the cobwebs was a lie (it wasn’t) and accused us of lying again about the spiders and cobwebs in this place. At this point my partner got heated up and they began arguing and he showed her all the cobwebs we still hadn’t cleaned as well as all the spiders we had killed.

She continued to accuse us of lying and then began to say that we just weren’t the right people for the property. Multiple times we said we wouldn’t lie about something like this especially at 8:00 PM where we have nowhere else to go, and that we had used up two cans of spider spray already trying to kill them. She kept referring back to the private feedback and even printed it out to show us and say we were lying about cleaning up the cobwebs in the first place. She also kept saying that since no one else ever had a problem we must surely be lying.

We were so confounded. If she was that upset about private feedback why the hell would she book us again? Luckily her partner was very kind and wanted to help us, and enabled us to move to the property we first stayed in which was clean and spider free. The host, however, made it clear she didn’t want us there at all and I assume would have rather we left altogether. She ended up leaving the property and slamming the door behind her, and it was her partner who helped us out.

Our mistake? I’m guessing we should have taken photos rather than clean it up ourselves both times. We cleaned it up the first time because we figured it wasn’t a big deal to do so, but just left feedback about it. We should have also not cleaned the property at all the second time, and instead taken photos and messaged the host first and showed her where all the spiders and cobwebs were. We made the mistake both times of not taking photos. In our naivety, we didn’t realize how important that would be.

As a result, we haven’t made a report to Airbnb because we just don’t have any evidence at this stage, and just wanted to get out of there as soon as possible. I am just in shock by her behavior. We weren’t trying to cause trouble. We genuinely loved the place apart from this issue (who wants to sleep with spiders dropping on their head?), and our first public review of the place was overwhelmingly positive.

After this experience I won’t go near Airbnb. Hosts have way too much power, and I just couldn’t believe how she was yelling at us and accusing of us of lying. It was unbelievable.

In a Country Experiencing Political Unrest Near My Airbnb

I’m in an African country that is having current political unrest because of upcoming elections — sort of like the U.S. After a day or two at the location, I started hearing shooting and what sounded like bombs going off, as well as tear gas right outside of the Airbnb I’m staying in. It sounded like a war zone outside the door and I was told by security not to try to go to the main road because the police were arresting people.

I contacted Airbnb support (while there were loud explosions going on in the background that the agent heard for herself) and they assured me they would try to help me find other accommodations (full disclosure: I do not want to spend any money to book another accommodation as I still have more than three weeks left on this one).

What I requested is that Airbnb make an exception under their Extenuating Circumstances Policy as part of the “political unrest, riots” clause. I don’t think it’s unreasonable. Airbnb is a multi-million dollar company and I have just recently booked two other places in another city. Apparently, their concern for guests is superficial, at best.

I also believe that if I had been a Caucasian woman fearing for my safety in an African country, Airbnb would have acted with much more of a sense of urgency. I think because I am not, they figured I would be fine and didn’t seem to be that concerned. There is no other explanation I can come to since I’ve provided video of smoke and police converging on the area outside my Airbnb location and also a U.S. embassy security warning sent to my email the day after the first protests started. And yet, I still haven’t heard anything from Airbnb and my supposed case manager.

Racist Host Cancelled Over Holiday Weekend

What was supposed to be a peaceful, relaxing weekend away with some of our closest friends for Thanksgiving weekend turned out to be a nightmare. Our group consisted of a total of six individuals, ethnically diverse (east Indian and Korean) professionals, a mix of women and men. One might wonder why is it important to mention a description of our ethnic background — why does that need to be stated on an Airbnb review?

With everything happening in the United States, racial profiling and discrimination is something I felt free of in Canada, especially in British Columbia where our communities are multicultural. However, we were all victims of discriminatory behaviour by the host.

We booked accommodations at Campbell River about a month prior to our arrival. The intent of our stay was to have a weekend away with our friends and enjoy what we named “friendsgiving.” We were all excited to share a meal around a table, play some board games and enjoy nature. Upon our search we came across a “luxurious log cabin” and the six of us decided the cabin was to our liking and suited our needs and interests for the weekend. We proceeded to book the accommodation, and the host and hostess accepted our payment.

We started planning. We are all honest individuals and have immense respect for others’ homes. We did not want to bring or do anything which was not okay with the host so we took the liberty to be honest and asked the host if it would be okay if we cooked dinner for thanksgiving at the cabin. In addition to this, we asked if it would be okay if we brought our lovely Luna (our dog) with us. The host was quick and kind to reply that the kitchen is fully stocked for cooking purposes and we are more than welcome to host our dinner. However, she was not okay with our pet.

We respected her wishes and decided to let our dog stay with family and were very thankful that she was okay with us using the kitchen. It does state on the listing that the kitchen is available for use and we do have proof of the host’s messages agreeing to the use of the kitchen.

Two days before we were to leave for the weekend, we got a message from the host asking to change our cabin and to consider making changes to our accommodation. They send us pictures of a different cabin, which looks absolutely nothing like the log cabin we had originally booked — not nearly as nice. We kindly asked the host if we could continue to keep our original log cabin accommodation as the entire group is more comfortable with our initial choice. We promised her our dog is not coming with us and that we are all professionals and will leave the place with no damage. The host agreed to allow us to continue our stay at the originally booked log cabin.

All of our ducks were in a row. Ferries from horseshoe bay were booked. It was the day of departure and the six of us make the six-hour commute to Campbell River. During the drive in the morning, we got bombarded with messages from the host saying we could not stay at the log cabin. She was going to cancel our booking unless we agreed to stay at the other cabin.

We took the liberty of calling Airbnb customer support and explained the entire situation to them. They mentioned that the host is in the wrong and should not be changing accommodations without getting approval from the booking customer. The hostess was strong arming us to stay somewhere we didn’t book. Considering we had already commuted almost four hours at this point and it was a long thanksgiving weekend with no other place to stay that could accommodate six people, we had to agree to changing the cabin. However, our condition was that we wanted to see the cabin first upon our arrival.

Once the first half of our group arrived, the host refused to open the gate and let them in. We called her and messaged her to let us in — we paid for the accommodation and travelled a long way to be here. At first, she refused until we called Airbnb and agreed to cancel our original booking and accepted the new cabin. We politely told her that we would like to see the cabin she was recommending before agreeing to her request.

This is where it gets really ugly. When she finally came out to open the gate and take the group to the new cabin, we noticed that the cabin had not been cleaned at all. There was dirt and leaves everywhere, the sheets looked slept in, there were coffee stains on the tables, and a horrible smell. The cabin looked completely lived in and had not been cleaned at all.

Immediately the group refused to stay there — this was not what we paid for and this was not what we travelled six hours to stay at. When asked why we could not stay at the log cabin we originally booked her words to us were: “People like you stayed there last time and the people like you all burned the stovetop.”

At first we were taken aback by the phrase “people like you” and then expressed to her we had no intention of damaging the place. She could take a larger cash deposit from us and hold onto it until our stay was over and return it once she was content that there was indeed no damage.

Her response? “No, I cant trust people like you, you asked about bringing a dog.”

We reassured her there was no dog. We left her back home. She could have checked our car, but she continued to accuse us of lying about hiding the dog. Repeatedly she used the phrase “people like you.” She never once addressed us by our names. She called us violent people when a friend of ours tried to walk towards the other cabin and threatened to call the police.

Eventually we noticed that there was someone already staying at the log cabin we had originally booked. She accepted our payment but gave the accommodation to a family member of hers to stay at for the weekend and was forcing us to stay at another cabin so she wouldn’t have to return our payment. The host then admitted that she gave the log cabin to a family member to stay at and that she forgot to tell us earlier.

We as a group have never been so humiliated, insulted, discriminated, and racially profiled before. We have never had someone threaten to call the police on us, to be treated so inhumanely and to be referred to as “people like you.”

My advice to anyone of ethnic origin or of colour: please save yourself the long journey and headache and do not book accommodations unless you are okay with your weekend being sabotaged. The six of us had to resort to booking a one-bedroom place which slept three people. 600 square feet for the weekend because there was no other place to stay due to the long weekend. We tried to make the most of our weekend, but the horrendous behaviour from the host and hostess was unforgettable.

No Compromise For Changing Dates Whatsoever

Over the last three years I have stayed in 19 Airbnbs. I would consider myself to be a loyal Airbnb customer. I made a reservation for the Thanksgiving holiday for 10 days in San Diego because it was not only a vacation, it was also an attempt to support Airbnb during these difficult times. I know that Airbnb hosts are probably suffering from lower than normal occupancy rates.

A couple of weeks ago I started having growing concerns because the number of COVID-19 cases was starting to rise. I contacted the host, who in this case was represented by a vacation rental company in La Jolla. I mentioned to them that I was concerned about the situation and wanted to know what my options were. I never mentioned the idea of requesting a refund. Rather, I asked if I could modify the dates until the time when the virus started abating. Their response was that they would not allow any modifications.

A few days later the State of California raised the level of COVID restrictions from Code Red to Code Purple. It is the highest level that they have, effectively closing all restaurants to indoor seating, closing all non-essential businesses, and closing all theme parks (if they weren’t closed before). In addition, a stay-at-home recommendation had been issued for the area. I also mentioned the fact that state officials were recommending a 14-day quarantine if one traveled to California.

I brought this to the attention of the vacation rental company and they refused to accept an official modification request for the dates. After pleading with them about being upset that my entire $4,900 deposit was in jeopardy, they said that, if I canceled my reservation, they would attempt resale and issue credit for what they could resell. On the outside that sounded reasonable until I realized that they would sell it for a greatly reduced rate and that if they were unable to sell any of it, I would receive no credit.

I want to also include here that, if you go to the availability chart for this property, with the exception of one week over Christmas, this home is completely unavailable until Sept. 4, 2021 — good luck to those renters if they decide not to go. I decided not to accept their offer. It’s not like they would be refunding me and losing this income; all I wanted was a modification of dates. I went to the Better Business Bureau (BBB) website and noted that this company is not held in high regard. I also noted that Airbnb has an “F” rating. The BBB apparently is looking into this issue and we’ll see what they come up with.

I have also written the Governor’s office. Airbnb has been essentially worthless. They sure know how to support their hosts, but the customer is screwed. I have written 4 emails to the CEO of Airbnb and have heard nothing in response. The management company constantly refers to the fact that they are going to follow the letter of the contract I signed. That, to me, is laughable.

I signed a contract a month earlier for a home in Truckee or the month of June next year. It was accepted and I got the “you’re going to Truckee!“ message. That to me is confirmation of a contract and I got the receipt for the full payment. Five days later I got a message from the owner asking me if I could change the dates of my stay in order to accommodate other clients. These clients turned out to be people he referred to as friends. To make a long story short, Airbnb customer support — instead of defending me and supporting my contract — cancelled my reservation.

I am feeling incredibly frustrated. I am not seeking a refund in this issue with the house in San Diego. I am just wanting to change the dates until the Code Purple restrictions are relaxed and it’s safe to travel again. I would appreciate any assistance in my issue with Airbnb. It’s getting to the point where a lawsuit appears the only thing that will get their attention.

Strong Arm Robbery, Never Stepped Foot in Airbnb

I made an Airbnb reservation a couple days in advance in Oakland for a work-related stay that the host was aware of. I cancelled within the 48-hour timeframe due to a job termination. The stay was for Sept. 21 to Oct. 19 for $1281.27. I waited the 15-day grace period for my refund and it never arrived.

I wrote to the host inquiring where my refund was and she never responded. I never stepped foot in her home and she pocketed my $1281.27. I am a single mother with four kids that are still dependent on me. The Airbnb help center was of no help — they do not hold their hosts accountable.

I would never recommend Airbnb to friends or family; it’s been a terrible experience. Unfortunately common courtesy and hospitality are not in this host’s nature.

Money Lost After Host Lied and Airbnb Didn’t Care

I booked an apartment and thought the host was flexible… how wrong I was. Now COVID is everywhere and I had a headache, but it was not a good reason enough for a cancellation.

Airbnb let the host keep the money. I tried about everything I could. I tried to change the day of arrival for later but the host lied. He promised I could change the day then disappeared. When the host came back he told me it was not possible to change days. He booked days for new guests and left the calendar open for anyone else. I had good reviews and felt I didn’t deserve that.

The host got paid twice and also got a new payment from other guests. Airbnb let the host keep the money from both. I booked multiple apartments through Airbnb before but they don’t have any kind of service or respect for guests anymore. I used to book multiple apartments with very expensive service fees (compared to one night in a hotel). They didn’t care to help.

I can’t trust booking through the page anymore. Airbnb service centre sent me only some automatic messages about its cancellation policy, rules, etc. Nothing necessary and not helpful. As a guest I felt like I was not important. For them it’s the same if I end up outside as long as they get the money and also the service fee. Nothing else matters anymore.

All of them took advantage of the COVID crisis but it was me who felt sick and had to cancel — nobody cared. I used to book through Airbnb because it was cheaper than hotels but with money lost it is really more expensive. Now I feel like many others better not to book anything. If they do book, they should choose other platforms and ask for better offers.

Not Sure Which Was Worse: the Robber or Airbnb

This got a bit complicated when I was robbed at gunpoint where I lost everything, even my pair of heels. They got away with my phone that had my email address and the number I used so I couldn’t access my Airbnb account. I hoped to reach a past host who told me to create another account and get a hold of customer support, which I did and explained my story. I was told to go ahead.

I made a booking. After Airbnb verified my account, they took the sum of $3,786. Then the app told me I needed to verify it myself. This is after they took money from an account which has the same name as my profile. Then about two hours later when I was checking for instructions I found that the booking had been cancelled.

I tried to get hold of support for leaving me stranded. I had to use my week’s food budget just to book a place for the night thinking this would be sorted and I would be accommodated by the next day. This was while Airbnb still had my money.

During the early hours on Saturday I got an email stating that I had been refunded but it would take seven days for the funds to show. The day before I had to pawn my laptop, iPad, and jewelry so I could book alternative accommodations and I still haven’t heard a word from them.

My accommodation in the meantime has cost me $540 in money I borrowed against my valuables. I’m trapped in Capetown due to COVID-19 and get money from family abroad. I can’t Skype with my kids or FaceTime all because I trusted Airbnb. I emailed the CEO, but nothing. Not even an automated message. I swear that I’m holding them responsible for my losses. This is a load of BS, taking people’s money and then ignoring them. I’m very disappointed.

Airbnb Horror with Cockroach Infestation

We booked an Airbnb for a few weeks in Florida. It cost over $2,000 total. On the first day we found one dead cockroach; we didn’t panic, but contacted the host to let her know.

The second day there were multiple live cockroaches. We contacted the host again, which is when we found out she lives in Europe, and is six hours ahead. She admitted she was late on her monthly exterminatory spray for vermin.

After finding the live cockroaches, we realized we may be in bigger trouble than we thought on the first day. We begin to search around the house more in depth to see dozens of dead cockroaches, cockroach poop, cockroach limbs and antennas in the bedrooms, bathrooms, and living spaces.

We found old garbage from the previous owner, a carton of ice cream, old water bottles, used tissues underneath the bed (so now we realize what attracted all the cockroaches). The old garbage and ice cream, combined with the great irresponsibility of our negligent and absentee and mentally unwell host forgetting to book her monthly exterminatory sprays on time, ended up with a cockroach infestation.

The host completely stopped talking to us at that point, and in her review later on claimed I was “rude” and “confrontational” when I told her the severity of the issue. I suppose I should’ve been nicer and more polite that she had $2,300 of my money, didn’t answer my messages, had old garbage and an unclean residence, a cockroach infestation, and cockroach poop in the bedrooms.

It was the final straw when I went to brush my teeth at 7:00 AM and a cockroach and four baby cockroaches came out of the drain in the sink. I really loved having cockroaches three inches from my face first thing in the morning. We had to leave the place two weeks before our departure date.

Of course Airbnb did nothing to help us and got us a grand total of $0 in refunds for the time we spent there. Every Airbnb “specialist” just sent generic responses, sending me the same link ten different times to its Guest Refund Policy that I already cited to them in the initial messages. They also said “We want to get your side of the story” — three messages in a row after I repeatedly and clearly shared my story with them.

It’s a total waste of time; they don’t care about people at all and just want money. I am so glad I will never have to use Airbnb again. Just cut your losses and stay at a hotel. I would share the link of the listing, but I am incredibly confident this host and her condo are so incompetent, disgusting, and terrible that they will run their business to the ground on their own.