Airbnb Hosts Cannot Request Government Issued Photo ID?

I have been a Superhost for more than three years. I recently started to require all guests to provide a digital copy (picture via Airbnb message thread or text message) of their government-issued photo ID before check-in details are sent to them. This is for our security as hosts in case anything happens, and we need to file a small claim or lawsuit to recover for damages, fees, etc.

The requirement is disclosed in the house rules. We, as hosts, know Airbnb does not honor their one million dollar host guarantee. I called Airbnb to assist with reaching out to a particular guest who was having issues with sending their ID. The first Airbnb rep claimed that it is against their terms and conditions for guests to provide this information to the host. I told the Airbnb rep she was incorrect because I’ve done this for months and a prior Airbnb rep assisted me with this same situation for another reservation.

Long story short, I called a total of six times and four Airbnb reps says it was against their terms and conditions. Meanwhile, two said the request was alright if it was disclosed in the house rules. I requested to speak with an Airbnb case manager, and the four Airbnb reps who made the false claims about the terms and conditions would not transfer me to a case manager.

If it is true Airbnb does not allow hosts to obtain a government-issued photo ID from the guests, even when it is disclosed in the house rules, hosts have no security if anything serious arises. I would love to hear thoughts from other hosts and guests.

Beware Hosting on Airbnb: One Negative Review

To potential Airbnb hosts: beware of Airbnb. I’ve had it. The rating system is a complete joke. I’ve had a number of great reviews from people that love my two units, but I just had someone give me a one-star review because the dishwasher wasn’t working (took one minute to unclog) and a light bulb in the hall was out.

Clearly the man was in distress as he was visiting Philly to get his wife medical treatment, and he said he had never stayed at an Airbnb before. When he was clearly unhappy, I offered him a full refund, including cleaning fees. He took the refund and blasted my apartment, lying through his teeth about the apartment, and the neighborhood, stuff that is just total nonsense, and easily disproved.

This cost me almost $400 for the stay, but then my listing was put on hold for five days because it dropped below 4.2 stars. In his review, this guy said the “neighborhood is dirty”, which honestly, I’m not even sure what that means. The property is exactly one mile from UPenn on a main drag, in University City in West Philly. If he wanted an apartment in Center City, he would have paid double what I charge for mine.

Anyway, I contacted Airbnb to see if they would consider removing the review, knowing that the robots that work for them would stick to the script. Honestly, somebody should tell the management that the people who answer the phone are not helpful at all, ever. I really think they are automatons. They follow a formula/script whenever you call in, taking calls from a call center somewhere outside of the US, and they never stray from the set procedures for their precious review system.

If someone doesn’t post something universally offensive, no matter how preposterous, they will not change a guest review. Airbnb pretty much always sides with the guest. It’s a very lopsided review system. Again, this guy had never stayed at an Airbnb before. He may never again. I’ve invested hundreds of thousands of dollars into this property and have given Airbnb so much, and they don’t care about me.

Well, I’ve had it. I’m going to try out the competition, and I hear good things about them. I could bring so many more properties online with this company, but will I? Airbnb now offers me $700 now to refer hosts, but they don’t seem to value me as a host.

Shooting Inside and Outside my Airbnb Home

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On June 28th, my Airbnb was vandalized by a customers’ boyfriend and friends, who had no permission to stay at my home. The customer rented my Airbnb, and to my dismay, a wild party was thrown. I was alerted by my house manager that the house wasn’t fit for the guests who were supposed to check in at 4:00 PM, because it had been vandalized.

When I saw the damage on FaceTime, I was appalled. The house was riddled with bullet holes in the walls, broken furniture, feces and urine on the walls and floors, and old food in a majority of the rooms. The sink and tub were backed up. I used an upstairs attic as storage for my electronics, including televisions, house wares, food and cleaning supplies, linens, etc. Unfortunately, all of those items were stolen as well. That attic was off limits as it was written in my contract.

After watching outside video of the party, I was shocked to see the violent gunshots, and physical confrontations that took place throughout their stay. I contacted Airbnb, and I waited patiently for them to reach a resolution; I was ignored so I turned to social media, with hopes of gaining exposure for this ill treatment.

Finally, I received an email on August 19th that stated that an adjuster would come out to assess the damage. I decided to sell the home because of the negative connotations attached to it, fearing that the perpetrators may try to come back again especially since they’ve been sighted on more than one occasion driving by the home.

Airbnb never contacted me via phone. I received an email on October 19th, nearly a month after the insurance adjuster showed up on September 30th. By that time, I had fixed the walls, plumbing and some of the furniture that was salvageable, and the rest had to be discarded.

I feel as if Airbnb didn’t execute the situation in a timely or professional manner. They lack compassion for their customers, and instead of finding a resolution, they kept sending my case to a new customer agent instead of paying me for my huge loss.

Sue Airbnb to Receive Your Host Guarantee

I had a guest who lied, saying he lived far away and that he wanted to visit San Francisco. In fact, he live an hour away and wanted a house to trash while he was with his friend. I don’t allow smoking, but I found ashes and cigarette butts in my bedroom. Items were stolen and glasses broken. Urine was everywhere but in the toilet. He annoyed my neighbors, and left trash everywhere.

When I got home four hours after he checked out, I came home to a house with the lights on, TV on, stove burner on high, and windows wide open when it was raining. I was so upset seeing my nice home defiled. I cried for it. I did most of the cleaning myself, but I sent it for money for the stolen and broken items and for the wood floors warped from the rain.

Airbnb’s Home Guarantee office said that they wouldn’t refund me; apparently I violated the terms of service because my house is under contract for sale. My house wasn’t for sale, and it still isn’t. I called and emailed them, and I received this reply: “This is our interpretation and it is the only one that matters. Don’t contact us again about this.”

I then had to research how to sue them. It isn’t hard; I recommend it to everyone who gets ripped off. I sued them in small claims. You need to write a demand letter stating what happened and what you demand, what you want. They have thirty days to respond, and then you can file. For me, they responded right after the demand letter.

Look online on how to write one; you don’t need a lawyer. Small claims in California is for claims under ten thousand dollars. I needed a name to put on the form, so I just used the CEO. I live in California, so maybe it is easier to sue them, but I recommend everyone do it. After I sent the demand letter, I received a crappy apology by email and most of the money I asked for. I am done with them forever.

Suspicious Guest’s Boyfriend Tries to Break in

A girl from Russia booked a room but asked for a discount. I thought I should not give her one, but I did. She checked in with a guy who used the key to try to get into my house upstairs. My wife was watching TV on the couch; she flipped out. I asked the guy if he had read the description of the studio, which clearly said it was a downstairs garden apartment. He had the nerve to blame it on me because it wasn’t in the check-in instructions.

I went back and looked at the check-in instructions and everything he needed was there: pictures and an explanation. I asked the girl if she wanted to stay as a double occupancy and she said no he was only helping her and then he was leaving. Five minutes later, they were having extremely loud sex in the single occupancy studio. They’re also violating the no shoes policy. My wife thought that there was prostitution going on and she didn’t feel safe.

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Guest Managed to Scam me through Airbnb

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I appear to have been scammed by a scammer through seemingly legitimate Airbnb channels. The guest – with zero reviews but six forms of verification booked and paid for three nights. On the day they were meant to leave she asked if she could extend for seven nights. I agreed and altered the booking.

The next day I found out the alteration had been rejected. I wasn’t told why. The guest is now on “free” night one. I immediately contacted the guest – I’m told they didn’t know why it was rejected but insisted they would reach out to Airbnb and make the payment.

The same day I received confirmation (email and message) from a legitimate Airbnb source saying a payment of £1400 was on its way and a description “extra service – extend stay until 28/09/2019″. So I was thinking, “Great… Airbnb have acknowledged it and I’ll get paid.”

The next day I got a message from Airbnb saying “payment is delayed.” The Guest was on “free” night number two. Two days later, after chasing Airbnb, I got a message saying payment could not be collected. The guest was on “free” night four… well, almost five since Airbnb support was based in the US so it was late in the UK.

On the fifth day, after all the failed attempts to get money from Airbnb, the guest told me they would transfer the money via bank transfer. I know it wasn’t what Airbnb wanted but I was running out of time to get anything from this guest before they left. She sent me a screenshot of the bank transfer and confirmation number. The money never actually went through and the guest left on day six.

Airbnb has been totally useless. The case has been passed to numerous people who ask the same questions over and over again. They’re simply staying the initial stay was three nights, which was paid and subsequent nights were done outside of Airbnb, which I don’t get.

As for the £1400 that they failed to collect for me for the extended stay, they accept they processed it and told me it was on the way but since they couldn’t collect the money, they’re wiping their hands clean. They were quick to point out that I’d attempted to do a transaction outside of Airbnb, in no way sympathetic to the fact I didn’t really have any other option.

The guest continued to communicate with me after she’d left. She argued that because she left early she should only pay £1200, not £1400. It was a bit strange because if it were a scam from the offset why even communicate after you’ve left? Anyway, that’s kind of irrelevant. There are a#$holes out there, I get it. What I don’t get and am annoyed about is how they were able to trick me via the official Airbnb channels.

Airbnb left me with a dead body, $50,000 in damages

There was a story that was aired on the local news the morning of July 28th, 2019. This story included vague details of a pool party that went wrong and the death of a Clay High School student by gunshot. Including only one side note was that it was an Airbnb listing.

There were many details that the story failed to capture. I am the homeowner of that Airbnb listing. I had listed the home on Airbnb just over a year ago as an entire house rental, private property with horses and country escape at around a $500/night booking fee.

Of the seven or eight bookings I had, it was a great experience, until it wasn’t. I had a one guest for a one-night booking the week prior to July 27th. This person had a verified Airbnb account that included one five-star review. They didn’t offer a lot of details about their stay but like every time before, the house was prepped, the key was left, and I was gone before they arrived.

I was notified by a neighbor around 1:30 AM that something seemed wrong with the amount of cars at my property and traffic in and out. I immediately called the police to assist in removing anyone from the property, as they were all trespassing and likely causing unspeakable damage to the home.

The shooting happened shortly after that, before the police even made it there, leaving one 18-year-old man dead in my driveway. This one guest rental was a 200-300 person party of underage people and dangerous criminals. There were Hennessy bottles thrown at my horses who were on the property during this time, luckily not causing any significant harm to them.

Upon further discovery, the actual verified guest has an extensive criminal background. There was blood throughout the entire home, over $20,000 in building damages and another $30,000 in personal property that was either stolen or ruined. Although the local police recommended bleach and water, I hired a hazmat crew to come and disinfect the home and clean the immense amount of bio waste that was covering my walls, floors and furniture.

People continued to return to the home in the days following so for the safety of my family I hired private security to protect the home and property. These people are and have been at war with each other. My home just happened to be the location that the battle was fought at.

I live with the reality every day that every single person who had access to my home can clearly tell it’s only a young woman and a five-year-old boy who live here. Of all the things damaged and all the pain this has caused, there is no greater fear than the idea that these monsters could come back and harm myself and my son.

My story isn’t about publicly shaming those who did this. My goal, however, is to shed light to the darker side of hosting for Airbnb and the complete lack of restitution that they have offered per their Host Guarantee and the lack of actual vetting they do to verify a guest. Almost three months, over 50 emails and communications, and they have decided to wash their hands of this due to the fact my personal homeowners insurance stepped up and covered just under $20,000 of the damages.

The process of their Host Guarantee is basically a death march to the point hosts rely on personal finances and their own homeowner’s insurance to begin the process of putting their lives back together. Although my insurance was amazing in the process, there is still $30,000 of personal property that was accounted for in detail as a loss.

The Host Guarantee specifically states (per their contractual agreement) that they will pay the difference of insurance claims. The most recent communication is that they took a if/then method stating that if my personal insurance has stepped up, then Airbnb is free and clear of any liability.

I hope to share my experience so those who are simply doing this to share the experience of their home, improve their homes for their families, or even just make some side cash on their primary residence know that if something does go wrong, Airbnb will not stand behind you.

Airbnb will suffer… in this life or the next

I have not been paid as a host for the last two months. Despite calling about three times a week to their customer service, there has been no resolution nor are they making any effort to come to one. The amount owed is more than £1000. Airbnb is simply not interested. Customer service opens a case then does nothing to resolve the issues. They even find excuses for why the payment has not been sent then once the issue has been solved they find something else. I think Airbnb policies are truly evil, misleading and thoroughly dishonest. The people that devise this evil will be brought to account for their actions… in this life or the next.