Guests Damage Stove and Leave Place Filthy

I hosted a couple last summer. I almost canceled because I had a bad feeling but then decided to host them because they assured me it was just a vacation to see a concert and they were quiet and respectful. Well, that was a complete lie. It was evident upon my arrival when the guests checked out very early and ignored my messages when I asked them what time they would be checking out so I could meet them for my keys.

I decided to go over myself to see what was going on. They had checked out early clearly to evade me. I could not believe the mess and disgusting smells they left behind. They damaged my stove, which is a vintage gas stove. I messaged them confronting the violations of my rules. There was no answer; all I could do was warn others and leave a bad review.

I contacted Airbnb with a lot of photos they said I need to provide more information and invoices. I told them I cannot afford to fix my stove. I tried to get a quote but it was very difficult finding a vintage stove repair company and expensive. I kept up with Airbnb but they decided to ignore me. I told them I contacted the guest directly and they kept ignoring me.

Of course Airbnb did nothing to help. Airbnb needs to toughen up on guests violating house rules and damaging property. This is, after all, our home. We choose to share it with others.

Bad Guest + Damages = Bad Airbnb Policy

This ended fairly well, but not without a huge fight with Airbnb about their catch-22 policy. Here’s how we dealt with it:

We rented our entire million-dollar waterfront home to a family of four and relatives. It turned out it was one family that sublet the rest of the rooms to other “families”. They felt they did not have to supervise anyone for four days.

Literally 350 lbs of garbage was taken out of the house to the dump. There was $3000+ in damages, including from children peeing in beds and leaving it without stripping the sheets off. There was broken furniture from when they moved it all to create a huge playpen in the recreation room for all their children, so they could leave them unattended, resulting in sh*t on the carpet, crayon on the walls, and the pool table used as a baby diaper changing station.

In talking to the guest about payment for the extra damages, they posted a dead mouse photo and complained about how upset they were to have to find this. The photo was of a dead mouse up against a wall that does not exist in my home. I just found out on this site that it is a common tactic to get an instant rebate from Airbnb.

We felt we should review the guest so that other hosts would be wary. They reviewed us very badly and complained about how rude we were, how terrible our property was, and that they had done no damage at all. It would be funny but Airbnb refused to remove the obviously fake review: “We don’t make judgments on the validity of reviews. We let the public forum decide who to believe.”

Now we’re were going to be stuck with the last review as the first thing renters would see the next season. This had to go.

How to get your claim paid fast: we collected all the evidence of damages, got estimates on repairs, and had some receipts for replacement items. We submitted our claim to Airbnb.

If you have a claim be sure to wrap it up in a bow. Take one page for each item – don’t lump it all on one page – shoot and include photos, or screenshots from websites showing replacement items and the cost. Itemize each page and include a spreadsheet showing items and totals with a grand total on a cover page. There are insurance people who have to do this so if you do their job for them they will rubber stamp it, take a percentage off for “depreciation”, and cut you a cheque right away. It worked for us.

Remember the depreciation so be sure to get good estimates or online shop for the best replacement without cheaping out on the price. You could replace it at Walmart, but why not Best Buy instead? PDF that document and email it to them.

I had to argue this one up four levels of customer service to finally get a resolution. Remember that the first customer service person has no power to solve your problem. They seem to be trained to simply spit out the policy, even if that policy makes no sense. In our case, I needed the bad review expunged because it was a lie.

My catch-22 argument was that while “[Airbnb] make[s] no judgement on truthfulness of reviews,” they had made a judgement because their resolutions department had decided that I was telling the truth and the guest had damaged our place so they paid me. They couldn’t pay my claim and say they couldn’t make a judgement on truth. Do not stop complaining. Do not believe that the person you are talking to is the ultimate authority. These people all have a boss – demand to speak to their supervisor.

It took me almost two months to get high enough and I had a very good logical argument for the removal. They finally took it off saying, “upon review we have determined that the review was malicious in defense of damage they had caused”.

I consider myself a very good Superhost and have also been to many wonderful Airbnb rentals without incident for the last two years. I’m pretty certain that, as a host, justice was not done. I’m sure that Airbnb did not chase after the guest for the damages money they paid out, nor did they take advantage of the $2000 damage “deposit” I have in my listing (which if you’ve ever been a guest you know it never gets posted to your credit card).

The guest probably got a refund for the fake mouse photo. So this guest has never been punished for their bad behaviour and will probably do this to another host. How is that protecting your business, Airbnb? Hell, I’m even worried that they will try to rent again under a different name or person in the group, e.g. “Hey, Bob, it’s your turn to book”. They had such a fabulous unsupervised stay the last time, why not do it again?

Airbnb Illegally Charges Taxes in Some Areas

I was notified by Airbnb that they would begin collecting GST (goods and services tax) on my behalf, charging my customers when they booked. They also stated the taxes I owed from their rentals would be paid quarterly. The trouble is, I live in an unincorporated, remote area, where I am not required to have a business licence, and according to the tax laws, for my particular rental, do not require me to pay taxes based on the rental property tax requirements.

I contacted Airbnb about this and they said they were basing their tax collections on a province-wide average, which includes several major cities, all that do have to pay the taxes they are saving, to pay on the hosts’ behalf. In essence, Airbnb was charging taxes to my customers, and pocketing it for themselves, in an account, probably worth millions, for three months, (earning interest, no doubt), and then using it to pay others’ taxes, that my customers would not have to pay if Airbnb had not started this procedure.

I did try to resolve this with Airbnb and was never allowed to speak to an actual person, just prefab replies. I cancelled my account with them. Beware. People cannot book your home without paying the taxes Airbnb charges, even if they are not owed.

Guest Caused Thousands in Damages, Airbnb Let Her Go

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I had a verified and reviewed POS and her family stay. They caused thousands of dollars in damage. I instantly called Airbnb as I suspected she had gone to another Airbnb; she had. Airbnb consistently stonewalled me, claiming not to be receiving invoices, receipts, and photos. There was no explanation as to why they allowed her to go to another Airbnb. You cannot post a bad review without giving at least one star. Whilst I’m on about it, the Washington police, in a breathtaking comment, advised that they thought our photos indicated “maintenance issues”.

Malicious Damage, Drugs, Theft, and a Lot More

We have just had guests who booked our house to set up a $60,000 theft from a nearby property. We met them when they moved in and immediately felt they were suspect. You know how your hair stands on end when you know it’s just not right?

We were straight onto the phone to Airbnb, who assured me they were verified guests. Unbeknownst to me, one hour before my call to Airbnb they had received a report from the house these people had just left where they did $20,000 damage in a drug craze. Never once did they contact me to advise what potentially could happen at my house with these bad guests.

They left us when the police raided the house. The male stole $60,000 worth of jewelry, firearms, and ammunition. He also stole two 10-week-old pups to sell for more drugs, and kept it all at our house. They stole from us, did not follow the house rules, and Airbnb never let us know they had done this at the past two houses.

They have been gone for a week, changed their profile picture, and are no doubt staying at someone else’s house doing damage and stealing property. Airbnb knows the police are involved but have done nothing. It’s a farce.

Now I am trying to get the security bond back. Two calls and one email every day with being told it is being escalated and nobody has contacted us. I posted a review saying I would not have them back, but it has never been published on their profile; other hosts can’t see what they are really like.

Do not ever trust the Airbnb reviews: they are fabricated. If it does not feel right, do not let guests stay. It’s wrong, illegal, and unsafe. What else is Airbnb hiding while they continue to take our money?

My Wife Hosted our Home. Didn’t Tell Me

Back in 2016 my wife told me about Airbnb and said she would like to host our house. Nothing else was said until she was very adamant that we take off just to get away one weekend. When complications came up, she was forced to admit she had rented out our house “just to try it”. Well I was upset that she would do such a thing without telling me. We had a pretty serious discussion about my opinion, and her honesty.

Fast forward to 2017. She wanted to go on an extended weekend trip and I just could not because of work. Well she played hurt, then angry. On Friday she said, “Well, let’s just stay at a local motel.”

I thought that was pretty odd and she gave all kinds of excuses to be out of the house. Finally she admitted she had booked our house for the weekend. I was furious she did this again. This time I asked her to let me have access to her account and I found three more bookings in the next two months.

I wrote Airbnb explaining the situation and they said they couldn’t help me because I wasn’t on the account. “It’s a problem between you and your wife,” they said.

“True,” I said, “But I own the home!”

When I asked if it would be their problem if I turned the guests away, they still said nothing. They would not get involved. After a heated argument and with guests arriving in the morning, I submitted to moving out for the weekend if she closed her account with Airbnb and cancelled all of her booked guests. She did and promised me she would always talk to me before making any decisions like that.

Fast forward to this weekend. Same story. “Let’s get away for the week” prefaced by furious house cleaning. I came to find out that she had not deleted her account and in fact booked our house for the weekend… and every weekend during the months of June and July and one in August. My whole summer is booked with me away from our lake home.

I am stunned. I am calling Airbnb on Monday but I can guess their answer. My options? Refuse to let the guests in or maybe try and contact them and give them warning? Airbnb won’t get involved.

Airbnb Can Cancel Whatever They Want at any Time

I had been renting out rooms using Airbnb for about three years and had very good ratings. Five months ago, an Airbnb guest left an external door unlocked and my house was robbed. In order to make it safer for me and my guests I installed an external security camera system which is very common at many accommodation places in Australia. I informed the Australian Government of an Airbnb guest overstaying their visa.

Airbnb responded with limited information notifying me they will lop $180 off my next guest. Shortly thereafter they cancelled my account. Beware, as most of the guests wanting accommodation have no ratings. The cancellation policy is meaningless as Airbnb can arbitrarily cancel a guest’s booking at any time and give you almost no information as to why they are cancelling it.

Based on what has happened, I doubt the bond system by Airbnb is worth anything. As a host, you and the Australian Government do not know who the guests staying in your house are. Airbnb doesn’t even know who the extra guests are. As Airbnb is getting more hosts, the room rates have dropped a lot so it is definitely not worth putting up with garbage like this.

Fed up with Airbnb’s “Extenuating Circumstances” Policy

I am quite fed up with Airbnb’s Extenuating Circumstances policy and their customer service agents’ performance. My guest wanted to cancel her reservation last weekend due to the Eurostar not operating. I contacted Airbnb customer service and offered to give a 50% refund to this guest.

Customer service just deducted my payment and gave a full refund to the guest, referring to their “Extenuating Circumstances” policy , which I think is totally unfair to hosts. I understand circumstances we can’t control, but my guest can make a claim and complaint to Eurostar for this incident. I tried to be fair to both sides and offered 50%.

In addition, my guest can get compensation from her travel insurance because this incident was caused by Eurostar, but I have to pay her a full refund? When she cancelled her reservation last weekend because of this incident, how could I find any guest to replace her? I have lost income for this last weekend as well.

I contacted a customer service agent who dealt with my case. All she could do was refer to Airbnb’s Extenuating Circumstances policy. As per their policies, they only protect the guests, not the hosts at all. Their customer service agents can only refer to the policies, but they fail to solve the problem based on the situation. I don’t think they deserve a booking fee from hosts and guests because they only provide poor service. Two thumbs down.

Unfairness is the only way to Describe Airbnb

Be aware about listing your property with Airbnb. They only care about money and don’t take care of their hosts. I had three listings with them and cancelled all of them. I was a Superhost on all of them with five-star reviews.

They didn’t pay for doors damaged by guests on one property. On the other one, the guests decided they didn’t want to stay any longer and moved out without any notice, holding our dates. Airbnb decided to refund their money. I didn’t have any input in their decision.

They don’t listen to your responses and if you don’t agree with that decision they will tell you there is nothing you can do, because they already decided. Customer service is very bad; don’t book with them. They hold your money for a very long time. I was contacted by the guests who cancelled about a refund, because it took forever. They were not happy.

Airbnb Censors Reviews for Guests and Hosts

I hosted two Airbnb listings for past two years, earning Superhost status with nearly a hundred five-star reviews. If ever on the fence about a guest due to condition of my Airbnb post- checkout, I’d avoid leaving a review altogether instead of a bad one.

Not so with my last guest. I thought the guest did not match his photo, traveled alone despite claiming to travel with a spouse, staying all day long in the guest house for purposes unbeknownst to me, but definitely not a happy vacationer. Uneasy about security for the first time, I went so far as to write a negative review so other hosts might consider him depending on how their Airbnb was situated.

Airbnb actually deleted my negative review of this guest against my protests. They tried to say it was for my own good because it would delete his negative review of my Airbnb as well. I said it was fine to leave his critique as is. With so many five-star reviews, travelers could read both sides to decide. That’s how reviews are supposed to work: present balanced views. Instead, now I discover Airbnb censors negative reviews, so their whole rating system is worthless.

Airbnb has become too greedy. Disregarding safety, misleading the public via censored reviews. Consequently, I will stop working with Airbnb entirely this year, moving my listings to VRBO instead.