Airbnb Host Fraud Lets Strangers into our Home

My husband and I own a house out of state that has been vacant and on the market for over a year. Last night our neighbors contacted us to notify us there were multiple cars and motorcycles parked in our driveway with a party going on inside. After investigation by the police we found out our house had been listed on Airbnb by an unknown host. We have never rented our home nor given any individual permission to list our home for rent.

There were pictures attached to the Airbnb posting from Zillow as well as cell phone pictures taken from outside our home looking through windows and glass doors to the inside as well as pictures taken from inside of our home. The renters showed the police their rental confirmation. The police were relatively uninterested because they said this happens all the time, that fake listings are put up and people show up and can’t get in. In this case, these people had been given instructions to access our home.

We have contacted Airbnb through several methods and been told that this will be addressed by the appropriate team. We’ve asked the call center operator to speak with a supervisor and she hung up. There is clearly no sense of urgency on the part of Airbnb in assisting us with finding the person who is still out there who knows how to access our home.

SuperHost and Five-Star Property Being Banned due to Airbnb’s Policy

The guests I had the most problems with were from Airbnb. I was protecting my home, property, and neighborhood and there is no age discrimination where there is the potential for an increase to my risk and liability. I have rented to all races, ethnic groups, and religions. I would never discriminate in those case, but maturity and responsibility varies extremely in this age category and is a much different story. I’ve set a 30 year old minimum age for guests since I started four years ago and apparently even if state laws allow it I’m not permitted to do it any longer.

Message from Airbnb:

We received report of discrimination from a user about your listing. We wanted to let you know that after investigation, we have found claim to this report. As a company, we strive to exist to create a world where everyone can belong, we are reaching out to ensure that you are aware of both our nondiscrimination policy and your corresponding duties as a host. Our nondiscrimination policy states that hosts may not impose any different terms or conditions or decline a reservation based on the guest’s age or familial status, where prohibited by law.

After investigation, we, as Airbnb, have required that you go through two procedures: 1) we need your confirmation by reply to this email your acknowledgment of our NDP. 2) Remove the ‘Minimum age requirement: 30’ on your listing description. We have currently blocked you from making any reservations as we need to be assured that you understand our non-discrimination policies and have done the removal of age discrimination on your content.

We look forward to receiving your reply within the next 72 hours, as we will not be able to move forward without your reply. For more information related to the nondiscrimination policy, do not hesitate to familiarize yourself with some frequently asked questions.

My Response:

Good Afternoon. In response to your baseless age discrimination accusation, I am attaching Pennsylvania’s law where I am permitted to require a minimum age requirement at my home. I have been an outstanding host and have a five-star property. I will not permit Airbnb to determine that I may have “children rent my home.” This individual who filed the claim also claimed they lived in Vancouver, can yet claimed they were coming from DC and NY with six other friends. That was a huge red flag.

I will not allow Airbnb to tell me what age group I am permitted to rent my $400,000 home to which could potentially create an extraordinary amount of liability and risk to the property as well as my financial well-being. Please see PA’s laws because that is the law that I follow. A 28-year-old did not get their way and was extremely rude thereafter. I could only imagine how they would have treated my home had I allowed them to rent it. This is why I do not want parties in my home, I do not want underage (21 and under) drinking in my home, or college students throwing parties.

Airbnb needs to take a look at their policy and should be held responsible for all liability that comes along with renting to the majority within these age groups. It specifically states in PA laws that “you may not set age requirements or minimums over the age of 40.” My minimum age is 30 and I didn’t think protecting my home should be considered discrimination. I have never discriminated based on anything. I set a minimum age requirement to reduce risk and liability in my home — not your home — and am not comfortable permitting 18-year-olds rent my home nor college age kids in party mode. I refuse to destroy my home.

The Information on Fair Housing The Pennsylvania Human Relations Act prohibits discrimination in all housing transactions including but not limited to sales, rental, finance, providing reasonable accommodations or modifications to housing or commercial properties based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, disability, and age (over 40 in housing Ancestry Pregnancy).

Has Airbnb Gotten Too Big to Care?

blankblankblankblankblank

This is a recent story of how Airbnb has gotten too big to care. We have been hosts and guests since 2010 with 213 five-star reviews. We recently had a guest who booked our home through Airbnb for three adults. He never showed up, but 15 other people did. We found out through his secretary that he regularly books Airbnb’s for his crews who are working on homes in our area damaged by Hurricane Sally in September 2020.

I went to the house and found our entire carport was filled with construction materials. Trucks, trailers, generators, and vans were parked around the house and when I went to the back of the house to see what was going on, all but one of the persons ran into the house and shut the door. The other stayed on the deck smoking (prohibited by our rules) and drinking.

Our house was a wreck when we finally got them to leave. They had trashed the house, stolen many items, knocked holes in the walls, broken glasses, clogged the plumbing and literally destroyed our kitchen. I immediately called Airbnb and was told to document all vehicles and construction materials by photo. I did this and sent it directly to Airbnb.

From that point, Airbnb began to ignore my messages and calls. The only way they corresponded was to message and ask for more documentation. I kept being pushed off to yet another ambassador/supervisor all to no avail because no one could (or would) help. Although I did everything Airbnb asked me to do and provided all documentation requested, they called today to let me know they were not going to ask the guest to pay for the additional guests because he didn’t want to pay it.

Okay, so now we get to go to the department store with the intent of buying three items, end up purchasing 15 but then saying we will only pay for three because that’s how many we wanted in the first place? How many customer service persons would let me out of the store with 15 items when I only paid for 3? None. Yet Airbnb has told the guest he only has to pay for the three guests he reserved, even though 15 stayed.

I have been a loyal client of Airbnb since 2010 and this guest just joined during 2020 so he could send his work crews to stay near the hurricane disaster sites without having to pay for hotel fees. His secretary was foolish enough to share this information with me via telephone. Unbelievable. I have filed a complaint with the BBB, sent emails to the CEO, CFO and CSO of Airbnb, and am sending this information on the “real” Airbnb through all the social media resources available to me.

blank

On My Way to Arbitration After Airbnb Assault

blank

I was an Airbnb host for several years. In December, I was assaulted by Airbnb guests from Canada overstaying at my rental home. I called 911, and police officers photographed my injuries at the station. My Airbnb account was closed, and the reservations were canceled.

The guest contacted me via text message about my account being closed before Airbnb sent me an email deactivating my account. I was coping with my husband’s loss and to be attacked inside of my own home was very difficult for me. Airbnb indicated that they would open a claim for my property damage loss. To this date, no such claim has been opened.

The sheriff’s investigator contacted Airbnb’s Law Enforcement Department, who refused her request for the guests’ identity. She indicated that she attempted to search for the guest’s name using department resources and did not get a return. She noted that the Airbnb guests used false information to make the booking.

Airbnb denied me the right to seek justice with my claim by refusing to provide the guests’ identity to law enforcement, who would have conducted a proper investigation. It seems Airbnb was afraid of an impartial third-party investigation. I am on my way to arbitration, and you will hear about this matter in the press very soon.

Airbnb Protects Neither the Hosts, Guests, nor Community

Due to my experiences as a host, it is my opinion Airbnb is very derelict in creating a safe platform. I recently had a guest get booked without my usual radar. He arrived with four guests instead of two and lied about the extra people not actually staying. He broke rules about staying up later and partying outside until 5:00 AM.

On the day of checkout, he wouldn’t leave — he finally did 1.5 hours late. I called Airbnb about the checkout as my cleaning people needed to get in and clean. They didn’t respond to my call until three hours later. As I watched all four of them finally check out, the booking individual took a gun out of the trunk of the car and aimed it towards my property. I have pictures of him doing this.

When I finally spoke with Airbnb about this, their agent who handles misconduct cases like this took my information. I basically requested that the platform remove this individual from the platform so that other hosts would not have to deal with his dangerous antics. This employee assured me he would protect my identity in this situation and process my complaint. Bear in mind he had a picture of this individual with the gun. He did not need testimony from this person as he had a picture, dated and time stamped. This agent of Airbnb assured me he would protect my identity.

Within hours of expressing my concern about this experience I received an angry text from this guest stating he was angry I told Airbnb about his actions with the gun, an offense that is illegal on so many levels. In my opinion Airbnb has now created a direct grudge with this individual against me and my family. He knows where I live and the activities of this property. This agent assured me that he did not reveal my name when he questioned this individual, which is all he is required to do. Well, this person had only ever booked once with Airbnb and that was with me.

This has unnecessarily created a very dangerous situation for me and I have because of this, I left the platform. I do not recommend it.

Someone is Renting my Home on Airbnb and it Does Nothing

There’s this listing on Airbnb for a property of mine. Wait a minute, I am not renting this property. The host is someone else and they don’t have my consent. I have contacted Airbnb support and they told me to write a letter explaining the case and scan it.

At first I was a bit mad. Am I a scribe? What century is this? But did it anyway. Then the operator told me: “Didn’t I tell you? You need to address it to the host.”

I was a bit madder. I told them to just take down the listing and I’d be happy. I can prove it’s my place; it’s easy. Airbnb said they do not validate any document, and the host declared he has full rights on the property by marking a checkbox. For real: two different operators told me this with the same copy and pasted text, so it’s procedural. If only I knew, I would not have bothered to buy a house.

So there I am standing, a bit mad, and I tell them to at least protect the customers. Whoever reserves this place is basically being scammed and, in the best case, losing time. Then they got mad. Two different operators on two different days were very rude and said that I was not collaborating and the case was closed.

There’s currently a listing on Airbnb for a property of mine, and I’m not renting it out. I’m about to call the police, but at this point I’m not sure who is to blame.

Disgusting Service and Treatment for Airbnb Hosts

I am a Airbnb host and have just been in a spat with Airbnb customer service all day. For the last 12 months I have kept my Superhost status and was given a $100 voucher to use on other Airbnbs. I booked a few days away with my kids this weekend but because Auckland has gone into lockdown we had to cancel.

The host’s cancellation policy was relaxed and I was to receive a full refund. The only thing is I paid half with my coupon and half cash (on credit card). I was advised my credit card would be refunded but I was not given any information about my coupon. So I got in touch with Airbnb and they advised me that because I cancelled my booking, I would lose the coupon.

Honestly I’m in disbelief. I complained and tried to have my complaint escalated. I mean, after 12 months of earning money for them and paying thousands in fees for a measly $100 coupon, they bloody don’t refund it. Cancelling was out of my control – the host’s policy was relaxed. It is Airbnb who has kept my coupon. They absolutely refuse to issue me another coupon. It’s disgusting how they treat hosts. For this situation I never thought for a second they wouldn’t reinstate my coupon. Just very bad form and disgusting treatment.

Airbnb’s Attempts at Customer Service are Laughable

Months ago Airbnb removed security deposits from our listings claiming that we didn’t need them because they had insurance that protected their hosts. Three different claims have resulted in absolutely nothing beyond wasting about 20 hours of my time. They are always waiting for another department to get it done and claim because they are a global company, things take a lot of time.

Hosts no longer have any control over anything. If you are pet friendly, you are inviting Noah’s Ark as they have no provision to limit breeds, age, quantity or anything. People actually think it’s okay to bring their nine cats and six puppies. If the tenant stays beyond their reservation and you ned the sheriff to remove them, good luck getting the extra days’ payment. It’s either their resolution, mediation or some other department that’s handling it.

I’ve come to the conclusion that the only answer is to add another 10% to my nightly rates on their site and make sure there’s a better deal for them on VRBO. VRBO isn’t perfect either but at least you’ve got a chance. Now that Airbnb is a public company we should all should all show up at shareholder meetings or call ins just to tell them how bad they really are.

Under Investigation for False Privacy Claim from Guest

We are currently under investigation from Airbnb after a guest who stayed at our place for the last 40 days (into their 100-day stay) decided to make a false claim against my husband and I for “violating their privacy.” After the guest’s initial inquiry about staying at our cottage in northern Ontario, we told them that we were currently there doing renovations to the lower level to make it a duplex.

Our listing does state that they are renting the entire cottage, but we had called Airbnb and asked for guidance on what to do since we were doing renovations. They simply told us that as long as we had approval from the inquiring guests that we would be there, everything should be fine. We have all the documentation and emails and written consent from the inquiring guests that they were okay with us being there doing the renovations in the lower level. We kept up communications to make sure we weren’t bothering them with any excess noise and tried to only be there during the day when they were at work.

Their check in date was Jan. 11, and they were medium-term rentals staying until April 30/ All throughout the time from Jan. 11 until Feb. 9 everything was fine as far as we knew. We have text proving that they were fine and anytime we needed to enter their space to do something and we have written documentation of asking their permission.

We did expect the renovation to be complete as of mid-January, until the stay at home order that was in place on Jan. 14 obviously delayed our renovations by a couple of weeks. This is something that was completely out of our control.

On Feb. 9, the guest called my husband and said that they were feeling a little bit frustrated with how long this was going. We packed up that day and went home to avoid any conflict and prevent making our guest feel uncomfortable. My husband went back up on Valentine’s Day weekend to clean up his tools while they were not there because they didn’t stay there on the weekends. As of then, everything was fine: we hadn’t heard any other complaints and everything was communicated to the guests.

We then got a notification through Airbnb that the guests would like to change their check out date from April 30 to Feb. 25, which we declined because there was no reason for them to check out early. The renovation was now completed and no one would be in the lower level for the remainder of their stay (why they waited to complain until we were finally done is beyond me).

The next day we got an email from Airbnb stating that there has been a privacy claim against us and that our account will be suspended until the investigation was complete. We got a call on Feb. 20 asking for our side of the story. The claim was that my husband was there during their stay and that was a violation of their privacy.

We used completely separate entrances; we never even saw the guests more than maybe three times the entire five weeks we were there. We never once entered their space without permission and only three separate times: once to replace our modem for the Internet; once to replenish the soap and a broken spoon that the cleaner had told us was broken; and once for the plumber to check something on the washer. All visits were agreed upon and never were an issue when those things happened.

The Airbnb investigator was completely rude and interrupted us multiple times while we were trying to explain our side of the story. We have been Superhosts since the second month of hosting and I’ve had nothing but great reviews with the exception of one who was annoyed that the Internet wasn’t as fast as that in Toronto. I can’t believe that Airbnb is allowing one guest among 17 positive reviews to tarnish our entire reputation as hosts and potentially shut us down.

I guess my question is has anyone experienced something similar to this and what was the outcome? Our worry is that they are going to refund the guest for the time that they stayed there if they deem that we did indeed “violate their privacy“ even though we have proof that they knew the whole time we were there. If Airbnb does decide to cancel their reservation, is there a chance that we will need to refund them for the days that they have already stayed there and if so how is that legal?