Six of us paid to stay at this Airbnb for three nights, from January 13-15th. The first two nights went great; we met some of the people who lived in the house and it was peaceful and pleasant. On the third night (Sunday the 15th), one of the people who lived in the house, Q, told a member of our group to park his car in the front yard of the house. We then went to a concert in downtown Atlanta, 30 minutes away. While we were away, we received many urgent phone calls telling us that the car had to be moved because it was blocking one of the tenant’s car in, and he needed to get to work. We explained that we were 30 minutes away, Q told us to park there, and that we would pay for an Uber to get the man to work. He would not accept this offer, and two members of our group went back to the house to move the car. Upon arrival, our group member saw that his car was keyed and there was a crazed, drug-addled maniac screaming at them. He tried to force our group members to pay him $250 for the work that he missed (he was only an hour late) and was screaming at them and giving them death threats. He told them to pack up all of our stuff and get out of the house. Our group members were frightened beyond belief, and while they were moving their cars the only thing the people at the house said was “don’t cry and drive.” We then had to purchase a hotel room and stay there for the night. I do not think this house should be listed on Airbnb. I would like a refund at least for the one night that we needed to sleep in a hotel because of these crazy people, and if possible a reimbursement for the money spent on the hotel room and to fix the damage to the car.
I live next door to a large modern home in Sherman Oaks, California. For months we’ve seen people coming and going, films being shot, and dogs barking all day and all night. However, New Year’s Eve made us realize this house is actually empty and is being rented out for large parties. New Year’s Eve was pure hell. Even at 3:00 AM the music was still pounding, women were screaming and giggling, beer bottles were being thrown, furniture was being toppled on the back porch, and there were firecrackers being set off. Over 300 people in one house. If it happens again the police will become involved. The owner has turned this place into a frat flophouse. She should be ashamed of herself. None of the neighbors are happy. Maybe Airbnb as a company should vet these owners a little more carefully. I will make this owners life miserable if it continues. There’s no way to contact Airbnb. I tried and all they keep doing is sending me rental listings in my neighborhood. I wouldn’t use Airbnb if my life depended on it. They are as much to blame as these absentee owners who are just in it to collect the rent.
The apartment was described as “cosy”. It was not. The place was dirty, dingy, run down and misrepresented. After two days of a four-day booking we could not take it any more and moved out to a hotel for the rest of our stay in Washington DC. We have not asked for a two-day refund yet because we were just so glad to get out. I notified the hosts, “Steven” and “Jane”, we were not happy with the apartment (without providing any details) and thanked them for their help before we arrived and also for the cleaning credit. We have heard nothing back from them. Like many other guests, we never met them before this trip.
Steven and Jane call it their home. We saw no evidence that it was used as a permanent home. For example, a complaint from another guest this summer about a big hole in the wall where there was an electrical plug in the bedroom was still there in mid-October of 2016. The small gas stove was so filthy inside and out that no one would ever want to use it. The air intake in a hallway was covered in dirt and could not have been cleaned for months or even years. There was no evidence at all of any male presence… and no man would ever put up with a toilet seat that would not stay up. The bathroom tub was rusted around the taps and the ceiling was peeling off above it. The place had not been painted for years.
To us this apartment looked like it was simply a substandard rental for unsuspecting tourists. It is in a very old run-down building which, unlike many similar buildings in the area, has not been kept up. The hallway and front door outside the apartment is filthy. When we arrived the place had not been cleaned. I contacted Steven and Jane by text and was promised a refund of the cleaning charge. So far we have not received it. The only good thing about our short stay is that people in the area were all very friendly. The attached photos are only a small sample of what this “cozy” apartment really looks like. I could only post five photos; they did not include the hazardous kitchen wall plug that has several adapters added to accommodate all the appliance plugs. We will be filing a complaint with Airbnb and also with the Washington DC Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs.
I’ve been a host for three years now and have stayed in Airbnbs around the world several times. After several years, I have finally had it: I am ending my relationship with Airbnb and moving on to long term renters. I have two listings; one is private room in my condo, and the other is an entire home (one-bedroom condo) that I purchased for the sole purpose of renting it out. This post is to discourage others from becoming involved with Airbnb. It’s been a rough ride these fast few years… In the early days, there were sweet guests who brought gifts, followed the rules and genuinely wanted to get to know the person they were living with or living under. Over time though, guests seem to be more driven by finding cheap accommodations and the demands are ever increasing. They expect deep cleans of the condo but argue with me over the cleaning fees, ask to borrow my car, and complain about the pillows being too soft or hard. They will empty out my mini bar and leave no monetary contribution, walk around in their underwear, be mean to my cat, etc.
The listing says the condo is not metro accessible but they didn’t want to pay the high rate to stay on the metro line and don’t have a car to get to the grocery store. If the condo doesn’t have something in stock like some flour, they simply knock on a neighbor’s door (which is terribly rude – they don’t have a rapport with that person and sometimes don’t return the item they borrowed). Airbnb requires guests to list a phone number but many times I’ve found that number is not the actual guest’s number or the guest doesn’t have an international plan and his phone is useless. There were some guests that had me constantly running back and forth: they needed more baking sheets, then a crock pot, vinegar, and sunscreen, and they didn’t even have the courtesy to leave a review.
The maximum occupancy is six guests but I charge an additional $5 after two guests; somehow, magically, no one ever has any party larger than two. I realize I could snoop around or try and check in and maybe I could see how many folks are staying there, but the minute I say “Hey, the listing requires an additional $5/person and you have six here so I will be adding $100 to your stay,” I am basically asking for a terrible review. I have seen the nicest people turn vicious and threaten to say I am prejudiced or discriminating. The accusation is already enough to ruin people nowadays. Airbnb touts this “trust community” but over 90% of my guests are first time renters and many of them rent infrequently.
Airbnb asks that I leave fresh flowers, breakfast foods, wine and beverages, games, and snacks. Less than 5% of guests have ever just left a few dollars. A Sam Adams beer might be $7 from a mini bar in a hotel, but you can’t leave $1 for the two you drank? Really? This is how you would treat a friend who was hosting you? Guests have broken things in front of me; I have taken diligent pictures, submitted my quote to Airbnb’s Resolution Center, where as always the guest refuses to pay, and even though I have a Security Deposit and have been a Super Host for three years I have to go through Airbnb’s insurance policy for a $12 plate. I have made a lot of money with Airbnb but I constantly check myself to make sure I am not being greedy and overcharging.
Sometimes, peoples’ personal stories do make me empathize. I’ve let pets stay on request, allowed early or late check outs when I can, picked up items from the grocery store, and given rides to the city center. Guests will ignore my calls for a day then expect me to pick up after two rings every time. As a host it just comes down to Airbnb as a company. I don’t believe they will take care of me if something bad happens. I’ve often wondered if convicted sex offenders can rent out rooms in homes (how would we know?). Airbnb puts all the tax strains on me and forces me to pay the occupancy tax (which I’m happy to do, but it would be nice if they took on the administrative burden).
Despite three years of loyalty I never get a thank you card or Airbnb travel credit, and in the hospitality industry usually employees are at least reminded how important they are. Last but not least, I feel really terrible for my neighbors. Over the years some have been kind while others have gone to the Condo Board and local county government. There was one gentleman who lived in the building who wrote his congressman, county officials, and attorneys. While he was a little over the top, I get it: he wanted actual neighbors and not a revolving door. Who would buy the condo next to the full time Airbnb? If I ever thought I was hosting individuals who were going to have a disruptive vacation I would never have accepted that reservation. It is so hard to screen guests because I only see a picture and a paragraph or two, and anyone can say they are in the area visiting family or friends. The review system is pretty hit or miss; sometimes it’s hard to leave a negative review because I have to question if I’m being too judgmental or expecting too much from the guests. Goodbye Airbnb. You just saw a little piece of your paycheck prance over to YourHomeSuite.
My daughter and I booked an apartment on the Upper West Side of New York City several months in advance of our September 1st visit. I was in touch with the host via text several days in advance, who told me to tell her when I was landing, and she would give me directions on how to get to her apartment. Upon my arrival at the airport from Nashville and on the way to the apartment, I called her, at which time I was told that she was changing the location to her son’s apartment on the Upper East Side. I was also told not to tell the doorman that I was an Airbnb guest, but “a friend of her son’s girlfriend Zoe.” I was very upset and told her to cancel the reservation and I requested a refund of by $1,345. So far, in spite of repeated attempts to reach her and Airbnb, I have not received a refund. Help!
Here lies the problem. Airbnb Hell has only has two categories for posting: guest or host. Airbnb also only has two categories for complaints: guest or host. There needs to be a third option: neighbors of Airbnb. One by one, every time a long-term tenant moves out of my block, his home is taken over by estate agents running Airbnb units. In a year’s time they have gone from running one flat to six. On multiple occasions, I’ve had entire families in my stairwell sitting there when I get home, unable to get into the Airbnb unit. I’ve had people come down and knock on my door asking for help while I’m on business calls and Skype. There have been parties of 30+ people who have brought their own sound systems. The audible noise of people vomiting and urinating off of an unregulated balcony with no railings out back was particularly disturbing, as is the thought of a guest unknowingly tossing a cigarette butt down the 5-meter empty space beside the unit and causing a fire, or even worse someone falling down and killing himself.
The particular unit above me was listed with the intention of becoming a sort of youth hostel in a residential area. They list the property as ‘sleeps up to 12’ and ‘suitable for events’. It is an open plan unit with one official bedroom. What often happens is a large group books the unit for a big night out in London. The person with the key comes home first and passes out. All the mates come back later after the clubs close and ring every buzzer not knowing how to get in.
There’s something strange going on in unit to my left. The same three lads stay there every couple of weeks, always on a Monday or Tuesday. Once I could not sleep and went outside to view the properties from the street. I saw two people come along and throw rocks at that unit until they were let in. Turns out the host will hang out in the unit if there are no bookings with his mates and party it up. My neighbor who has a business above this property has complained to the host about weed wafting up while he has clients during office hours on weekdays. The host spat at him. He didn’t even bother to lie. I don’t care what recreational activities people take part in. I am as open minded as it comes. However, when my home life (or my neighbor’s business) is in serious detriment because of Airbnb, we have a problem. I don’t live in a warehouse space. I don’t live in a squat. I live in a contained flat that somehow I’ve been able to maintain for ten years and I’m very proud of that fact. The sharing economy can be great. Sometimes though, the sharing economy = the sharing of one’s sanity with strangers getting a good deal.
My neighbor is an Airbnb host, not me. I tried to contact Airbnb regarding issues and questions I had related to my neighbor’s hosting, and it’s impossible to contact them through their website without providing the host’s listing information. Seriously? There is no email listed on their website. So, my questions relate to Airbnb’s verification process and how they protect neighbors if a guest damages the neighbor’s property, attacks the neighbor, steals from the neighbor, etc; and so, I called Airbnb. They planned to refer it to their legal department, but they refused to do so unless I provided my neighbor’s information. Seriously? In what universe would I trust Airbnb with my privacy if they can’t even provide an email or phone number on their website in which to contact them? I can’t allow my neighbor to know I contacted Airbnb. So, I asked to speak to the customer service representative’s supervisor; until I through a complete and utter hissy fit and repeated over thirty times “I need to speak to your supervisor” did I get to speak to someone who could take down my information to get back to me. I wasted 32 minutes on the phone trying to get a few simple questions answered on top of trying to go through their website.
I would suggest a new category of victim for this website: Airbnb neighbor. My home and four other apartments in a small 6-unit building were all unwilling dragged into the pitfalls of the sharing economy. We had involuntary, front-row seats to the joy of when one individual volunteers access to your doorstep to the world without your consent and lies to everyone involved for her personal financial gain. Stephanie Browne is a serial Airbnb “host” who at one point listed up to three separate full apartment rentals in Bushwick, Brooklyn; this is illegal to do in NY for less than 30 days. Having reaped much financial gain as a full-blown gentrifier with two separate rental apartments in one building, she proceeded to expand her hotel room business by signing a lease in another small 6-unit apartment building. Our new “neighbor” proceeded to rent the apartment out as early as two weeks from when she moved in to the unit.
Why, we wondered, are families of five who obviously don’t know anything about the neighborhood carrying bottled water and coolers into a one bedroom apartment when our “neighbor” was nowhere to be seen? Sure enough, the apartment was listed on Airbnb for rent, with Stephanie Browne claiming to be the owner. This started a full year of random vacationing strangers parading through the building at all hours, with one guest at one point threatening the host by calling the police when she was locked out, and causing the entire building’s locks to be changed. She gave out building keys like party favors to the whole world. Meanwhile, she was not even residing in the country and had moved full-time to Europe.
Stephanie Browne is the diametric opposite of the “good actor” Airbnb claims makes up their hosts who only need to rent periodically to afford their rent. Browne, by holding three leases for apartments she neither owned or resided in purely for the use of temporary guests, is the exact cause of why everyone’s rent in NYC is going up. After much complaining and lackluster enforcement of the law by NYC Department of Buildings, she gave up the rental unit one year early. As a parting shot, she tried selling the books and furniture from her hotel room to her “neighbors” in the building and wrote this pitiful, inaccurate justification of her noxious lifestyle.
Meanwhile, she still continues to list two illegal rentals while living in Europe. Airbnb’s community complaint line is joke: they enabled her lies to the guests, the building owner, and the occupants of the building she put at constant inconvenience and risk. The moral of the story for other afflicted neighbors who become unwilling concierges to hotel rooms in their own building: know your rights, contact your management company, elected officials, local enforcement agencies, and get these hosts that are your neighbors where it hurts, their wallets.
My niece flew to a large city to surprise me for my birthday weekend. My wife had agreed that she could stay in an Airbnb instead of our hotel. I would not have allowed that if I had known. When we went to take my niece to her Airbnb destination I became quite anxious as we passed two streets which my uncle who lived in the city had informed me never to be on or in that neighborhood. The Airbnb room was up a separate stairway on the third floor. The host had to remove a cat from the room with a vacuum cleaner. I begged my niece to bail. She is a 20-something professional and refused.
I asked the host if this was a safe neighborhood and he said yes. I told him my uncle who lives in the City told me to never travel on Troost Avenue as it is not safe. The host admitted Troost a block away was not safe. We started driving to our hotel as it was close to being dark and noticed the gangs coming out on Troost. This location was in the middle of the ghetto. The hotel clerk told me that it would be unsafe for me to drive on Troost or be in that area at night. My wife texted my niece and told her I was upset and quite concerned about her safety and she agreed to come to our hotel in the morning.
After we left the host told her there was no TV as a previous guest had gotten drunk and broken it. The same with the lock that did not work on her door. My niece later revealed that other guests showed up at 2:00 AM on her floor and were quite loud. She obviously was quite frightened since there was no lock on her door. My niece was lucky she did not get raped or murdered.
Parents: please warn your children – especially your daughters – DO NOT stay with Airbnb. Also I did a quick Google search of that address and learned it had a rating of D- and F for crime. That there was an aggravated assault, armed robbery, another assault, car theft, and burglary all in one night near this house. I also learned there were 75 registered offenders within a mile of the address. All the reviews for this address on Airbnb were extremely positive. This would give credence to the theory that Airbnb deletes negative reviews. I find it hard to believe that not one person commented about the clearly apparent, dangerous area where this house was located. Is one’s life not worth more than the $50 a night?
OMG I just spend the last two night in a nightmare! Actually it wasn’t even a nightmare because I COULDN’T SLEEP! I rented a room on airbnb.com for the first time ever, and the crazy kids renting the room next to me were from europe and didn’t bother making the time adjustment, so they were literally up ALL NIGHT both nights smoking pot and blasting their music! I asked them to be quiet but they didn’t… I asked the Host to give me a refund so I could go to a hotel, he said he would “talk” to the other guests, but nothing happened. Finally I contacted airbnb and told them the story, and they ask me if I had any PROOF!! Right, I forgot to RECORD the crazy kids and try to document what time it was! Never using airbnb again, seriously. It’s just not worth it!