Charged for an Airbnb Property I Couldn’t Use

Have a laugh at our expense; look at our holiday album. This property is advertised on Airbnb as lovingly maintained with modern amenities. I am a retired front line emergency worker with experience in public health and safety. I believe this property is a fire and health/safety hazard. Airbnb continues to advertise this property, and to add insult to injury, they keep sending me a link to book it.

We arrived to find an unsafe, ill maintained, dirty property, as per the attached photo album; please view it here. Within an hour of our arrival I walked through the rooms with the host and pointed out the issues and my concerns. She couldn’t see what the problems were; nobody else had complained and in fact Airbnb had taken the photos and approved the property. At this point I knew I wasn’t going to get anywhere because this was a blatant lie of how this advertising platform works.

Within three hours of arriving I notified Airbnb that were leaving to go to alternative accommodations the following morning, the earliest time we could leave. I took photos – some on my mobile, but the majority on my main camera retained on a SD card. I checked with Airbnb if requesting a refund was a time sensitive submission of material. We were told to get the majority of photos to them as soon as I could.

To cut a very long story short, we cancelled and moved out by 9:00 AM the next morning. Because I didn’t detail my conversation in full with the host on my email thread and couldn’t submit all my photos to Airbnb within 24 hours, I could only get a refund of 30% of the nights we didn’t use, not the full large refund that I believe with all good faith I am entitled to. This means I have been charged £450 to not stay in this pit.

Airbnb customer service is woeful. They do not answer messages, and have now closed the case with no independent arbitration or opportunity for dialogue with a middle manager. More importantly, people will still be paying hard earned cash to stay at this property and may not have the appetite for complaining or tackling a dishonest host.

Posted in Airbnb Guest Stories and tagged , , , , , .


  1. Real easy solution….book a decent hotel. They have to have business licenses and health and safety standards. Boycot Airbnb and other crappy internet platforms. You get what you pay for. If you are cheap you are gonna get cheap.

  2. Hi I had the same problem with airbnb recently, but it wasn’t as bad as the accomodation you had booked, so I was able to stay for the booked nights. BUT! The property also didn’t match the advertised pictures, because the furniture was worn out, it wasn’t clean at all and everything was run down. And there was a really bad smell within the whole house. I complained to airbnb 2 days later, because I wanted to enjoy my holiday the first days and didn’t want to get into a discussion with airbnb within the first days of my vacation. I documented everything and sent the pictures to airbnb. They just told me then the pictures on airbnb of the house where verified and the host is convinced, that it still looks like this in real life. Maybe the pictures have been verified at the beginning, when the host started renting the property, but that was maybe 4-5 years ago and with a few guests each week, you have to do some maintenance to keep the standard, that was advertised. The host insisted that I was lying, although I took the pictures, which tell another story. As if I was responsible for all the broken furniture and missing cleanliness right after I entered the apartment….. I made the experience, that most airbnb hosts don’t like to be criticized, especially when they got their approval by prior guests, which stayed there few years ago, when the house probably used to be ok.

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