Charleston Fabulous Studio Comes with Sewage Smell

I travel a lot for work and often use Airbnb to break up the monotony of hotel rooms. This particular listing turned into a personal nightmare. Too often I have noticed that Airbnb owners treat their guests like a paycheck instead of as a ‘friendly host’ that the Airbnb community was designed around. These individuals are ruining what started as a fun alternative to large hotel chains.

I arrived at the host’s studio (attached to a house) apartment around 4:00. She was still cleaning up and we chatted for a bit. The heavy use of cleaning products motivated me to go for a run. I returned, showered, and went to dinner with a client. Having to be up early for an installation for work, I returned to the studio around 9:00 PM. This is where my nightmare began.

When I opened the door to her studio I was hit by a wall of sewer/urine. It was pretty unreal. I held my breath, and grabbed my things and got out as fast as I could. So here I am standing outside at 9:00 PM in front of a sewer. I sent her a text letting her know that I had to leave because of this smell, I had an early morning and would deal with everything after work. Instead of apologizing, sending someone to check, or checking herself, she immediately denied that anything could have happened; she told me it “must have been something I did.”

She finally got to the studio later the next morning where she acknowledged the sewer smell, told me I could stay in the main house (that didn’t smell as bad). She said, “You’re a guy with one bag – here is a bottle of wine for the inconvenience, stop being mean and unreasonable.”

I’m sorry, what? I have a full day on a job site and now have to deal with this lady insulting me, and basically telling me to deal with it because I’m a guy? What century is this? Anyone in my situation would have done the same thing. It was late, I was tired, and had to be up early. She responded around 11:00 PM offering lodging in the adjacent home.

I honestly would have accepted lodging in the adjoining house (that had only a “faint smell of sewage”) but by the end of work the next day her messages had become angry, abusive, and mean. There was no way I was going to stay on any property associated with this lady. I attached a link to the back and forth messages. Read them for yourself.

I escalated the situation to Airbnb, who, in their defense, played the “keep the client happy” card. They offered a partial refund but I don’t care about the money. The place she rented me smelled like a sewage plant. She acknowledged that it did, blamed me, got upset at me for leaving, declined a refund, and told me to “deal with it”. Pretty unreal. She is also about to become a Superhost. I hope for everyone’s sake this does not happen.

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


  1. I assume the url is the link to here – but it’s hidden! So the host has the only word on this encounter on that platform, and looking at her response to your feedback and the feedback she left for you, I’d probably be more inclined to believe her version of events.

    Not to say that is what did occur but you missed a big opportunity to set it all straight, and maybe you’ve put a massive question mark over your own head to future hosts to be wary?

    • Ahh I see the dm’s now.
      So hence why you wasted your airbnb feedback op to post here so you could show those juicy tidbits huh.

      So after reading them I wrote your feedback for you.

      Cat wee stench, ended up being a completely normal maintenance issue that occurs in every class of accommodation in any part of the world, but rather than notify the host or airbnb as I’m instructed to do, I’m actually way more busy and important than anybody else, so I just left and expected recourse on my own terms. Even though the host immediately went above and beyond to make offer after offer to try and assist me, (entire new house anyone? How many hosts can pull that out of their hat?) but because I’m a massive douchebag who can’t let a little thing like a maintenance issue slightly inconvenience me, (yet of course I expected the host to cater to me and my changing plans even before I set foot there), I declined every attempt from a host with the patience of a saint, now I want my refund!


  2. Oh. My. God. Look at the response left by the host to this review. Airbnb removes my review mentioning bed bugs, but allows a host to diagnose a mental illness.

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