Convenient and Very Disgusting Lovely Manhattan Airbnb

Last weekend I visited NYC and decided to stay in an Airbnb. Obviously the pictures looked very nice and all, so I went for it. I arrived late on a Friday, tired from the bus, and just wanted to get in the shower and sleep before the touristy and busy day I was going to have. I arrived at the house and I had to guess where and how to open a lockbox that was placed in a nail salon next to the building to get my keys, feeling like a total thief. However, that wasn’t the biggest issue. The neighborhood wasn’t safe, and the building couldn’t have been worse: very old, full of trash, smelly. I thought to myself “never mind”, but then saw my room. At first impression it seemed alright, but when I looked closely I started to notice that it was very dirty: I mean dust everywhere, a little trash on the sheets (which led me to believe that the bed sheets had not been changed, because if they had removed the sheets to change them, the trash would have fallen off). The only place to leave my things was on a little table that was filthy and the worst part was the bathroom.

I needed a shower after the long journey and I realized that the shower was really gross, and had hair in it; you could see the dirt, there were leftover things from previous guests, and as soon as I opened the shower I realized that the water didn’t drain. I had to remove a pile of strangers’ hair myself, and ended feeling dirtier from the shower than from the bus. The toilet had pee marks on it and pubic hair. Underneath it were many other marks and things; you could notice right away that it hadn’t been cleaned in weeks.

The air conditioner didn’t work properly so my first night in NYC was a nightmare. I put a towel on the bed and I covered the pillow with my sweater because I didn’t want my body touching the sheets or the cover (which had some unknown spots on it that could have easily been something sketchy). Really the worst part is that I got charged a 30 USD fee for a cleaning service. Obviously I asked for a refund from the host and he denied that the room was dirty. If he is the host he should know when the room is clean. I went through Airbnb to get a refund I still don’t have a resolution. Since the host decided to deny paying me back for the cleaning fee and not apologize about the state of the room, I decided to share my story publicly.

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  1. Airbnb has been illegal in NYC for some time now……. You took the risk to partake in an ILLEGAL transaction, hence you pay the price ๐Ÿ™‚ Hope you learned your lesson.

    • Phil, I think we can all appreciate how wise you are and also the fact that you know some things that some people are unaware of, so maybe you could nicely share your knowledge instead of hammering people.

      This story is sad, and this experience was certainly disappointing, and we don’t all have the same care nor standards.

      Tips for using a rental home:
      – remember that you have booked a home, not a hotel. Standards can be surprisingly different
      – read the reviews
      – google the place. If the neighborhood is shady, you’ll likely find that info online
      – quickly visit the city’s website and check if hosts are supposed to be licensed
      – if they are supposed to be licensed, then the licenses are public records, so do some research. If you don’t have enough info to find this right now, you can still book a place that has flexible cancellation policy, confirm the booking, get all the info you need, conduct some research, and if you’re not satisfied, just cancel and find something else
      – check what the short-term regulations are in that location
      – take a couple of minutes to audit the place and take pics/video of whatever you find dirty or damaged, that doesn’t match your expectations
      – also try to take pictures from the same spot as the ones used on the listing, for comparison
      – if there’s anything to declare and you’re ok asking the host, do it right away
      – if you feel uncomfortable telling the guest about it, call Airbnb right away. Don’t think that you’ll call tomorrow. It’ll be too late. Tell your Airbnb rep that you want to receive an email from them to be able to send them pics. If you don’t receive their email within 30 minutes, call back, and tweet a couple at @AirbnbHelp. Keep doing that until you can share your pics

      That way, you do everything you can to show that the place didn’t match your expectations and/or can prove being false advertising, in a timely manner.

      Hope this helps ๐Ÿ™‚

    • There’s no need to be such a jerk about it, Phil. How is someone not from NYC to know it’s illegal there? I’m from the other side of the country and had no idea, as I’m sure this person didn’t. Just because there’s a screen separating you from this person doesn’t give you the right to speak that way.

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