Disgusting Conditions. How Can Airbnb Stay in Business?

To date, I’ve had only four Airbnb experiences. One of them was excellent, the other was okay, one was bad enough with the smell of mold and everything filthy that I was forced to check into a Holiday Inn Express, and now the one at which I’m currently staying seems to be okay for four nights. I will not be using Airbnb again any time soon. You don’t get anything of value for paying up to $62/night. If you are going to spend more than that, go to a hotel. Do not believe the photos. Photos do not capture mold and smells. Photos do not capture what you will walk into when you arrive. Photos do not capture the area where you will reside. Never book anything longer than four nights. Also, be careful of reviews. Most of them may not be up to your standards. Again, what is great for someone may not be good for you. Airbnb’s business is dicey at best.

Airbnb needs to hire an independent company that can travel on their behalf and inspect these places in advance. There is not any other solution. Photos lie. Taking things at face value is a farce. It simply doesn’t work. Why not? Because everyone has her or his own idea of cleanliness and standards. What may be filthy to one person is okay to another, especially people who have poor personal hygiene. Airbnb is not a hotel. This is where people like me make huge blunders. Airbnb is an alternative to a hotel.

People, please remember this: Airbnb is not a hotel. You can’t complain, change rooms, get a refund, or get an upgrade. Think long and hard before you use Airbnb. The company has no standards. They tell you flat out, “That’s not what we do.” Therefore, whatever you get, you must take. Booking with Airbnb is like the lottery: if you are on a budget, you could lose your entire trip, and anything could be ruined, e.g. dirty shower, smelly toilet area, dirty sheets and pillow cases, dirty mattress, dingy curtains, old used towels, some with stains… terrible.

This happened to me. Airbnb doesn’t care. All they cares about is getting paid, sticking it to the traveler with outrageous fees and taxes. Some people charging as much as $165 for a cleaning fee. You walk into a new place and there is a dog on the bed, tracking dirt and dog hair on the pillows.

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


  1. I should have said “stained” carpets and bathmats” – not just dingy. Additional things that bothered me were: Floors not adequately swept before I arrived, a toilet that didn’t flush well, a wooden toilet seat that was missing paint in a few spot, a dryer that didn’t work though washer and dryer were listed among the amenities, and a bed that was made up but missing a top sheet which I was able to get from the linen closet and put on myself. Also, I wa given the key to the outside door, but had to ask for the key that locked my room. There were two other travelers staying in the house. The owner lives close by but not in the house – I wasn’t aware of that, as the ad indicated that the owners/hosts lived in the house. Am I being too picky?

  2. Moldy smell is a problem – something you can’t really know ahead of time. I’m sensitive to that and to a place not being – or not looking – as clean as I am comfortable with. Worn towels and dingy carpets and bathmats are a problem for me. But do I have the right to expect better if I’m getting a low price like $40/night on Airbnb?

  3. I agree so much with your post that I wonder if we stayed at the same place? I’ll never use AirBnB AGAIN. Never. The condo reeked of mold, had a toilet backed up with crap and a pet mouse that ate our bread in the morning. I couldn’t be more grossed out. AirBnB didn’t respond for months. I finally threatened to call every authority I could think of and demanded to speak to someone, who actually gave me a hard time about a refund based on my “pictures.” To which my response was, you can’t take a picture of the smell of mold and would AirBnB prefer I submit pictures of human crap (because I DID send them the pictures of mice poop)? I finally got about 60% of my money back. The worst part, is it is falsely advertised and AirBnB hasn’t done a thing about it.

  4. 100% agree.

    And its similar for owners. My place sleeps 16. We keep
    It in fantastic condition. It takes months for a group that size to get it together to book. Yet Airbnb max notice to cancel is 7 days – not a chance of reletting at that short notice. Not to mention the “extenuating circumstances” clause where the guest can cancel at 0 notice without penalty.

    My last Airbnb guests wrecked the place. It took 26 hrs to clean, including a full upholstery cleanibg service. Terrible! And then 0 way to even contact Airbnb. Never again!

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