I am English and live and work in Strasbourg, France. I sold my apartment and travelled for a few weeks, then came back to Strasbourg. I checked into a hotel and looked for an airbnb for a month while I look for somewhere more permanent. I found a place on Airbnb that advertised as a “furnished studio, city centre” and I clicked on “Reserve”. Within 24 hours my reservation was accepted and my payment taken and I arranged to meet the owner at the property so she could show me how everything worked. Fine, I thought. Then, half an hour before the appointment, while I was already on my way there, she called to say she had to cancel, because there was no bed in the apartment. I said this caused me a difficulty, because it would take a while to get the refund and I couldn’t afford to pay up for another rental right away, leaving me homeless. I met her at the property anyway, and there was no bed. She asked me if I could take delivery of a new bed on the Tuesday, the day I was to move in. I said fine. She then called me later to say that the bed would not arrive for two weeks, and she would offer me a refund of 200 euros (nearly a quarter of the total). I agreed to this, feeling I had no choice.
In the meantime I bought myself a floor mattress and some bed linen, and stayed three extra nights in the hotel while I was doing all this, which cost me much more than the 200 euros she was refunding, which in any case I had not received yet.
When I got in on the Friday, the place was empty. There was a chest of drawers and a table and chair, a fridge, hotplate and microwave, and that was it. I had to buy a plate and cup, knife and fork, saucepan and so on. I then wrote her a message to tell her all this (in addition, the paintwork was peeling off the bathroom walls, which is hardly hygienic), and her response (the latest so far) was that she had been willing to cancel, but I had refused (yes, she ought not to have accepted and had my payment taken) and that she had had no idea of the state of the place until the day she agreed to meet me there (after my payment had been taken). I took pictures as soon as I arrived there (three days after the date I had booked and paid for) but am not holding my breath for further refunds.
Is there anything I can do?
You should have called Airbnb on the first day, they would have relocated you to another place. You lay still be able to do it.