Host Changed House Rules, Airbnb Won’t Provide Refund

I booked my first Airbnb stay for my Mom and I for use during renovations of my home. My filters were “entire place” and “two bedrooms”. I contacted a listing that appeared not too far from my home and told the host that I would not be a vacationer but rather I lived in the neighborhood. The only house rules that were listed were “No Smoking, Parties, or Events”

I was cool with that so I booked and a confirmation was sent. When I had a chance to go through the confirmation email, I noticed another completely new set of house rules, including “no additional guests unless they were approved by the host” and also a $25/guest per night charge if I had more than two overnight guests.

I am a home-based massage therapist so I contacted the host to asked if it would be allowed for me to see my clients while I was there. She literally said no, that they lived upstairs and didn’t allow extra traffic in their home. I thought I was renting an entire place, not a part of someone else’s home. The listing initially said English Basement Apartment.

Being my first time, I just thought this was how Airbnb does things and sucked it up as a $2500 loss. Until my neighbor who uses Airbnb all the time told me that it is a violation for a host not to disclose all house rules in their listing.

I contacted Airbnb for a refund or some type of resolution, as the cancellation policy was the long-term strict type (literally no chance of a refund). As of now they are upholding the deceitful, dishonest listing of the host, saying the host has a right to limit the number of guests, which I never disputed. I just wish I would’ve been told in advance and I would’ve chosen a different listing. I will never use Airbnb again; it’s such a scam. Has anyone ever sued a host before?

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


  1. 1. The house rules in place at the time of booking are the ones that Airbnb sends to you. Those same rules are also copied into your reservation info that you can see when you login. Airbnb does this specifically so that the host can’t change the rules after you book.

    2. You can’t just rent a space and do whatever you want in it. Commercial use of a rental (your massage therapy business) always requires consent of the property owner, which always involves renegotiating rates for commercial use. This mostly has to do with insurance and since you are a business owner that runs a business out of your own home, you should already be aware of it. If not, you may find that your own homeowner’s policy is actually void because you didn’t notify your insurer of the commercial use from your home-based massage therapy business.

  2. Trying to use an Airbnb as your place of business is probably a violation of the TOS. Also, out yourself in the host’s shoes; what if someone rented rooms in your place and wanted to film a movie or invite strangers in all day long? That’s not cool.

  3. Do you have any idea quite how rude it is, to presume you can bring massage clients into someone’s property without permission? A Airbnb booking is a short term rental covering booked guests. If goes without saying that you would need to ok any random guests which probably invalidates the insurance. It’s crazy and entitled to think you can pay a rent but set up shop somewhere! -#getarealitycheck

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