Host Tried to Extort Thousands from Me

Here was my email reporting a case to the Airbnb Resolution Center:

Hi, thank you for mediating this case for us. Unfortunately, our host never met us face-to-face to deliver the apartment key and give the proper introduction of what furniture and amenities were included in our stay. In this case, she left the key in a lockbox in front of the door. Because she never showed us which furniture was ours to use at the beginning of our stay, we didn’t know what to expect. Attached are some pictures of the furniture taken on August 10th when we arrived at her apartment. As you can see, the headboard of the bed is already broken, and the bed squeaked every time we moved. Other guests have also mentioned the old bed in their reviews. However, we didn’t complain to our host since I didn’t think it was a major problem. I never checked the bottom part of the bed which she said is now broken, because it was covered with the sheets. As you can see too, the futon was covered with a red blanket when we arrived and when I removed it, I found out the black futon was crumbling on to the floor. However, the pictures we took didn’t show that, as we didn’t take another picture when we discovered the futon crumbling. We didn’t complain to our host about it because we thought she already covered it with red blanket so it didn’t matter to us. It was to our surprise that she asked us to pay such a huge amount for damage to the furniture. The damage, even though we didn’t cause it, should not cost that much.

We are also going to report to you some problems during our stay. First, the building is very noisy even late at night as it is next to a busy street. I have a small kid and he was uncomfortable with the noise. Second, the last week of our stay we were unbelievably uncomfortable because there was some construction to renovate the building. It started almost everyday from morning until after 6:00 PM. The dust was unbearable, the noise was loud enough I couldn’t focus on my studies at all (I am a graduate student), and water and dirt came under the front door when they did the flooring work outside. The bathroom was leaking because of the roof work. However, we didn’t receive any prior notice from our host that these renovations would be done at this time. We didn’t complain to her and managed to clean the apartment everyday after the work was done.

Third, our host said that we booked for three people and four actually showed up. I definitely can’t believe she would accuse us of this: it was only me, my husband, and our one daughter. You can check with some people – neighbors, my Uber driver – whose phone numbers I kept and they will be able confirm there were only three in our party. I am curious: who checked the apartments when we left? Was it just our host or a third party (maid)? I don’t know our host’s intentions by accusing us of so many things we didn’t do. We had to put up with many shortcomings on her side as I mentioned above. I could have demanded a refund due to this inconvenience. Please refer to the documents attached for my conversations with our host, photos, and also testimony. We look forward to hearing your fair mediation on this case. Thank you.

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