Host Used Misleading Photos and Kept the Money

I met someone in January 2019 in Costa Esmeralda, Panama. He responded to a sign on my rental property. He said he was an Airbnb host and could easily rent the one that I had unoccupied. He wanted 5% commission. I was fine with that.

He booked a party of four into a one-bedroom casita for three nights. The guest was surprised to see that the rental was not the same as the photos posted. The host paid me my rental fee the following week, and said he had a new booking who had booked the one bedroom for a period of one month.

This host charged her 1400 instead of the 850 I had told him to charge. The guest was unhappy about the isolation of the rental as the host had not told her there was no transport from my property. I told her I would drive her to the supermarket whenever she needed to go.

She left but returned in three days and stayed only about two weeks, as she left on March 12th, instead of the 19th. The photos in the ad showed my personal house and pool, not that of the rental, so the guest thought she was getting my beautiful Buddha garden with the pool.

Until this time I had not looked at the ad as I was preparing for a yearly art sale. I now searched for the ad and found the photos were indeed misrepresenting. At this time the host emailed me and told me he and his wife were sailing in the Caribbean and would “keep in contact”.

That is the last I heard from them as they obviously left the country without paying me a cent, and they collected 1400 USD from the guest. These two are obviously criminals and I want my money from Airbnb that these crooks stole.

They have other listings where they are listed as hosts. I am hoping that Airbnb has the brains to remove their listings; they are in El Valle. I have emails from both guests to support my comments, and I have screenshots of the bookings.

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


  1. Sounds like you deliberately stayed away, let someone else take your responsibilities and run with them, and when things went awry you cried “foul”.

    The blame here lies mostly with you.

  2. Who’s name is the airbnb account in? To have a co-host, the account should be in the owner’s name & the co-host be listed as a co-host, thus the 5% would go into his account & 95% to yours. 5% is impossibly low. Depending upon responsibilities, it should be 20-60%. Also since you would be the primary, you determine what the co-host can edit or access such as pictures & rental description.

    The pictures were not of your rental property.
    The rates charged were more than you discussed.
    You didn’t look at the listing until after at least 2 rentals.
    You didn’t receive any payment. You allowed full payment to go to the co-host.
    In other words, you were trusting & disengaged from the rental.

    Ask Airbnb to shut the listing down for your address because it is fake.
    Create your own listing.
    Either manage it yourself or find a real property management company to manage it.
    Look at your listing often.

    I don’t see Airbnb being responsible to pay you. Unfortunately you had a learning experience related to unwise business practices.

    Did you create the title for this posting? It is inaccurate. You may wish to change it. Your co-host did the misdeed, not the host/owner.

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