My First Airbnb Experience: A Mentally Unstable Host

I’m an incurable optimist, so I’ll start this write-up with the prelude that I’ve been treated incredibly well by so many people here in London. I’ve been treated to a free meal, drinks, bus rides and a gym visit; people have consistently lavished me with admiration and kindness here. Everybody except for my Airbnb host, that is. I had to submit a more concise version of this review through the website, but I had so much more to say about the nightmare than 500 words. This is the unedited version.

There should be a 0 stars option. When I stayed with the host, he must have gone off his meds. From the start, he overstepped his bounds and was obnoxious. By the end of my stay, it was obvious that he’s mentally unstable. I witnessed him being a decent person to the gay couple who left the day after I arrived, so I know he can sometimes be personable. I booked because he had good reviews. He’s chatty, and so appears friendly on first meeting, but I think maybe he’s bipolar and I got the unhinged version. Even his chattiness is telling and catty though: often it’s negative put downs of his previous and pending renters (mostly women), which tells me more about him than it does about them. Maybe if you’re a gay couple, he’d treat you well. However, my experience was atrocious and the host went out of his way to inconvenience me.

First, after my booking, he asked me to bring a “small” parcel to him from my country to avoid duty fees. I agreed to his request but the package turned out not to be small and was the size of half my carry-on suitcase. It was fragile as well, and I was liable for its protection. He was not empathetic to what an imposition that was, having the nerve to tell me how much luggage he brings on a trip as a justification that I should have the space to spare. As lip service to putting me out like that, he promised to make me a meal during my stay but of course that didn’t happen. In the flat on the morning after my first night there, the host asked me if I needed the shower as he wanted to do household washing in the tub. I said I didn’t need it then, but that I would after I came back from the gym later in the afternoon. A few hours later (after the other renters had checked out and I was left alone with him), the host had continued to commandeer the bathtub and wouldn’t allow me to have a shower after I’d returned from the gym. He wanted me to wait for an hour and 45 minutes. It was really inconvenient, as I had a scheduled event I wanted to go to.

He then argued that I was miffed I couldn’t access the shower when I needed it because I wasn’t familiar enough with the principals of Airbnb. We ended up bickering about it. “This is not a hotel, this is my house,” he said, as if expecting to get to the shower when I’m paying him for the rental is some diva-like demand, even after giving him several hours notice that I’d be showering in the afternoon. I ended up having to leave without one as I was running very late and he still hadn’t made the shower available. If showers are only allowed in the morning, then the ad should state as much. Coincidentally, at that event I went to, I met a lady who also did Airbnb hosting, so naturally I talked to her about what I’d been experiencing with the host where I was staying. She assured me that his behavior is very atypical and she suggested that I cancel. I actually didn’t have to, though, because the situation got even worse.

I got back late that night. Shortly thereafter I got to hear him having loud sex in the room next door. The next morning, I was rudely awakened by him, yelling and accusing me of putting a pink dye (as some kind of sabotage to a duvet) into his dryer, which I never touched. Truth be told, I wasn’t even aware of where the dryer was (nor do I travel with pink dye). He raged that he’d contacted Airbnb about this fabricated act and that I would have to leave the rental immediately, even though I had another night left on my stay and two nights booked on future reservations later in my trip. It seemed a ruse to get the rental cancelled so that I wouldn’t have a chance to poorly review him for the previous grievances. “Wow” is all have have to say; it was completely crazy and unethical. So of course I had no problem leaving his vortex of insanity.

The stress of packing up to leave unexpectedly and finding a new place to stay on the fly was not something I bargained for; it was actually the opposite of why I booked an Airbnb in the first place. To top it all off, he spent the next couple of hours yelling at me through the door (whilst I packed and tried to sort things out with Airbnb customer service over the phone), threatening to call the police on me if I didn’t get out faster. He has the lack of empathy and calculation of a sociopath. I’m not sure he has the ability to cognitively understand the ways he inconvenienced me; he’s unstable. It was a horrible nightmare of a first experience with Airbnb. As he’s shown no qualms about making things up about me, I expect him to continue his lies on his review of me, potentially jeopardizing my stay with other hosts in the future. But it may not matter as he’s soured me on room rental through the site, so much so that I write this from a hotel; I’d prefer not to be suddenly thrust into living with a obnoxious and crazy stranger who I would not have otherwise chosen. But for their part, I will say Airbnb customer service was gracious and empathetic about his treatment of me, and they took my side, giving me a partial refund on the nights I already spent there, and a full refund (despite the host’s strict cancellation policy) for the remaining bookings with him. The long and short of it is: save yourself the hassle and steer clear of this nutjob.

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


  1. Risa, forget everything that other people have said–there is NOTHING wrong with you. Your host Richard behaved like a misogynistic, narcissistic psychopath and he should be banned from Airbnb! Yikes, I hope I never run across anyone like him! I had stumbled on your post while googling “rude airbnb hosts” because my current is a bad communicator who is impatient and can’t seem to give me an exact address to his home. But your host is far worse! First, asking you to bring a package for him was wrong. It was nice of you to do so, but I would have declined. You don’t want to be responsible for other people’s property in case it breaks or gets lost or stolen in transit. An unknown package can also contain anything (drugs, contraband, etc.) that can potentially get you in trouble with authorities. Second, it seems like you had made it clear that you’ll need to shower after returning from the gym. Because you’re a paying guest he should have allowed you to use the shower, but in the future clarifying a window of time when you will need the shower, like from 1-3 pm, might help. He may have needed to wash sheets and stuff to change the guest linens later. Richard should also note this and clearly communicate to future guests when the shower, kitchen, etc. will not be available. Third…loud sex? Absolutely not. For that alone I will leave bad reviews. I am looking for a quiet room where I canget a decent night’s rest. If Richard feels he is entitled to keep his guests awake at night listening to him having loud sex, then he should honestly specify this on his Airbnb listing. Or specify that only gay male guests who are patient are allowed because he likes to have loud sex at night.

    I have both hosted and been a guest, and as a host I would not put you through any of the things you had to go through. You have my sympathies. I hope Airbnb and review your case and ban Richard from hosting unless he can show guests basic common courtesy. Afterall, there is no lack of hosts in the Airbnb world.

  2. I’m not going to conclude on who’s in right in this situation, because I just stumbled upon this site without any insight in details, however it is absolutely unacceptable to not have a ready to use shower for your guest.

  3. Thank you David Aaron, your exactly right, Risa requires to look into a mirror & its correct that I have fabulous reviews, meet a lot of lovely people from around the world, no matter what sex, sexuality or from which country my guests happen to be from. People refer me a person who’s very helpful, friendly and with a great sense of humour.

    Risa may appear to look normal in the link below, so I excepted her booking.


    David Aaron also rightly referred to Risa’s `bitter narrative` but there was no `clashed personalities` After Risa had booked, during our correspondence I acknowledged her Emotional Symptoms of Anger, rage and drama tendencies, which can be clearly seen within her verbiage review., she wanted to attack & attack for no good reason.

    I therefore feared what she was going to be like, but hoped my extreme friendliness would settle her in for the 3 days booked, but my friendliness made no difference, it became drama after drama, nobody wants this in their home. Risa stormed around like a child stamping her feet, banging doors & shouting at me saying I belong in a mental hospital and ranted about things I could not interpret, due its demonic & bitter deliverance.

    As for the shower drama, her bitter narrative admits she knew I was using the bath, she went to the gym & stormed back without having a shower (people normally shower at the gym) and demanded to use the shower in my bathroom immediately, I requested that she wait for 25 minutes, so I could transfer the washing from the bath into the washing machine, as I had to wait 25 minutes for the present washing cycle to finish. 15 minutes later Risa stormed out, slamming the front door, shouting shes not going to shower. Risa came back later in night & deliberately damaged my duvet, as she mentioned in her bitter narrative.

    Risa had no personal hygiene in any event, which was another issue and Risa considers bullying people is how you get what you want, but she actually ends up getting less and then becomes more angry, hence writing her bitter narrative in the first place.

    I had no alternative but to call Airbnb and asked them to find Risa alternative accommodation, I feared for my home. Risa then locked herself in the bedroom for 4 hours, turning it into the same smell as a sewer works.

    Airbnb did not place Risa into another Airbnb, but into a hotel and sure I refunded Risa the money for the nights she was not going to stay, as arranged with Airbnb.

    As David commented, it’s very clear that Risa requires to look into a mirror, to acknowledge her particular references she made throughout her bitter narrative, which I partly list below. The list clearly illustrates Risa’s Psychological projection, a theory in psychology in which humans defend themselves against their own unconscious impulses or qualities (both positive and negative) by denying their existence in themselves while attributing them to others.

    Risa made the following remarks:

    A mentally unstable Host
    he must have gone off his meds,
    obvious that he’s mentally unstable
    bipolar and I got the unhinged version.
    vortex of insanity
    lack of empathy and calculation of a sociopath,
    he’s unstable
    obnoxious and crazy stranger
    steer clear of this nutjob.

    I think the above speaks for itself which David Aaron observed. To add to the positive projection reference Risa made of herself, there’s no such thing as a free bus ride on London Transport:

    Airbnb hosts do very occasionally have to deal with very serious issues and should have support and understanding. I actually hope David Aaron’s & my comments help Risa and I wish her all the best in the New Year and future

  4. Having read all his reviews and your bitter narrative I tend to think you clashed personalities. Maybe a mirror is called for?

    • I agree. So many guests forget they’re staying at someone’s HOME…..and there are more like that now than when AirBnB first started.

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