Most of the complaints from Airbnb guests are about dirty conditions. Unfortunately, I had to learn this the hard way. While the reviews might give five stars for cleanliness, perhaps some of those stars come from people who are not so clean; anything tidier than their own personal environment is indeed clean.
I rented from a “naturalist” in Las Vegas. His clean factor was rated high and the pictures boasted of this modern home in immaculate condition. I, of course, jumped right on it. He also listed the place as a serene and peaceful environment.
When I arrived, there were about 20 people in the house for a photo shoot that I was not made aware of. The music could be heard from the road. Not serene nor peaceful.
To top it off the bathroom was filthy. The sink had mold around the stopper, the shower had a significant amount of mildew, and there was hair all over the bathroom floor. They blamed the people from the shoot. Well, mold and mildew takes longer than half a day to grow; they were just making excuses.
Regardless of any of it, it was the host’s responsibility to provide a clean room. He should have blocked the room or put up a “do not enter” sign. I asked for a partial refund, which I thought was fair. He obliged and said he was sorry and wished me the best. However, he then posted a review full of half-truths, ad hominem attacks, and blatant lies.
I reported this to Airbnb and provided actual photo evidence of where he contradicted himself and of the room conditions. They did absolutely nothing and totally dismissed it. I then filed a complaint with the BBB, the reason being a lack of resolution. I was given a reply a week later from another department at Airbnb and given a full refund. I didn’t even ask for a refund from Airbnb – I requested that the host be flagged.
If you want to get Airbnb’s attention or have someone with some sense of how a business model should be run, go higher. It is worth mentioning that the background check Airbnb does is only a criminal check. Criminal background checks only prove whether or not a crook got caught… basically useless.
This is one of the ways Airbnb slips through loopholes and escapes liability when people get scammed. Ask guests and hosts questions regarding what kind of cleaning products they use or what the turnover is, and if they don’t answer or don’t want to be bothered, it’s a red flag.
As far as hosts, I think they should be made to prove they have proper licensing to do short-term rentals, proof of ownership of property, or an agreement between the owner and the tenant to use the property for Airbnb. It seems like this would keep everyone safe. This would undoubtedly damage their profits… so perhaps that’s why it’s not happening.