Penthouse from Airbnb Hell in Puerto Rico

I have used Airbnb for several years now and it’s always disappointing. The pictures never reflect the actual unit and they are always enhanced. Most of the time there are always problems with the unit and it takes several days to have them fixed if the host ever fixes them.

I rented a unit that was advertised as a penthouse for two months, paying almost $3,000 for each month in Puerto Rico in a supposedly nice area. Well, the unit was in the outskirts of the nice area. The building was almost falling apart, the actual apartment had been renovated but with so many faults, and it had a tiny bathroom. The shower did not have a door like some hotels but it was so small that the entire bathroom got wet. On top of that, there was a very slow drain and it flooded if I showered for more than five minutes.

There was no hot water for the first 1.5 weeks. Even though I notified the host the first day, she did not send someone until one week later and I was not notified I had to be in the unit. He had to come back one week later and arrived 40 minutes late. Later when I tried to used the washer it was not working and I figured out by myself that there was only one plug for the washer and dryer and the water heater. I had to disconnect the water heater in order to use the washer and dryer. Something so simple that the man that came to fix it could have told me.

When I used the washer, the hose did not drain and it was loose and flooded the entire apartment. Every time it rained there were multiple leaks around the unit. The past few days there has been heavy rain and again the apartment has flooded every day.

The kitchen shelves were not properly secured. When I went to grab a glass they fell on top of me, breaking all the glasses and I got multiple cuts on my hands. On top of it all, there was an uncovered electrical panel in the laundry area; every time I used the washer, it splashed water near the panel. The AC unit made very loud noises making it impossible to sleep at night. I informed the host of all of these problems. She said she would send someone and never did.

I could not sleep in the living room since there were no blinds and the sun rose early in the morning, making the living room very hot. For my entire stay I did not have one good night of sleep. I have waited four weeks for all of these problems to be resolved because to book a hotel or another Airbnb with such short notice the price was three times more and there were not many options available.

I finally had enough and told the host I needed to check out early since I could not take it anymore. I did not want to spend my vacation unclogging showers and cleaning a flooded apartment every two days, or not being able to sleep well at night with loud noises waking me up all night. The host refused to refund me for the nights I did not stay and contacted Airbnb support. Airbnb told me that since I did not report the problems with customer support within 24 hours it was at the host’s discretion to give me a refund.

This is so unfair since I tried to solve the problems with the host and some of the problems I was not aware until days later. Airbnb needs to have their own inspectors to go and look for safety hazards and verify the unit is in the conditions the hosts advertises. This host is charging $3,000 for a unit plus the cleaning fees. I asked the neighbors how much the rent was in a similar unit and they told me $400-$600 .

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