Be Prepared to Kiss your Damage Deposit Goodbye

Along with my husband and adult daughter, I rented a modest basement apartment from April 15-17 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada through Airbnb. This location was chosen for an Easter visit because of proximity to our son, daughter in law and grandson. I was surprised at the high damage deposit of $500 for this sparse unit but, knowing we are very careful, I decided to go ahead. During our stay the seat of a chair broke. I immediately let the host know and apologized, receiving a hostile response. Examining the chair and a matching chair, revealed dry, fragile leather that could be easily torn with fingertips. The second chair had a slit through the seat that one could see right through. We also realized that several other items in the unit were broken, precariously placed, or on the verge of breaking.

I met with the host alone, so no other family members would suffer. She demanded money, tried to shame me, pushed me and insulted our son. Once home and already stressed, I was confronted with a claim for $2,000. Several months passed with many reassurances of ‘fairness’ from Airbnb employees and promises that a manager would contact me. They took $250 from my damage deposit, even though it was clear the host was lying. Also, others should know that when I complained that her review was full of lies (a mistake, since I have no intention of ever using Airbnb again, but a matter of principle) they took it down but also took mine down. Do not believe reviews; the bad ones disappear. Now that fall is here, I have resumed my efforts to shake a responsible person out of Airbnb and to warn others. I am especially concerned for young people who rely on Airbnb. They worry that their reviews will be poor and likely hand money over to such unscrupulous hosts.

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


  1. So sorry that happened to you. I had a bad experience late November in Dallas, TX. Home exterior was atrocious. No one there, & when I called, host was so rude and angry. Additionally, 2 cats wandered up onto the porch, causing allergic problems. My outcome was different, though. Airbnb was really helpful and gave me a refund – even though I’d have still gone to a hotel without a refund. I thought Airbnb was incredibly helpful…….BUT I’ve been getting nasty texts in the middle of the night from host. Finally called Airbnb to learn how to block her.
    Again, sorry that you’ve had this stress. I’ve concluded that a Hampton Inn is worth the few extra $ and always clean.

  2. In thinking about this, I realized the best strategy could have been to pay off the host and complain afterwards. Since the broken chair was worthless, she might have been happy with $20 or $50.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *