Red Wine Damages in Beautiful Penthouse

We checked in the late morning on April 4th. On April 8th, we checked out early as we all had morning flights. We called the housekeeper to collect the keys from us as the owners were not available. We left everything as we found it but did not take out the rubbish as we weren’t provided with refuse bags or instructions on where it should be left. We personally didn’t think that this was an issue as the property was quite dirty on arrival with sanitary rubbish in the bathroom dustbins, dirt under the beds, old food in the fridge, etc. We left some leftover food and drinks in the fridge and left all the dishes and kitchen clean.

On my return to the office on the 8th I sent a message through Airbnb to the owner, as follows:

Hi Lasse! Thank you very much for having us stay in the penthouse. One of the girls tripped over the sliding door rail when coming in from outside and fell onto the couch with a glass of red wine. Please let us know what the charges are for the cleaning of the couch. I apologize for any inconvenience caused.

The accident happened on the evening of April 7th when we were locking up after dinner, before retiring to bed. Our manager entered from the balcony with a glass of wine in her hand, tripped over the rail of the glass sliding door and fell onto the floor and partially over the couch, spilling her wine on the floor and couch. There is a difference in the height from the floor outside to the inside creating a step, which in the dark is difficult to see. The couch is against the glass door so was in the immediate path to the kitchen from the balcony. We immediately offered to pay for cleaning the couch. If it was immediately handed in for cleaning there may have been a chance of removing the stain but the owner decided to wait almost a month before attending to the stain. I followed up via text messages on a couple of occasions and Lasse claimed that he didn’t have time to look into the cleaning of the couch and that he would do it between the times the penthouse was occupied.

It had been two months since we reported the spill on the couch when we were made aware of the fact that the dry cleaning had been unsuccessful and therefore recovering the couch was required at our expense (close to $1000). Whilst I understand that Lasse feels that the replacement of the fabric is required, I don’t understand that he feels that we should be held responsible for the charges. It was an accident and accidents happen. I would have thought that anybody with expensive furniture or appliances carry enough insurance to be covered for any incidents that could potentially damage or destroy their property. I was surprised at the request for the payment in total of the damages. I feel that Lasse only acknowledged the damages five days after I reported it. If something had been done about the spill immediately, the outcome may have been very different. A dispute was supposedly logged with Airbnb who found in favour of the host, leaving us with a massive bill (deducted off my credit card without my permission).

Be careful staying with Airbnb. Their terms clearly state that no matter what you do you are liable. Even if a property causes your death it is still in some way your own fault!

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2 Comments

  1. agree, but if an offer is extended to clean it at the time, as it was, at your own cost, and an owner only does this close to a month later, it is completely unacceptable to be expected to replace an entire upholstry on a sofa ! So one is just at the mercy of the owner and when he selects to action it, and yet still be expected to pick up the cost…. something’s amiss….

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