This is my very first Airbnb “horror story” and I think it could have been resolved very easily with just some plain old fashioned honesty. I think it should be mandatory for hosts to disclose if there are any issues that might effect their guests’ health and their ability to function during their stay, particularly if they are trying to attend to any important issues from their room via phone.
I arrived late in the afternoon for my first day of a ten-day stay and as soon as I got into my room, I noticed there was a dog next door that barked continuously. The room next to mine was the owner’s daughter. She had locked up her dog and left. The little guy was letting everyone know he was very unhappy. This went on until well after 10:00 PM.
I did not notice anyone because I was busy unpacking, but the next morning when it started again, I asked the owner to please check on him. She explained that her daughter leaves him alone a lot and that she would let him out. Problem solved, or so I thought. Next morning… same routine.
By the third day the daughter decided to move to a larger unit, according to the owner. Great, peace at last, or so I thought. Now the owners have decided that this would be the very best time for them to remodel the newly vacated unit: time to break out the table saws, miter saws, mallets, and hammers and get busy.
The wall between my unit and the daughter’s newly vacated unit was maybe two inches thick with no insulation. The first day they started around 8:00 AM, they startled me so badly I had a severe anxiety attack within an hour. I asked if they were doing construction work and the host answered “Yes”.
I then asked her how long they would be over there doing this and she could not say. I told her I would need to check out that I could not function in any capacity with all that noise and asked her to please adjust my bill and refund the difference for the additional days. She informed me that there were no cancellations and no refunds, but that they would stop working on the unit. Which they did… for about four hours. Then they started up again.
In the interim, in the middle of the night, the toilet started gurgling and making hissing noises around 2:45 AM. It was so loud it woke me up out of a dead sleep. I jumped out of bed, tried to figure out what was going on with it, and discovered that a massive amount of air was hissing through the tube, so much so that the tube had come out of the cylinder it fit into, which water is supposed to be coming out of. The tank was almost empty.
After about 10-15 minutes of trying to resolve it, I just shut the water off at the valve line and it stopped. The next morning I checked it and turned it back on and everything seemed okay… until I turned on the water. Milky white liquid poured out of it continuously. I switched back and forth from hot to cold to see if it made any difference. Nope.
I contacted the host again. She had no idea what was going on. She said it just “looks dirty”. Hmmm… really? It looks like milk to me. I got distilled water for drinking but what could I use to bathe in?
The next day, there was no water at all. None. I contacted the host again. Amidst the banging, hammering, sawing and ongoing construction work, she advised me that there was no water in the entire city of Natalia, but she didn’t want to tell me because she did not want to “disturb” me.
By now, I was highly suspicious, so I just Googled “Natalia Texas Water Services” and up pops every alert and health risk related alerts you could imagine, including asbestos in their water system. By now I was mortified and resolved to contact Airbnb with requests for refunds and go elsewhere for the remainder of my trip.
That afternoon the water came back on but it was still milky white. I was not taking any chances with my health, so I refrained from using their water at all except to flush the toilets. Now I have to find another place to shower and bathe and forego having any phone conversations from my room because of the noise.
All of this could have been easily avoided with just an honest disclosure from the owners. If they had mentioned there would be ongoing construction next door to me, I would have politely declined, but that never happened. Nor were there any health-related disclosures about the water. Although they did have a pitcher with a filter in the refrigerator, no mention was ever made of why or what types of contaminants the pitcher filtered out.
All of this should have been disclosed to anyone considering staying there so that they could determine whether or not it would be a hindrance or issue for them or their health. Before anyone chooses to stay in Natalia Texas, I urge you to simply Google the water issues they have had and then choose wisely. As for me, I think I will pass.
I would deeply deeply appreciate a response from Airbnb on this matter as I only have a few days before I leave this review on their site as well along with a video of the running water coming out milky for several minutes.