Slandered and Threatened at Airbnb in Mexico

I am now rounding out my sixth week at an Airbnb in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. I am in total shock over how I have been treated and if the advice I’m about to give saves even one person the psychological pain I have suffered, it will have been worth it. Somewhere within the Airbnb contract, it says that a host ask a guest to leave for any reason. That, in and of itself, is insanity. And in the state of Guanajuato, it is completely untrue. In my case, the “hostess” saw me smoking a cigarette in her “casita”. That was a no-no. I apologized but her response was, “I am changing the locks and will throw all your belongings onto the street.” My response was to call my Mexican attorney. Yes, I have one. He advised me to tell her to back all the way off. Which, I did. Instead of her backing off I starting receiving daily Airbnb emails from her and from Airbnb itself. Her emails included the following flowery phrases she used to describe me: “pissed off addict”, “worst person I have ever met”, “you are beneath me”, “unethical”, “shame on you” and endless references to this one cigarette. She repeatedly told me to “GET OUT”. So after more than five weeks into this drama, I asked my lawyer to write her a letter.

Here is the real deal about renting in Mexico, through Airbnb or just directly with a landlord. Harassment of a tenant in Mexico is a criminal offense. Any attempt to evict a tenant outside the court is a criminal offense. Airbnb has no jurisdiction here and therefore, the tenant holds all the cards. Did I want to leave? Of course. But nothing was available that was not quadruple what I had already paid the hostess so I had to stay put. Do not knuckle under if you find yourself in a similar situation. You are being abused, you are the victim. There is nothing Airbnb can do to remove you. In fact, if any attempt had been made to remove me, that person would be subject to arrest. I hope this helps someone.

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4 Comments

  1. Most of these posts are hard to really know who is telling the truth and who is “right.” Ive been a guest for over three years and a host for about 6 months. Overall I have had great experiences. From a hosts perspective guests sometimes forget that you maybe staying at someone’s home and not just another rental or hotel. Most hosts go out of their way because good reviews are the difference between a successful airbnb and a failed one. I would be really pissed if you were smoking at my house after the rules say “no smoking.” You broke the rules so she technically is allowed to kick you out. You agreed to AIRBNB’s policies regardless if it’s against Mexican law. As a guest you should accept the consequences. But as a host I would be much more understanding though.

  2. You smoked in her house, called a lawyer, read AND agreed to Airbnb’s terms then were “shocked”. Reading between the lines you sound like the guest from hell.

    • I didn’t say it was “okay”, Susan. In fact, I apologized to the host. My question now to you is, do you feel the subsequent punishments (and there ever several) fit the crime. And, Susan, did you learn anything from this post about the complete lack of accountability that is Airbnb?

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