Sue Airbnb to Receive Your Host Guarantee

I had a guest who lied, saying he lived far away and that he wanted to visit San Francisco. In fact, he live an hour away and wanted a house to trash while he was with his friend. I don’t allow smoking, but I found ashes and cigarette butts in my bedroom. Items were stolen and glasses broken. Urine was everywhere but in the toilet. He annoyed my neighbors, and left trash everywhere.

When I got home four hours after he checked out, I came home to a house with the lights on, TV on, stove burner on high, and windows wide open when it was raining. I was so upset seeing my nice home defiled. I cried for it. I did most of the cleaning myself, but I sent it for money for the stolen and broken items and for the wood floors warped from the rain.

Airbnb’s Home Guarantee office said that they wouldn’t refund me; apparently I violated the terms of service because my house is under contract for sale. My house wasn’t for sale, and it still isn’t. I called and emailed them, and I received this reply: “This is our interpretation and it is the only one that matters. Don’t contact us again about this.”

I then had to research how to sue them. It isn’t hard; I recommend it to everyone who gets ripped off. I sued them in small claims. You need to write a demand letter stating what happened and what you demand, what you want. They have thirty days to respond, and then you can file. For me, they responded right after the demand letter.

Look online on how to write one; you don’t need a lawyer. Small claims in California is for claims under ten thousand dollars. I needed a name to put on the form, so I just used the CEO. I live in California, so maybe it is easier to sue them, but I recommend everyone do it. After I sent the demand letter, I received a crappy apology by email and most of the money I asked for. I am done with them forever.

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


  1. I am going to do a demand letter. Airbnb doesn’t even give out an address on their website that I can find. No telephone numbers. Wow and we generated an 80% increase in revenues for 2015-2016. They have put me in an unsearchable category called, home instead of room or airbnb category. They are threatening me with shutting me down unless I pay taxes. Even though I am exempt per the Massachusetts regulations. I live in the home, 3 bedrooms and I provide breakfast, eggs, bacon, yogurt, cereal. They won’t stop charging guests taxes and have ignored 3 unresolved claims for months now. I was making $4000 a month and now making $200/month? I am being forced out of my home because it took me a while to figure out what was happening. I am retired and disabled and they are creating a nightmare.

  2. I do not really understand how Airbnb operates. I had a hard time asking for a refund myself $150 only), sent an email to their investor relations, ceo and i was totally ignored. I sent a tweet and that was the only time i got their attention.

    I think their modus opetandi is to get us frustrated until we give up.

    Was it your property that was in the news a few days ago? ( i too live in the bay area)

  3. James, the case was closed. The terms of service doesn’t take away your constitutional rights. You can sue and they know it. I was already reimbursed by Airbnb, they didn’t want to go to court because they would lose and they don’t want the publicity.

  4. If you had actually attempted to sue Airbnb, you wouldn’t have posted this. You will lose because you agreed to their terms of service. Why don’t you post again after your case is closed.

    • James,

      Not true; in California especially, I would bet sight unseen that the terms of service are unconscionable and would actually be struck down as invalid. That is the reason you will win every lawsuit, they do not want to open themselves up to global exposure by having the terms of service litigated, struck down, and then have a mass flood of litigation ensue

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