Crazy Airbnb Host in Miami with Unreasonable Rules

I suffer from severe, excruciating menstrual cramps. During this period, I depend on ibuprofen to get through the day and I take hot showers of approximately 20-30 minutes to ease them at night. Girls who have this issue will know I am talking about.

Knowing that I would have this problem during my stay in Miami, I specifically booked a private room with a private bathroom so that I would be able to take these long hot showers without inconveniencing other guests. One night, my host and his mother came knocking on my room door while I was in the shower. They confronted me for taking an excessively long shower, telling me that as a result of my shower there was no more hot water in the rest of the house.

I was shocked and confused, because nowhere in the house rules or policy did he state any restriction on shower time. Of course, if he had stipulated such a rule in his listing, it would have been perfectly reasonable for him to stop me for exceeding the time limit. I probably would not have booked his place in the first place anyway. I had never encountered any other host, or anyone for that matter, whose house ran out of hot water as a result of someone taking a 20-30 minute hot shower. Furthermore, I was staying alone in a room that was meant for two guests, and I definitely wasn’t using more water or power than what two guests combined would have used.

Even after I explained my problem with cramps to him, he was not understanding or empathetic at all, insisting that I was inconsiderate and using up his water and power supplies excessively. One particular rule that this host had was that guests must not do laundry in his bathroom. Fair enough. I refrained from washing my jeans, pants, jackets, blouses, singlets, bras, and T-shirts. But this was Miami, where you go to the beach. When you go to the beach, your swimsuit gets soaked in seawater.

When I got back to my room after an evening of paddle boarding, I rinsed my swimsuit and shorts in the bathroom sink to get rid of the seawater. I also washed my panties every day for hygiene purposes. I hung these up to dry in the bathroom. The host and his mother inspected the room the moment I left for breakfast. He then came down and confronted me for doing laundry in his bathroom. I’m not sure what he expected… for me to leave my period panties and seawater-soaked swimsuit and shorts hanging in the room unwashed? Maybe that’s normal to him – but to me that’s just gross and unhygienic.

The worst thing was he later told me that he had taken photos of my “daily laundry” as evidence that I broke his no-laundry rule, i.e. he had taken photos of my panties and my bikini. How disturbing can that be? Finally, he accused me of being impolite and unfriendly to his elderly mother. His English is bad, but his mother’s English is worse. In fact, she cannot speak English at all – she cannot even understand something as basic as “how are you?”. All I could do was to smile and say “hi” when I saw her. There was no way I could have managed a conversation with her due to the language barrier.

My stay in Miami could have been perfect, but this host’s bizarre and unreasonable expectations and behaviour left me extremely distressed and uncomfortable.

Disappointing Experience with Vindictive Host

We recently stayed (Boxing Day 2017) at this Airbnb and found the experience to be less than that what we have come expect and what we are accustomed to with Airbnb. We had two friends with us (this was their Christmas present from us, and their first experience with Airbnb) and sadly they have stated that they would never use Airbnb if this was an example of what to expect.

The host was not home when we arrived, which wasn’t an issue. When she arrived home, she was very communicative. We had no issue with the host at this point. However, the facilities were not as we expected. The pool was green, and although it was to cool to swim on that particular day, anyone arriving later in the week would not have had the option, though it is clearly listed as an attraction on the Airbnb page. The host stated she had told us that the pool was not usable but we do not recall her saying this at any point.

There was very limited communication by the host, and the normal message from Airbnb to “pack your bags”, etc. was not sent to my email. We had to contact the host on Christmas Day to ensure that the booking was confirmed, and received a terse message to say that the booking had been confirmed months ago.

There was street parking only (not an issue as the area is quite safe). The listing stated ‘private facilities’ for our use; however, this was not the case. The bathroom was full of cosmetics, and items used by the family, and whilst there, the child of the house was using these facilities. There was no soap to wash our hands in either the upstairs or downstairs bathroom/toilet (which makes one wonder about the hygiene of the family members).

The house itself was definitely not clean, contrary to what the host replied in her review. A ‘continental breakfast’ was offered – we declined as we are on a special diet – but we told the host that the other couple with us would like the breakfast. On the morning of our departure the host said she normally sets up the breakfast for guests but had to rush off to drop her son off to a camp. She waved towards the cupboard and said ‘help yourself, there is bread in there and in the freezer’. We found a loaf of white bread, not the continental breakfast items as clearly stated on the listing.

We left the place tidy, and pondered for several days about what to state in the review. We decided to give an honest review, and then on the evening of January 2nd received a very nasty phone call from the host, followed by an equally nasty strange message that we were sent to her house to “deliberately sabotage [the experience] and that they were set up and will make the connection. Nobody is that cheap. The public domain will speak for itself. You are so unsophisticated.”

In the phone call she mentioned a couple of names of the people that had ‘set us up’. We are very perplexed by this as this was a completely cold contact found on Airbnb and we booked in August 2017. The phone call and message left us both very shaken, feeling threatened, and will make us more wary of using Airbnb in the future and giving honest reviews. My husband is currently recovering from cancer, which we chatted about with the host very openly, her final words on the nasty phone call were ‘no wonder you have cancer’ and then hung up, which left us both very distressed and having a sleepless night. This was followed up by the strange text message.

Driven from Airbnb Horror on a Snowy Christmas Morning

On a snowy Christmas morning in the Rockies everyone was staying in a poorly maintained house we rented due to a malfunctioning alarm system that flashed lights without stopping on the first floor of the house after beeping without interruption for several hours Christmas Eve afternoon (a missing sensor on an exterior door would not allow us to turn off the system). Adding to this awful situation we were told we could not adjust the heat in the house, as it was remotely controlled by the owner in Boston. Cabinet doors were torn off of the cabinets. The house was very sparsely furnished and in very poor repair. A king bed was not properly put together; nails were used instead of screws and in the middle of all the chaos it broke and the mattress fell to the floor. There was a large stinking pile of garbage in the kitchen. The house had two doors to the outside, and two were broken and unusable. We had complained about all this to the property manager who said she contacted the owner. This turned out to be a lie. She was unresponsive and lied when she did respond. Faced with this charming situation, we packed and departed the house about 6:30 AM on Christmas morning in a snowstorm. The owner in Boston responded with a blanket denial of all issues. We are in the process of a well documented dispute with Airbnb.

Negative Comments Need not Apply with Airbnb

Recently we met our German friends for our annual November retreat. We decided to use Airbnb this year since they had a lot more locations over our normal rental unit management company. We always stay in the Ft Myers/Naples area so there were a lot of great places to choose from. Our rental home was owned by a German couple who were responsive throughout the booking process and all in all seemed good.

What I didn’t appreciate was the fact that they gave us a “daily usage allowance” for electricity, something we were unaware of until the day of check in. Our German friends arrived the day before us (we traveled from Virginia) and checked into the house. The management company made them sign a document that they would pay for any additional electricity over the daily allowance ($3.50 per day). I’m not sure where you live but $3.50 per day for electricity when you have a pool, A/C, lights, an oven, etc. is pretty darn low. The really sad part is when you review the listing on Airbnb all the fine print is in English, until you get to the part about “Electric”, then it changes over to German.

We called Airbnb on this fact (after we had already checked in) and they said “That’s illegal. All our listings in the US are to be in English.” We thought they were on our side then they said, “Well, you will need to work out the electric bill with the host…”

Seriously? The Host breaks the rules and you tell me I have to work it out? Airbnb customer service also said “You should not engage in any agreements outside of the Airbnb system.”

I wonder why? Because they lose out on any additional cut they might be entitled to? It’s akin to bidding on an item on eBay that you eventually lose, only to be sent an email by the seller a few minutes later wanting to make the sales transaction “outside” the eBay system – at the same price you bid, of course. So they can avoid paying eBay the 5% fee. This was a foul by the host.

Sensing our frustration after several calls to Airbnb, during our vacation no less, they told us they would refund us $30 for our troubles. That was five weeks ago and there has still been no refund. I asked them why I did not get a link to provide feedback after the stay was completed. They said that because they knew our feedback would be negative they would not be allowing us to provide any comments – hence the reason I’m writing here.How do they expect things to improve if they deny their customers an opportunity to provide accurate and rational negative feedback? It’s pathetic.

Sadly that will be our one and only stay with Airbnb. I chose not to include a link to the host’s listing because while their idea of charging for electricity is misguided (especially in the USA) the home was pretty much as described. I would recommend the host abandon the “daily allowance” idea and increase the daily cost for the home by $10 which would likely cover most of the electricity (we stayed 15 days so that would be equal to $150). As far as Airbnb goes in general? I would highly recommend that everyone stay away from this sham of a company.

Airbnb: Unprofessional Standards Drive Guests Away

In the last three months I have stayed in three Airbnb apartments and houses: each for a month. I moved to a new Airbnb house two days ago. Already, I have noticed the TV system has a fault, there is no hot water, the fob to the garage doesnt work and I had to climb over the gate all day yesterday because I didnt have a key. The last two places were just as bad.

They are amateurs: they only want your money, and have no sense of professional responsibility or standards. No wonder the terms don’t allow refunds. If you find the electricity constantly cuts out, or the plumbing is so noisy it keeps you awake, or you do not get the necessary keys, or there is not enough hot water for two people to shower, or the fob to the garage doesn’t work, or there is little privacy to work there, or it’s cold with no heating, and consequently it’s overpriced – complain, or leave a bad review. It’s your duty to do so. We are the regulators.

Bad Experience at Noisy Airbnb in Hong Kong

I booked a one-bedroom apartment for a three-night stay in Hong Kong. The reviews were good, and although it was somewhat pricey (the equivalent of £100 a night), I knew that prices would be high in HK, and ‘sucked it up’.

The flat consisted of a bedroom, a small living room with an open kitchenette and a small bathroom. I assumed the owner rented it out all the time. It dawned on me later that she actually lived there, and moved elsewhere when she had a booking. The street, described as ‘quiet’ though with a little noise from a restaurant downstairs, was actually a party street with bars and restaurants open until the early hours every night. People would stand outside, smoking, laughing, and shouting.

Worse than this noise though, was the racket made by the ancient window-mounted air conditioner. The owner said it was a little noisy and needed servicing. That was an understatement – it was like a diesel engine rumbling away making enough noise to wake the dead. At times it started to pulsate and make the whole room vibrate. If the owner knew it was problematic, why didn’t she have it fixed before I arrived and paid £2,100 up front for my stay? Not using the aircon was not an option since it was so darn hot. I managed to sleep with the aid of earplugs.

I am a vegan, so wanted to cook my own food. Impossible – there were no pots and pans. There was no connected stove (a non-working gas ring). Even the microwave was useless since the power cord would not reach the plug socket. The windows were also filthy; you could barely see outside. The owner cleaned them one day, after I complained. I left after five nights and asked for a refund, but guess what? They only refund 50% of your rental fee. I wrote a damning review which Airbnb edited. All they posted was ‘amenities need improving’.

Is Airbnb really that selective that they censor renters’ reviews? I checked in to a serviced apartment. For an extra £10 a night I get a lovely serviced room and use of the residents’ gym and laundry room. Never again, Airbnb. Never again.

Booking Hotel Rooms Through Airbnb Not The Best Choice

I book at Palms Place in Las Vegas through Airbnb regularly because it is a great hotel and there is no casino there. My initial room was not clean. The carpet had not been vacuumed and there were brown spots all over the white walls. There was also nonstop noise coming from under my door. I had to deal with this mess for one night until I could reach management the next day. Finally I reached someone and was moved to another room, and it was presented as if it was a courtesy only, when the issues of my room were not my fault. I had to wait in the lobby two hours and thirty minutes going back and forth between managers being told by one my room was ready, and by the other my room was not.

I was in Vegas for work and was supposed to be working at this time but got pulled away to handle this situation. The new room had a broken TV that would not work. I wanted a refund to move hotels or to even be switched to a new hotel. Now I’m getting no response because I want a refund for my troubles. Airbnb blames the hotel, the hotel blames Airbnb, and then they both said it was the owners fault. All should get together and issue me a refund. Do not use Airbnb. book directly through a hotel so you do not have to pay for the additional amenities that should be included: like towels that I had to pay an additional $5 per set; or housekeeping, that I did not receive the entire four days I was there.

Cold Showers, Rude Host, and Ultimately a Terrible Experience

My husband and I recently travelled to Portugal. We had been visiting different cities in Portugal and staying in multiple Airbnb homes. We came across a listing for an entire house to rent for one month in Alentejo, Portugal. I talked to the host who was listed as a woman and had over 100+ four-star reviews for multiple properties and rooms across Portugal. The place we were interested in was a new listing with no reviews. Looking back, this should have been an obvious red flag.

I spent two days talking to the host on the Airbnb messenger and confirming that the entire place had hot water, a washing machine and a router that had wifi. I informed the host numerous times that I work from home; therefore, I would be relying on wifi. They informed me on the Airbnb messenger that they had all these amenities. The host also stated that the city had a taxi rank and close amenities but no local transport. The host volunteered to pick us up from our current Airbnb listing for a small fee and take us to their home by car.

In the morning a man arrived and claimed that he was working on behalf of the host and would be handling all our needs. He admitted that he had been pretending to be the host I was talking to, and that he was close friends with the host and used her account to list his house. This was odd but at this point, I had already made payment for one month through Airbnb and I thought as long as the place was as advertised it would be fine.

It turned out that there was no wifi in the house; there was not even a router. It was a 3G mobile hotspot that would jump between one or two bars and sometimes not work at all. There was no hot water whatsoever. The man had no clue how to operate the washing machine after he claimed that the house was his. He brought out a manual for the washing machine in Portuguese which we translated and used to operate the washing machine. It was clear that he did not own the house.

As it was within the 24 hours of us checking in to the listing, I contacted Airbnb and informed them of what was going on. Luckily, Airbnb refunded me 20% of the listing and gave me back 50% of my first night. I was also given the option to get a full refund and 20% discount on a new listing if I wanted to leave that night. Unfortunately, the small village we were in did not have a taxi rank that was in use; there was no means of us leaving the village. As it was during the popular summer season, a lot of the listings available on Airbnb were either too far away or unavailable.

We spent one month with no hot water and limited internet. Airbnb insisted that the host should try to rectify the issue and tried to reach out to the woman that owned the host Airbnb account. Her boyfriend called me and said that he was away at sea and could not drive down to fix the internet issues or the lack of hot water. He proceeded to try to speak broken English with me and tell me that there was hot water and that he had driven from Porto to Alentejo four days before our booking to ensure that everything was fine. As his English was bad, I spoke Portuguese to him so he could clearly understand everything I was saying. However, he insisted on speaking English and would not listen at all to anything we were saying, insisting that everything was fine.

Eventually, it was futile talking to him so I hung up and informed Airbnb of what he had told us. When the man that pretended to be the original host returned on the day we checked out, he stated that there was hot water. He proceeded to change the gas tank quietly while we were in the bedroom tidying up and thought that I was not watching him. He then declared that there was hot water and that we were not using the boiler properly. I informed him that I saw him changing the gas tank. He had absolutely nothing to say. Why lie? Why not just admit that the gas tank had run out before our booking?

I asked him why he lied about having a router and wifi, and he said that it was a small village and worked well for him. That was not what I asked him on the Airbnb messenger or in person. During our stay, we had to boil water with pots to take “showers” because he and the original host could not be bothered to ensure that there was a filled gas tank.

I left a negative review on the listing and Airbnb deleted it; the listing is still up. I wonder if this is why the place has no reviews – because Airbnb is deleting them. The moral of this experience is if you want to try and get some sort of refund or assistance from Airbnb, communicate in detail with prospective and current hosts on the messaging app. Airbnb can see everything that is said. Avoid phone calls if possible that discuss important issues. Avoid emails too. Communicate via the app so that all cards are on the table; I cannot stress this enough.

We are now staying in our last listing with another host who lied about having wifi with an ethernet port. Airbnb has offered me a partial refund if the mobile hotspot continues to give us issues. Why? Because I communicated everything through the app.

Beware of Airbnb Housing with Bad Hosts

I recently stayed in two different rooms with a lady in Turlock, California. While she was very nice and accommodating, there were serious issues that I felt other prospective tenants needed to be aware of. Airbnb deleted my review. This lady lives in her garage with her three 100-lb dogs. There was no bathroom out there and the dryer was not vented to the outside, which was a serious fire hazard and can cause carbon monoxide and respiratory dangers. The dogs were very clean but she never washed their bedding so there was an aroma of ‘dirty dog’ which permeated the house. They barked and howled loudly at times.

She eavesdropped on my phone conversations, at one time standing in my doorway with her arms crossed until I hung up. She seemed to have some serious mental health issues. There were family photos in the bedroom, two of which were quite large and inappropriate for a room being rented out to the public. She did not let me use the washer/dryer and I could not have cooked unless I had brought my own pots/pans, spices, and cooking utensils, as she does not cook.

Although this is a ‘B&B’ there are no breakfast items ever available, whether it be cold cereal, muffins, or even toast. If you have a problem, do not expect Airbnb to resolve it. They have lousy customer service and are only concerned with their hosts, not the guests. I had to fight to not be required to pay the cost of the entire reservation, and she got to keep almost three weeks I had paid with no refund. I paid for housing in two locations for that time, and I cannot afford that. I will never ever use this service again; they are disreputable and the hosts are not screened.

Was My Host Just Plain Nuts? A Guest Ponders After Bad Review.

As a warning for Airbnb guests, you are only allowed two weeks to respond to reviews. I didn’t even know I had a review until after the fact. There is no way to contact Airbnb from what I could find. On the listing of reviews, my visit didn’t even show up on the site from my viewing.

I have to wonder about Airbnb’s practices regarding reviews of hosts. They make their money from having hosts supported. Even a few negative reviews too many would hamper their success. If negative reviews are kept out, no one is the wiser. Notice Amazon businesses bending over backward to do right by their customers. The overwhelming number of reviews of my hosts portray their experiences as all sweetness and light. There’s a dark side.

It is difficult to fathom the animosity and personal attacks expressed in my host’s comments about me as a guest. She began by claiming I disregarded her 11:00 AM check-out time. Her listing stated nothing with an 11:00 AM check out. Her Airbnb listing stated, “Flexible check out time.” She never stated differently. The fact is, I did, coincidentally, leave the room at 11:00 AM.

I checked my emails while in her living room and left the house until about 3:00 PM, returning to pick up my belongings. Her listing also stated she and her partner “work 8-5 jobs” and that I took advantage of her and her partner, claiming I knew they were not home. I did leave my bags in a corner of their living room during the day while I was out. I certainly did not know their whereabouts. They appear to live in the basement of their house. I didn’t see them Saturday and they made no effort to communicate with me. I assumed they would have been home.

Where the host stated I stayed five hours after her check-out time, I did make a judgement call about leaving my bags at her house while I spent the day out. I was not at her house during that time. But what did Megan actually communicate to me regarding my departure time and my leaving my bags at her house while I was out? We texted at 3:00 PM that day: “Okay, if you could leave prior to 5:00 that would be great… I have no problem with you leaving bags while you were out, but would like to have known in advance.”

Fair enough. My bad. An egregious transgression of etiquette? Additionally, she claimed I lingered at her house, “When I realized [the guest] was still lingering, I asked him to leave,” but, as I quoted her above, she admitted to being okay “if you could leave prior to 5:00,” which I did.

The host also wrote “rides to/from the airport are not included or offered in our listing but you pestered my partner into driving you 20 miles across town.” Pestered her partner? Going back again to her and my 3:00 PM phone text, “I won’t be home in time to give you a ride. I apologize!”

She omitted the fact I stated I could also call Uber. She omitted I offered her the $20 for the service I was told Uber would have charged. There was no pestering. Moments after our phone text, and her demonstrating an openness to my offer, I walked into the house and made her partner the same offer just before the next guests walked in. As he checked in the new guests, I sat at their dining table waiting for his answer. When he finished with the guests, he offered to take me. If he had said no, I would still have had 2-3 hours to catch a ride with Uber or a taxi. I had no investment either way how I would have gotten to the airport. I thought I was being thoughtful with my offer.

The host added to her complaints, saying I was “creating a chaotic and uncomfortable situation” in her house. Her new guests, her partner, his brother, and I were all the people at the house. Five people. At other times it would be possible for her partner, his brother, their housemate, and his friends or relatives whose were staying there, along with the host and her son, to have all been at the house – four additional people. Somehow, I, as one person sitting quietly at her dining table was “creating a chaotic and uncomfortable situation?” I waited patiently for her partner to do a routine check-in, and then he gave me a lift to the airport – accepting my $20 payment. Easy-peasy. How was that “creating a chaotic and uncomfortable situation?”

In addition, she left out the fact that because the bedroom was so hot, even with windows open and fans going, I slept on top of the bed where the only attention for the room would have been to straighten the bedcovers – I had cleaned the room before leaving. I left a note for her saying as much.

It appears that despite any effort on my part, the host glossed over if it might show I was not the “unpleasant,” “entitled and disrespectful,” “pestering,” “lack[ing] etiquette” and “lingering” guest she portrayed me. 
Considering her comments of me, perhaps I should have given a more frank telling of the condition of her house and my experiences with her. The house was a mess (I politely excused that, with her having a young son). The bathroom had the appearance of a college dorm bath being used with several people’s bath items strew about, crowding the sink and tub areas. I wrote only, “The bathroom was adequate, but in need of updating.”

I was shocked by her insulting accusations and other comments about my stay. I went back to her site to see what credibility there might have been in her numerous accusations… precious little. What I did discover was a photo of her bathroom only showing the toilet, excluding the tub. I believe this was an intentional deception on the host’s part to hide the bathtub from view – with good reason. The tub is the worst I’ve ever seen in a house. To that, I wrote only the bath is in “need of updating.”

I nearly chose not to shower because of the dark brown and grey-black stains where the finish had long worn off. It looked like a vat used for toxic chemicals that had worn off the finish. I wish I had taken photos to show I am not exaggerating. I’m surprised no one else had mentioned it in their reviews. I suspect it was left unsaid, just as I had left it unsaid, as an act of generosity as a guest.

It appears after all is said, her only issue with any legitimacy was that I did not call her before leaving my belongings at her house for a few hours. For that, she lashed out, maliciously lying, misrepresenting and berating my character and my actual behavior, all the while creating a fanciful fabrication of what my stay actually consisted.

I was willing to be graciously forgiving of her failings as a host and in my overall assessment of my stay. She suggested as her last comment to me, “Let this be a learning experience for each of us.” Indeed!