Locked out of the Building by the Neighbours

I stayed at an Airbnb last year in a small town close to Thessaloniki, in Greece. There weren’t many choices, so I chose one that had the most good ratings and was nearest to the beach. I’m a single woman in her 40s —not someone who’s having parties or blasting music all night. The host was a surgeon and was generally in Athens. He wouldn’t be there to meet me, but he left detailed instructions on where to get the key to the front door of the building, and then, once inside, to the apartment. So far so good.

The building was in good shape and the apartment was decent. The television and satellite weren’t hooked up, so there was no cable/streaming or wifi. The host promised to send someone to fix that the day I arrived. That didn’t happen, but as I was only there for three days and wanted to be out and about I wasn’t too bothered. I did notice what felt like hostility from the very few other residents I encountered that I just tried to ignore it.

The second day I was walking back from dinner in town and saw a couple outside the building next door and said hello. They spoke a bit of English and were curious about who I was and where I was staying. When I told them, they seemed really surprised and said “But he cannot do that. The building does not allow this and he had a lot of trouble last summer.”

I told them I was leaving the next day but that everything seemed okay. I had booked a car to the airport the final day at noon, so I went down to the beach around 10:00, with a plan to come back up at 11:30, have a quick shower, throw on my clothes and leave. 11:30 came and I walked back up to the property, wearing a bikini and sarong and found, to my absolute horror, a brand new lock on the door to the building… and my key no longer worked.

I rang all the doorbells; no one would answer. Several residents came onto their balconies and shouted down at me but no one would unlock the door. I rang the host and left several messages with his PA. I tried ringing Airbnb, who were worse than useless, telling me that the host was entitled to change his mind about letting me stay. They seemed to totally miss that it was the end of the stay and I just needed to leave.

The car showed up. I had to pay him EUR 100 cash to sit and wait (small town, no cabs, I’d booked him in advance and if he left, I’d miss my flight). Finally, around 1:15, the neighbours I’d spoken to came home and saw what was happening. I pleaded with them for help and they finally convinced a man in the building to let me in to get my things. That man stood there and literally watched every move I made. I couldn’t even change my clothes because he wouldn’t let me close a door. He gave me five minutes to get out.

I never got any joy with Airbnb. Their view was that I’d stayed as planned. The host finally rang me as I was en route to the airport and absolutely reamed me for ‘being mean to his PA and calling repeatedly.’ Never mind that he was prohibited from renting on Airbnb or that I’d been locked out in a bikini for almost two hours. Or that his neighbours were so angry they changed the locks on the building. When I left a review reflecting this, he left a response saying that I had parties every night, the neighbours called the police because we were using drugs… all made up of course. Never again.

Airbnb Host Ghosted us During Winter Storm

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Don’t expect any communication with this very sensitive host. If you try to give him any feedback about cleaning issues with his house, he throws a temper tantrum and acts like a little two-year-old. He gave us the silent treatment.

From Feb. 12-17, we decided to celebrate our 18-year anniversary in Nashville. We had never been there before so we decided to check it out. It’s only a six-hour drive from where we live. Usually we go overseas but with COVID we thought it would be safe to stay within the states.

We arrived at our Airbnb and noticed the fire pit on the roof wasn’t working so we mentioned it to our host. Very kindly and respectfully, we mentioned that we noticed a few dirty areas and that he should be aware that his cleaning crew was not doing a good job. We figured since we paid a $299 cleaning fee that the house should have been cleaned more thoroughly.

Instead of responding back to us to apologize and acknowledge the issue, he decided to ghost us. He didn’t respond to us for two days. Even when we messaged him a few more times, he did not speak to us. We have never met a host that acted like a two-year-old. My wife and I don’t have children so this was going to be difficult for us to handle. We do have a cat but our cat is more well behaved than this little child.

Two days passed and there was still no word. We started to get worried. Maybe he was on a timeout for misbehaving. Or maybe he was stuck in his crib and couldn’t reach his phone. Either way we decided to contact Airbnb and put out an APB.

Two hours after we contacted Airbnb, he finally messaged us. The reason why we were trying to reach him was because there had been an ice storm and we needed the driveway to be salted so we could safely come and go. This was exactly at 12:50 PM.

Hours had passed and there was still no word from him. We decided to try to leave the property to get food that night but there was no way we could leave. We slipped everywhere. We decided to park back in the driveway and stay home.

When he messaged back, this is what he said:

“I’m not able to get out and salt the driveways of all my rentals. This is highly unusual for Tennessee.”

This message was at 9:06 PM. It took him eight hours to message us back that day. When I mentioned to him that I had reached out to Airbnb to see why he hadn’t messaged us back he said:

“I didn’t know you messaged Airbnb haha. You’re a great guest.”

This child has a real attitude problem. Sounds like he needs a spanking. So I’ll be honest I got smart back. I said:

“And now your wifi isn’t working haha. Great house.”

Then he said:

“Feel free to leave.”

Whoa, whoa, whoa. He wanted us to leave? How dare he tell us to leave.

After hearing that, we didn’t feel safe or welcome in his home anymore, so we decided to leave that morning. Fortunately it snowed that night so we were able to have a little traction to get out. We had to drive in reverse to get out but we did it.

You’re probably wondering, what did Airbnb do? Absolutely nothing. Airbnb was useless. Apparently Airbnb has changed their terms and conditions. This did not work well for us. Airbnb informed us that if we didn’t contact them within 24 hours of arriving at the property then they can’t do anything. Even though we had proof that our host did not respond for a whole two days and that we had cleaning issues from the time we arrived, it didn’t matter to Airbnb.

As a warning to anyone using Airbnb, you must correspond with the host as well as with Airbnb for every issue. Don’t allow anytime to go by without informing Airbnb and taking pics of everything. In the end, Airbnb only offered a 25% coupon for the first night which was $70. We at least expected a refund on the two nights we weren’t there. But that didn’t happen.

In conclusion we were not pleased to pay $2,265.88 for five nights which included a $299 and $244.80 fee for just two people. This is an anniversary we will never forget.

Illegal Properties, Two Weeks of Waiting for Airbnb

I’m currently dealing with a case where the host is breaking Vancouver’s strict Airbnb laws. All four of her units use expired business licenses. I don’t understand how Airbnb can force their guests to stay at illegal rentals, let alone expect them to go forward with their international travel plans with no resolution to their issue.

I have contacted Airbnb customer support countless times over the last week with no one being of the “correct department” or training to actually just take the moment to call the city of Vancouver and verify their laws. The host is also deceptively listing the units as apartments rather than what it actually is: a house split up into four Airbnb properties. She has no exterior photos and you only find out once you book the unit.

This breaks Vancouver’s strict short term and long term rental laws as it’s not her principal residence. You also cannot rent multiple portions of one home at the same time on Airbnb. Also without a private entrance I don’t see how these units can be safe during COVID-19, especially for someone going through quarantine. Two weeks of waiting for someone to call me back and my trip is now three days away.

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Host Called Cops On Us But They Hate Her Too

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We rented an Airbnb called the “streamside forest peaceful” in Salida, Colorado from a host for $1,900 for five nights. Even with some bad reviews about her being nasty, spying on people, not refunding damage deposits, and a mouse problem, we were desperate so I reluctantly booked it.

After I booked it she sent a lengthy contract with crazy details. Others had complained about this as well. I have never seen a contract sent after the booking. Anyways, we got to the tiny trail of a road behind a cow gate and it looked sketchy. The contract said a 4×4 was recommended but that she maintains the drive. In 19 years of going to Colorado we have never taken a 4×4. Two years ago we had five feet of snow that week and still only used front wheel drive. We were in a front wheel drive Buick Enclave.

We started up the slight incline and it was sheer ice and clumped up snow that hadn’t been cared for at all. I have attached a picture. The car immediately started spinning out and turning sideways in the road. My husband had everyone get out thinking that may help. The kids went in the house which was dangerous even walking to, and we continued to try to get the car to either go up or down. No luck. We got a shovel and that was a joke.

After pushing and accelerating, it backed up a bit but then got stuck again. At that point we called the host. She offered no solution and told my husband the contract said we should have 4×4 and she was not responsible for his inability to drive. What a joke. He was a police officer and drove in every condition as well as driving every year to Colorado with no problems.

My husband told the host we needed to call a tow truck. She offered no assistance and he said we needed to cancel because we couldn’t get to her house. Even if we got towed to the drive, we would be stuck all week. She then hung up on him. I called her back and she didn’t answer.

I cancelled the reservation even though it was obviously past the refund date, thinking Airbnb would consider it extenuating circumstances and we would still get a refund. Then she messaged me and told me to leave the property or she would call the police. We left having no place to go, exhausted from driving 13 hours. It took all of us pushing the car to get it back to the end of the trail to the cow gate.

We were parked on the side of the road when the police came up to talk to us about the “trespassing report.” The policeman said: “Oh, we know her! She is always calling the police about stuff. Her neighbors hate her and we can’t stand her.”

We had a good laugh about what a miserable person she is and they went on their way. After that I messaged three other hosts looking for a new place to see if we would have the same driveway problem and all three said they maintain the property and it was all clear, like it should be. We rented a new place from VRBO. The host was so gracious and the road and drive completely clear.

Now the fight with Airbnb started. They completely leave it up to the host whether they refund you or not. Do you think she would refund us? — she got to keep every dime. I’m sorry the host is such a greedy miserable person that wouldn’t refund a family on vacation.

Five-Hour Journey Results in No Place to Stay

I booked a condo in Tagaytay, Philippines with residences renting on a monthly basis. Here they had a policy of people over age 65 not allowed out due to COVID, but not many stay home. Maybe the condo staff who do check ins let me stay due to my age?

I contacted the host to explain and she said “No problem, we will sort it out.” It was a bit of an odd reply, so I inquired further. They told me the rules changed on Jan. 1. I booked my dates on Airbnb from the 28th for a month — a great price for 40% off monthly, and 20% off for the first booking before April.

The host replied that she could book me for the 26th and 27th to clean the condo. They explained I would not be paying for those two days. I said it was okay, so she booked me on Airbnb for the two days. I thought it was a bit odd, but okay. I had the host’s mobile number so I called. She was out of range or her phone was turned off.

I sent a text explaining I was coming to Tagaytay to find a place to live permanently, using her joint for a month to look around, moving out of where I live now. New people are moving in when I leave and my furniture is going to my wife’s sisters, so this condo in Tagaytay has to be a sure thing. I got a text back saying “hello” and that was all. I tried calling: no answer, not even ringing.

I returned to Airbnb, explaining I had had no contact via mobile. I was a bit worried now. Her reply was “My husband is out of range, but will call tonight.” I got a message later via Airbnb saying I could call him anytime. I called twice. The second time I got an answer. Speaking English, the guy didn’t understand me, so I put my wife on the phone, telling her we wanted information on the tower number, condo number, and caretaker’s number.

I contacted Airbnb saying I had concerns, explaining the extra days for cleaning, and how there were no replies to texts or calls. I was doing a lot of thinking about moving out of there. I looked when the host would be paid by airbnb and it said the 27th; I don’t arrive until the 28th. I contacted Airbnb. As far as they were concerned, I was booked from the 26th. Eventually the payment was frozen.

On the 27th at 10:30 PM I got a message through Airbnb from the hosts. I rang their mobile — the one they never answered — and they said no money has come from Airbnb. I lost the plot, explained why no money would be paid until the 29th, and gave them 30 minutes to supply all the information I needed to Airbnb. The wife came on the phone saying they had only just bought the condo and didn’t really understand how this works. She said she was going to Tagaytay in the morning with her husband and the phone would be on.

I tried to call them five or six times on route, a five-hour journey, and it never rang. I arrived at 2:00 PM and no one was there. I waited two hours and called… nothing. Condo security said they had a condo there. I contacted Airbnb on the messenger site several times telling them the situation. I paid a night for a condo.

The next day I phoned Airbnb and explained everything. They were helpful. All the information was on his screen: messages from me saying I thought this was going to go bad, and it did. I got my money back, but I can’t understand it. These scammers knew they were not going to get paid since I was moving out of my place, but they still let me travel five hours. Beware if it sounds too good a price to be true. At least I got a refund. I hope Airbnb punishes these scammers somehow.

Unable to Find Airbnb, Nowhere to go in Scotland

On the seventh day of our vacation around Scotland, we spent the day sightseeing around the northeast. At about 4:00, knowing we had about an hour of daylight left, we headed for our Airbnb which was twenty minutes away. Unable to find the location, we called and messaged the owner. While waiting for a response, we continued to circle around the coastline looking for the property. The number was not there and the directions were crap, of course. Finally, after twenty minutes we pulled over and messaged again. This time we waited for another 20 minutes. No response.

It was getting dark and we were truly in the middle of nowhere. We had to make the command decision to drive and find other accommodations. The only place to go was west towards a snowstorm or south towards Edinborough. We eventually found a spot twenty minutes away. Our new host actually knew the lady that was not responding to our Airbnb messages. He informed us that during the winter she left the country for three months. That’s why she wasn’t messaging.

Long story short, our host took the money even though she knew she would not be there. Airbnb was a pain in the butt. We called them several times that evening. Their solution was to continue to try and contact the lady. After three hours, they recommended another stay which was 75 minutes away. Because we refused that stay (it was 8:00 PM and we had already found another accommodation) Airbnb said they couldn’t refund us.

We continued to message the Airbnb host for several months, hoping she would pitch in and help facilitate a refund. We never heard back from her. Because Airbnb cancelled the accommodation, we were not allowed to review this host.

Never Use Airbnb — Hosts Will Leave You High and Dry

I booked a private room with Airbnb for accommodation in Dubai for five nights. I paid for this in advance. Upon reaching Dubai, the Airbnb host told me that he could no longer accommodate me. He provided me a different address and asked me to go and stay there for two nights and he would shift me to original booking place after that.

Upon reaching the other address, I found that the flat was locked and no one was there. I had to ask reception for help to contact the Airbnb host as my phone was not working there. Upon contact the host he said he couldn’t accommodate me at the new address either. He did not provide any explanation and left me without a roof over my head in an unknown city. I was left to sort out my own accommodation with limited internet connectivity and battery life left on my phone.

In this situation I had to take whatever was available. I ended up staying in a hostel sharing a room with five unknown people and also sharing other facilities. Airbnb put me in this situation as they failed to fulfill their responsibility. My safety was at risk. My health was at risk as I had to share things with five other people for five nights. I could not get proper sleep.

The entire experience not only totally ruined my trip but also left me in distress and with negative effects on my mental well being. I was constantly anxious and worried about my health and safely due to the pandemic. I informed Airbnb about this incident the evening of Dec. 30. I received a call and provided all the information to customer service. They said they were unable to contact their own host to find out why he could not accommodate me. They also did not offer me any help to find an alternative suitable accommodation.

The entire trip turned into a nightmare. Airbnb staff were totally unhelpful. They could not even contact their own host after I provided a different number that he was using. Airbnb neither provided any immediate help or help to find alternative accommodation. On top of that, they also closed my case without reaching any conclusion. This company should not be allowed to operate in the hospitality sector at all.

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Kicked Out of Airbnb After Accidental Slip

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In February, I booked a room in Barcelona for five weeks to attend a language school. The hostess fought to give me a different room than the one I had booked. I didn’t accept that. When I later asked to prolong maybe the time of rental she said she just accepted cash. I didn’t accept that either.

Shortly afterwards I received the message that my father was very ill. I phoned a lot in my room. At that night I had to go to the toilet with the floor wet and I slipped. The hostess called the police and an ambulance. The police left but I was driven to a hospital. There was nothing badly found and I drove back to my room. The hostess did not open the door. So I now had to call the police to get to my things.

The hostess said a lot in Spanish, kicked me out, and reported something to Airbnb. A neighbor girl who was interested in my room because she had a smaller one put my things in a sack without being asked. I was that upset and helpless. I flew home and tried to contact Airbnb. The platform banned me without ever listening to me.

I am deeply sad about this behavior by Airbnb. I’ve had so many years of outstanding good experiences with that platform. I wish somebody could help me open my account or look at my story again.

Airbnb Host Refuses to Believe Her Property Has Spiders

I thought I would share a recent Airbnb story which has made me decide I will never use the app again. My partner and I booked into a lovely place recently that was part of a series of different units. It had great reviews and was set in a beautiful setting.

When we arrived the place was well set-up and clean. The only issue was that there were quite a lot of cobwebs around, particularly around the windows and furniture —like a lot. My partner dutifully picked up the broom and began cleaning the place of cobwebs. Other than that, our stay was very enjoyable. We didn’t think it was a big deal to clean them up; we figured they may just have been missed in cleaning since properties are just opening up again after COVID-19 lockdowns.

After our stay we made sure that the place was clean and tidy and left a very positive public review on Airbnb. We received positive public feedback from our host who said we were wonderful and clean and would be happy to have us back. We did make use of the private feedback option, and just noted that there were a lot of cobwebs around appliances, corners, furniture, light fixtures and windows. We chose not to say this publicly because we really liked the place and just wanted to support them for the future.

Fast forward a few weeks later and we stayed again but in a different unit. Again, lovely place and looked clean, well-set up and beautifully designed, I actually liked this unit better than the first one. But there were cobwebs everywhere again. This time, however, there were also lots of spiders. I don’t mean just a couple of them or little ones. I mean big black nasty ones. I think we killed over 30 and they kept coming out of places. We cleaned up the cobwebs and kept trying to kill the spiders, but when they began dropping from the ceiling through cracks we just couldn’t manage it.

In the middle of dinner, we messaged our host saying we were having issues. The host turned up with their partner, and immediately accused us of lying. They said our private feedback about the cobwebs was a lie (it wasn’t) and accused us of lying again about the spiders and cobwebs in this place. At this point my partner got heated up and they began arguing and he showed her all the cobwebs we still hadn’t cleaned as well as all the spiders we had killed.

She continued to accuse us of lying and then began to say that we just weren’t the right people for the property. Multiple times we said we wouldn’t lie about something like this especially at 8:00 PM where we have nowhere else to go, and that we had used up two cans of spider spray already trying to kill them. She kept referring back to the private feedback and even printed it out to show us and say we were lying about cleaning up the cobwebs in the first place. She also kept saying that since no one else ever had a problem we must surely be lying.

We were so confounded. If she was that upset about private feedback why the hell would she book us again? Luckily her partner was very kind and wanted to help us, and enabled us to move to the property we first stayed in which was clean and spider free. The host, however, made it clear she didn’t want us there at all and I assume would have rather we left altogether. She ended up leaving the property and slamming the door behind her, and it was her partner who helped us out.

Our mistake? I’m guessing we should have taken photos rather than clean it up ourselves both times. We cleaned it up the first time because we figured it wasn’t a big deal to do so, but just left feedback about it. We should have also not cleaned the property at all the second time, and instead taken photos and messaged the host first and showed her where all the spiders and cobwebs were. We made the mistake both times of not taking photos. In our naivety, we didn’t realize how important that would be.

As a result, we haven’t made a report to Airbnb because we just don’t have any evidence at this stage, and just wanted to get out of there as soon as possible. I am just in shock by her behavior. We weren’t trying to cause trouble. We genuinely loved the place apart from this issue (who wants to sleep with spiders dropping on their head?), and our first public review of the place was overwhelmingly positive.

After this experience I won’t go near Airbnb. Hosts have way too much power, and I just couldn’t believe how she was yelling at us and accusing of us of lying. It was unbelievable.

Sick of Greedy Airbnb Hosts

I’m trying to get a partial refund from our host as we unfortunately had to cancel our trip due to COVID-19. Her cancellation policy is strict but a tiny bit of compassion and flexibility would be so welcome these days. Times are tough for everyone — I get this — but the host (who is a real estate agent by the way) is ignoring our emails which I find extremely frustrating.

Airbnb has tried to help but with no success. I have never reported a listing or complained about anybody online but I find the greedy attitude of this Airbnb host baffling and frankly I am sick of these sort of people. We are shutting down our account and will be looking at more ethical travel options. If you are travelling to Inverness, Scotland spend your travel money wisely and stay away from this host.