Airbnb Hell for the Poor Person Renting Property

I had a few nice tenants to begin with. I thought they would all be nice, but then I had one lot who complained about everything: “the sheets were smelly, the room smelt, and the dishes weren’t washed.” They left.

Meanwhile I was left with a big cleaning bill, a steam cleaning bill for carpets, and with a person who lied about my place on Airbnb. Now how does that sit with a person who has, with her cleaner, spent six hours cleaning and preparing a nice place, buying extras to make them feel at home while the guests prance off and leave another cleaning bill for me after one night?

“Okay,” I thought to myself, “What happens now?” Are her lies going to be plastered on Airbnb without finding out first what the real deal was? I bet your bottom dollar that is how it went over. I am now out of money and tired. Now my head is thinking – what will happen when the next lot of people arrive? Will they read the liar’s story and perform the same ritual?

I was so right in my thinking. They said exactly the same things that the previous liars said and now I will be out more money.

Thinking of being an Airbnb host? These last lot brought their cat… need I say more? I am very tired and very heartsick that a big company such as Airbnb allows renters to tell lies, believes them without asking any questions, and takes money from us poor suckers. Am I alone in this horror story? Obviously not! Will I continue to be a host? You be the judge.

Can I ring Airbnb or even email them with my side of the story? I have tried both; I emailed at midnight and I was told to wait 1-2 minutes. Meanwhile, hours later, I fell asleep only to wake up and find that they had closed me down and didn’t wish to continue with my case.

Word of Warning: Do Not Book Airbnb for Popular Cities

If you are like me, Airbnb has become my #1 priority when booking accommodation for a trip abroad. However, Airbnb cancelled my booking in New York with only weeks to spare, even though the booking was made eight months prior. Their customer service has no responsibility to find you alternative accommodation.

For Airbnb this is good business, because now the betrayed and baffled traveler has two expensive options: to book again with Airbnb and either pay more for a similar listing, or select a poorer quality listing. Alternatively, a person can book a hotel which is also more expensive as there is such a short time left prior to the trip.

What was shocking is that Airbnb originally blamed the host for cancelling. Moments after this, I received a message from the Superhost stating that he had no idea why it was cancelled. He had 50+ five star reviews. Airbnb removed all traces of the booking including our conversation chain and the host’s profile.

Airbnb might be good for small cities but for big ones, I would avoid booking as there is a high risk your booking will be cancelled and you have no way to expect the sudden additional expenses.

Landlord Exploits Long-Term Guests on Airbnb

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My landlord has turned two rooms of the house I’ve lived in for nine years into an Airbnb. Last night three dudes checked into one room. Nobody in the house had any notice about these strangers. The first thing they did when they got there is let my cat out of the house, which resulted in my roommates and I spending hours tracking him down.

Two of the guests are allergic to cats and the landlord didn’t mention it in the add, so I gave them some of my own Benadryl. The landlord had purchased no amenities like toilet paper, hand soap, garbage bags, towels, ect. All of those things were purchased by my roommates and I, who also pay for the internet the landlord advertised on the listing.

The appliances, like the washer and dryer, are also owned by me, as well as the TV and other electronics the landlord has listed as amenities. The room the guests are in is plagued by leaks and isn’t insulated. The roof has been leaking since 2016 and the landlord refuses to repair it. She just plasters over the water damage in the Airbnb every time it storms.

The landlord or “host” made the guests pay up front outside of the Airbnb app. They decided they wanted to leave, but she demanded a week up front for a special price, so they’re out that money. They rented the room out for a month.

I managed to get enough people to report the listing to take it down, but the guests are still here, at the house, using the stuff we bought. Three guys in one room. They party and drink all night, leave doors and windows open, make messes, and use dishes that I then have to clean. Imagine if you had strangers treating your house like a hotel. My landlord expects me to eat up all the Airbnb expenses and do all the Airbnb labor while she nets all the profit.

My Wife Hosted our Home. Didn’t Tell Me

Back in 2016 my wife told me about Airbnb and said she would like to host our house. Nothing else was said until she was very adamant that we take off just to get away one weekend. When complications came up, she was forced to admit she had rented out our house “just to try it”. Well I was upset that she would do such a thing without telling me. We had a pretty serious discussion about my opinion, and her honesty.

Fast forward to 2017. She wanted to go on an extended weekend trip and I just could not because of work. Well she played hurt, then angry. On Friday she said, “Well, let’s just stay at a local motel.”

I thought that was pretty odd and she gave all kinds of excuses to be out of the house. Finally she admitted she had booked our house for the weekend. I was furious she did this again. This time I asked her to let me have access to her account and I found three more bookings in the next two months.

I wrote Airbnb explaining the situation and they said they couldn’t help me because I wasn’t on the account. “It’s a problem between you and your wife,” they said.

“True,” I said, “But I own the home!”

When I asked if it would be their problem if I turned the guests away, they still said nothing. They would not get involved. After a heated argument and with guests arriving in the morning, I submitted to moving out for the weekend if she closed her account with Airbnb and cancelled all of her booked guests. She did and promised me she would always talk to me before making any decisions like that.

Fast forward to this weekend. Same story. “Let’s get away for the week” prefaced by furious house cleaning. I came to find out that she had not deleted her account and in fact booked our house for the weekend… and every weekend during the months of June and July and one in August. My whole summer is booked with me away from our lake home.

I am stunned. I am calling Airbnb on Monday but I can guess their answer. My options? Refuse to let the guests in or maybe try and contact them and give them warning? Airbnb won’t get involved.

Airbnb doesn’t even have the “essentials”

Earlier I went to Oaxaca City in Oaxaca, México, staying at a serviced (not really) apartment listed on Airbnb. Since it was so cheap, I wasn’t really expecting anything. When I saw that there wasn’t a table or a desk at all (despite what’s shown on the listing), I wasn’t bothered since I wouldn’t really be using a laptop anyway.

However, they had almost none of the so-called “essentials”. They had no soap… fine. They didn’t have any towels at all; I literally had to go out to buy one. No toilet paper either – in fact, they didn’t even have a toilet seat.

I’m guessing they are called “essentials” because Airbnb does require all hosts to have them. They didn’t, and when I told Airbnb that, they didn’t say or do anything. As you can see, they still say they have all these things. Perhaps they’ve gotten better now, or maybe nothing had happened. Who knows?

Airbnb Nightmare Scenario: Destroying Communities

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to have an Airbnb but not have to deal with the hassle hosting? Then follow along, dear reader, for I have much to tell you.

This all started in early September. Our landlord informed us and the two other tenants that he was selling the building. Surely this wouldn’t affect us much because our building wasn’t near anything important and had full, long-term occupancy. We were wrong.

December arrived, and my girlfriend and I had just returned from visiting family for Thanksgiving. Suddenly, our upstairs neighbor appeared at our door with a surprise letter from our new landlord. According to this letter, his lease was not going to be renewed. Our neighbor only received this letter because his lease was up in 45 days. We had to ask our new landlord if the same terms would apply to us come August, and sure enough, there would be no lease renewals under this new landlord.

After some basic Google searches we discovered that our new landlord owed 17 buildings in town. All of those buildings were dedicated Airbnbs. We are the last to leave this building, as well as this block. There used to be multiple apartment buildings up and down the street, but all that’s left is a Thai restaurant and an advertising agency. Every residential building is owned by the same man and each unit is rented out as an Airbnb. No one actually lives here any more.

So far we have had to deal with extremely loud guests in the Airbnbs above us, restrictions on our ability to receive mail, and our new landlord demanding we have cameras in the entryway because “the ATF raided the Thai place across the street” (an obvious lie). Two important packages have been returned to sender because the property manager the landlord hired doesn’t care that we still live here.

If you visit a new place, don’t rent from “Superhosts”. Nearly all of them are big time landlords who use Airbnb to destroy communities and drive up rent. Rent your spare room – that’s fine. Don’t buy property just to evict the current residents and convert to short term rentals. If you rent and don’t want this to happen to you, form a tenant union before it’s too late.

Sexual Predators Can Use Airbnb Freely

A local Airbnb was being hosted by sexual predator (now serving multiple years in prison). He lived in the house with guests before his court date, which took two years. He was not allowed to have anyone under 16 at his house. I called Airbnb and let them know that this was occurring and single women might not be comfortable sharing his hot tub and pool if they were aware. They did nothing. Please Google your hosts and guests if you’re sharing a house.

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Let me teach you about Airbnb’s fees

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I have reported this issue to Airbnb. It involves booking issues. A courteous young man tried to help. Unfortunately, he works for a company that has no control or, evidently, no interest in the legitimacy of its listed rental properties.

My friends and I are planning a trip to Spain and Morocco. We are trying to pay ahead and have all issues resolved before our departure date. We have, so far, had very little trouble with booking in Spain. The only issue is that when searching for a property you enter the number of guests and the number of nights requested. Then a list of available properties appears, and you choose a property and book it.

At that time most properties either give you the option of either a partial or a full payment. We always chose the full payment option. As to the number of nights, that isn’t exactly the information the computer needs; it needs the day of arrival and day of departure, not the number of nights. It took us a while and several mistakes to figure this out. A clue from Airbnb would have been helpful.

Other than the number of nights issue, Spain, so far, has been relatively smooth sailing. I say relatively because here comes the headache… Morocco.

As with Spain, we entered the dates and number of guests and a list of available properties appeared. We read the comments, compared prices, and chose a place that was listed at $87/night. As with our other bookings , when a partial or full payment was given, we would chose the full payment option. Our total appeared on the screen as $524.22. Okay, fine, we say. Joke was soon to be on us.

The next email from this property was about a new charge of $976, with add-ons of a cleaning fee of $39.84 (reasonable) and a service fee of $111.60. A charge of $137.54/night was being charged per guest. Whatever happened to the $87 originally quoted in the initial property description?

After making an inquiry as to the change, a new total cost was emailed to us. This time the total was in Euros – €725.00 – with a cleaning fee of €35 and a service charge of of €27.13 deducted from the total. So, when you look at a property, after having submitted all the necessary information, and you receive a list of available properties that meet your criteria, and they advertise a price, beware. Once they have your credit card, it’s open season for bait-and-switch scams, and Airbnb can but won’t do anything about it. Buyer beware.

Fraudulent Host Sues Guest for $1800

We thoroughly enjoyed our time at our Airbnb until we received communication from the host wrongfully accusing us of stealing her second-hand sheets. There were far better items to steal if we had been inclined, like the $400 TV to occupy our bored 13-year-old, or the microwave, which would have come in very handy to heat a frozen sausage roll for our screaming and starving 8-year-old, having an emotional meltdown over food at the airport back to Australia from France.

This is how it all started. The apartment looked newly renovated and we did note the tired looking sheets at the time. At first we thought it may be a misunderstanding and the cleaner may have taken them to launder, but as it now turns out, our credit card has been charged. There are many problems with this situation.

To be accused of theft, and then “charged” without sufficient evidence supporting the accusation, highlights one’s true core values and morals in a negative light. After abiding by Airbnb’s terms to resolve the issues, Airbnb has taken the role of “judge, jury, and executioner”, unfairly charging the incorrect credit card in favour of the Host.

This is in breach of their own “Terms of Service”. Airbnb did not charge the credit card on file that was used to make the booking. Instead they chose a different one on file. We used Airbnb for both work and personal use. This was a work trip, and as such we used the work card. This is a definitive breach of their Terms of Service. There is no evidence to suggest we stole the sheets. Airbnb needs evidence before accusing us of theft and charging us.

Other unidentified people had access to the property at the time we were there. They gained access as we were entering the building and did not identify themselves.

The host had accused us of stealing sheets, yet in her claim, she wanted compensation for a brand new unrelated item of significant value. This would suggest she was after money, and not a simple replacement.

As we were attending a surgical conference, there was conference paraphernalia, left in the host’s house. This material may have suggested to a money-hungry host, looking to upgrade their facility at someone else’s cost, that this family could foot the bill for her need for new linen.

The original suggestion of two sheet sets stolen has now been extended to include a whole range of items, not even available to us at the time of our stay. The host originally requested compensation for $1800 to replace two sheet sets. Had we known, I would have driven 120 km to the closest Walmart and back and bought two new sets for $40. The sizes of the sheet sets apparently stolen do not even fit our beds at home. No use to us there.

We had no room in our luggage anyway. I generally overpack (my vanity bag usually takes up most of my carry on anyway). With three kids and their electronic gadgets stuffed toys, and ski gear for five, there was no room in our bags for: a complete set bed €170, depreciated for two years = €136; another complete set €120 depreciated for two years = €96; a third complete set €160 * two years = €128; towels €50 * two years = €30; other towels €28 * two years = €16.80; DH 140, €75 * two years = €45: To 56+56= €112 * two years = €67.20. They’ve even depreciated the secondhand assets.

Apparently, the host has provided “valid documentation supporting the damage and repair cost”. I don’t believe screenshots of luxury branded sheets on online shopping sites is evidence that we stole the inventory list above.

Disgusting host behaviour. Disgusting Airbnb behaviour. This behaviour highlights the ease in which an opportunistic host can profit from guests, for the purpose of updating, renovating, or simply cashing in on the unassuming guest. There are many Airbnb guests who cannot afford to be falsely accused of theft, sued, and then have their moral character questioned. It seems the question of morality lies with the host here. And they get away with it.

Never stay here – it will cost you!

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Interracial Discrimination From Airbnb Rampant?

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After I was banned for life from Airbnb for absolutely no reason (booked twice, great reviews from my hosts, paid on time, went to book a third trip but was locked out), I went to try to contact them through Facebook and found a pattern: they are banning interracial couples for no reason.

They have us sign in through Facebook and most of us have photos with our partners. Then through a quick Google search I found out they’re being sued for discrimination at the moment. I ended up booking with HomeAway instead and highly recommend you do the same.

What do you guys think of this?