Guest Cancels and Leaves, But Still Charged

We booked a week in a property starting July 17, 2021. When we arrived, we found the accommodation to be very unsatisfactory. Initially on inspection we discovered the accommodation only had five beds yet our party consisted of six people. When you’ve paid £2,250 for a week you don’t expect to be offered a camp bed.

When we first arrived, the cleaner was still there mopping the floor. The maintenance chap was also there. Neither were wearing face masks. In the listing advertising the property it stated (and still does) a 100-inch HDTV. However, there was no big TV: it was actually 24 inches.

As we closely inspected the place, we discovered the kitchen area to be unclean, the utensils were very dirty, and there was a used tissue in one of the drawers. The biggest shock was the state of the double oven. On opening the first door we could clearly see it hadn’t been cleaned and was in very poor condition. When opening the second door we discovered someone’s leftover pie. The cleaner quickly snatched it and hid it behind her back. The entire kitchen was in a very poor condition and certainly not what you’d expect for that amount of money. The garden area was untidy, with the grass not cut and loose tiles on the path.

On contacting the host, we found him to be rude, swearing and suggesting we were being unreasonable. We had just completed a six-hour journey to find our booking wasn’t to any satisfactory standard. We very luckily found alternative accommodation 30 minutes away so our stay at the Airbnb lasted only two hours.

On contacting Airbnb that evening telling them about all the problems and supplying photo evidence, at no point were we told to cancel the reservation until three days later, which meant we received £550 out of the £2,250 paid. Unfortunately for us, Airbnb took the host’s side and stood by the decision not to give us a full refund, which astonished us after sending the photo evidence.

A few days later, I decided to request a charge back on my credit card. Within a week we had our money back on our card and felt relieved, until my card company reversed the decision to uphold the chargeback and now I am £1,700 out of pocket for accommodations I couldn’t and didn’t stay at. I’m still contacting Airbnb and the host but not really getting anywhere. I’m desperate for any help or advice on what to do next. I feel I have a very strong case but unsure what to do. Any advice would be appreciated.

Airbnb Host Expected Me to Clean the Toilet After Fees

blankblank

I paid over $1,300 for a three-night stay at an Airbnb in Michigan City, Indiana. It had a pool. At first, all was well. We had a great time, but the night we got home, I got over 25 messages from the host, claiming she was disappointed in the way I left her house.

My crime? I didn’t vacuum or sweep the kitchen (I actually did sweep… must have missed a spot). I didn’t put her cushions back correctly in the garage (I tried; I just didn’t do it correctly). I put too many sheets in her washing machine (there wasn’t even a checkout manual — I had just stripped the beds and washed the sheets out of courtesy). I didn’t clean the stove (I don’t pay $1,300 to clean a stove). I didn’t wipe off the bathroom counter (again, just soap grime… no biggie). I entered her “clearly marked private space” (this was a cabinet with a post-it note where I found the laundry detergent).

She found dozens of other flagrant violations, all this from a person who didn’t leave a checkout manual. All this from a person I actually attempted to help by washing sheets and towels. All this from a person who included a $200 cleaning fee. All this from a person I actually left $20 for a cleaning crew (actually, there likely isn’t one). I did forget to empty the kitchen garbage into the outside garbage, but if someone strips your beds, attempts laundry, and doesn’t leave a dirty dish, you’d think this grave sin would be overlooked.

Instead, she left me a very, very mean review. I’ve flagged her conduct — which bordered on harassment — to Airbnb. Here’s hoping they care. I’ve attached some of the photos she sent me, that allegedly show what a “pig” I am. I’ve examined the photos carefully and for the life of me, I can’t spot what the problems are.

Hidden Fees Bump up Airbnb Stay by $1,300

I just completed my first and last utilization of Airbnb. I took my son and grandson to Oshkosh, Wisconsin for the EAA AirVenture airshow. We booked a beautiful home near the airport for the week at $550/night ($3,300 for 6 nights). The host was very good and communicated well.

When I returned I found my credit card had been charged $4,658. I attempted to download an invoice from their very difficult to navigate website and was unsuccessful. Only after sending a “chat” message, I obtained a customer service phone number, which I called. My first attempt I was disconnected after finally obtaining a representative and explaining my dilemma. I called back and again after a long wait and final explanation, I was disconnected again. The third attempt, again a long hold and menu negotiation, I got a customer rep.

I addressed the $1,300 additional charge and asked for an explanation. After several holds, the final explanation was a $501 Airbnb service fee, a $600 occupancy tax, and a cleaning fee of $250, which I’m told is kept by Airbnb and not even given to the host. None of this was disclosed at the booking. The difference from my original daily rate of $550 turned into $775/night. Armed with that information I probably would have made different plans. The customer service person was apologetic, but offered no explanation as to the Airbnb policy. I will never use their services again and I will tell anyone standing still long enough to do the same.

blank

Money Hungry Airbnb Host Gets Guest Banned

blankblankblankblankblankblankblankblankblankblank

If you’re going to need a place to stay in the Lincoln-Omaha, Nebraska area, stay clear of this host. This greedy bastard tried to squeeze every dime he could out of me.

I was traveling as an essential worker. I needed a long term stay in Lincoln for me, my disabled wife and our two dogs. I saw the listing and the price was reasonable.

After about a month, he started raising the weekly rate. When the rate doubled, we decided to leave. We stayed there 83 nights and paid $8,000 for a dingy basement apartment. Then that’s when the real nightmare began.

He sent me texts threatening me and calling me a criminal, demanding $400 for carpet cleaning, $250 for extra cleaning fees, $700 for a stained shower, $220 for lost revenue, $120 for a urine-stained mattress (we never used it), $250 for a broken mirror frame, $60 for a dirty microwave, $60 for dirty towels, and $100 for torn comforters.

Here is my response to the host’s complaint with Airbnb:

I have rented Airbnbs all over the country and Mexico. This host was by far the worst host I ever had. He priced gauged me every chance he got. I messaged him letting him know I need a long-term stay as I am a traveling essential worker. When I first moved in I was paying around $550 a week. Then after about a month he raised it to over $700 a week.

I went ahead and paid it because my wife is disabled and it’s hard to up and move at a moment’s notice. Then he raised the rent to over $900 a week. That’s insane. He was taking advantage of us. I can’t afford that. He waited until we were good and settled and then surprised us with the higher rates without notice.

Had I known the rates would go up like that, I would have never booked this place to begin with. That’s something a con artist would do. Very deceptive of him. He was charging me more than he was charging for the four-bedroom house above us. I believe that after 30 days I have tenancy rights. That would mean that he would have to give me a 30-day written notice before he raised the rent. He owes me money for every week I was charged more than $550 a week.

We had to deal with bats. He did not respond when I informed him about it. He did not properly remove snow from the property and my wife fell and sprained her ankle. We had to duct tape a window to keep the cold out. The heaters were not adequate to keep the apartment warm. Now he is being greedy and is trying to extort more money from me. Instead of contacting me and talking to me like an adult, he sent me threatening texts privately, not on Airbnb, trying to bully me in paying him a bunch of money.

He was threatening to call and get me thrown out of my current Airbnb, call my job and call the police if I didn’t pay him by the end of the day. He also called me a criminal. If he would have talked to me like a human being, I would have worked with him to find a solution. I would have come back and cleaned the carpet, the microwave, and the shower basin and wash and bleach the towels. But instead, he wanted money. He wanted me to pay the full retail value, not the actual depreciated value. No one peed on that mattress. That was there before. Also, it is twin mattress, not a full.

I know that this is not the first time he found a urine stained mattress and it won’t be the last time. He should be prepared for it. Hotels have ways of cleaning mattresses. If I had an Airbnb, I would have had a mattress cover on it to protect it.

The carpet is old and dingy. It needs to be replaced. There were already stains all over it. It’s not worth the $400 he wants to clean it. Also, I found $79 carpet cleaning service for five rooms on Groupon. I’m not responsible for cleaning all the carpet in the apartment. I’m only responsible for for the three stains caused by my dogs, not the yeas of neglect this carpet has had.

The comforters were not ripped to shreds. If you pulled the comforters from the bottom of the bed, they would sometimes catch on the bed frame. That’s how they got ripped. Anyone with a sewing machine could easily repair them. I’m not paying him to get all new bed in a bag like he wants.

The mirror frame was already broken when we moved in. If we broke it, the mirror would also be cracked. He mounted the mirror right above a heater. Over time, the heat probably caused the wood to delaminate from the glue holding it to the mirror. You can go to Home Depot and find a piece for the mirror fairly cheap.

The microwave was not burnt. It just needs to be cleaned. Only one towel was ruined when my wife colored her hair. The rest were just dirty and need to be washed and bleached. The towels were dingy to begin with. The shower basin can be cleaned with Comet, CLR and some scrubbing. It’s not permanently stained. You have to do more than just pour bleach on it.. He’s trying to get a new shower out of me.

I don’t owe him for lost revenue because no one is trying to reserve the place. He is charging too much. He has it listed for $250 a night. I don’t owe him the extra cleaning fee. He is not paying for extra cleaning if he is having professional carpet cleaners come over and providing tub cleaner that he is already charging me for.

He acts like we ransacked the place. That’s not true. My wife scrubbed and disinfected the place from top to bottom. She made the beds and wiped everything down. We don’t owe him anything. He did not give me the opportunity to fix anything. He is greedy and trying to extort everything he can out of me.

He is mad because he thought he could keep raising the rent and I would keep staying there. I asked him the last time the rent went up he said he had no control over the rate and it was based on an algorithm. Most places would cut a deal with their long term renters to keep them there.

This was Airbnb’s reply:

After careful review of all photos, documentation, and related communication provided by both parties, we determined your host should be reimbursed for the damage caused during your stay. Thank you for your patience throughout this process.

As a guest, you’re responsible for leaving the property in the same condition that your host provided. These responsibilities are detailed in Airbnb’s Terms of Service. Based on the information available, we have determined that your host should be compensated $822.76 for their loss. The host timely reported the damage and was able to provide valid documentation of the loss and the cost to repair or replace the damage.

The total amount of the loss is $822.76, which breaks down as: 1) Mattress : $104.80 2) Shower repair/cleaning : $385 3) Mirror frame repair : $250 4) Lock safe: $33.08 5) Microwave : $49.88. Please submit the $822.76 using the below secure manual payment link. You must be logged into your account to access these links. We request that you complete payment within 24 hours.

Once payment is complete, please let us know by responding directly to this message.

I gave the host a $150 deposit after I booked the place. He requested through the Airbnb app. Also, I did not agree with the amount Airbnb said I owed. So, I sent this reply:

This amount does not reflect the $150 deposit that the host stated in his claim I already gave him. Also, the mirror is not worth $250. I did not break the frame. It is old. Years from being in a hot moist environment from the shower steam and being mounted over a heater caused the frame to break.

However, since I’m being held responsible for its damage, I’m going to prove that it can be repaired for a grand total of $14.74. At Lowes you can get an eight-foot strip to cut out the small piece of the frame that needs to be replaced for $3.46. Then you can a 1-qt can of paint that you can color match to the rest of the frame for $10.28. Add Lincoln sales tax of 7.25% for a total of $14.74.

This is very minor damage to an old mirror. If it’s going to cost $250 to fix it, then show me an estimate. I also attached a picture from the host’s rental page of the shower. It clearly shows permanent stains on the wall and the basin. It is not white like the rest of the shower. What I left was dirt, not tar. No effort was used to clean it. The host said in his statement that he let it soak in bleach for two hours. That is not going to clean it. He does not mention anything about scrubbing the shower. Comet cleanser and a scouring pad would clean that up. The host is trying to scam me and Airbnb.

A few days later I got this reply from airbnb:

Thanks for your reply and after a full review of the incident, we have decided to remove you from the Airbnb community. This means you can no longer access your account and cannot create a new one. We determined that you violated the Security section of the Airbnb Community Standards, which you agreed to in the Terms of Service.

The violation involving property damage was reported on Feb. 27, 2021. Any upcoming reservations have been cancelled and you’ve been fully refunded. We consider this decision final. You can read more about removal from the Airbnb community.

Now I’m banned from Airbnb. All because I stood up for myself. Airbnb will always be on the host’s side.

Airbnb No Longer Reimbursing Hosts for Material Damages

Two guests booked two days for our 35-foot motorhome during a local Renaissance fair. We’ve been hosting 3.5 years. I should have been suspicious when three guests showed up. The guests were drunk when in residence — a bit loud, but tolerable because the motorhome is remote.

Then we went to clean for the next guests. What a mess. They had been cutting and sewing costumes for the fair, both inside and outside the coach. Strings and pins/needles were everywhere in the carpet. They ruined one set of sheets and towels with black goop that my wife couldn’t get out, so we had to order new ones for $65. They spilled coffee with creamer on the fabric couch and dribbled it on floor.

Normally takes about 2.5 hours to clean the unit. My wife spent five hours cleaning and I spent three extra hours spotting the carpet and steam cleaning the couch. I had to crawl around on my hands and knees to remove all the tiny threads, and pins/needles so the next guests would not injure themselves. I’m an an old guy but we got it cleaned.

The three guests left just after a noon check out, and new guests arrived at 4:30 PM and had to wait until we were finished. This was the first time this has happened in 3.5 years.

Here is the clincher. When we contacted Airbnb for reimbursement for the sheets and towels (not for our extra five hours of cleaning) we were denied because we didn’t meet their “complaint before next guest arrives” time frame. The next guests arrived before we had finished cleaning. Did I mention the extra time Airbnb demands to meet their COVID-19 cleaning requirements?

What have we learned from this lesson? Airbnb does not cover hosts’ damages even through they require a damage deposit from guests. Do not allow new guests to check in until you have made any claims, even if it means cancelling the new guests. We are rural and must drive to town to upload pictures due to our slow internet. We have no cell signal here. We increased our price 25% to cover any material losses because Airbnb will not charge guests for them.

When our “weird-s–t-O-meter” goes up for new guests…. we go with it and deny them access to the property. Don’t get me wrong: we have had good results with listings from Airbnb. Their fees are more expensive than most other platforms and our guests in the past have been top notch. I find that it is Airbnb, not the poor guests, that are the problem. Airbnb has always paid us the $50 per night on time and correctly.

If you cannot “personally” manage your rental check in and after rental inspection then I would not recommend them, as I do not believe you will be reimbursed for any property damage. Talking to a large number of Airbnb guests has convinced me that “hosts” are not cleaning to the Airbnb standards on the website as we do. But I must admit when we have traveled using Airbnb we have gotten very clean and tidy places to stay.

Airbnb Guest Urinates on Bed in Stockholm

I have had more than 100 guests and have loved it. Never any problems and I have earned Superhost status with 5.0 in terms of customer ratings.However, I have now had a guest where I immediately discovered urine in the bed after check-out. The bed is the Swedish brand, Hästen, handmade and extremely exclusive. The mattress is ruined and must be replaced immediately as I have new guests arriving.

The guest admits that she “accidentally poured water into the bed with a leaking water bottle” and says she is willing to pay for cleaning. But Airbnb customer service does little or nothing. It still takes time for them to even look into the matter, even though I do what is expected of me.

The problem has not been solved, and still being handed by Airbnb. No decisions regarding compensation yet. I realize that as a host I only have obligations but no “rights.” An extremely sad discovery and I am considering leaving Airbnb altogether.

It is interesting that a company whose content is only about people being willing to rent out their accommodation or parts of it is not faster to deal with problems that arise and support a host or a guest. Now Airbnb is planning an IPO, a company earning their income on booking fees, which however, presupposes that there are landlords and tenants.

Don’t Expect Any Host Support — it is Airbnb Hell

I am a property owner that has had listings with Airbnb for six years, with reviews that have been 4 or 5 stars 100% of the time. Even so, Airbnb chose to support a terrible guest who had been listed with them for two years (and had no reviews) over me. Not only did they support her, but they were rude and threatening to me.

The guest did a same day instant booking at 10:00 AM and then late in the afternoon sent an image text that was blank. I sent a text telling her that there wasn’t an image, and around 7:00 that evening she said it was her service dog information. They had already checked in.

We have a strict no animals policy. Our cabins are new, and we want to keep them dander free for the comfort of guests with allergies. Furthermore, our area had lodging options that accepted animals, so they didn’t need to ignore our no animal policy in order to find lodging. The guest also never provided any evidence that her dog was actually a service dog. I believe this is a scam she has been pulling wherever she travels.

After they checked out, I found short black hairs everywhere. I had to wash all of the fabric, including the curtains. I also vacuumed the floor twice and then mopped it. I finally thought I had gotten all of the hair out of the cabin, but when I opened the fridge there were short black hairs on the shelves inside.

I posted a review of her stay with information about the condition of the cabin and a private remark that we were disappointed that they wouldn’t respect our wish to keep our new cabins dander and animal hair free. The guest complained to Airbnb about my review (which I had posted to protect other hosts from her). They removed my review and sent me a threatening email that they could remove my account for being discriminatory. I asked Airbnb to explain what was discriminating about my review and they did not respond.

We are removing our listings from Airbnb and hope that other hosts will learn from our mistake and choose somewhere else to list their property. I would love advice on finding listing agents that have the backs of property owners.

Just as a side note, I understand that the ADA has tried to provide protection to those with disabilities, and I would totally support someone with a disability who needed a service animal. However, I don’t believe this guest or her husband have a disability. They were simply taking advantage of a system set up to protect those with real needs.

blank

Airbnb Rip Off in Austin Forces Guests Out

blankblankblankblankblank

I’m a PM for a Internet technology company and I’m responsible for choosing Airbnb rentals for staff, usually 2-4 staff members. In September, I chose a host in Austin for one month. The rental had good reviews and looked good in the photos, so our admin assistant booked the unit for one month, starting the second week in September to the second week in October.

The staff arrived in the afternoon on a Saturday and were immediately underwhelmed, The cleanliness of the location was poor; there was debris in the front entry, dirty and dusty tile floors from the gap under the door allowing debris to blow in, sticky counter tops, a refrigerator with plenty of odds and ends from previous tenants with sticky unknown substance in nooks and cracks, and pubic hair in the toilet rim. In addition, the light bulbs and face plates in the house were not maintained and looked like the owner did not care to present a home they cared about, just a take or leave it house. However, they took 100% of our payment, $3,369.

Since our staff had to go through me and the company admin, the issue could not be addressed until Monday morning. Well, the host had an excuse for every issue, refused to let us out of our term, but was willing to send cleaners back over. After two days in the unit (not a home), our staff said “no way” to staying in this unit and we care and trust our staff. The host only offered a $220 refund and Airbnb is completely complicit in this behavior (they bear no responsibility or customer support for such situations). Since July my firm has spent approx. $41,000 with Airbnb. I will be recommending Extended Stay hotels to my executives for future projects.

Even with Roaches, Guest not Sure Who to be Upset with

blankThis isn’t a clear cut black and white Airbnb horror story. There are some things I should have been more aggressive on, but in the middle of a pandemic I feel it fair not to be too aggressive because for all I know this could have been my host’s only source of income.

To begin, I walked in and the place was very much not clean. I was given a warning by my boyfriend, to which he felt the judgement call up to me. To be honest, my mind was on their cute little pig that met me at the door; he was so sweet.

I quickly looked around and noticed maybe one or two critters. It was no big deal; it’s getting warm and in Mississippi the critters start coming out. My boyfriend is definitely a city boy so he freaks out about everything. I messaged the host telling her exactly that.

However, I was wrong. It wasn’t until really late into the night that more started coming out and they were huge. That’s when I really looked at the place. The kitchen sink wasn’t cleaned (why did I pay a cleaning fee?) and under the bed/chairs/sink there were enough either droppings or roach body parts. I was disgusted.

We couldn’t find a place to book that late at night so we were stuck one night. I kept joking that my cat would defend us from the roaches while we slept (I couldn’t sleep that night). The next morning we were trying to get out to the Marriott that I booked. The pig says good bye on the way out (he really was a sweet pig and I’ve never seen a pig run to me until that day).

The host at least refunded me for the other days, and as for the cleaning fee I wasn’t very aggressive because as I’ve said before I’m not sure if this is their only source of income. They also let me bring my cat without putting in a pet deposit.

I contacted Airbnb later about the service fee (possibly the cleaning fee) that night because trying to get settled into a new place last minute had its own issues. I will admit I wasn’t very aggressive with it; maybe it’s because during all this pandemic I feel like that isn’t what the world needs right now.

Airbnb basically told me to f&%k off on the service fee and I definitely wasn’t getting the cleaning fee refunded. I should have checked with VBRO or nearby hotels, because most times with all the fees it ends up being more expensive than a Marriott. This was one of those times.

I’m not sure if I should be upset with the host, Airbnb, myself or anyone really. It’s up to you, are you willing to take the risk? Is the pig worth it?

Being Scammed with a Fake Listing Would have been Better

We booked this Airbnb in Switzerland, seeking a peaceful beautiful corner of Swiss alpine experience that was indicated in the advertisement. Instead, we would instead just putting up a tent in a train station. You would have more room, and get the same experience of living on a railway track.

Literally every few minutes a train was passing by, even throughout most of the night. Many were so fast that the place shook. It is so close to the train station that we could hear the noise of cars being loaded onto the train. It was the complete opposite of the peaceful and scenic spot that we were expecting.

Sleeping in train station might also have been cleaner. The bed sheets were disgusting, stained and grimy. Desperate for sleep, we even stripped the bed hoping that the mattress might have been less awful. That was a mistake; it was a stomach-turning science experiment.

The towels looked marginally clean, so we made pseudo sheets out of them and disinfected ourselves in the morning. The floor and chairs were covered with spots of grease; we just didn’t feel like touching anything without putting on gloves or needing to take a shower afterwards.

Someone in the building must be a chainsmoker, as we were so often greeted with puffs of cigarette smoke floating into the place. Not exactly the fresh alpine air we had in mind.

We have stayed at hundreds of Airbnbs and similar accommodations at this point. This was nearly the worst. The only ones we can think that might surpass the awfulness of this place are the couple that were pure scams that didn’t exist. Honestly, we would have preferred this to be a scam versus the misery of staying at this place.

We should have left in the first hour, but all the hotels in town were booked and we just didn’t want to spend our limited time battling with the host and Airbnb. Anyway, we realize it is impossible to post negative reviews on Airbnb without getting hassled or blacklisted. We’re hoping this candid review ends up helping someone else avoid our experience and just put up a tent in a nearby train station instead.