When your Condo gets Trashed by Spring Breakers

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My condo located in Destin, Florida sleeps six. I booked it to a seemingly sweet couple, but in reality, it turned out to be twenty spring breakers who trashed my place. My housekeeping company charged three times the departure cleaning fee and rightfully so. All of my bed and bath linens were destroyed along with many other things.

I filed my claim with Airbnb and sent my housekeepers’ images. The response I got back from Airbnb was that the guest had already paid a cleaning fee. My reply was the cleaning required to perform a necessary departure clean of one hour is far less than the real cost of four additional hours to clean up after 20 spring breakers partying like rockstars for a week. Airbnb indicated that the images didn’t look that bad.

It appears that Airbnb is now setting the cleaning rates nationwide. My housekeeper has taken great care of my unit over the years. Airbnb charges whatever they want for their services and now seems to be deciding the fees on other businesses also. If 60 images of a trashed home are not enough for Airbnb, what is?

It’s crucial for owners who become hosts to know that Airbnb is not going to cover the cost of your vacation rental getting trashed by the guest. They surely did not mention that to me when I was signing up. Now the fault and loss of cleaning up after a lousy guest are dumped on me and the local cleaners and housekeepers. Without my housekeeper, I do not have a vacation rental.

If you are a guest through Airbnb go ahead and trash that unit. The cost to clean it up is on the backs of the cleaning companies now who are being forced by Airbnb to clean it up for free. If I don’t pay my housekeeper, I will receive a lien on my property.

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Asking for a $60 Fee just to Clean the Dishes?

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I was staying at an Airbnb in New Zealand. The place was good and the host seemed very nice. The problems started to occur when we checked out. We ran out of time (we were travelling far away that day) so we didn’t wash the dishes for our breakfast. It was kind of messy in the kitchen but we didn’t break anything and we reported the right number of people for check in.

After we left, the host got angry and wanted me to pay $60. I just don’t get it: in the house rules, they stated the fees only applied when we smoked, not for the dishes. I’m confused: can someone tell me what should I do? Other Airbnb properties seemed fine when we left the house with dishes unwashed. Should I reject or accept the request? Please help me understand.

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Airbnb for Business Trip, Never Again

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I often choose Airbnb for both personal and business trips, having faced a range of experiences. But this last trip called for an end to the use of Airbnb for business trips for me.

I booked two nights in Paris, in a small apartment next to my meeting location. The check-in scheduled at 3:00 PM went okay (the sitter texted me the code to enter the building and left the key under the mat). On the mat were also a used coffee pod and pieces from the wrapping from an ice cream cone that I decided to pick up and put in the garbage inside.

The surprise was when I entered the apartment… I have seen accommodations from sparkling clean to a bit dirty but this was a nightmare. Some of the highlights: the rest of the ice cream paper was inside on the floor, next to an overflowing garbage can. Dirty dishes were in the sink, etc.

I went to the bedroom to drop my bag and realized the bed (which seemed to have been made) had dust everywhere on it and several large stains (of what I think was blood). There was also a cigarette butt on the floor of the bedroom.

The bathroom next door had a disposable razor on the floor, a full garbage can with what looked like blood from used tampons dripping on its inside, a very dirty (grey) towel (that used to be white) on the floor. It was the same story everywhere, including Chinese food in the microwave that smelled very bad – it could have been there for days. The same food was also on parts of the inner sides of the microwave. There was old food in the fridge, a dirty toilet, etc. I don’t think that my own apartment ever been that dirty, even as a student.

It was clear I could not sleep there so I contacted the Airbnb sitter, who quickly apologized and said the cleaning people have probably not cleaned the place yet. I was actually okay with it (it happens) and said I was going out so the cleaning people could do it then. I came back over an hour later, and nothing. I texted again the sitter, asked if he could follow-up with the cleaning people, etc.

I also decided to send a formal message (not only SMS) to the host to describe this, and to contact Airbnb customer service. The customer service was fairly quick to respond and said they would help. Their help was basically to try to negotiate with the host that things got cleaned. After that, I kept chasing customer service for actual action until they just stopped following up.

In short, they have done nothing for me that helped. The cleaning person came around 6:00 PM (three hours after the check-in; there was nobody staying the night before, by the way), and did the bulk of it but still left the apartment in a state that is worse than any Airbnb apartment I had stayed in before (full garbage left, dirt and waste under the bed and in every corner, microwave not cleaned, etc).

However, I had clean bedsheets and towels and decided to stay as it was 8:00 PM in Paris and moving anywhere would both cost me a lot of money and also be hard to arrange. Generally, the sitter was responsive but blamed the cleaning company.

I never met or heard from the host (something more and more worrying in the Airbnb system). Airbnb customer service did not look for another accommodation (something I asked at first) and never offered any compensation. They never responded to my last messages. This impacted the only half-day of non-business time I had in Paris.

So this is it for me. No more business trips on Airbnb. Between difficult check-in, last-minute cancellations risks and this latest experience, I’ll get back to hotels for that.

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The Type of Cleanliness Airbnb Endorses

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I took my husband mountain bike riding in Rotorua for his birthday. We booked an apartment in downtown Rotorua. We arrived at our accommodation and the apartment was filthy.

The toilet had poo on the seat and lid, and the shower had scum all over the screen and tiles. There were dirty marks on the floor, the microwave door was filthy, the button to open the microwave had a big dirty mark, and there were dirty sheets shoved in the wardrobes.

I called the host back, showed him the issues and said this wasn’t acceptable. He tried to tell me the apartment was clean. I then showed him the poo on the toilet seat and lid. He got a wet cloth – no detergent or disinfectant – and tried to wipe the poo off. The apartment had clearly not be cleaned. He didn’t offer to clean nor have the apartment cleaned.

I took this up with Airbnb and first they rejected my refund because they deemed this as a cancellation, even though we had been in the apartment with the host. The next excuse was the host tried to rectify the situation. Finally, Airbnb advised they deemed this as low severity. Their policy clearly states the premises need to be clean and sanitary. Please see the photos which Airbnb endorsed in their guest policy.

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Duped by Host, Airbnb Refused a Refund

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I booked a place in New Jersey for spring break based on reviews I read. I payed full price with a one-time payment of $811.03 for five nights. It was my first time ever using Airbnb. I stated that to my host and he used it against me.

The communication was good until I got to the place and saw the mess. The smell gave me allergies right away The floor was very sticky; the maid was still working on it but couldn’t clean it. The futon in the living room was broken, and the dishes were dirty.

I texted my host about it and he didn’t reply at all. I went to a hotel and the next morning he texted me asking me how my night was. I was so surprised. I told him that I didn’t spend the night and that I texted him the day before and was sure his assistant and maid told him that I had left. I didn’t understand his message. He didn’t reply. I asked for a refund and he declined, saying that he was never informed of the issues.

I immediately got Airbnb involved. They never reached out to me until I called their customer service line one week later. The first representative told that they were sorry, they were very busy and that they would refund me and even probably for the money I spent for the hotel. He told me he was going to make my case a priority and a case manager was going to reach out to me.

The next day a case manager emailed me introducing herself. She emailed me back, saying that the host said I checked in early and that’s why I found the place like that. I showed her that I was on time. She emailed me back now saying that I should have canceled the reservation and gotten Airbnb involved as soon as I noticed the issues. All she could do was refund me for one night and the cleaning fee.

I found it very disrespectful the way they treated my case because it was one excuse after another. Their representative on the phone told me that I had 72 hours after the issue to get Airbnb involved; I did it less than 48 hours after the issue. Now the case manager is telling me that I should have gotten Airbnb involved in the next 24 hours after the issue.

They are all from the same corporation but they have different stories to use to not refund your money. I thought Airbnb was a serious company but apparently not. Something needs to be done to shut that company down.

How to Move on a Problem Airbnb Guest?

Someone please help me with some advice as how to address a guest who has kept the bedroom really dirty. He is a long-term tenant and the bedroom looks totally trashed. Fortunately he’s often out so he doesn’t use the kitchen very much.

He has told me he has never cooked in his life so when he cooks something he has burnt my frying pan and the things he’s washed are all grimy and oily feeling when I pick them up.

The bedroom is the main problem. It has been a month since he changed the sheets, doona cover, and pillow cases from his bed. It’s problematic in the hot Sydney summer. He’s also had a bad cold.

When I asked him to please change his sheets after a month, he agreed reluctantly and put the fresh sheets I’d given him over the bed. I noticed last week they had been pushed down and the mattress protector has also been pushed off; he’s sleeping on the bare mattress.

The room already smells really bad with empty biscuit and chip packets and a used jar of Nutella sitting open next to his bed. I know this because when he goes out he leaves his door open and I can smell the stench from the room.

I’ve had a similar problem in the past with a guest not changing their sheets during their stay in my spare room. After they left the sheets, doona, and pillows smelled of rancid sweat. The smell stayed on even after washing and I ended up having to throw it all out and buy a new set of everything.

I have even had problems with him using the bathroom. He left a soaking wet bathmat where he’s said he soaked the floor and had to mop up… so he used the mat, then left it scrunched in the corner. I’ve been repeatedly hanging the mat up to dry. When he couldn’t see where it was he used my personal hand towel to wipe the floor and then hung it back on the railing soaked and dirty.

I’ve tried talking to him but he’s often out. When I try to raise something he always says “yes” but keeps on with the same behavior. I feel like I’m living with a 15-year-old teenage son. Not a young man in his mid 20s. I get the distinct impression he has never had to clean up after himself. They are not necessarily big things but a series of little things that are incredibly frustrating.

I’ve tried ringing Airbnb and the assistant at the call center in the Philippines says I can’t do anything about it. They have discouraged me when I said I was considering asking him to leave. The latest is that he doesn’t flush the toilet properly after doing a number two. They discouraged me from asking him to leave, saying it would be negatively assessed by the organisation if I did so. They said if there is any damage to my property that I could only send them photos after he has vacated and then I’d have to submit a claim to their resolution center. I have another three weeks of this guest and I feel stuck. Any suggestions?

Cleaning Deposit Requested at Check-in

We booked an apartment near Benidorm as a base for climbing. The communication from the Ukrainian owner was minimal but we arrived successfully. On arrival, the cleaner tried to get 200 euros in cash from us as a ‘deposit’. I knew this was not part of the Airbnb rules, so I refused. This was accepted and we got on with our holiday.

We cleaned up at the end as always despite already being charged €50 to clean. I have a full set of photos to prove that we left the apartment clean and tidy as normal. I left a nice review despite this and the fact that the apartment wasn’t particularly clean when we arrived. There were a few other issues but I don’t like to be unkind in my reviews and bother hosts if all is generally fine.
The host’s review for us said: ‘they left the apartment in a terrible state’. I asked them why and the only factor to seemingly justify this, which was reported from her cleaner, as the host is in the Ukraine, was that we had left some small secure rubbish bags and that there were two small white marks on a towel.
I can’t explain these as we didn’t use bleach but could have been residue from the washing machine, but we certainly didn’t see this while in the apartment. We left the rubbish bags as we were leaving very early and it would have taken the cleaner a few minutes to take these out (all paid by myself anyway).
I don’t know whether this is a way for them trying to make a claim against me and I know I wouldn’t have got my €200 back had I given it to her. I have had excellent reviews prior to this. I would avoid this listing.

Dishes and Dirty Diapers Filled this Seattle Airbnb

I’ll try to keep this short and sweet. I booked a second floor apartment with a nice view of Seattle. The host switched us to the floor below because the nicer property wasn’t available. In exchange, he gave me a $30 refund (…so generous). All of the dishes were filthy with crusty food on them, even the wine glasses they had on display on the counter. My girlfriend went to look outside and saw a dirty diaper on the patio. When we ran the dishwasher, water immediately started pouring out of the bottom.

The best part is I tried to just leave them an honest review, highlighting the positives and the negatives, and they called me a liar. They said I stayed on the second floor and there was no patio. Therefore, there couldn’t have been a diaper (they didn’t mention that they downgraded us to the dungeon below it) and in general said I was cranky. I’m sorry for being unhappy about an uninhabitable filthy property at midnight after a five-hour flight. The smoke detector wasn’t even functioning.

When I contacted Airbnb support, someone who hardly understands the language I wrote in wanted me to send him videos of the property. I got there at midnight and it was filthy… I was so embarrassed in front of my girlfriend I started cleaning immediately. I guess that was my mistake; I should have documented it. Airbnb doesn’t hold hosts accountable. I’ve spent five grand through them in the past four months. I have requested my cleaning fee back for this location and am not expecting it. I’m also not planning any more Airbnb trips.

Airbnb Bat Hell in Malaysia – Why is it still listed?

I booked and prepaid in full for a house near Terengganu, Malaysia for our main family vacation in July. Before doing so I checked out reviews which were positive. I also kept in contact with the owner through Airbnb’s website. We had a long-haul flight from Abu Dhabi to Kuala Lumpur followed by a domestic flight to Terengannu. Our party consisted of three adults plus our six-year-old twins.

We were met by my friend who lives locally and drove a hire-car to the house. An old lady who spoke no English met us and we had some trouble opening the door which should have tipped us off that no one had entered in quite a while – certainly not to clean. The house looked like the photos on Airbnb but, within a few minutes we noticed a bat flying in the entrance hall. Then another bat appeared and another… and another. Three things I know about bats: they like unoccupied buildings; they are nocturnal; they live in colonies.

By now my young girls and wife were screaming so I got them into a bedroom while I dealt with the bats. This entailed killing them one by one. It was obvious we could not stay there. The bedsheets had not been laundered in months and my wife found a rodent’s decomposing body under a bed. Clearly, no one had entered this house in months as they would have known about the bat infestation.

The owner came but said she could only reimburse me at the end of the month. In that event, it would be two months before I was repaid. Now we had to find a hotel suitable for a family which of course turned out to be expensive. For the next month we had to move every few days and lacked a set base. On return to Abu Dhabi I contacted customer service and eventually got my money back; however, there was no compensation for my extra expense and inconvenience.

The worst thing is that this property is still on Airbnb’s site along with my negative review. What does a host have to do to be deleted from their site? I challenged Airbnb about this so they know the story with this house and owner – a perfect illustration of how they value hosts more than guests. The property is still on their site. The key lesson I learned is never ever to use Airbnb again but to use booking.com when you can pay on arrival. If booking a place near Terengannu take great care.

Airbnb Nightmare at Hong Kong Property

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I stayed at an apartment building in Hong Kong called The Sparkle in the Cheung Sha Wan area in Hong Kong through Airbnb. Pictures of the apartment showed an upscale, clean apartment in Hong Kong with a list of basic amenities. Problems started appearing the second I checked in. The apartment was clearly not cleaned and had tons of dust, debris, hair all over the floor and surface areas of the apartment.

Small shards of glass were found throughout the apartment. I notified the host and he claimed he sent someone twice to the apartment during my stay to vacuum/clean but I was still able to find glass on the floor throughout my entire stay. I was cut twice by glass and was forced to wear shoes inside the apartment during the entire stay.

Cockroaches were in the kitchen and other bugs were found in the bathroom. I notified the host and he had to bomb the apartment during my stay. After he bombed the living area and kitchen I turned on the ventilation system in the kitchen and a very loud grinding sound came from the system; I had to turn it off immediately.

The washing machine broke the first time I used it and the host waited almost a whole week before he sent someone to fix it. The kitchen door handle kept falling off of the door and the knob in the shower fell off the first time I used it. The place was overall very dirty and not maintained, in clear violation of Airbnb safety and cleanliness policies.

When I spoke to Airbnb, the first couple of representatives and case managers didn’t seem to care at all. I eventually spoke to a case manager who basically lied to me by promising a full refund of the Airbnb service fee and 50% of the host fees. After speaking with him several times I asked him if I needed to file a refund/claim through the Airbnb platform and he told me no and that he would refund it automatically at the end of my stay.

After the trip ended, I expected a refund of what was promised to me – which didn’t happen – and got the runaround talking with different representaives and case managers. I probably spoke to about five representatives after my return inquiring about my refund and all of them basically didn’t care and were flat out rude except for one who was very nice, respectful and understanding. She had asked me to file a refund claim through the system which is currently still being processed.

This is my first experience through Airbnb and unless they give what was promised to me by their case manager and an apology, it will definitely be my last. I will not be recommending Airbnb to anyone and will be sharing my horror story with anyone who considers a stay through Airbnb. What I did expect was courtesy, understanding, fulfillment in terms of promises, and working with the host or guest through problems. So far, Airbnb as a company has not only proven that it does not care about guests who stay at the homes on their platform but also make false promises to their customers.