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Airbnb Refused Refund Despite Published Policy

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My husband and I booked with Airbnb to go to our annual beach vacation in Lewes, Delaware. Unfortunately, we had to cancel due to severe weather conditions that made it unsafe to travel. According to Airbnb policy, that is an “extenuating circumstance” which allowed us to receive a full refund. The Airbnb manager agreed that it was unsafe for us to travel and we were entitled to a full refund.

However, our host was completely insane. She was rude to me despite the fact that I was always polite to her. She refused to “agree” to the refund. Why she needed to agree when there is published policy is beyond me. Airbnb published the policy and its up to them to enforce that policy with their hosts whether their hosts like it or not.

We are still owed over $500. I have provided Airbnb with the detailed weather warning and report from NOAA. Their own manager agreed it was unsafe for us to travel based on the weather warning from NOAA which the manager verified. Airbnb policy states that I’m entitled to a full refund based on “extenuating circumstances” in this event. I’m still waiting.

Airbnb From Hell: Unionville Nightmare

I am an international student and was bound to Airbnb due to the fact that I had paid long term fees and withdrawing would mean I would lose close to $2000. That’s a lot when converting into Indian Rupees for a guy who just got here. Now that the nightmare stay is over I can tell you safely that this is not where you want to live ever, for the following reasons:

I got in a few days later than my girlfriend and the first greeting I got when I arrived was the host telling me that my girlfriend had a lot of men in her room overnight in front of my friend who dropped me there. I was aware that her brother came to meet her and another aunt and uncle. They did not stay over. I don’t know how she can talk like that about another woman.

The host was super creepy. She kept micromanaging how much water we used in the kitchen, listened to and yelled at me about how much water I used while taking a bath, and argued with us everyday, telling us that she did not want us there. I take 5-minute baths literally and she had a problem with that too.

I was racially abused here by being asked how I have money to pay for the apartment because I’m an Indian. She used to tell us to not talk to her neighbors because they were jealous of her and when her neighbors spoke to us they told us that we needed to be careful. We didn’t know why they warned us at first but then we understood what they meant as the days followed.

All amenities that were mentioned as “provided” were not provided. She gave us one towel for two people. Luckily I had my own. No toilet paper, no bathroom amenities, no kitchen utensils, nothing. We had to get all of them on our own and they were used by other people living in the house too. She messaged me saying it was not her responsibility to provide them. I don’t know where that chocolate bowl picture on the profile is. Never saw it. Don’t expect anything of that sort, let alone a towel if you’re lucky.

There were dirty bedsheets and pillow covers that were on the bed and she conveniently blamed us for dirtying them when we arrived. We didn’t argue because of the irritation, bought her a new bedsheet and pillow cover and she didn’t let us use it. We were told to get new ones on our own and put them on the bed.

I cleaned the garbage out of the whole basement every week though it was a lot of people’s garbage, including the washroom that multiple people from the top floors used. I had booked the second floor but was forced to live in the basement. All tenants in the house used the basement to enter and exit right from the third floor to the basement and I had to clean and mop it all everyday. I still got yelled at by the host because someone in the house left a shoemark or left their dishes in the sink.

The host entered our room without us in it, went through my girlfriend’s jewelry and also stole a jar and perfume of mine. Things just went disappearing all the time.

Almost everyday I was yelled at for being a student and not working. I had so many projects and assignments to do as a graduate student and chose to save working for after I graduated. That was none of her business but she kept saying that I was useless because I did not work though her money was paid in full.

There was no heating provided and no window in the room I stayed. I got myself a small heater to stay warm as it was freezing cold in the basement and during the summer it got very stuffy. I needed the fan to basically survive. She yelled at me for that too.

All of her doors creak and are unaligned so they make sounds when closed. I got yelled for closing the door because it made noise.

Her daughter screams at the top of her voice, and disturbs all tenants by whacking their doors. The other tenants have told me that her daughter and the host randomly entered their rooms once without even asking or knocking while showing someone else the room. Imagine this – you have zero privacy here.

She was charging me $30 for a small load to wash and $60 for a large load to wash and get this – no dryer allowed. I had to go to a laundromat every week to wash my clothes due to her ridiculous prices.

I had to call Airbnb for help and get some sort of a restraining order for her to stay away from me and she did. Towards the end, all the messages and yelling began.

The tenant on the top floor also wasn’t allowed to enter through his own entrance. His key was taken away and he was forced to take the basement route and climb up every day. One day he was stuck in the basement because she, like a genius, locked the main basement door. He was stuck downstairs for two hours.

On the day before my last stay day she tried to illegally force me into paying more money to her for cleaning as she said apparently cleaned the house for three days the whole time I was there (82 days). I swept and mopped every corner of that basement every night. I don’t know what in the world she thought she was doing.

I ran away to a cousin’s house the night before the last day for I did not feel safe anymore with this person around. Her behavior was very rude and unethical and this is the worst experience I have ever had with an Airbnb across the globe be it in Asia, Europe and even around Canada, especially for long-term stays. There were days when I thought of calling the police because I was sure that it was pretty illegal how we were being treated. Honestly, no joke, I think this person really needs some help.

The shocker – her mother is the only sweet person in that house. She helped us a lot. She was super concerned about our well-being after every time that the host yelled at us. Still, do not come here. I have every demeaning message she had ever sent me from day one, all the BS that I was dragged through. Though she was specifically told to message me on the Airbnb app, she chose to keep yelling at my girlfriend and I via text.

I am glad that this is over. You don’t know how much I hated living in that house. I used to stay out all day just so I didn’t have to see her or even see the face of this house. Imagine the worst part of your vacation or life is the house you have to go back to everyday. That’s what this house can make you feel.

French Airbnb Features Fake Seaside View

I had stayed with a friend outside of La Rochelle for a few days. Not having a car, when this friend went away it seemed wiser to rent a place in the city to be able to get around, take a boat, etc, more easily. I rented an Airbnb for a Sunday and Monday.

After accepting my reservation, and after I had paid, the host never gave me the address. This was a bad sign. The place was in an industrial area, not a residential area. She had probably rented an old boat sales place (looked like a car sales place) and transformed the downstairs kitchen into a catering place where she prepared food she delivered to clients, and the upstairs had a kitchen living area for her, her bedroom, a bathroom and a few small bedrooms.

The outer wall was floor to ceiling windows (since it was a showroom-type place) with a very tiny slit for an opening. Outside in the evening it was a pleasant 65° F: nice for sleeping. However, inside it was about 85°. It was impossible to have darkness as the shades didn’t reach all the way down to the floor, and if one opened the shades, one’s whole bedroom was broadly visible from the street. There was no lock on the bedroom nor bathroom door.

The pictures were ten pictures of the pretty living room with pictures of boats just out the window and the accommodation appeared to be close to the sea – surely we had a seaside view? No, it was an industrial boat repair area, with noisy boat repairs going on all day Sunday.

Though the pictures of the living room and view were promoted, the host said this was for her and she didn’t want me to come into the living room much or to use the kitchen much. She did allow me to put half a cucumber and a piece of cheese in the fridge but didn’t want me to use the kitchen or electric kettle. I had to walk half a mile down to a park every time I wanted to eat as I couldn’t eat in the apartment. There was no restaurant nearby.

The listing said it was quiet, but in fact on a Sunday night at midnight there were many cars passing all night just in front. I recorded this on video and sent it to Airbnb. They said I could be refunded the second night. The lady kept yelling and yelling and pointing to her good reviews. I booked a small room in a very cute hotel for a similar price, thank goodness: ten times better.

By accident I had left my phone charger, personal journal, and a philosophy magazine at the place. The lady read my personal journal and made critical personal comments. She would not fix a time to give me my charger and journal back. I had to spend some hours contacting Airbnb. She told people at Airbnb that she would be there to give me my stuff but didn’t answer the door. I had to go around back to see that she was already there, and call Airbnb so that they would call her and she would finally give me my stuff.

While on the phone with Airbnb, they gave me a 50-euro credit for the bad experience. I wanted to note this on my review, but they said I was not allowed to. I wrote a poor review (just facts) while she wrote a very insulting one, and slightly xenophobic. She got a few more good reviews and then her listing disappeared.

Many of her reviews seemed to be from other hosts and seemed to be arrangements between hosts, to give one another good reviews. There were lots of reviews from people who had only given one review and were hosts and to whom she had also given a review as a guest (very reciprocal reviews).

Good riddance to this lady. Glad to see her place with the “boat views” (AKA boat repair shop views) is off the map. Airbnb should have cancelled her listing immediately and allowed me to post that they had refunded me the second night and given me credit for the first. Thank goodness I found a very cute hotel to have a nice last night.

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Airbnb Host Uses Private Space and Overshares

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This Airbnb host listed a room with a private bathroom. We left the room locked on our second day. The host or his child used the bathroom and bed while we were out of the house sometime that evening. Photos show a rumpled bed and pillows displaced; a wet towel was hanging up, and someone else’s toothpaste and toothbrush were on the window sill. The house was full of smoke although the listing clearly indicated “no smoking.” No one else was on the premises during this time. The host was very agitated and communicated to us extremely personal circumstances including an incident with the police earlier that evening. This made us feel unwelcome and unsafe. We left immediately. The host’s behavior as the evening progressed was truly bizarre.

Worst Airbnb Host Ever in Chula Vista

I will never use Airbnb again. I rented an RV and then a room from a host in Chula Vista, California. Everything seemed fine at first. The RV had plumbing issues and the shower water was scalding hot for about two minutes and then went ice cold. Needless to say, I took very quick showers and lost many layers of skin. It seemed like a nice place for my dog, so I dealt with it.

I later moved into the house (he rented out rooms as well) and stayed in a sunroom with no privacy; I had to hide behind a crappy old piano to get ready for work in the morning. He did eventually build makeshift walls so it was okay. Emphasis on “okay”.

Fast forward a month later and a border patrol officer moves into one of the other rooms. He was disgusting and lazy; he would ask for rides to work and even had to nerve to ask the host to use his credit card to rent a car.

The bathroom was disgusting. It was like he was a porcupine with his pubic hair and would go in there and just release all of his “quills”. The hosts would get loud and drunk almost every night and leave food, pots and pans with food in them on the stove and all over the counters. For quite a while they wouldn’t even let me do laundry.

The icing on the cake was that they used my birthday as an excuse to throw a party that I neither wanted nor attended. I left so I wouldn’t have to deal with their drunk friends and neighbors. I returned the next evening and the host’s girlfriend (who lived there as well) accused me of having an affair with her fat, nasty boyfriend.

I told them the next day I was moving out and they continued making it more and more uncomfortable. The host used my Postmates account to order alcohol and never paid me back. When I told them I was moving out they increased my “rent”. There was no heat in my room, which is illegal in California.

I contacted Airbnb to complain and all they would do was refund me $150. The host also showed up at my work two weeks after I moved out to harass me. I had to tell him that if he ever showed up again I would contact the police and file charges. He said “it was the only way I knew how to get a hold of you”… he had my phone number. The most horrible experience of my life.

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Moldy, Smelly and Rude Host. What more could you ask for?

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We rented a property in Redington Shores for two weeks. We were prepared for the old, outdated, small space as that was what was shown in the pictures.; our expectations were not high.

What we were not prepared for was an air conditioner that sounded like a jet engine taking off that emitted a nauseating smell that resembled urine. Also, the teeny tiny shower that had mold around the entire floor edge. We tried to sleep through the night but at 2:00 AM we turned off the air conditioner in the hopes of the smell going away and quieting the noise.

In the morning we called our host. She was indignant that we could even begin to have an issue with her property. She told us that all air conditioners make noise and it was impossible that it smelled anything like urine (we have lived in multiple homes with window air conditioners and none sounded like this).

Then she informed us that there was no mold in the shower.We offered to send pictures but she declined. We have attached them here. We also sent them to Airbnb. We told her the kitchen light seemed to have an issue. When you turned the light on, it flickered but then went out. We were concerned there was a short in the wiring. She questioned how we were turning it on. We are not PhD’s but we are educated adults who know how to turn on a light. She then informed us it didn’t matter because there was a lamp nearby.

She was the opposite of what we would consider a host; she was rude and basically called us liars. She said we were not there to critique her property. Since she was so uncooperative, we decided to check out of her property. She then lied in her review and said we had already checked out of the property when we called her.

We contacted Airbnb and they were totally unhelpful, saying that we did not have any documentation of the conversation. I guess that was our mistake in calling her rather than texting. We put our review out there and her response was very sarcastic. She has multiple properties in this building.

Friends of our had rented the space next to ours for the second week. We called and told them to cancel. Although we could not go into the space, the blinds were all broken. The pictures on the website showed a nice area in the rear of the house with an umbrella table and chairs. There was nothing there except broken furniture.

Now there are similar reviews to ours in other posts on her property. I would think Airbnb would be more interested in their customers. I actually responded to our representative from Airbnb and heard nothing back. Although we requested our money back since the place was unlivable, we were given our $90 cleaning fee. It was more an insult than a consolation.

I’m not sure if this link will work but this is the place we had rented. Here are her other places on the same site. I wish I had known about this website earlier.

Mentally Unbalanced Host Does Everything To Stop Me

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It started off as a decent listing on Airbnb with two good reviews. Since it was in the middle of downtown Toronto, a high-end neighborhood, I decided to book for 15 days.

The photos represented a photoshopped version of the real space, and the information about cleanliness was far from accurate. On the first night (check-in at 5:00-6:00 PM), the host arrived and immediately started talking about her interview and her concerns about not getting a job. I thought the condo was hers and she would have a room instead I found only one room and she says she sleeps on the couch.

She jumped right into a sexual harassment case she experienced at her university and I quote: “My professor tried to have sex with me in exchange of ideas.” She proceeded by stating, “This triggered bad memories of my father touching me…”

In one sitting, she also stated that this case at the university ended with her at the mental hospital. She said she was dumb because she was not that smart in school and had trouble with the English language when they moved from China (when she was in high school until she reached university).

She went on to mention that she was afraid that if she did get this government job, since the majority of employees in that department are men, she believed that they would think that it was “okay to have an orgy with her…”

She then mentioned that she attempted to take her own life a few times, and put out her wrists and showed me. I told her that government jobs are far from a certainty for having such things happening.

After trying to console her and encourage her to use good words, she stated that she got this interview because her other professor sent a recommendation and if it was not for her, she would not have gotten interviewed. Once again, I tried to help her by encouraging her and stated that the economy was not going well and that people in the city of Toronto are complaining about the rent hike, especially those with children and parents to take care of.

She stated that they shouldn’t have gotten married and had kids, instead they should’ve taken OSAP, studied, and ultimately focused on their careers. Obviously I disagreed and said that her comment was absurd. I mentioned that there are many like me who graduated with two degrees yet finding a decent paying job is difficult, especially as an immigrant. She disagreed and said everyone with a degree gets interviewed and gets a good job. Since she raised her voice and tried to force her opinions on me, I left the common area and went to my room.

Moving on, I started to find that the bathroom and other spaces were dirty. I looked for cleaning supplies but couldn’t find anything except dish soap. Hair was everywhere and even the toilet seat was dirty. The shower was so small. The water pressure is high, but the downside is that the water doesn’t drain and starts to rise. Hair and other things start floating… totally gross.

I asked her about cleaning supplies, and she told me to use the wet cloth. I tried to explain about different types of cleaning detergents, but it seemed she did not understand. Hygiene is extremely important, especially when sharing a space.

The next day, I contacted Airbnb and told them the whole story. I shared photos and explained in detail the mental issues that this host has and how it was definitely not safe for me. They told me that they would review the photos and then issue a refund for the rest of the time I booked.

After a few hours, they said that the apartment was not that dirty and therefore no refunds will be provided unless they inform the host about all the reasons why I am uncomfortable staying there. I suggested not to tell her all the reasons as I was afraid that since she was in a mental hospital and tried to take her own life, she might try to hurt me as well. I emphasized that the place was not clean but most importantly, it was not safe to spend 15 days with someone who is obviously mentally ill and does not have any friends.

On the third day, I spent the entire day out. The host messaged me every hour. At 11:00 PM, she sent her last text saying “it’s almost midnight, where are you?”

Airbnb informed her that I had to leave due to an emergency, so when I arrived, in a very condescending way she said that she did not believe me and would not issue a refund. We got into a heated argument and at the end of it she agreed that if I found someone else to take over the rest of the days she would issue the refund.

The next day I found a new guest who was interested, but she asked if the host was the owner of the condo. If she was not, she would ask me for a document that showed that the host had a lease and that she would not get kicked out if the condo management found out about her using Airbnb. The host confirmed to me that she only rents from the condo owner and since she cannot find a job due to her sexual harassment lawsuit, she makes money by renting the condo through Airbnb, which pays all her bills.

She continued to say that the lady who booked a two-month stay (before I booked) had cancelled early. She does not issue refunds because she uses the money to pay her rent and bills. After a few hours, she came into the room and interrogated me about the new guest. I informed her that I was not feeling well and that we had to wait until she sent a request on Airbnb to book.

She refused to listen and instead came in the room three times while I was trying to rest and refused to leave. She insisted that I was rude because I was not giving her my full attention and eye contact. I told her that I was not well enough to give her all my time and that she should leave because I wanted to rest. She refused to leave, so I raised my voice and freaked out, telling her to leave and to close the door.

She came back again and told me that she was not going to issue a refund if the next guest booked because now she was afraid I would inform condo management, which would result in her getting kicked out. She insisted that I tell her when I will be leaving the condo and when my flight will be. She also told me to turn the volume down (I was listening to a lecture on YouTube at low volume, but she wanted complete silence and insisted it was music). She finally left.

I then informed Airbnb that I would be leaving and my friend would come help me with my bags since I am afraid she will physically hurt me. My friend arrived around 11:00 PM. We got the bags out, when the host got up and followed us to the room and then to the door. She asked my friend if she would be spending the night and she replied by saying, “No, we are only getting the bags out.”

The host followed us to the door and said, “What’s this? You didn’t tell me of your plans. Where are you going? You can’t do this.”

I told her that I was uncomfortable staying there and thus I was going to stay at my friend’s for a couple of nights. She asked for the key but I repeated: “I will come back after a few days as I need a safe and sane space.”

Airbnb contacted me the following day after speaking to her, and they asked me to free up the dates I had booked and to return the key. I told them that I would only accept that if she sent me the refund, but somehow they kept insisting I free up the dates for other guests to book.

I finally agreed after a day, but it turned out that they were siding with her in order for her to get the keys back and to have the space all to herself while enjoying a free $700 + Airbnb fees. In addition, she filed a complaint to charge me an additional $300 for key replacement. I finally returned the keys and asked her to confirm with Airbnb.

Once I left the public place where we met, she followed me. She tried to take my photo and then kept asking when I would be flying. I told her that it did not concern her and to stop that behavior. In the end, the other guest sent a request to book but she rejected it because she wanted the guest to give up her ID. The new guest told her that she would only show her in person, but she declined.

Airbnb refuses to assist, stating it is the host’s choice to do as she pleases. They had already promised that they would assist in helping book the new guest I found and then help her issue a refund. The hosts now says that she will not issue a refund if the new guest cancels within 48 hours.

I informed Airbnb that this was a trend and it is unfair to bill people just to chase them away and keep their money. The host switched to contacting me via Airbnb to inform me that she rejected the new guest’s request. She said she would charge me for the stress I caused her if I reported her to the building management. I then told her that I will report her to the condo management and the police since she is trying to get more money from my card.

I am truly fed up and will not use Airbnb anymore. I am sick of the threats and attempts to extract more funds from me. How do I get my peace of mind back? How do I get a refund? How do I get Airbnb to ensure that the guests are protected from such fraud and aggressive psychotic behavior?

Hell Host, Hell Apartment, Terrifying Experience

I am shaking as I write this, as what I’m about to tell you about just happened. I have stayed in well over a dozen Airbnbs in countries around the world, both long term and short term. I have become friends with some of my hosts. I have had universally positive experiences until now.

I booked what was advertised as a “cozy apartment for a couple” in the center of an Eastern European capital. The flat in the photos had a small but cute white bed, a small two-burner stove, and nice lighting. It looked like a very small, modest, but stylish studio. The ad promised wifi. I booked the flat for one month, until after the New Year, because it becomes almost impossible to find a flat around that holiday in this city. I planned to use the month to look for better, cheaper long-term housing in the city, as I work in the region.

I arrived jetlagged and haggard, with several suitcases. The host did not meet me, but left the key under the mat. I opened the door, and was absolutely shocked. It was literally not an apartment. It was a modified space for storage, or holding reserves of food. A closet, really. Equally as shocking was that there was no bed. In its place was a brown, ratty, diseased looking mini sofa. The two-burner stove in the pictures was also missing; in its place was a single-burner glass stove from the seventies, which looked to be a fire hazard.

Shards of glass, large and dangerous enough to use as a very serious weapon, made up the plate of the stove. There were smaller shards of glass on the floor and in the sink. There was a small bathroom with a water boiler, but there was no shower. I looked around feverishly for a shower head. I had been traveling for 17 hours and desperately wanted – and needed – a shower. There was no shower.

I tried to login to the promised wifi network, but no such network could be found. I went down the street to a restaurant and proceeded to drink several shots of the local liquor. I wrote an angry, firm, message to the Airbnb host via the Airbnb messaging system. “Where is the bed? Where is the wifi? Where is the show? Where is the space? This is not an apartment but a closet. I didn’t know I’d be sleeping on a sofa for a month. I need a full refund.”

Thus began a 48-hour long adventure in communicating with the gaslighting host from hell, and (to their credit) much more helpful Airbnb support. The gaslighting (and I don’t toss that term around; that’s exactly what it was) began straight away: “The internet is working – your devices are the problem. The sofa is more comfortable than the bed, that’s why we switched it out – we did this for your comfort. Stop with your lies. Maybe the flat is small for you but we had two people living there as guests for five years and they were fine.”

She kept repeating that they’d had satisfied guests before – which is literally impossible – and I kept asking why there were no reviews if this was true… it’s not. I spent the first night with my legs cramped and back aching on a 1970s, fibrous sofa, feeling like the wall was closing in on me. The space was smaller than what I imagine a prison cell to be. Solitary confinement.

The shower, according to my host, is shared. It just so happens to be down the hall. The neighbors are all youngish men who look strung the hell out on all variety of drugs, and I’m a youngish woman alone. They stare at me in the hall. The shower has no shower curtain and looks like it has gangrene. There is no functioning light in the shower room; it’s pitch black. If you walked around barefoot you’d end up with fungi taking up residence in your toe nails.

I was so shocked at all of this, that all I could do was send messages every ten minutes to the host, mostly in all caps. Our dynamic was incredibly toxic. The more she denied that anything I was saying was true, flying in the face of all the very obvious and observable facts, the more my anger would escalate.

Meanwhile, I contacted Airbnb, irate. They asked for photo documentation. As soon as they saw images of the couch where the bed had been and the space and the shards of broken glass where the stovetop was supposed to be they said the host had many clear violations and gave me a small reimbursement.

That was not enough. I told them that I wanted a full refund and a new place. I could not be stranded with all of my luggage in this city at the most difficult time of year to find accommodation. Meanwhile, my host kept lying: “The internet is working. We know you are lying. You have a bed. It’s a sofa bed. We will replace the stove but the one you have is newer and better and that’s why we replaced it. The shower is cleaned daily. You have a huge bed.”

Just total, completely crazy lies. At the same time, she was telling me that I’ve “made a problem” for her with money, and ruined her financially because Airbnb has sided with me. She keeps asking me to “make a deal.” My messages to Airbnb grew more frantic and panicked. They told me that they would give me a full refund for all of the nights I didn’t stay there and a partial refund on the two nights I did, if they can rebook me at another property.

The problem is that everything is much more expensive and the listings are scarce this close to the holidays. I’m freaking out. The host starts saying that she’s been sending me text messages because she needs my personal documents to take to the police station to register me with the authorities because I’m staying at her property, even though she knows full well that I’m leaving. I tell her to only communicate with me through Airbnb, because that way the company can see our communication.

Airbnb saw how bad the situation was and said on top of the full refund they would give me a coupon for $200 off a rebooking. They finally found me another accommodation, and told me that the host will likely be suspended from the site forever. I was feeling somewhat relieved, and went to a cafe to use the internet before going back to pack up all my luggage and move to the new apartment.

I went back to the original property to pack and encountered a very disturbing surprise: the door to the flat had been locked from the inside with a chain. I was due at my new flat in an hour and a half but I couldn’t get in or access any of my things. A light was on and someone was inside the apartment, which had all of my belongings: computer, money, passport, jewelry, personal items.

I started panicking and banging on the door, yelling and asking what was going on. I had not agreed to let anyone in while I was away, let alone have them lock me out. The host opened the door. It was the first time I saw her. All of my suitcases were open and my passport was on the floor. I panicked. I started screaming that she was a thief and to get out.

I had no idea what was going on. I had hardly slept the previous two nights, I was jet lagged and stressed out, and had not expected to see this woman in the closet-sized flat with all of my personal items strewn all over the place. I told her that I was leaving in a little over an hour but needed to pack, and told her to leave me alone and get out. She stood in the doorway and refused to leave, saying that it wasn’t my apartment, and that she had every right to stay. I pushed a clothing rack towards her and told her to get the hell out, and that I needed to see if she’d stolen anything while going through my suitcases.

She said I had falsely accused her of stealing and that she was calling the police. I closed the door and started packing. I was shaking and had no idea what was going on, if the police were showing up. I was in a foreign country and realized I would likely have to speak to the police in a language I barely knew.

I heard them arrive, and listened to them speaking to the host. I asked if I could leave because I needed to go meet my new host at my new Airbnb and they said I needed to wait. I spoke with the police. They asked me if I had all of my things, and I said I thought I did. I said we had a disagreement and that I was moving to a new flat. The police decided I’d done nothing wrong, and helped me carry all of my luggage downstairs and called me a cab. I arrived at my new Airbnb, which is very lovely and relaxing, with a very kind host, where I am right now.

Airbnb Nightmare after International Trip

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We decided to book an Airbnb property  as part of my partner’s 40th birthday trip to New York. From booking all the way through to leaving the UK for the USA, the owner’s communication was just as you would expect from who we thought was a good host: at first, responsive, informative, and helpful. Unfortunately, we soon learned that this was as good as things would get; his manner soon turned into being patronising and condescending when issues arose once we arrived (this is evident in his responses to negative reviews), even at one point via Airbnb text message, referring to my partner and I as squatters.

We arrived at the property at approximately 15:30, and we were disturbed and extremely disappointed by what we were greeted with. The Airbnb photos were of the property, but they were very old. The outside of the property was unwelcoming and off-putting, with overgrown weeds and litter strewn on the driveway. Security was a concern, as the front door was only secured via a single deadbolt, due to the whole mechanism for the door handle being totally removed.

Entering the property, we were immediately struck by how tired, dark, and filthy the property was. It seemed like the property hadn’t been properly cleaned or repaired in years: lights that didn’t work or were missing; dirty grubby walls and doors; ceiling fans caked in dust and dirt; a bathroom that hadn’t been cleaned since the last occupant, complete with an unflushed toilet featuring a toilet seat caked in what looked like mould/urine; the heating was turned off and could only be controlled by the owner, who refused to turn this on despite calls and messages; the bedding was dirty and beyond worn, and was only good for throwing out; the ironing board was covered in stains. I could go on; the flat was just dirty and a dive.

We refused to stay there and booked a hotel for the night following 10 hours of waiting for a response from Airbnb for a resolution. Booking this flat resulted in us losing two days of our holiday (waiting for correspondence from both the host and Airbnb), being pushed beyond the breaking point trying to resolve the matter, and leaving me short of £497 (a combination of hotel fees, phone call costs, and transport). Airbnb did give me a full refund of my booking and payment for one night’s hotel stay.