More than $10K in Damages, Airbnb Paid $510

An Airbnb guest held an unauthorized party during the pandemic lockdown. We never allow parties, even before they became illegal.

This guest said she was coming alone. The police estimated that there were at least 100 people in the two-bedroom home when they arrived. The neighbors told us that there were several fights that spilled into the street before the police arrived. There was a stabbing. The damage to the unit was more than $10,000.

After three weeks of back and forth with Airbnb personnel who changed on a daily basis and would only communicate via email, they paid us $510 for painting and damaged walls and then they went dark. They refused to explain why all the other proof of damage and proof of value of the damages were being declined.

There was no explanation, just an email saying our case was closed and they would not reply again. They were very demanding about proving the value of items damaged and it was so difficult to comply that we did give up on certain items. We still were able to document more than $10,000 and supply the required proof of value. They simply said they would not discuss the reason for the low compensation.

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Airbnb not Helping this Host in the Least

I had a bad guest stay recently. Everything from broken tiles, burnt plastic on pans, stolen bathroom fixtures, the whole place smelt of weed… the worst was when they broke the hot tub by smashing in the inlet grate.

Airbnb refused to give me a claims advocate until I lodged a quote, but that wasn’t possible for five days until the hot tub repair person arrived to determine what the issue was and how much it would be. As soon as this happened I lodged the claim and got a claims advisor only to be told that as another guest had checked in, my claim was now invalid. What?

Countless emails and messages has only led to Airbnb becoming elusive and not calling me when they said they would. It feels like the DMV on steroids. As a host I just need help on this. I feel like I’m in some sort of a bad dream.

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Host Tries to Charge Guest $6,000 for Fake Damages

Last November I was traveling with a friend from Tennessee to Delaware. We stopped several places along the way and our first stop was actually in Alabama. We got there and the Airbnb was difficult to find and seemed like it was in a sketchy area. Once we found the place, it wasn’t so bad.

The next morning we wanted to do a load of laundry and there had been a washer and dryer listed for usage. Well, in order to use the washer, I had to get the host’s stuff out and load it into the dryer. I thought I was being helpful anyway.

After a few minutes, my friend and I smelled something burning. I went over there and sure enough there was something wrong with the cord. We were not told that this was the case, but I had to make sure to unplug the dryer. I had to move the dryer to make sure I could unplug it which was difficult since it was hot to the touch.

We opened windows and the door. We even called 911 to get the fire department out even though there wasn’t a fire just yet. We knew we needed to leave, but needed to make sure nothing happened. We stayed until the smoke cleared, but from a distance so we wouldn’t inhale the fumes. We also called the host and told her exactly what happened and she was cordial and okay with us when we were on the phone and thanked us for letting her know.

That night I got a call from the host screaming at me for ruining her stuff and that I had caused significant damage. I let her know it was due to her error in not letting us know the dryer had faulty wiring, but she insisted that it was on us. She went ahead and complained to Airbnb and said we did that as well as stole some stuff. We are not thieves.

We got a call from Airbnb letting us know the complaints and we let them know the real issue. They told us, “Yeah, it is a little ridiculous what she’s saying and it’s way more than could happen in one night.” So they said that we would be okay and that they would eliminate this complaint.

About three days later I got an email trying to charge me $6,000 for the damages. I called about it and once again they apologized and said they would remove the charges. However, a few days later I got an email saying that my account had been disabled due to not following the terms and conditions in accordance with Airbnb policy.

I have since tried and tried to talk to Airbnb and ask why my account was disabled, but they keep emailing me and letting me know to reply to with my Airbnb inbox, which I cannot use since they disabled my account.

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Bad Airbnb Owner Trying to Scam Guests

My wife and I chose Airbnb to find a location to have our wedding reception. The first day was very busy getting people from the airport, getting and putting up decorations, helping the caterer, and so on. Given that, we noticed but disregarded the broken refrigerator and dirty house and other odds and ends. We took a couple of pictures but carried on getting things done.

The week went by, and we head home. My wife received a message from the owner saying that we damaged many things and needed to pay $300 in repairs. She messaged her back calmly saying that these things were already broken and sent the pictures timedated to her as proof.

She said that her management service is very thorough and accused my wife of lying. She became very hostile when my wife pointed out all the other things that were substandard with a $3000 house rental. She insisted that we were lying and gave my wife a very negative review saying, “It would have been nice for you to be honest about it.”

Now she is publicly calling my wife disrespectful and a liar when we have the proof of her management company’s negligence. To add insult to injury they have deleted my wife’s review of the house while the owner is still allowed to publicly bash and harass us online and on her personal email.

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Solution to Airbnb Guests Damaging Properties

To hosts or those who are thinking of opening their own Airbnb. I have been hosting for over three years with 67 properties, and had over 50,000 guests stay with me. I met many other hosts and the biggest issues they all run into are with negligent guests. In my units alone I have had over 10% (5,000) of my guests violate my house rules.

Airbnb is based on trust. A guest, AKA a stranger, is entering your home and you have no idea who they are or their intentions. When violations occur, you must be able to prove them, and Airbnb always sides with guests. How do you prove smell over the phone? It’s rare, but few times, I was able to prove that a guest violated my house rules, threw a party, and thanks for my live notification system – AKA neighbors – I was able to keep the $250 damage deposit, remove the guest, and reopen my calendar for new bookings. I realized that I just made $600 of a violation.

Three major common and costly issues I face on daily basis along with other hosts:

Indoor cigarette and marijuana smoking – causes smoke to get into the walls and ventilation making it hard to remove. This cost me cancellations or horrible guest reviews.

Theft – There is new scam going around. Airbnb guests used fake IDs to book my unit for three days, and while you are gone they list all your valuables on Craigslist, etc., and basically have a garage sale in your unit without you being aware. By the time my cleaners got to the room, the only thing that was left was the lock and forks. It cost me about $5K to replace everything and a $500 cancellation. Airbnb ignored the claim.

Parties – Some of our properties are in Florida, AKA party towns. We have guests who threw parties, smoked, drank, caused major damages to the furniture and walls, and destroyed neighbors’ pools… the list is long. Which again, cost me time and money and many police reports.

I figured out a way to fix these issues, using technology, by building it myself. I want to protect all 680,000 hosts, and that’s why I have built and developed a patented, smart smoke detector designed to protect and prove violations. It is federally illegal to tamper with, and has a built-in tamper-proof sensor. But it does so much more: it has a real-time notification system that monitors your guests for violations, from the moment the guest enters to the moment they leave.

It’s able to detect and notify live:

• Indoor Smoking (Cigarette and Marijuana Detection)

• Fire and Carbon Monoxide

• Unauthorized Guests

• Break Ins

• Theft

• Excessive noise levels

• Humidity level (Mold Detection)

• Air Quality

• Bluetooth and Z-Wave Compatible with Smart Locks and Security Systems

• Guest Check-In Notification

As as bonus, it also comes with a built-in Property Management System that syncs with Airbnb, VRBO, Expedia, Booking.com, TripAdvisor and many others. This system is non invasive, has no cameras, and even mandatory in some cities. It’s plug and play, all you have to do is swap it with your existing smoke detector. I would love to hear your comments and questions.

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Enough! Calling all Hosts to Class Action Lawsuit!

My tale is long, complicated, and listed below. But more to the point of this post, are you a host who has been taken advantage of by Airbnb’s host guarantee? Calling all hosts to class action. The more people who respond, the more likely we are to get results. Read on for my story.

November 14th, 2019. Guests checked in for a three-month stay, but arrived with four more people than they paid for on the booking. I contacted the guest and asked for the reservation to be corrected to the accurate amount of persons.

On November 26th, the guest still had not followed through and I could see the guests were violating my house rules (parking on the yard). I got Airbnb customer service involved. My case person saw my proof (video) and said that he would address the issue. After going back and forth with him for a few days, he started ghosting me on December 5th. This lasted until December 13th when another agent contacted me to say “Thanks for reaching out to us regarding this issue. I’ve forwarded your inquiry to a member of my team who can better assist you. They’ll be getting in touch with you soon.”

On December 14th, an entire month post check-in, I was finally able to get the guest charged for the proper amount of people. Then it all went off the rails. My guest decided to cancel the rest of their stay, claiming the house wasn’t big enough for them. Which means they had to get out, the same day, and still pay for the next month, per Airbnb’s long-term reservation cancellation policy. I was fine with this.

However, Airbnb then had a supervisor ask me to refund the guests $4000. I told them that their request was outrageous. This guest lied about the booking, then ignored requests to make it right for an entire month, all while violating house rules over and over again… there was no way I was refunding them.

The supervisor asked me to allow them to stay for the next 30 days, even though their reservation was cancelled. I explained to him, that assuming guests take good care of the home and follow the rules, I am willing to let them stay but I wanted the reservation reinstated to protect my right within Airbnb’s policies.

He said they could not reverse the cancellation and asked me to simply block my calendar for the dates, then promised my rights would be covered as if the reservation was still active in their system. I asked for him to submit this information to me in writing. He said he would have my new agent send it to me. Despite multiple requests, that never happened.

After agreeing to house these guests without an official reservation on my account, the guest proceeded to violate my house rules by parking on the grass (there is a four-car driveway), leaving tire marks in my yard. All of a sudden Airbnb was asking me “How did your guests do? Please leave them a review.” I contacted Airbnb again to tell them that I can not and should not be asked to review a guest who is still in my house. Airbnb disagreed and said there was nothing they could do about it (which is false).

Fast forward to December 24th. Airbnb closed this extremely messed up case. On December 27th, I got to the house to do the yard and check on the conditions. It was awful. There was rotten food everywhere, damage to all my furniture in the living room and kitchen, a bug infestation as a result of the food, a cabinet was broken into and all my laundry supplies were missing, part of my refrigerator was outside full of dirt, and my smoke/carbon dioxide detector was covered by a plastic bag. I had had enough.

I kicked the guests out, via Airbnb message, because they were not present. Once again, the guest did not respond to my messages. I immediately took a video of the entire house and started to reach out to Airbnb again for help. The agents kept telling me that I had to go through the resolution center, but I couldn’t because the reservation technically ended on December 14th.

Calling Airbnb just left me in the run around, so I demanded a case manger help me with my claim via Twitter. He was awesome and promised to see me through the entire thing. He would be the last person I had to explain everything to, and I could submit my evidence for a claim to him.

January 1st, 2020, I started submitting video and still photos to prove my claim. Then on the 2nd, while still submitting documentation, I got a message stating that they didn’t know what guest I was talking about and I needed to go through the resolution department. I immediately contacted them again to ask for help… they ghosted me. At my wit’s end, I Tweeted at Airbnb Help again.

On January 4th, they then sent me a Senior Claims Specialist. He promised to help me with my case and ensure we’d reach a fast resolution. I replied to his message (which was now all via email instead of Airbnb customer service messages because they closed all my open messages related to this matter). I asked him if they had received my nine videos and 90 still pictures. He did not reply until January 7th, three days later.

In that message, they informed me that the total they were willing to provide for proven damages was $1774, not the $1870 that I submitted. The reason for this is that the “consumables” (laundry supplies stolen out of locked cabinet) are not covered by the guarantee and now I have to fill out a claims form to get paid. Fine, whatever. I went to the link proved to fill out the claim form and discovered that I must first try to contact the guest and file a police report. What?

I can’t contact the guest. They were kicked off of Airbnb already and deleted from my calendar by Airbnb, as if there were never there. As for the police report, I plan on filing one tomorrow, but I already repaired the house. I mean how else would I be able to submit my claim with all of my proof, if I had not actually gotten the work done? Also I feel this is a serious misuse of a governmental agency.

I wrote Airbnb to answer these questions:

1. How do I contact a guest who has been kicked off Airbnb?

2. Am I still supposed to call the cops 11 days after the event and post repairs?

I have no idea if he will respond tomorrow, the next day, or never. My case has been opened and closed multiple times, with seven different agents, yet still on going since November 26th. I have Googled Airbnb’s host guarantee stories.

I’m not a special Superhost. I’m just one of thousand who have been through this nightmare. Many host stories are worse than mine. I keep seeing people say “class-action” but have yet to find one class-action brought by host against Airbnb.

As a result, I called Morgan and Morgan and requested they look into a class action brought by hosts against Airbnb for their fraudulent guarantees and practices. They told me the more people who call, the more likely it is to take off.

Are you a host who has been done wrong and sabotaged by Airbnb? Do you have proven damage claims that have been denied? Call Morgan and Morgan at (786) 453-8466. If we all speak up, there will be no choice but to hear us.

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Airbnb Host Guarantee Scam: No Payment for Damages

On or about September 5th, a tenant in my Hamptons home reached out telling me he accidentally broke a shower handle in my guest house. A few hours later, I sent in a handyman who notified me that the guest house was completely flooded as a result of the damage to the shower handle and the guests hadn’t even put down towels to dry the wooden floor which, in turn, was soaked in water.

I immediately reached out to Airbnb asking them to please notify their insurance provider and assist me. As a courtesy, I also offered to contact my own insurance (note: Airbnb asked me to lie and not disclose that an Airbnb guest caused the damage). Airbnb assured me that they’d pay any difference or deductible I may incur.

My insurance ended up confirming and estimating the flood damage at 21k (stating they’d reimburse 10k but not the deductible of 2.5k and a sum that they attributed to amortization, essentially because my guest house was built ten years ago and wasn’t brand new). In the meantime, Airbnb neglected to send in any adjuster, even if I repeatedly asked them to do so, and put me in touch with about 15 different anonymous individuals with no last names or phone numbers to reach.

After three months and when the remediation work had been finished for over a month (and after having reviewed all my final paperwork and invoices, which they knew well), Airbnb notified me that they decided to send an adjuster. The adjuster, in turn, called me stating that it was ‘crazy’, ‘in bad faith, and ‘unheard of’ that Airbnb would send him in so late and to simply verify that the work was done and that’s not something an adjuster should do. Instead, he told me, Airbnb should have sent in someone immediately, which they didn’t. Following that, I received an anonymous rejection of my claim, essentially stating that Airbnb wouldn’t cover what my insurance wouldn’t and claiming that my insurance didn’t recognize the damage (which is a lie as, in fact, they covered almost half of it).

I have loved Airbnb and I still believe in their business, but those practices are brutal and really show how unsafe hosting can become with some (terrifying) guests like these (who also smoked marijuana and disrupted an entire neighborhood by the way). I ended up spending 11000 USD of my own money and numerous days of my own work trying to remediate this and desperately trying to speak to multiple anonymous Airbnb employees.

All in all, I still believe in Airbnb but please don’t rely on the insurance. Unfortunately, some guests can destroy your homes and Airbnb won’t help you at all. They’ll instead put you through anonymous employees to make your life a miserable hell in the hope you’ll give up eventually.

Airbnb Supports Fraudulent Listings by Hosts

I checked into my cabana and it was listed as having two beds. There was one bed in a closet. The previous tenant had busted the TV, left it up on the wall, and had no plans to replace it. The pool and hot tub were freezing. There was no hot water in the shower. The space heaters, which were the only source of heat, kicked off continuously because they were plugged into power strips.

I immediately contacted Airbnb and informed them of the fraud. They told me that I had to give the host a chance to fix it. After four days of no sign of repair, I called Airbnb back and moved out. The host would not even take their phone calls for a week. It’s now three weeks later and I have spoken to twelve caseworkers, a specialist and one manager and now the final answer is I’m not getting my refund because apparently this is all my fault. Airbnb has left me with nowhere to go. They have kept my money, ruined all of my holidays plans and caused a great deal of stress. They are criminals.

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Taking to the Media – Robbed by Airbnb and Guest

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Not only did a guest rob me and cause over $7000 in theft and damages, Airbnb will not release the $2000 the guest paid to stay there. So as of right now I’m out $9000 and Airbnb could care less. Anyone that can help you will not email or call back. The company makes false promises to help. There is zero accountability at this company. They will not give you their last names, only their first. Hosts beware!

Believe it or not, the cops have been easier and more helpful than Airbnb. They have made thousands of dollars off of my properties but will do everything to not help me. Upper management at this company should be appalled at the practices and procedures they have set forth. I’m going to the Orlando Sentinel on Friday. I think I have a pretty good case for a five-minute bit on the 6:00 news in one of the busiest tourist destinations in the world.

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Shooting Inside and Outside my Airbnb Home

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On June 28th, my Airbnb was vandalized by a customers’ boyfriend and friends, who had no permission to stay at my home. The customer rented my Airbnb, and to my dismay, a wild party was thrown. I was alerted by my house manager that the house wasn’t fit for the guests who were supposed to check in at 4:00 PM, because it had been vandalized.

When I saw the damage on FaceTime, I was appalled. The house was riddled with bullet holes in the walls, broken furniture, feces and urine on the walls and floors, and old food in a majority of the rooms. The sink and tub were backed up. I used an upstairs attic as storage for my electronics, including televisions, house wares, food and cleaning supplies, linens, etc. Unfortunately, all of those items were stolen as well. That attic was off limits as it was written in my contract.

After watching outside video of the party, I was shocked to see the violent gunshots, and physical confrontations that took place throughout their stay. I contacted Airbnb, and I waited patiently for them to reach a resolution; I was ignored so I turned to social media, with hopes of gaining exposure for this ill treatment.

Finally, I received an email on August 19th that stated that an adjuster would come out to assess the damage. I decided to sell the home because of the negative connotations attached to it, fearing that the perpetrators may try to come back again especially since they’ve been sighted on more than one occasion driving by the home.

Airbnb never contacted me via phone. I received an email on October 19th, nearly a month after the insurance adjuster showed up on September 30th. By that time, I had fixed the walls, plumbing and some of the furniture that was salvageable, and the rest had to be discarded.

I feel as if Airbnb didn’t execute the situation in a timely or professional manner. They lack compassion for their customers, and instead of finding a resolution, they kept sending my case to a new customer agent instead of paying me for my huge loss.