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.

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.

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.

Taking to the Media – Robbed by Airbnb and Guest

blank

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.

blank

Shooting Inside and Outside my Airbnb Home

blankblankblank

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.

Sue Airbnb to Receive Your Host Guarantee

I had a guest who lied, saying he lived far away and that he wanted to visit San Francisco. In fact, he live an hour away and wanted a house to trash while he was with his friend. I don’t allow smoking, but I found ashes and cigarette butts in my bedroom. Items were stolen and glasses broken. Urine was everywhere but in the toilet. He annoyed my neighbors, and left trash everywhere.

When I got home four hours after he checked out, I came home to a house with the lights on, TV on, stove burner on high, and windows wide open when it was raining. I was so upset seeing my nice home defiled. I cried for it. I did most of the cleaning myself, but I sent it for money for the stolen and broken items and for the wood floors warped from the rain.

Airbnb’s Home Guarantee office said that they wouldn’t refund me; apparently I violated the terms of service because my house is under contract for sale. My house wasn’t for sale, and it still isn’t. I called and emailed them, and I received this reply: “This is our interpretation and it is the only one that matters. Don’t contact us again about this.”

I then had to research how to sue them. It isn’t hard; I recommend it to everyone who gets ripped off. I sued them in small claims. You need to write a demand letter stating what happened and what you demand, what you want. They have thirty days to respond, and then you can file. For me, they responded right after the demand letter.

Look online on how to write one; you don’t need a lawyer. Small claims in California is for claims under ten thousand dollars. I needed a name to put on the form, so I just used the CEO. I live in California, so maybe it is easier to sue them, but I recommend everyone do it. After I sent the demand letter, I received a crappy apology by email and most of the money I asked for. I am done with them forever.

Held Against my will by an Airbnb Host

During my checkout, the owner of the apartment held me against my will inside the bedroom of his apartment because I told him I wasn’t going to pay for the already faulty shower screen door.

During my stay, the shower screen door broke off from the hinges and fell on me. I then removed the door completely as it was dangerously hanging off its hinges, which I then placed aside. I sent a message to the host (the daughter of the owner of the apartment) and explained this to her.

During my check out – and just before this all kicked off – the owners of the property came to the front door and I invited them inside. I was running a little late during due to my packing, and they were kind enough to give me a later checkout. As I was in the bedroom zipping up my bags, they inspected the shower screen door. They came back to the bedroom and insisted I pay for it there and then.

When I declined this absurd request and told them to take it up with Airbnb, things got nasty. We went back and forth a few times on the matter until he lost his temper with me and he began raising his voice. I told him I was leaving the apartment which is when he locked the bedroom door with me inside. He told me that he was going to lock me in until the police came because I owed him money for the apartment.

When I tried to leave, he became physical with me and pushed me back into the bedroom. I ended up ripping the door from its hinges so I could escape. I made a run for the front door, where he tried to do the same thing. I forced my way out the front door and managed to get free. It wasn’t without injuries and damage to my property. I sustained a torn ligament to one shoulder and a dislocation to the other.

During the ordeal, irreparable damage was also done to some personal belongings inside my luggage. I am now trying to figure out what to do in terms seeking damages as a result of this experience. Any help in terms of being pointed in the right direction would really be appreciated.

Airbnb Host Tries Really Hard to Dissuade us

We received a text from our host asking if we would like to cancel our booking because there was a water leak in the room and it had become very damp. We said that we still wanted to come because we had made, and paid for, travel and entertainment arrangements that we could not cancel.

She phoned to ask again if we would cancel the booking because the room was very damp. We confirmed that we did not want to cancel and that we would be arriving the next day. She then said that we must not arrive until after 5:00 PM because she was having someone come to give her a quote for the repair work. We don’t understand why we couldn’t check in just because a workman would be coming to look at a leak. This meant that we had to spend the day in Edinburgh with our luggage; therefore, we had to pay £10 for luggage storage.

After paying £10 to store our luggage, we then arrived at the accommodation (described on Airbnb as a large double room and that check in was flexible from 2:00 PM). We found that it was, in fact, a tiny room approximately 12’x8′. The double bed took up most of the room and it was certainly not big enough for two people and their accompanying luggage. It felt more like a cupboard than a room in which we would spend the next eight days.

In addition, the kitchen was very small and had a microwave situated very high up, meaning that it was in a dangerous position for handling hot food. Airbnb obviously does not carry out checks on the accommodation they sell and I wonder if this host and Airbnb carry Indemnity Insurance? Interestingly, there was no evidence of the room being damp and the only evidence of a possible leak was a small patch of dampness on the ceiling. Why would a host tell lies about the accommodation being damp when it wasn’t?

During the night, my husband had an episode of diarrhea with great urgency. He is diabetic and this happens when his blood sugar goes too high. He did make a mess on the toilet but he cleaned the toilet afterwards. The soiling was nowhere other than on the actual toilet. The host obviously went in our room after we’d gone out as she sent a text message to say that we had left the bathroom in a terrible state and that she had had to clean up the mess after us.

If she had found evidence of soiling on the toilet, it must have only been small because the toilet had been cleaned before we left the room. My husband is partially sighted but neither of us had noticed that the toilet was soiled. He explained about his illness and also that he had taken a sleeping tablet. Later, the host asked if he was feeling better and said that we were welcome to stay and hoped that we would be comfortable.

The host went out in the evening and did not return until the following day, when she must have gone in our room again. She sent a text message to Airbnb, while we were out, to complain that we had left the room in a ‘bad condition’. She told us that we had to leave the premises by 4:00 PM the same day.

We are unsure what ‘bad condition’ means. The room was clean but untidy. Nothing else. It was untidy because it was so small that there was nowhere to put anything.

On each occasion that the host raised these complaints, she had entered our room while we were out. She had never asked our permission to do that and, as such, she had no right to do it. My husband has to check his blood sugar three times a day and his blood testing kit was in a case on a shelf in the room. It was not there when we packed our belongings to leave. He now has to spend the rest of this week without testing his blood sugar. This could be dangerous. Where has his blood testing kit gone?

Finally, it is my belief that this host had another motive for evicting us using a fictitious reason of a room in a ‘bad condition’. Why did she contact us twice before our check-in date to try to get us to cancel our booking? What she said about the room being damp was not true so what was her reason for not wanting us to be there? Had she also booked someone else? Perhaps someone who was willing to pay more?