Water Damage is the Least of this Airbnb’s Problems

I rented a lovely home in the DC area that I thought was a great deal. Unfortunately, after a late night arrival and a hot night with no AC, in the light of day I found that his property had a lot of slapstick-repaired water damage from a double shingled saving roof with additional plumbing problems. We were promised AC repairs the day we reported them within 24 hours but they never happened. Coughing and respiratory problems ensued. There were tarps on the skylights and evidence of water damage in every room including rust on baseboards which had been removed. A second verification of damage is needed to confirm this atrocity and obvious health violations for a rental. Luckily you can report to local authorities since Airbnb will do nothing but offer a partial refund and keep such a listing on their site. The following is the current listing.

Guests Damage Stove and Leave Place Filthy

I hosted a couple last summer. I almost canceled because I had a bad feeling but then decided to host them because they assured me it was just a vacation to see a concert and they were quiet and respectful. Well, that was a complete lie. It was evident upon my arrival when the guests checked out very early and ignored my messages when I asked them what time they would be checking out so I could meet them for my keys.

I decided to go over myself to see what was going on. They had checked out early clearly to evade me. I could not believe the mess and disgusting smells they left behind. They damaged my stove, which is a vintage gas stove. I messaged them confronting the violations of my rules. There was no answer; all I could do was warn others and leave a bad review.

I contacted Airbnb with a lot of photos they said I need to provide more information and invoices. I told them I cannot afford to fix my stove. I tried to get a quote but it was very difficult finding a vintage stove repair company and expensive. I kept up with Airbnb but they decided to ignore me. I told them I contacted the guest directly and they kept ignoring me.

Of course Airbnb did nothing to help. Airbnb needs to toughen up on guests violating house rules and damaging property. This is, after all, our home. We choose to share it with others.

Bad Guest + Damages = Bad Airbnb Policy

This ended fairly well, but not without a huge fight with Airbnb about their catch-22 policy. Here’s how we dealt with it:

We rented our entire million-dollar waterfront home to a family of four and relatives. It turned out it was one family that sublet the rest of the rooms to other “families”. They felt they did not have to supervise anyone for four days.

Literally 350 lbs of garbage was taken out of the house to the dump. There was $3000+ in damages, including from children peeing in beds and leaving it without stripping the sheets off. There was broken furniture from when they moved it all to create a huge playpen in the recreation room for all their children, so they could leave them unattended, resulting in sh*t on the carpet, crayon on the walls, and the pool table used as a baby diaper changing station.

In talking to the guest about payment for the extra damages, they posted a dead mouse photo and complained about how upset they were to have to find this. The photo was of a dead mouse up against a wall that does not exist in my home. I just found out on this site that it is a common tactic to get an instant rebate from Airbnb.

We felt we should review the guest so that other hosts would be wary. They reviewed us very badly and complained about how rude we were, how terrible our property was, and that they had done no damage at all. It would be funny but Airbnb refused to remove the obviously fake review: “We don’t make judgments on the validity of reviews. We let the public forum decide who to believe.”

Now we’re were going to be stuck with the last review as the first thing renters would see the next season. This had to go.

How to get your claim paid fast: we collected all the evidence of damages, got estimates on repairs, and had some receipts for replacement items. We submitted our claim to Airbnb.

If you have a claim be sure to wrap it up in a bow. Take one page for each item – don’t lump it all on one page – shoot and include photos, or screenshots from websites showing replacement items and the cost. Itemize each page and include a spreadsheet showing items and totals with a grand total on a cover page. There are insurance people who have to do this so if you do their job for them they will rubber stamp it, take a percentage off for “depreciation”, and cut you a cheque right away. It worked for us.

Remember the depreciation so be sure to get good estimates or online shop for the best replacement without cheaping out on the price. You could replace it at Walmart, but why not Best Buy instead? PDF that document and email it to them.

I had to argue this one up four levels of customer service to finally get a resolution. Remember that the first customer service person has no power to solve your problem. They seem to be trained to simply spit out the policy, even if that policy makes no sense. In our case, I needed the bad review expunged because it was a lie.

My catch-22 argument was that while “[Airbnb] make[s] no judgement on truthfulness of reviews,” they had made a judgement because their resolutions department had decided that I was telling the truth and the guest had damaged our place so they paid me. They couldn’t pay my claim and say they couldn’t make a judgement on truth. Do not stop complaining. Do not believe that the person you are talking to is the ultimate authority. These people all have a boss – demand to speak to their supervisor.

It took me almost two months to get high enough and I had a very good logical argument for the removal. They finally took it off saying, “upon review we have determined that the review was malicious in defense of damage they had caused”.

I consider myself a very good Superhost and have also been to many wonderful Airbnb rentals without incident for the last two years. I’m pretty certain that, as a host, justice was not done. I’m sure that Airbnb did not chase after the guest for the damages money they paid out, nor did they take advantage of the $2000 damage “deposit” I have in my listing (which if you’ve ever been a guest you know it never gets posted to your credit card).

The guest probably got a refund for the fake mouse photo. So this guest has never been punished for their bad behaviour and will probably do this to another host. How is that protecting your business, Airbnb? Hell, I’m even worried that they will try to rent again under a different name or person in the group, e.g. “Hey, Bob, it’s your turn to book”. They had such a fabulous unsupervised stay the last time, why not do it again?

blank

Guest Took Paintings and Nailed through them

blankblankblankblankblankblankblank

I just came back home and found out that my guest, who is renting a “room in shared apartment” had climbed over my kitchen wall cabinets to reach a pair of paintings that I had put there, to take them into his room and proceeded to nail through them to affix them in his rented room.

I honestly just can’t quite wrap my head around how disrespectful just the idea of doing this is, yet actually proceeding with the actions without permission. Those paintings are sort of a family heirloom, as they were hand painted by my mother, many years ago.

Seriously, you might think that I should have not left “valuables” in the listing, but paintings are not something a guest might need to use. Additionally, I had put them far away for anyone to accidentally damage them. He must have used a chair and climbed up the kitchen countertop to reach them. There’s just no way to justify the actions. It is not even an accident.

He used a hammer and nails, and nailed through the paintings (they were not framed yet)… seriously, who does that? Even if he had installed them without damaging them, why would one think that he’s entitled to take your paintings and install them in their room? Or anywhere else?

I have to clarify that I was never contacted about the issue. Never asked for permission or anything. I noticed this casually, as the guest is out of town until the next day and he had left his bedroom door open, as I normally wouldn’t have looked in the occupied (rented) room (I wouldn’t have opened the door). Honestly I had not immediately noticed them missing from the kitchen, possibly as I just returned from a month-long trip overseas.

The pictures show the paintings as they originally were placed on top of the kitchen cabinets and the paintings as were found in the guest’s room. One had apparently already fallen down from where he nailed it, as I found it hidden behind the side table. I had to guess and search there, in order for me to find it.

Even though I feel insulted, violated and upset, I’m not even preoccupied about the actual damage, which although actually irreparable, technically, my mother might be able to repair them (which won’t make them as original, but still somewhat repairable, even by the actual original creator – just imagine if she had already passed).

I’m just really preoccupied about the amount of disrespect, entitlement and arrogance that was needed by the guest to conceive such an idea, and the outrage of actually carrying it out. I feel bad because it seems like the best thing to do in the future would be not to keep them there anymore, but I liked my beautiful paintings, in my beautiful kitchen.

I don’t want to think that it was my mistake for leaving them there. It’s like stripping me from my freedom of even having anything I care about around my house. How would I feel in my home if it would be furnished with things I don’t care about?

Don’t get me wrong, I am very easygoing with wear and tear, accidents and such. I still provide good quality things for my guests. I understand that things break and I mostly provide things that are replaceable. However, taking down paintings and nailing them in their room is just not something guests should be even thinking about doing.

blank

Guest Caused Thousands in Damages, Airbnb Let Her Go

blank

I had a verified and reviewed POS and her family stay. They caused thousands of dollars in damage. I instantly called Airbnb as I suspected she had gone to another Airbnb; she had. Airbnb consistently stonewalled me, claiming not to be receiving invoices, receipts, and photos. There was no explanation as to why they allowed her to go to another Airbnb. You cannot post a bad review without giving at least one star. Whilst I’m on about it, the Washington police, in a breathtaking comment, advised that they thought our photos indicated “maintenance issues”.

Charged for Repairs and Unable to Reach Anyone

Airbnb charged my credit card an unrealistic amount and called it a repair. There was a gas leak in the kitchen when we got there. It smelled like dog urine. An overflowing sink was clogged up when we got there. I had to unclog the drain in the shower myself before I could shower in the unclean shower. It was a nasty and disgusting visit and then I got charged for repairs?

Awful experience. When I called to dispute the charge they beat around the bush and said they could not help me. I asked for a supervisor and customer service immediately said all the supervisors were busy. Really? How do they know? They didn’t even try. After 15 minutes on hold to “find a supervisor” the waiting music stopped and Airbnb customer service hung up on me. This is no way to run a business.

Unfairness is the only way to Describe Airbnb

Be aware about listing your property with Airbnb. They only care about money and don’t take care of their hosts. I had three listings with them and cancelled all of them. I was a Superhost on all of them with five-star reviews.

They didn’t pay for doors damaged by guests on one property. On the other one, the guests decided they didn’t want to stay any longer and moved out without any notice, holding our dates. Airbnb decided to refund their money. I didn’t have any input in their decision.

They don’t listen to your responses and if you don’t agree with that decision they will tell you there is nothing you can do, because they already decided. Customer service is very bad; don’t book with them. They hold your money for a very long time. I was contacted by the guests who cancelled about a refund, because it took forever. They were not happy.

Sorry we had to break up like this Airbnb…

I was just reading the sad reviews from the property owners. Can I tell you that the same thing happens to renters? I will spare you the details (trust me, you don’t want to hear them), but suffice it to say we had 13 excellent stays on Airbnb before we met the first property owner extortion machine.

We’ve always been model guests, and have always cleaned the premises before leaving – to the point my girlfriend makes fun of me about it. It turns out that in cleaning the kitchen, we “scratched” the stainless steel backsplash. The host demanded (not making this up) $900 for a full replacement of an item that was likely made out of too soft an alloy for the purpose. Go figure.

In true Airbnb fashion, they charged my credit card against my wishes ($500). Let me tell you – I had called my bank a few days before to block Airbnb from doing this because they are notorious for charging renters without consent. My bank (Chase) screwed up and did not block the charges as promised.

Take my advice: if you anticipate a dispute with Airbnb and you don’t want to go chasing your own money, cancel your card after your stay. We will not be returning to Airbnb as we do not feel like we were treated fairly on this one. Sad, because we had such a good run for a while.

Did I mention the undisclosed spy camera at the last place we rented? Apparently Airbnb doesn’t really care about that. If you take your chances, good luck.

blank

Shameful Scam Condoned by Airbnb Staff

blank

I stayed at an Airbnb for three nights in February paying £1300 and thinking the outdoor Jacuzzi was included in this price. A few months after and just before Christmas, the manager asked for £250 to be paid directly to her for use of the outdoor equipment. I did not pay as I felt uncomfortable with the request and Airbnb recommended not do to do this type of transaction. The manager shared with me that she was fed up with Airbnb because “they have to accept bookings”.

Before leaving we ensured the house was tidy and in good order. The manager advised cleaners would be arriving at 11:30 AM after we had left but everything was left clean. The microwave was only used for sterilizing baby bottles but a very dirty picture was produced when a claim for £500 was made. Cigarette butts were all over the grounds and my sister cleared some away.

We were accused of leaving these and a difficult to see photo of a butt was evidence. A bed was shown with a mattress cover very stained. A clean sheet could be seen on the floor. It’s horrible to think only one clean sheet covered the staining and that one of us slept on that bed. The £500 claimed by the host manager was for a new mattress, mattress cover, pillows, cleaning of the microwave, and picking up the cigarette butts.

Airbnb did not contact me (they have my phone and email details) and agreed without consultation to a payment of £250. I cannot describe how angry I am right now but really want to warn others who might book this property. The photos were not dated. I think the manager was miffed we did not pay for the Jacuzzi and so got her money another way – a shameful scam. I have attached the picture, a very odd colour of red and green staining. We are all very worried who got this horrid bed if indeed it was in the house we rented.

Airbnb’s Fake Policies Include Not Paying Hosts

I’m currently dealing with a broken air conditioner that cost over $5000. Case closed, no reimbursement from Airbnb. I sent in over 15 minutes of video taken as soon as I walked into the home finding all the destruction.

After 11 days, they finally responded to me. They gave me time to send in the evidence – pictures – to find replacements, and send in the receipts. Fine, but I needed more time for the AC since the repairman came and got here by the deadline.

This is what I learned: if they had offered me anything, any amount of money for reimbursement – maybe two dollars? – I would take it and run. Airbnb does nothing to protect properties whatsoever. I also had six people cancel at the last minute who were not entitled to any refund under my strict cancellation policy. Every single one of them made up some story and received a 100% refund.

One girl didn’t receive a refund because I refuse to “authorize“ it. She didn’t deserve it and it would be filing my cancellation policy I protested. The next day Airbnb cancelled the guest whom I had been looking forward to meeting and had a $1001 payout. They cancelled her reservation and told her I canceled it. She got a new place to stay and I completely screwed.

I’m only posting this summer, have received rave reviews from every single guest that stayed here, and I’m currently out over $6000. I counted I bought new towels, sheets, a portable air conditioner, fans, counting on $7000 and payouts that were anticipated due to bookings when I started. I received less than $3000 payout and now, I’ll be lucky if I get $3500.

Airbnb restricted my account weeks ago, because a guest falsely claimed I had a security camera in order to get his refund equal to 100% of the original payment. Ridiculous.

I wish I never did business with Airbnb; they are crooks, and they lie. I’m moving to VRBO.

Hosts: Beware of Airbnb’s fake policies. They will not do what is your best interest even if it goes against their policies. Airbnb caters to the guests, which in my case cost me over $6000.