Locked in Small, Disgusting Airbnb Room

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I rented a small room through Airbnb. It certainly was the stay from hell. The sheets were filthy. The room was filthy. There was a safety issue with the keys; I was locked in my room for three hours and unable to get out. I was terrified. All attempts to contact the owners – phone calls, texts – were ignored.

Although there may be many good reviews on the property this was not my experience. The owner attempted to bribe me with a cheap bottle of champagne to not write a negative review on Airbnb, stating he was a politician in Brugge and didn’t want any negative reviews attached to his name.

Shortly after arriving at the Airbnb, I went to sleep before heading out for the evening. Pulling back the sheets, it was obvious they had not been changed: the pillows had hair on them, and the sheets were crushed and filthy. I guess someone had slept in them with shoes on, bits of grass, dirt, gravel.

I called the owners. They promised to come over and change sheets immediately. Three hours later I called the host to ask why she had not arrived as promised. She rudely stated, “I have more important things to do. I have to pick up my child from school.”

If you can’t manage to juggle your business and your family life, then don’t become an Airbnb host, and certainly don’t lie to guests. When I said I would not sleep in filthy sheets she rudely said she would send a cleaner over to change the sheets, which she could have done in the first place.

The cleaner arrived an hour later, four hours from my initial call. The cleaner was shocked when she viewed the sheets and promised to inform the owners. She also agreed that the floors had not been vacuumed, the toilet had certainly not been cleaned or flushed, and the basin had not been wiped – it was disgusting, with old soap and toothpaste left. The shower had not been wiped clean. This room had obviously been missed.

The following morning I had planned to head out for a walk early but was unable to unlock the door after trying numerous times. I called both owners for help and sent texts but they were ignored. Three hours later, the cleaning staff arrived. I had to yell from my room for help. The staff acknowledged that this was an ongoing issue and both owners were fully aware of the safety issue regarding the key and had done nothing. The cleaning staff told me they had had previous issues with guests being locked in this room before.

Shortly later as I was packing my bag to leave, I could hear the host speaking with a staff member in the garden/courtyard below my room chastising the staff member for not cleaning the room or changing the sheets. He spoke to her at length and I heard all of this conversation. Yet the host stated the sheets had been changed and I was overreacting and not staying calm regarding the keys. Instead of taking responsibility and simply apologising for the mistake, they chose to shame me in an attempt to make themselves look better.

Later as I was leaving the property the host approached me and attempted to tell me why the room had not been cleaned. He offered no apology, just “My wife is a very busy person and doesn’t always have time to clean the room between guests.” He then went on to hand me a bottle of champagne -which I refused – as a bribe to stay quiet, begging me to not put a negative review on Airbnb as he was a local politician in Brugge and did not want any negative reviews against his name.

Their review on me was completely dishonest in an attempt to protect themselves and their tardiness and deflect any responsibility. I was disgusted and disappointed by these hosts: unprofessional, dishonest and simply low-lifes. Do not stay at here. Absolutely the room and hosts from hell.

Breezehome in Overveen Haarlem Netherlands near Amsterdam

I have been visiting the Netherlands since the 1990s and have come to understand the mentality of the people quite well now. It is quite normal for some Dutch people to misrepresent something in the interests of business.

This Airbnb rental is located in Overveen close to Haarlem or Harlem, which is about 17 Km from Amsterdam in The Netherlands, or Holland or Nederland Europe for Dutch speakers. In the near future, Formula 1 racing events will be held at Zandvort or Zandvoort, which is close by. This operator told me about all the money that can be made by local people renting out rooms locally.

I don’t want to seem harsh to the host because he isn’t a bad guy and is quite pleasant and interesting to be around. However, I do have some objections to his listing as it stands on Airbnb right now (October 2019). Unfortunately, this rental is listed in a way that is not representative of the condition it is really in now.

The main complaint I have is of misrepresentation and omission. Haarlem is a nice alternative to Amsterdam, an authentic medieval/Golden Era town which is well worth a visit, with easy and quick railway connections with Amsterdam and the airport. The location of the apartment is 15-20 minutes from the town center or the railway station on foot.

The room that you will be renting is not a separate room, but is on a blind landing at the very top of the apartment, with no door. The room is a good size but has no window and no form of external ventilation. There were two fans but the room was still very stuffy even though the fans were on and the summer was over by then.

Sleeping in this room for me was similar to sleeping in an underground bunker. With all the lights off, it was absolutely pitch dark and too warm. The in-house ventilation fan in the electrical cupboard in the room made a continuous noise. I resorted to sleeping on the floor in the living room. The room made me feel very claustrophobic. It was not really possible to hang-out in your bedroom because it was not a comfortable experience in that respect. The lighting was provided from one energy-saving bulb in the ceiling.

There were other problems. The living room was cluttered and untidy and in need of a cleaning, as was the whole apartment. The sofa covers absolutely stank. When I removed the covers from the duvet and pillows to wash them at the end of my stay, I saw they were not very clean and in need of dry cleaning. The mattress had a few old stains on it. The kitchen area was not all that clean and there was always a huge pile of washed utensils in the drying area by the sink.

There was a tiny part of the fridge for guests. When I offered the host some coffee I was planning to brew he said that he did not drink coffee, which meant that there was nothing to brew it in available. I was not really invited to use the kitchen so I did not use it.

The open hats and coats area by the front door was a cluttered jumble of shoes, very untidy and certain to create a poor impression with many visitors. There were two very steep flights of stairs from the living room to the guest room. Not a problem for me, but should be mentioned in the listing. The bathroom and toilet need a cleaning. The cover to the toilet cistern is missing and the toilet bowl below the water is black and denotes a lack of care over a long period of time.

The décor in the apartment is rather tired and there is a huge pile of water-soaked cigarette butts in a dish out on the terrace and more on the floor. This is the best part of the apartment, but again it was neglected.

I did ask the host if he could print out my return bus ticket, offering him a couple of Euros for his trouble. He said it was okay and he would do it. I left an old USB flash drive on his coffee table where it remained for several days and then I noticed it was gone. Because time became short I got it printed at a local printers.

I asked him if had picked up the stick and he said that he hadn’t seen it. In order to be diplomatic I shrugged off the incident and make no conclusion about it. The stick was worth nothing, only had the bus ticket on it, but it did disappear from one day to the next and I had to accept a denial from the host. I did also check the living room very thoroughly when he was out, but it did not turn up. He did not further enquire as to whether I had got the ticket printed.

This is one of those pointless and quite surreal incidents when using Airbnb when you have to make an instant decision to insist on something or just laugh it off. If he had said that he lost the stick rather than presenting me with an adolescent explanation then everything would have been fine.

I paid just over £200 Sterling for six nights here (approximately US$246). It is not the worst Airbnb rental or the worst host, even if he could be described as bad, I have encountered by a long way and I am used to accepting differences and inconveniences as part of the interest in staying in different places. I think that this rental is probably worth half what I paid.

I have given up complaining or making suggestions to hosts or Airbnb. I do not like leaving bad reviews on Airbnb because I do not wish to get into an on-line dispute and Airbnb sanitises reviews anyway. Airbnb expected me to provide pictures of this let, which strikes me as a strange and anti-social activity in itself.

The presumption that the paying customer is somehow a bit of a fool and that they are there to be milked by the Dutch is still alive and well in the minds of a lot of them. If you are pleasant, personable and respectful then it is possible that you will be seen as something of an idiot.

Airbnb is not going to ask the host to list his property more accurately, because I did not take any pictures during my stay. My comments are corroborated by the feedback given by other guests. I did not read all of the feedback when I booked in the Spring of 2019 and so missed the crucial detail about the lack of a window.

Cleaner Mattresses at the Tip than this Airbnb

My friend and I booked a “Cosy Mid Terrace House” in Bangor, North Wales. We were attending a five-day yoga course which commenced on the evening of Thursday, September 26th a short drive away. We checked in at the house where there was a key box; anytime after 4:00 PM was supposed to be okay.

We arrived at 3:45 PM and entered the house. On first inspection, it looked a little grimy and uncared for, but it was only five nights. However, on further inspection, we found that the kitchen surfaces were very greasy and there was mould in the fridge, the carpet into the sitting room was frayed and coming away under the door strip causing a trip hazard.

On venturing upstairs, again everything was tatty. The shower was full of black mildew. But the worst thing of all was where I was supposed to sleep for those five nights. Firstly, I could feel the mattress springs through the duvet that was on top of the bed but what really finished things off was when the bedding was pulled back, the mattress was covered in various stains. I have seen better mattresses than this at my local tip.

We contacted the owner to advise her we were not happy and would have to seek alternative accommodation. She gave us a spiel about running late as a single mum she had to collect the children from school and was on her way over. We told her not to rush as there was no way we would be able to stay and started to tell her all the things that were wrong, whereupon she hung up.

As the course was starting at 4:00 PM, there was little time to find alternative accommodation and we ended up sharing a very small twin room in a hotel not too far away who could luckily fit us in as most places we tried were fully booked over the weekend. I requested a refund from the host via the Airbnb site – which she, of course, refused – so I waited the 72 hours and asked Airbnb to intervene.

I have since then been corresponding via email with an incompetent “Senior Case Manager” who has become quite threatening in her gobbledygook English stating that I must accept her offer of a “coupon” to be used on a future booking within eight hours – four hours at one point – and now 24 hours. I feel that as they have offered a “coupon” for the full amount that they must believe our story with photos provided, but as we do not know when or if we will be booking through Airbnb again, this is simply not good enough.

I am awaiting her response as to how long the “coupon” is valid for (probably 24 hours). Despite my requests for her to escalate this case on two occasions she continues to email me in English that is barely recognisable as the language I was brought up with, totally ignoring my requests and just threatening me with more deadlines. It is interesting to note that the “Cosy Mid Terrace House” is no longer listed in the site but if ever it should reappear I do not recommend booking it or the host’s cleaning skills.

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Someone’s Trash could be your Airbnb Furniture

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I checked into my Airbnb last night. As my son and I opened the filthy front door, the smell of mold filled the room. We walked up four flights of filthy carpeted stairs to reach the apartment, where the front entrance had a huge filthy moldy stain the size of a Labrador. The sofa looked like it was picked up from the side of the road when someone put it out as garbage; it was sunken in and dirty, with stains throughout the whole thing.

This is where my son was supposed to sleep the night and we would pass our days watching TV and socializing for six nights, for which I paid $620. There was a loft with a filthy futon mattress up above this dirty yellow staircase. The bed sheets were stained and looked unclean.

I contacted Airbnb right away and spoke with someone for 35 minutes on their 1-800 number, after which I realized I was calling from the UK to the US on my cell minutes; I knew that was going to cost me a lot of money. I was told to go to sleep and someone would contact me in the morning. I contacted the host as well, sending photographs to both. Still, with no response this is taking up hours of my few days I have here in Leeds visiting my son.

These hosts seems to have many rentals and are considered to be Superhosts. I’m baffled. I did read the complaint of the last person that stayed in this apartment, which should’ve raised a red flag. I figured if Airbnb gave them a Superhost badge, that would have to mean something. I really don’t understand how people can be so unethical in running a business.

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Do Not Stay Here: Horrible Experience in Halifax

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My daughter, best friend, and I visited Halifax for a long weekend expecting to stay at a comfortable, new clean condo which is not what we got. When we arrived to the address we were shocked to see a full on construction site. This property was still being developed. The exterior of the building looked completely unfinished and there was no marked address. The building was completely covered in scaffolding and the grounds were a construction zone with workers and machines all over the place.

We drove right past it because we couldn’t even imagine that it would be possible to list a place on Airbnb that had not fully been built. Our host had not sent any check-in details as he had promised to do. Picture three women traveling and arriving to this sketchy construction zone without any check-in details.

I texted him and there was no response. I finally called a phone number and spoke to a woman who seemed like she worked for property management company who advised me that the cleaner was still cleaning up the suite. They finally sent us check-in instructions but the lockbox was empty. Thankfully the cleaner came down and was quite nice and offered to let us put our bags in the unit and that she wouldn’t be too much longer. We opted not to do this and grabbed some food while I scrambled to find alternative places to stay for the weekend.

Upon getting the key, we parked our rental car in the most shadiest, filthy dump of a garage where there was piles of garbage and barely any lighting. It felt dangerous, dirty and totally unsafe. The unit itself was as the pictures presented. Not sparkling clean, more of a surface clean and the windows were disgusting, covered in mud from the construction. The lobby and hallways were unfinished and the same went for the elevators. It was all very sketchy and unsafe.

It was also quite warm in the unit. I had asked the host if there was AC as many reviewers had mentioned there weren’t any. He said yes, which was not the case – he had two upright fans, not an AC unit. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find an alternative place to stay as the city was hosting a film festival along with back-to-school events and there weren’t any other places to accommodate the three of us.

On Friday morning we were awoken at 7:00 AM by drilling sounds that felt like they were taking place outside our window. I even wore earplugs but that didn’t make a difference. On the last night of our stay I messaged the host to see if we could check out half an hour later at 10:30 AM. Please note check in was at 4:00 PM and check out at 10:00 AM, rather early and late by normal standards. He flat out refused, making up some bullshit excuse blaming the cleaning company’s policy that the cleaners are scheduled to be there at that time.

The next morning he must have felt bad and sent me a message at 9:30 AM saying a half hour was not going to be too much of a problem. At that point it was too late. We wanted to get the hell out of that that construction disaster. I would not recommend this place to anyone. The reviews noted construction which differs from you are staying at a construction site.

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Entertainment for your Airbnb – Choose any Porn Tape

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We arrived at the flat in Palermo at the agreed time to be met by a co-host whose English was extremely poor and found it difficult to communicate with us. The host, whose name is on the listing and with whom we had been communicating, was too busy at work.

We were shown into the apartment and shown into the sitting room where there on the unit in bright red boxes were 30 hardcore porn tapes. Some of these were in the unit and some were on top where the picture could be seen by all. I was just grateful that my children were not with me. The co-host said they were not porn but one could hardly get away from the fact that they had titles such as ‘whore’.

In addition there was a review by a guest written in May 2019 that says “we just had a few small issues (some people may not find these problems relevant): there was a large amount of video pornography on display and within the lounge area. This was quite distasteful and could make some people feel uncomfortable.”

Despite this review, Airbnb does not seem to have taken any action with regards to this. We left the apartment and went to a local cafe where we contacted Airbnb as we did not want to stay or be associated with such material. They were less than helpful. They managed to get some money returned to us, but less than a third of what we paid for the apartment.

Airbnb help contacted me through Twitter with lip service. Despite many conversations, they say they are not responsible for what the host has in his apartment. Something I disagree with, especially as the issue had been flagged some four months earlier. In a nutshell, Airbnb has taken no moral responsibility for the business they are promoting even though in their T&C’s it says you must not bring the company into disrepute.

Bait and Switch Airbnb in Bilbao, Spain

I booked and paid for a three-night stay at an Airbnb within walking distance to the Guggenheim in Bilbao, Spain in a really lovely looking place with a Superhost. Unfortunately due to falling ill in San Sebastian, Spain, I was only able to get to Bilbao for one night.

On arrival, I noticed that there were three bedrooms which I knew were not part of the description. After taking a nap, I had a better look at the apartment only to realise it wasn’t what I had booked. In contacting the host to ask to move me to the apartment I paid for, I was told that it had been given to someone else.

I was not provided with the apartment number at the time of booking. I was not advised before or on arrival of the change. I was given a substandard alternative which, amongst other things, was dirty and had exposed power points which let off sparks. The entrance and lift smelt of urine. These are photos of what I was given.

False Advertising: Never Use Airbnb Again

I got a $2919, three-night rental at about 7:00 PM and was instantly hit with a heavy, wet mildew smell throughout. The pool had a leaf covered tarp on it with greenish, brown looking water at steps. The vent was falling down with mold exposed. All other vents had been wiped quickly, leaving black all around.

Dead bug bodies, food, etc., was under sheets on mattresses with springs exposed. There were stains on all the mattress covers, of which there were three, one being shredded and filthy. The one extra bed pillow had a stain the size of my head.

The hall floor came apart at the seams and bubbled (a big raised bubble at the end of the hall) from moisture. Due to the feeling of the place, the smell, the mildew and mold, and having one person in our group with COPDE and one with MS causing breathing and balance issues, not to mention the place having only one bed/bedroom that would have been acceptable to stay in, we chose to leave.

We had been told from Evolve (supposedly our advocates) that the owner said she would give us half our money first and probably the other half after they get our photos. After around 10:00 PM our time all communication stopped, leaving us to find other arrangements at 10:00 PM on a holiday weekend. I won’t even get into that.

Apparently the owner came in from Florida, took a video which we cannot see because it is said to be to large to send, and lo and behold she thought the place was perfectly clean and acceptable: the floor was not buckling, just apart a little; the pool was clear except for a few leaves. After Airbnb checked with her and the cleaners? They have ruled the place perfectly acceptable. Well, I guess the owner and cleaners would say that and we cannot see the video. It’s just too large.

As of right now, we paid $2919 and another $1500 (the other places we stayed) for three nights (one being wasted at the original location). I have always used VRBO but saw this house with the beautiful crystal clear pool and went that way; that was a mistake. Please don’t go with Airbnb. All this is such a shame for us and all or family. We had so looked forward to this. Shame on Airbnb advertising rentals guaranteed to be as advertised.

Los Angeles Airbnb Not Fit for Rental

I absolutely will not book an Airbnb ever again. We recently booked a house in LA which wasn’t as advertised or reviewed. We subsequently came home, wrote an honest, but ultimately negative review, which a couple of days later was taken down by Airbnb. It seems they give more protection to their hosts than their guests, quoting that they are purely a platform for people to host their homes. The house we stayed in was filthy, unhealthy and not secure.

I appreciate that reviews are given based on each individuals personal standards and expectations, so I have tried to give an honest account of this Airbnb to try to give a true impression of what you can expect should you wish to stay there. If you’re in LA to visit Disney then the house is ideally placed, just 25/40 mins from both parks, in a lovely area just south of Walnut. If there are 8 to 10 of you, then the size of the property is great – two of you will get an ensuite, whilst the rest will share two further bathrooms, and there’s room for three cars on the drive.

However, once you get in the property, things turn a little grubby, especially in the kitchen. I got the impression that the previous occupants, or more likely the owners, do a lot of cooking at the hob, with a lot of oil. There were splats of grease all over the hob splash back that clearly hadn’t been cleaned. The hob itself was greasy, with a greasy cooking pot left on it: clean inside, but a bit splattered with grease on the outside.

All kitchen cupboard doors and handles were sticky to the touch. The Venetian blinds in the kitchen were thick with dust, stuck with grease, and had also trapped insects by the look of it. Two kitchen drawers were hanging off and being held to the worktop with sticky-tape. The dishwasher wasn’t working, which is ironic, as there was no crockery to eat off of, just bags of paper plates and bowls, and a big box of plastic knives, forks and spoons. There was a token gesture of some cutlery, a set of four from IKEA still in its packaging.

There was no kettle. There were only three mugs, so we took it in turns to drink tea or coffee in the mornings, once we’d boiled the water on the hob. There were no glasses to drink from, just tiny wax paper cups, slightly bigger than a shot glass. The kitchen was the most disgusting part, but other parts of the house clearly hadn’t been cleaned for a while either.

There was thick dust on a number of surfaces, most noticeably on top of one headboard, the kitchen lights, and extractor hood. There was black grime on some light switches and air conditioner controllers. The TV had a layer of smeared grime all over it. Personally, I’d sack the people who do the cleaning, because they’re not cleaners. If the owners do it themselves, use the cleaning charge to actually pay some professional cleaners to do it. I would like a refund of the cleaning charge.

Some bed sheets looked as though they’d been slept in a couple of times (very creased around the torso area). Windows, patio doors and mirrors had been wiped, but were left really smeary all over, and hand prints left on them from previous occupants. The mantle piece looked as though it would fall off the wall at any moment. One of the bathroom sinks was cracked, and was badly repaired, as was a toilet seat in the ensuite.

One of the double beds had no base, so the mattress was on the floor, with the bed frame around it. The mattress subsequently sinks lower than the frame. The TV in the same bedroom was covered in white paint splatters, where they had painted the ceiling with a roller and not covered the TV.

In another bedroom, the window frame didn’t actually fit the size of the window opening. I thought my wife had opened a window, only to find a 4-cm gap either size of the window between the frame and the wall of the house. There were no bath towels in the bathrooms, but found a pile in the garage.

The house didn’t feel secure; I won’t go into detail why in this public review though. There were four sun loungers outside, two of which had collapsed, with the screws sticking out. There was a can of 7 Up left out on the patio, which had clearly been there for some time as the print had all faded. The BBQ was disgusting (wiped, not cleaned), and even the patio had large grease patches over it.

Personally, on the whole, I feel that this Airbnb needs a good freshening up and clean. It could be lovely, but it isn’t. In its current condition, I would never ever book this house again, and I would advise anyone to do the same. Don’t take the very high risk of disappointment. In its current condition, my view is that this house is not fit for holiday rental.

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?