Fancy a Summer Holiday on a Building Site?

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I went on holiday with my two daughters in Senegal through Airbnb. The apartment was directly located above the host’s accommodation and we rented it for a month. In order to access our apartment we had to go through a garage and squeeze pass a dusty car as well as a bicycle and a motorbike. When we first arrived, the car was only an inconvenience in the evening but after five days the car never moved (please find the attached picture).

On our arrival we noticed a scaffolding at the same level as the terrace which we had direct access to. The host informed me then that they had started some renovation work such as the inside roof being repaired which were not quite finished. He informed me that it would take no longer than three days to finish.

At that point I asked the host to ensure that the dust on the terrace would be thoroughly cleaned as it was really bad upon our arrival. They did clean it after my request. The following day I rapidly noticed cockroaches in the kitchen, bathroom (cockroaches were coming out of my toiletry bag), in the living room, on the tables… everywhere.

In order to have access to the wifi we had to go downstairs in front of the host’s apartment, despite the fact the access to wifi was mentioned on the booking and there was allegedly a working connection inside our apartment. The TV was not working. When I mentioned it to the host his reply was “the previous guests did not watch it.”

I informed him that my children do watch some TV. He then told me he had to ask his wife to renew the TV connection, which took a week.

I hear you saying: “Why on earth did you stay there?”

Well, here I am in a foreign country with my two young daughters, having nowhere else to go with a limited budget as the hotels were extremely expensive. I took it upon myself to never cook in that filthy place; we always ate outside. I was physically and mentally exhausted. Thankfully we went away for four days to a secluded area.

This gateway gave me the chance to reflect on what I was experiencing as I did not inform anyone in my family in France. My husband was not aware nor was my mum or my siblings. I truly did not know what other options I had but to bear with it.

Upon my return and back to square one, i.e. my holiday from hell, the cherry on the cake was the host had started building work around the entrance and pool area. They were actually building a roof with poles and beams everywhere. We actually had to walk beneath it all with no head protection in order to get to our apartment.

At that point, the penny dropped and I realised for the safety of my children and indeed myself we had to get out of that place urgently. That is when I asked for help and informed my family in France. I told the host (her husband at that point was away in France). She told me the work had to be done as the wooden roof was becoming unstable and was an immediate danger to the occupants. Therefore it had to be fixed urgently, however she told other parties including her own husband (who confirmed it in writing to me) that his wife wanted to surprise him whilst his was away with a new roof.

I told the host I had to seek an alternative accommodation as not only was I exhausted, my children were suffering with the dust and the noise, but most importantly were living in an unsafe environment on all levels. We finally moved out, and found a place where we managed to get some rest and make the most of the holiday we had left.

I spoke to different people in Airbnb. However, the person in charge of my case is offering me 100 dollars for the inconvenience of not using the swimming pool. Please find my photos and hopefully my videos in relation to this case.

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Horrible Landlord Now a Airbnb host

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Technically I’m not an Airbnb guest, but I’ve rented a room that just started advertising in Ventura in August on Airbnb. This is just a warning to potential guests. The ad is misleading; it’s for a long term month-to-month rental, it’s high pressure to lease, the host is very talkative, the house isn’t well maintained, and it’s been cited by code enforcement for multiple health and safety violations.

I’m on Airbnb as a guest, but since I leased a room before this property was advertised on Airbnb, I can’t post a review on Airbnb, since I have a lease. Airbnb does a good job protecting hosts and not policing its properties. This property only rents 30 days or longer. I’ve heard it’s impossible to get a refund, so my review is as follows.

I’ve been a guest at this property for over a year. I can honestly say it’s not bad. When the host is not here, it’s generally quiet. The host is the property owner and lives on site, but you’d never guess she cared about the property; it’s generally in neglect, the yard is just dirt and dusty, there’s peeling paint, and there’s no care about it’s upkeep. They’re willing to rent for $30 a night – a 30-night minimum – up front.

The ad is not being honest with expectations and is misleading, not showing two common areas, the garage and small living room (now advertised on Airbnb). Those two common areas were infested with vermin. One common area, the garage, is still cluttered. The second, a small living room, is now being advertised on Airbnb; it’s partly filled with clutter.

As a matter of warning, the host is not exactly a clean person; dirty clothes are lying around in common areas, piles of dishes are left in the sink, the house is dusty and musty, and there was a serous vermin infestation. It’s just matter of time before they return. What the ad doesn’t tell you is that the beds are futons; one bed is a old sofa bed in a living room surrounded by clutter.

The Airbnb bedroom currently advertised is occupied and full of clothes. If the room gets rented, that tenant has to move to the living room and the shared bathroom is with another tenant. If you rent the lovely living room – privacy by curtain – you get to share the bathroom with the host.

The ad states that it has smoke detectors, which it does, but only because I turned the landlord into code enforcement for not having them. She hadn’t handled other issues. She’ll ask you to vacate rather than do simple maintenance. It was easier to have code enforcement deal with her; their deadlines got her to move.

The house is fairly dirty. If you have to share the host’s bathroom, it’s a mess. My bedroom was next to it. I closed the door so I couldn’t see in. The toilet isn’t cleaned but once a month by a cleaning service, and the light in the bathroom doesn’t work; in fact, they don’t work in either bathroom. She’ll tell you that they are going to be fixed, but they’ve been broken for over five months.

The host never cleans – never. She had a friend crashing there. Her friend is the domestic help; when her friend moves out, the house goes back to full neglect. Something that was omitted in the travel brochure: the property is less than a mile from Ventura County Jail which discharges prisoners at all hours and the property is on a common path for foot travel.

There aren’t locks on some windows, there have been homeless people camped nearby. I pointed out to the host that just outside her wall is a bedding area, which doesn’t bother me, but it might someone else The bathroom is small, very small and shared with full time tenant. Typically the house rule is all showering must be done by 11:00 PM and none in the early morning.

One good thing: the house is 420 friendly. Despite what the host says, she smokes weed on occasion. Still, it’s not a well-kept property. The tenant and guest refrigerator and washer and dryer are in the garage and the garage is a nightmare zone; it’s dirty, has had serious vermin infestation, been cited for contamination and still has piles of papers, boxes and clutter next to the tenant refrigerator.

The place is loud. The host is a loud talker. She had a female friend crashing there, who was loud. Together they were exceptionally loud, talking on speaker phones.

The place is dirty with poor ventilation. The beds are thin, old, and had been used for years. Your clothes go into plastic bins or you have to keep them in your suitcase. It’s not a short-term rental; it’s leased month to month for a minimum of 30 days. The house was cited for lack of maintenance and it remains the same.

During my tenancy here, every tenant has said the host lied to him or her, denied any issues, even denied vermin despite catching three in a day, lied about repairs, and harassed long term tenants when complaints were made.

Airbnb has my Money and won’t Refund me

This Airbnb was in Annapolis and in a nice neighborhood, but it was the only house with overgrown grass and a steep walk up the driveway. At the front porch, there was suspect rustling in the grass and a large fly-infested trash bag next to the front door.

I went in, trying to get in as fast as possible to keep out the flies – an obvious health hazard that would not pass a health inspection. The hostess showed me the kitchen, which was supposed to be available to use – another health hazard. It was crammed full of food, not even enough room to make a sandwich. No room in the fridge. No lock on the door to keep valuables secure when not there.

It was advertised as having a private bathroom and it was shared. The mattress had a large yellow stain and two old, divided cheap foam mattresses on top and just a fitted sheet, no mattress pad. I woke up with bug bites on my neck. Actually, the owner woke me up because she had locked herself out of the house and wanted me to open the door. Nice touch there.

I immediately called Airbnb and the first agent was helpful and told me to leave and wash my clothes, and said they would reimburse up to $200 to stay at a hotel until they could re-book me in another Airbnb in three days. It has been one month and I still do not have a refund.

I finally filed a Better Business Bureau report and after telling the Airbnb agent, they decided to refund me about two thirds of what I paid, still short almost $200, which I guess was the price of staying in a crappy room.

Never and I mean never, stay at an Airbnb. If you stay there and are ripped off, file a Better Business Bureau complaint. Airbnb lies, backtracks and is populated with a bunch of incoherent dummies.

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Airbnb Nightmare in Cottage Country, Ontario

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I sent photos below to Airbnb to show the unhygienic and gross hellhole that was misrepresented as Muskoka Rocks in Gravenhurst, Ontario, Canada. It was filthy, unsafe and disgusting. It was impossible to stay and the host could not have improved our stay within hours. The house we stayed in was not the house in the picture on the website. It was a firetrap and was unlivable.

We have asked for a refund but got no response except for an offer of $200. This rental was $1600 for six nights. We went for a small getaway to celebrate one year of my companion being clear of Stage 4 cancer. I’m disappointed and disgusted by Airbnb’s lack of humanity and moral accountability. The host deliberately misrepresented the place and even put another gorgeous house on the site. Our one-star review has never appeared on the site. Any advice or help is welcome.

Odd Airbnb Host and Bad Room Causes us to Leave

My mother and I wanted to stay in NJ close to NYC for a weekend. We booked a single room only to have it changed to another location at the last minute. We accepted just to not cause trouble.

We arrived at the time that we and the host agreed on and lo and behold, she wasn’t there. We waited an hour in the New York summer outside of the building only for a completely different person to arrive because apparently the host was out of town but didn’t tell us until that day.

We finally got in and the place smelled like cheap perfume or some garbage air freshener. We soon found out that there were four other people in this one apartment and only one bathroom. The kitchen was so cluttered that they stored the pots and pans inside the oven. They obviously hadn’t cleaned out the fridge; it had leftovers from the last guests and expired juice.

The bathroom had tiles falling down from the ceiling and I almost fell in the tub because the mat they put in was so slippery. Our bed was just awful; the sheets were mismatched and hideous (I know, small complaint, but it sucked). The room was obviously not up to code, no smoke detectors, and probably overall the listing was illegal in the first place.

I felt unsafe, it was hot, the host barely spoke english, and the other residents in the apartment locked the deadbolt, leaving us locked out until they finally heard us knocking. Just so disorganized, dysfunctional and messy. I’m paying for a hotel or a hostel in the city next time because this blew so badly.

Playa del Carmen Airbnb Misrepresentation

My kids and I stayed in this unit for only one night and left early the next morning – less than 12 hours. We were in Playa del Carmen before heading to Cozumel to get married and then left immediately for our honeymoon.

Upon return to the country from our honeymoon, I attempted to write a review on both properties we stayed at, but apparently there is only a 14-day window to review properties. I had missed that window given I was on my honeymoon. It is imperative that future guests are aware of the status of this unit and that the host is notified that their advertising and preparation is inaccurate, inadequate and unsanitary.

Here are some of the issues. We arrived at the unit late at night to find that we were given an inaccurate entrance code on the security gate and the front door. We had to contact the host who showed up 30 minutes later to let us in and verified that he had provided the wrong code. We were let into the unit, dropped our bags, used the bathroom and discovered that there was no soap or toilet paper.

We are a family of seven and I had to go feed everybody after a full day of travel before returning to go to bed. I texted the host to let him know there was no shampoo, soap, or toilet paper and while we were at dinner, he dropped some off at the front door. We returned to the unit close to midnight and found the sheets on one of the beds was dirty, with hair and grime on a pillow.

We rented the unit because it could sleep all of us yet there was no bedding for the fifth bed. I gave up my bedding in order for my daughter to sleep on the pull out futon. Furthermore, the unit had not been cleaned much, if at all. There was a half drunk bottle of vodka sitting at the bar, the kitchen area was extremely poorly equipped and dirty, and the smell in the unit was terrible.

Host Enters at Night, Scaring Family with Small Children

I am utterly lost as to what to do as I cannot get hold of anyone from Airbnb. Through Twitter they keep saying a case manager will get back to me, but no one ever does.

We booked a two-week stay at an apartment advertised as having two double and one single bedrooms plus an air mattress in living room. We arrived at night after a tiring 12-hour journey with our young children. It turned out that there was just one double bedroom and a small toddler bed available to us as the usual resident had hoarded so much stuff the other bedroom was completely inaccessible; it was a store room and there was no air mattress. It was already past our kids’ bedtime however, so we thought we should just get them to bed and see what we could do in the morning.

The apartment was utterly filthy: thick, black mold in the shower cubicle, by the windows and bed, blobs of something and pubes on the bathroom floor, the linen didn’t feel or smell fresh, piles and piles of stuff everywhere so we couldn’t unpack our suitcases, filthy kitchen facilities and caked-on food. As there wasn’t room as advertised, we had to make a makeshift bed on the floor for one of us.

We took photos straightaway, called Airbnb, and asked to move. They said that we had to give the host a chance to rectify it out of courtesy. I contacted him and he said that it was too late for him to come and clean. I said that we could go on a day trip and be out the whole day for him to clean but he declined, saying he was busy. I then suggested that if he was away, perhaps he could send a cleaner. He said no, but that we could clean it ourselves.

In between communications, I caught a severe bug and was taken to A&E. It was the biggest national holiday in the country so finding elsewhere that day was proving impossible and I wouldn’t have been well enough to move. Despite the host knowing this, he suggested I clean it. I had to clean some areas in the kitchen so that we could eat, but obviously wouldn’t scrub someone’s house on my only annual holiday and also when I was severely ill.

We asked for help from Airbnb who said on the phone and confirmed by email that as per their policy, they have asked the host to come and clean and that he will need to refund us for the nights affected and the paid period starts from when he has done so. That day we also found what looked like vermin feces in the kitchen and thought that was it – we had to get out.

The only Airbnb with enough room was one far more expensive and Airbnb did not help us with what would happen with the extra cost as it was over our budget. During calling Airbnb for advice, someone else snapped up the other apartment and I continued asking for Airbnb to help. The host was meant to come and clean the afternoon the next day, but instead, to our huge fright, he used his keys and barged in at night.

He was intoxicated, very tall and large, and had to be stopped from walking in closer to me and the children. He proceeded to shout, get aggressive to my husband, and said he wanted us out. He was angry about Airbnb’s instructions to him and our complaint. I was so frightened I called the police and would have been able to do nothing to him had my husband not been in as he was so large.

I called Airbnb’s security number, and all they did was take my number and ensured someone would ring me asap. I kept ringing and only got through some ten hours later; they still did nothing. The police came and so frightened he would return, I found the cheaper of only two available hotels. We packed, cleaned as not to affect our rating whilst the other watched the door, lifted our little ones into the car and moved to a hotel just before midnight.

We were traumatized and for a long time afterwards I had to still keep double checking the doors were locked at home. To this day, I check on our children at night to ensure they are okay and still there. The children were very unsettled and we had tears in our eyes by the time we went to the hotel. We did not want to move them again so incurred the unexpected cost of the hotel and had to get food out which was really expensive compared to cooking at home. Our son had also been struck by the bug so was laid out in the hotel room.

I spent rest of the holiday trying to sort out the situation with Airbnb and we feel like we had no holiday; we came back more worn out than when we left. The host also contacted me outside Airbnb messaging saying gross things like I have worn his partners underwear and shared my contact details with someone else to harass me to click “cancel” myself, which I didn’t as I assumed it would affect refunds.

Airbnb did not follow through on their email and I did not receive a full refund for the affected nights. I took the matter up with my bank, who made a decision that it was not as advertised and not fit for our purposes after reviewing my photo evidence and police report; they returned my money. However, the host left me a bad review to say he would not recommend our family to any host, which is unfair as despite all that happened, we left the apartment far cleaner than we found it and broke no rules.

Despite police involvement and misleading advertising and harassing messages, Airbnb is not banning him. I truly hope other travelers are safe in his rentals. We had to fork out for an unexpected hotel bill and all stay in one room for the remainder of our stay despite our whole holiday being ruined and us being left traumatized by the utterly frightening incident of a large man entering at night when we were putting our little ones to bed.

Airbnb closed my case, and the host continues hosting. They promised through Twitter to contact me but didn’t. I am still so shaken up. Had he come an hour earlier, I would have been upstairs in the shower with the children closest to the stairs and my husband out. He was in such a mood he would not have turned away. My son still has the infection he acquired whilst there, so it was the worst holiday we have ever endured.

What do I do about these issues I still have? Airbnb is impossible to get an answer from. All I get at best is that someone will get back to me, but they never do. I want to do my bit to keep other travelers safe out there, particularly people with children.

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Airbnb: Pathetic Service and Fraudulent Hosts

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It’s very painful to think that I booked this Airbnb after reading what services we can get here. Kitchen service was not there as it was written but I thought there must have been at least basic amenities like a kettle, milk pouches, tea bags, etc. I checked in at 12:00 PM but the caretaker was not present; he said he would come in the evening at 6:00 PM.

When he came, he provided me a fridge which was so dirty and unhygienic. Upon asking about basic amenities like a lawn chair and table to sit outside the host rudely said he couldn’t provide anything as this hotel was about to shut down.

My first day’s stay was gone to waste due to the caretaker and basic amenities being unavailable. We could not go anywhere else because this was a hill station and after 8:00 PM we couldn’t go for food outside. If I wanted to cook in the kitchen there were nothing like a pressure cooker, etc. What could we eat in just a pan and bowl?

I don’t want stay here tomorrow and today’s stay was forced on us. I’m requesting a full refund from Airbnb because my holidays are ruined now and I am going back to Delhi again tomorrow morning.

Airbnb Defends Hosts who are out of Town

It was a disgusting, dirty and stinky apartment. Someone’s sheet was in the toilet. Airbnb took the host’s side, who insisted that the apartment was clean, although he was out of town.

First of all, I read all the reviews carefully before booking. The reason was that I decided to show Prague to my mom who is 70 years old and who has never been there. It was her biggest dream. I shared this with the host because it was really important for me.

We arrived at the apartment at 6:00 PM as agreed upon by the host. The host at the very last moment informed me that he was out of town, and his mom would meet us.

When we arrived, the place was a total mess, as if some company partied there and it hadn’t been cleaned for a long time: dirty bed linens on the beds, trash everywhere, sheets in the toilet, and the smell of urine as if someone left a cat locked alone in the apartment for a week. The smell was so bad that we left the place immediately.

The host’s mom started to clean it and in two and something hours informed us that everything was set up and we could come back. It was already after 8:00 PM. We were exhausted after our long trip to Prague, so we already booked a hotel nearby to get some rest and take a shower, and informed Airbnb support about the case.

When we came back just to get our bags, we found out that one bed was made with fresh bed linens (the dirty ones were although left in the bathroom), but another bed was made with the dirty bed linens left after previous guests. It was just made to look a little nicer. Someone still slept on this bed linens I was supposed to sleep on that night.

The trash bins were still full of trash left after previous guests. In the bathroom there was used toilet paper left in the trash bins; it smelled terribly as it was probably there for a long time. The showers were left unclean. Trash was still everywhere on the floor. The smell of urine was still so strong that it was impossible to stay more than a minute.

We left the apartment and contacted the host immediately. He told us that he was out of town and that he would deal with that once he was back. I asked him when he was back. The next day I asked him again. He never told me when he was coming back to town.

We contacted Airbnb support. It took me 50 minutes of waiting on the line. After I explained the situation, I was told that Airbnb would contact the host and call me back. No one called this day. They only contacted me the next evening, almost 24 hours later, to tell me that they cancelled my reservation according to the host’s cancellation policy (the first night I didn’t spent in the apartment was non-refundable, for the next three days I got only a 50% refund). I paid 250 EUR for five minutes of urine smell and shitty toilets.

After I shared the photos with Airbnb support, they told me that they couldn’t offer me a full refund because the host’s mom tried to clean the apartment. Yes, she tried. However, it was not cleaned properly, and the host violated check-in policy and ruined my mom’s first expression of Prague, her biggest dream.

I tried to talk to the host. I explained to him what happened. I showed him pictures, but he accused me of making a mess and breaking stuff in the apartment and refused to discuss anything at all. I’m not that surprised by the host’s actions, but I’m really surprised by Airbnb support’s apathy. Some guy from support is telling me that he decided not to refund me because the host’s mother tried to clean the place. Tried, but failed. I have photos of the apartment after that so-called cleaning.

Airbnb in Two Words? Frustrating and Inconvenient

First of all, Airbnb’s payment policy works against the customer since you have to pay in advance without having the opportunity to look at the property. My son reserved a property in Tokyo months in advance, just to find at arrival that the place was filthy, and did not offer the number of accommodations advertised on the website.

When finally reaching Airbnb for a refund, they said that by company policy the host had to have a chance to try to solve the problem, all the while not offering another place to stay. Service carriers make communication very complicated, our family is in complete distress, and travelers face the utmost uncertainty on where to stay next. All in all, an unacceptable inconvenience for all.