Airbnb Fails to Follow Its Own Guest Refund Policy

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I rented an Airbnb for a four-night, five-day stay at a cost of $1906.76. On the host’s Airbnb primary webpage, there was nothing listed about the host having dogs that frequently barked, and one described that ‘may’ bite. Nor was there anything to indicate that the host might not be present at the property during the stay (as we had assumed).

The dog disclosure was only evident when one clicked on ‘show more’ in the ‘Health & Safety’ information, at the bottom of the web page. This is deceptive, as there are four or five health and safety issues listed at the bottom of the first page, but apparently the other more significant issues don’t ‘fit’ on the page, hence the need to ‘show more.’ How creative of Airbnb to do that. At any rate, the hosts are not fully transparent about having pets, as nowhere in the listing’s primary description page does one read anything about pets being present, let alone pets that bark and ‘may bite.’

The evening before the rental was to begin, the host messaged us that they were delayed coming back from Portugal, and that their ‘house sitters’ were leaving the property earlier than scheduled, resulting in them having to place their two dogs in a garage (directly above the area that we would be occupying during the rental), and that we might hear some barking. The host suggested that if we were disturbed by this, to simply turn on a TV, a stereo or a white noise machine (they’ve tested them – indicating this has been a problem for prior guests). It is our opinion now, that the host did this as a CYA [cover your ass] tactic, specifically so she could deny a refund should a request be made due to this issue. And congratulations, it worked.

We messaged the host that this new situation was not okay, that we did not know they had dogs that barked and might bite, and that, given the new information which had the dogs staying in the garage and barking, we did not want to stay at the property. I messaged her that we wanted to cancel and receive a refund. The host ignored this request, and refused a refund. We were scheduled to fly to Colorado Springs very early the next morning, and since it was already 10:00 PM, we made arrangements for another booking with Airbnb.

We had to get up at 5:30 AM to go to the airport the next morning, and did not want to continue a back-and-forth message session with the host, as the host also indicated that they would be flying international back to the USA, and could easily be out of communication with anyone. The host messaged us at 3:00 AM that morning (which we did not see until the next day) indicating that she would be able to get someone else to take care of the dogs. For us, this was too little, too late. This was her problem, but she made it our problem. We value our peace, security and safety, and did not want to risk a stay at a property without the hosts being present and with two dogs that might be kept with no supervision, barking.

We escalated this issue to Airbnb on the evening of the 7th (before the booking was scheduled to start), and spoke with seven representatives by phone and three by Airbnb messages over the course of the rental period. The first Airbnb representatives we spoke with on the phone told us about the dog disclosure under ‘show more.’ He was almost proud that he could do that, as if he had practiced doing it and had done it before. It made his day to be able to prove that we had been advised of the health and safety condition in advance, even though it is not immediately apparent that one has to do this in order to be fully informed.

However, we had also read Airbnb’s policy for hosts who keep ‘potentially dangerous’ animals on a rental property, and found that it stated that a secure enclosure had to be provided for such animals, so that they could not get out and threaten a guest’s safety (i.e. bite them). We shared with the Airbnb representative the host’s own ‘check in’ instructions (now curiously removed from the host’s website, but a screen shot has been added to this review). The photos in the ‘check in’ instructions show the guest being directed right by the area where the dogs are kept outdoors (yellow arrow), and more importantly, show the type of ‘enclosure’ provided by the host.

This ‘enclosure’ is nothing more than a portable ‘puppy’ fence, only two feet high (see attached photos). We did not believe this enclosure to be secure, and did not want to risk having my wife bitten by one of the dogs, who in our opinion, could easily knock down, jump over or escape the flimsy outdoor ‘enclosure’ (see photos). Not to mention we did not want to risk staying there, and having new issues arise with the host not being able to get home from overseas, or not being able to have a third party come to the property to ‘quiet’ down the barking dogs.

One has to wonder about the ‘intelligence’ and ‘foresight’ of any host who would own a dog that has a propensity to bite, place that dog in a non-secure enclosure, and then direct guests to walk immediately by that same enclosure every time they were coming and going from the property. This particular host is asking to be sued by a family with a small child who is bitten, and with the type of arrangements indicated by the host (in writing no less), they would easily lose that lawsuit. It was our opinion that the host lacked good judgment, and we did not want to risk discovering additional areas of poor judgment on the part of this host. This was a safety issue.

All of this was clearly explained to the Airbnb ‘investigative’ representatives and case managers/ambassadors/supervisors assigned to review our case. Screenshots were taken of everything. The host’s check in instructions were shown to an Airbnb representative. We were repeatedly told by Airbnb not to cancel the rental. When we asked one of the representatives if we should check in to the property, given the safety issues we had identified, the response was, “No you need to wait until the rep gets back to you with instructions.”

Their only messages to us were that they were in the process of communicating with the host, and then were escalating the issue (again) to a supervisor. Meanwhile the host had been told to message us ‘check in’ instructions, no doubt so she could claim us as a no show, and claim she had done ‘everything possible’ to accommodate us. The money was more important to her. Remember that about these folks, and wait until you see what she does at the end of this.

The time to check in came and went, and we were already staying at another Airbnb. It was not until the last day of the rental that the Airbnb supervisor indicated that we would not get a refund, and he added insult to injury by stating that we were denied a refund because we had not stayed at the booking.

I actually asked one of the Airbnb representatives this question on the day prior to the rental. Specifically, we asked if we would be considered a ‘no show’ if we did not cancel or check in, and were told, “No please do not worry, we have escalated this to the investigation team. They will contact you and let you know the status of this.” This was deliberately deceptive on the part of Airbnb.

I then requested that the decision be appealed, thinking that it would be viewed by another Airbnb management team member, higher up than the supervisor. No, it was the supervisor reviewing his own decision. And he did what he is good at: he lied to me a second time. I had been requesting all along that I speak via phone, directly with the rep and then the supervisor. Each time I requested this on the phone with Airbnb reps I was told that the rep and then the supervisor would be calling me. Neither of them ever called. We know our phone works, because we have received calls from Airbnb reps before, on the same phone we have in our profile, the same phone that is verified.

The supervisor lied and said that he was going to call but could not, because the phone listed in our account was not verified. The supervisor really should be fired for that. At any rate, the supervisor denied the appeal of his own decision. We hope his supervisor read this review.

We followed the advice of Airbnb customer service, and requested a partial refund from the hosts. They denied the refund. We were amazed that they simply ignored our original request to cancel the booking on Oct. 7. The hosts must be having a hard time paying the rent on their $800,000 home in Colorado Springs, that or their trip to Portugal must have been very expensive. The host was told that, in our opinion, what she did constituted ‘theft,’ specifically as a breach of contract, and a form of ‘unjust enrichment.’ She should have done the right thing and realized that they as hosts:

  • Deliberately do not state anything about the dogs on the first page of the rental. They don’t want you to know about the dogs because that might negatively impact their cash flow. It’s great to have dogs. But you know what, you really need to tell people about them on the first page of your rental description. Why are you hiding that information? Has one of your dog’s already bitten someone? That would be our guess.
  • Deliberately direct guests to walk to and from the entrance to the rental immediately by the non-secure ‘enclosure’ (that she says is a fence) every time a guest walks to and from the required entrance to the rental, subjecting the guests to barking and a potential dog bite each and every time. Why don’t you take some of that rental money you are making a build a proper enclosure? What would happen to one of your dogs if their head got stuck in that puppy gate when you weren’t there? Answer, they would likely strangle themselves or at the very least become injured. Ever hear of animal cruelty?

The final insult came after the host was told that it was our opinion that what she had done (not refunding the money) was wrong (i.e. theft), and that we would be posting a review of the experience online. Airbnb had removed our review of her property because they indicated we had not stayed at her rental. How convenient for the hosts. Remember, it was Airbnb’s own customer service representatives who said we should not cancel and not occupy until the safety issue was resolved and we received a call from the rep.

The host then threatened us in her final message, indicating that we should be careful because, “You don’t know us or who we maybe connected to.” We filed an extortion/threat complaint against her with Airbnb, which was summarily ignored by Airbnb, and the ‘investigation’ (if there ever was one) promptly closed.

We have utilized Airbnb six times in the past eight years. Every rental was a joy and a treasure, and we always had a wonderful experience at every property we stayed at. Every host we stayed at was very complimentary of our behavior as guests at their property. And most of those experiences were us travelling with our own dogs. Keep that in mind. We are excellent guests and excellent dog owners.
Probably why it is so easy for us to spot ‘bad’ dog owners. But this final experience with Airbnb was a true eye-opener for us.

Airbnb management did not have our back on this, and was deceptive and untruthful. We will never use Airbnb again.

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The Grouchy Airbnb Host that Stole Christmas

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I booked a room from Nov. 30 to Jan. 4. I had just moved back to Colorado springs and was attempting to get re-established. Upon checking in, it seemed a bit of a strange set up. There was the main area with the living room, the kitchen, and the den. Up the narrow staircase there were four rooms and a small bathroom. Each room was numbered on the door.

As I came to find out, the host, his wife, and three young daughters all live in the basement level of the apartment, when they are not all occupying the common areas with cooking or meals or remote learning. So I wouldn’t call them common areas — they are his family’s area and you can use them if you want though it seems to be frowned upon as I was the only guest that seemed to be using the dining room or den.

There was a girl living in one room who seemed to be a permanent resident as she had plants growing in her windowsill. She was never there and kept her dog locked up 20 hours a day. The dog barked and banged on the door viciously every time I went up or downstairs.

There was a backyard area but it was cumbersome to get to via a side gate and completely covered in dog feces. The lower patio area was strewn with kids’ tents, old rusty chairs and other debris. When I first arrived I brought poo bags but after seeing the crap covered yard and no one else making an effort (he has a dog too) I said, “why bother?”

I tried to make the best of it, but it was awkward as other guests were either not there most of the time, or hid in their rooms, taking meals in their rooms. They expect you to do your dishes right away, but of course being a family of five they leave the sink full quite often. You are provided your own mini fridge which is nice.

Another thing is you are always being watched on camera. There are cameras everywhere in the “common” areas on the main floor. I was really craving a soda which I don’t normally drink. I drank a Pepsi out of a 12 pack on top of another guest’s fridge, with the full intention of replacing it. I know probably shouldn’t have but hardly a cardinal sin.

Less than a minute later, the host came running up the stairs and started checking things. He obviously saw what happened, and was down in the basement spying on his guests. He finally brought it up and I said I was sorry. I bought the other guest a liter to replace the can and still she left a note on her fridge saying to “stay out of her stuff” Even though she herself had commandeered one of my tupperware containers.

I worked late sometimes doing Doordash and had to let my dogs out when I got home, sometimes at like 1:00, 2:00 AM or later. I started getting messages via the app that I was being too loud and waking him up outside of his hours. He works from home so he’s always there, watching. His poor kids are forced to live down in the small basement area in a single bedroom. I only know the layout of the basement level because he allowed me to do laundry once with very restricted hours because his washer and dryer are also down there. When I saw it, it was in complete squalor: dirty blankets and dishes.

Like I said, I tried to make the best of it and be a good guest. Then the real trouble started. I need to mention that I was in the hospital in Texas for two weeks prior to returning to Colorado and had emergency knee surgery due to certain complications. I discussed some of the details with the host in casual conversation at about day 20. He then began asking me questions about whether I still had an “active infection” and telling me to wash my hands.

Apparently he suddenly became very concerned; it became very awkward quickly. Soon thereafter I suffered a severe ankle sprain and was completely bedridden for the next two days. I was in a lot of pain, and when I hobbled to the bathroom or to take my dogs down to potty, I’m sure made a lot of noise. One time when I was stumbling around the kitchen at night trying to make some food I heard him yell from the basement “you’re making too much noise.” No offer to help — both he and his wife were aware of my condition and just watched me suffer.

I will say in all fairness the hosts did take my dogs out for me like three times, once brought me water, and she bright me an ice pack. On Christmas Eve I got an appointment to see the doctor on short notice for a cancellation. I had less than 90 minutes to get there. I asked the hosts if they could take me to the doctor for like $10, and they said they were busy. I tried to get ready as best I could and struggled to take a bath and get dressed.

I hobbled to my car with no help and tried to make it in time. I didn’t make it. I was really upset. I then got my Christmas dinner from Boston Market and ate alone in my car at the park. When I got home that night there was no close parking by the house. My ankle was throbbing, my wrists tired from using the crutches. I just wanted to get to bed.

I parked behind his SUV and sent him a text letting him know the situation. Very coldly he texted back he needed to be able to move his vehicle “at any moment.” I asked if maybe he could park my car up the street I got no response.

I woke up Christmas Day. My foot was somewhat better, and I managed to make it to the grocery store. I used the handicapped cart to get my groceries which was embarrassing. I came home, put my groceries away, and was not in a great mood. I told the host something to the effect that, well in 100 years we’ll all be dead and no one will remember this anyway. She very sarcastically said “well have a wonderful day” and went down to the basement.

About 30 minutes later I got a call from Airbnb stating very matter of factly that I had violated the terms of service and my reservation had been cancelled. Dumbfounded, I asked what that meant. They told me I needed to leave to property immediately. I tried to talk to the host, but it became quickly obvious this was a premeditated decision to get rid of me, with my busted ankle on Christmas Day.

I had to pack all my things. The host carried my bags down and I loaded up my car. Airbnb did put me in a hotel last night, for one night, but I was unable to book anything else due to the ongoing “investigation.” I used my mother’s credit card to book the room so the refund is going to her card and will not do me any good. I am currently broke as I hadn’t worked and literally spent my last $25 on groceries an hour before I was tossed to the curb.

I am writing this from my hotel bed. My ankle is bruised and swollen still, I’m hobbling along the best I can with no help and all the walking and moving from yesterday has not helped my condition. I am currently 50 minutes from being homeless, as checkout is at noon. I have $3 in my account and as of now cannot book another Airbnb using my mother’s card. Being this close to New Years there are ever decreasing options every time I look. If they decide to ban me, I’m not sure what I’ll do. Long story short, do not ever, ever stay at this house in Colorado Springs, lest you meet a similar fate.

Don’t Expect Any Host Support — it is Airbnb Hell

I am a property owner that has had listings with Airbnb for six years, with reviews that have been 4 or 5 stars 100% of the time. Even so, Airbnb chose to support a terrible guest who had been listed with them for two years (and had no reviews) over me. Not only did they support her, but they were rude and threatening to me.

The guest did a same day instant booking at 10:00 AM and then late in the afternoon sent an image text that was blank. I sent a text telling her that there wasn’t an image, and around 7:00 that evening she said it was her service dog information. They had already checked in.

We have a strict no animals policy. Our cabins are new, and we want to keep them dander free for the comfort of guests with allergies. Furthermore, our area had lodging options that accepted animals, so they didn’t need to ignore our no animal policy in order to find lodging. The guest also never provided any evidence that her dog was actually a service dog. I believe this is a scam she has been pulling wherever she travels.

After they checked out, I found short black hairs everywhere. I had to wash all of the fabric, including the curtains. I also vacuumed the floor twice and then mopped it. I finally thought I had gotten all of the hair out of the cabin, but when I opened the fridge there were short black hairs on the shelves inside.

I posted a review of her stay with information about the condition of the cabin and a private remark that we were disappointed that they wouldn’t respect our wish to keep our new cabins dander and animal hair free. The guest complained to Airbnb about my review (which I had posted to protect other hosts from her). They removed my review and sent me a threatening email that they could remove my account for being discriminatory. I asked Airbnb to explain what was discriminating about my review and they did not respond.

We are removing our listings from Airbnb and hope that other hosts will learn from our mistake and choose somewhere else to list their property. I would love advice on finding listing agents that have the backs of property owners.

Just as a side note, I understand that the ADA has tried to provide protection to those with disabilities, and I would totally support someone with a disability who needed a service animal. However, I don’t believe this guest or her husband have a disability. They were simply taking advantage of a system set up to protect those with real needs.

Airbnb Listing was Nothing like the Description

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My wife and I were in Mansfield, Victoria and we needed a place to stay for my mother’s funeral. We searched and found a place with great pictures that showed it being neat and tidy with positive reviews. We booked it and arrived at the agreed time, then immediately noticed that the place did not resemble the photos: the garden was neglected, the grass overgrown, there were weeds all over the flower beds, etc. This was an extremely neglected property.

My wife stayed in the car and I knocked on the door to meet the host. Several dogs were barking and jumped all over me. The host arrived and the dogs continued to jump as I walked into the house. The foul stench from the five other dogs in the house was overwhelming and once again the property did not resemble the photos; the host had not cleaned and it was very untidy.

After viewing the messy kitchen I was taken over the long grass to the self contained studio. I was horrified when I entered; she had made one bed and the other was a bare mattress with a pile of crumpled sheets on top. There were no pictures of the interior on the website and I understood why. The two beds were pushed into the corners of the room. In between the beds there was a space of one meter and a large 1.5-meter high weaving loom occupied it. What could we possibly want to use this for, I asked myself?

There was a large clothes stand storing random items occupying the rest of the space. I was speechless; this was a storage shed and she was renting it out. Worse still, the corrugated tin roof was exposed on the inside, radiating heat like you wouldn’t believe. No wonder there were two oversized pedestal fans randomly placed inside, because there were no fly screens on the windows. She generously supplied insect repellent just in case we needed to open the windows and let in the cool air.

There was no fridge, running water, kettle, microwave, TV, Internet, or bath towels – just some beds and some useless junk. I noticed that there were no outside lights and the main house with a toilet and running water was some 100 meters away. There was no path leading to the main house and the grass was quite overgrown, with plenty of places for the Australian insects and reptiles to hide out of sight when it got dark.

We both like to shower at night before bed and I knew my wife was not going to handle this. I took it up with the host who explained that there were torches in case we needed to visit the main house during the night. My wife and I stayed for ten minutes before we walked back to the house and told her that it was not acceptable. We asked for a refund and she refused and became quite hostile at that point. She told us that this is the country and that’s how people live here. Worse still, I received a message later to say that she had contacted the police and they are looking for us. She also posted a review of us to say that we damaged the property.

Airbnb Guests Who Keep Demanding More Test My Patience

What a disappointment to ever engage with Airbnb. We thought it be a good idea to try them as a hosting platform on advice from friends. Having already had a good response and very pleasant guests from another travel accommodation site, this was our first time experience with guests from Airbnb.

It started with all sorts of demands and requests prior to the confirmed booking of three guests that turned out to be five adults, four children, and a dog. I guess I should have been suspicious when this guy started sending me at least one Whatsapp a day (not using the Airbnb app) asking obvious questions about the house and its facilities. It got to the point where I thought he would ask if we provided toilet paper. One less ridiculous question was whether he could bring his dog – we do not accept pets, so I categorically declined.

After having the whole house booked out three times during the holiday season for between fourteen and fifteen people with hardly a minute of trouble or concern, I was surprised how many questions a single small family could come up with… including changing the booking from two nights to four and finally to six. The last question was a request of an earlier check-in, which was difficult as we had a full house just the night before, but we obliged nevertheless knowing that they only needed the rooms upstairs.

Upstairs is the original house with more than enough beds. There are two queen size bedrooms, one of which is an ensuite with a bath and shower and one room for their kids with four beds plus an additional bathroom with a shower. In addition, the full amenities of the house were available as advertised: full kitchen (stove, oven, microwave, dishwasher, refrigerator and eight place settings), an inside dining area and outside barbecue area that is protected with sliding doors for all weather conditions and has another large table.

Downstairs there is a washing machine in a stand-alone laundry area, and a lovely secure garden complete with a splash pool and deck. Double automatic garage, security system, the works. I think it is fair therefore that my house is advertised with a base rate for four people and additional guests need to pay extra for us to open the downstairs rooms and bathrooms.

Imagine my surprise when this guy arrives (with his additional guests) and not only expects us to accommodate the additional people free of charge, but demands that we open the rooms downstairs for them (despite there being more than enough room for them upstairs). I have to say though, his wife deserves an Oscar, maybe an Emmy award, for the performance she put on. The whole nine yards: she first started insulting me as I tried to negotiate with her husband to find a compromise and then when that didn’t work, she cried, yelled, and screamed at her husband to leave, “these people are greedy and selfish…”

By this time I was thinking, “Yes! Please leave!” I don’t know why I rented the place for three people. After having a full house literally the whole season, I thought, “Shame, they are a small family and trying to save money, so it went”. I’m a sucker; they clearly had a hidden agenda from the beginning. No sooner had they moved in after we had agreed (after a rather heated discussion and his insisting that his right was to have all the rooms – 15 beds – available to him for a three person booking), that they needed to pay for the extra adults, the second vehicle already arrived.

I took deep breaths as I walked back down to my house thinking we had an understanding, and maybe now they could just enjoy the house and leave us in peace… what was I thinking?

At 9:30 PM, one of the vehicles drove past our house hooting, one of the men shouting obscenities out the window at us (my family) sitting on our patio also trying to enjoy our holiday. At 10:08, the two women rang our doorbell in a clearly inebriated state and request salt, only to disappear by the time my wife took the salt to the door. Besides leaving me with nappies in the splash pool and window frames and furniture that were used as ashtrays, there was furniture moved from upstairs into the garage, just to name a few broken house rules aside from the dog that they brought anyway.

It all comes with a price. However, there has not been a cent from Airbnb up to now, 14 days after their arrival and after our fruitless attempts to get payment sorted via customer service and the helpline. I only charged them the minimum rate. I could have let the place out many times over for a great number of people and with secure payments, if I had never let Airbnb make this booking three months ago.

Airbnb does not respond to any of my SMS’s on their helpline anymore. The last message I got stated payment had been made, which is a lie. I want to remove my property from this terrible “service” provider but I guess if I do so, I will have absolutely no chance of receiving my payment. If you use Airbnb, be prepared to use the counting method to maintain your temper and sanity… at the very least it’s a good lesson on self control.

Airbnb Hosts Shouldn’t Skip Important Details

I found a place on Airbnb, booked it, and started my conversation with the host. I found out that the host had two dogs that have roaming rights over the grounds. This was not mentioned in the listing. It’s probably not a big deal to most folks, but I’m a dog breeder, with an unspayed female bitch. Where I go, my beloved dog goes. As my dog is more than a pet, her welfare is of utmost importance to me. Given the presence of canine influenza and other male dogs, and the fact that nothing was mentioned in the listing, I choose to find another place. However, the strict cancellation fee states I only get half of my funds back. What a crock… I have placed a complaint and asked for help from Airbnb. They had to think about it and will let me know in due course if I’m able to get any more of my funds back. No time frame was provided when they may let me know. I had booked the place at 10:00 AM, found out about the dogs, and contacted Airbnb at 5:00 PM the same day. This is probably my first and last time using this company.

Airbnb Host Left us on the Side of the Road at Midnight

We stayed at The Art Shack in Salt Ash, Australia between April 28-30. Our main purpose of this stay was accommodation for the Groovin the Moo festival. On arrival, the state of the house was disgusting, with the kitchen bench scattered with old food and surrounded by flies. On Saturday night we returned from the festival on a bus at 11:30 PM. We informed our host, Deborah, that we would be home around 12:00 AM, and also informed her when we had gotten on the bus. She had told us that she had not locked away her German Shepard guard dog and it would be unsafe to enter the property without her being there. At 10:30 PM she told us in a text that she was out to dinner and she would be home around 12:00 AM, so we patiently waited in the Caltex service station across the road because it was nine degrees and we had casual day wear clothing on.

At 11:45 PM we called Deborah and informed her we were across the road at the service station waiting, as the dog was patrolling the yard and there was no way past him. At 11:55 PM she texted us and said she was “coming” and would be there in thirty minutes. At midnight, the service station shut down and the employee told us we had to leave, so we went back outside into the cold and tried to huddle up on the side of Nelsons Road, a 90-kph zone. At this point we were exhausted, afraid and freezing. By 12:45 AM there was no sign of Deborah, so we called her again. We asked where they were because we were afraid and cold. She told us they hadn’t left yet, as the guy she was seeing was playing the pokies and drunk and she was afraid to ask him to go.

She told one of our friends to put the phone on speaker and hold it up to the dog, but the dog went berserk and tried to bite us through the gate. At this point she told us she would be asking him to leave or leaving herself right now to let us in, and she would call us back in a couple of minutes. Nine minutes later we hadn’t heard back, so I called again. She told me that she was definitely on her way home, however she needed to stop for petrol, but she was coming as quick as she could. While talking to her, I could hear the man she was with talking about how stupid we were for not being able to get past the dog. At 1:06 AM she called us and told us that her house mate was at home the whole time, and that she could get the dog away for us and we could go through the front door, and the call ended. Five minutes later we saw her housemate Kathy open the front door, she came out and started leading the dog inside, taking him around to the back room. She then came and gave us the all clear to come inside, and had a giggle about what had happened.

Once we were finally in our room and in bed, I was so cold that I was having trouble breathing. We heard Deborah and the guy come home at around 1:25 AM. We could overhear him with a raised voice continuing on about the situation, and Deborah tying to calm him down. We felt incredibly uncomfortable and unsafe going to sleep. Before we slept we received a message from Deborah saying “So sorry, sleep in till late AM.”

We ended up leaving as soon as we woke up and started our eight-hour drive home completely sleep deprived. While on the way home we took a closer look at the reviews and saw this is not the first time this has happened. A  couple had been kicked out by a drunk host at 12:00 AM onto the side of the road and left with nowhere to go. The fact that Airbnb allows people to host in an environment such as this, let alone with a vicious dog on site, is insane. I’m glad that we are older and it wasn’t a family with young children as I don’t know how they would have held up in the cold.

Costa Rica Airbnb Yard Shared with Pitbulls

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The listing shows some nice bungalow with a hammock overlooking the beach. What the pictures don’t show are two vicious pitbulls ten feet to the right of your patio that are poorly tied up, with no fence between you and them. We returned the final evening to find the dogs had gotten free. Luckily, a neighbor had warned us as we approached that they might have broken free. Fortunately, I also had a rake in my hand as my friend struggled to open the front door. The dogs attacked and I fended them off with a rake. This wasn’t just barking, but a full-on attack. They ran up on my legs so fast I couldn’t believe it. If we had come home after drinking or unaware this would have been a complete nightmare. We were so shaken up we left and booked a hotel. I’m 47 and a big guy. A smaller person or a family with a child could have been seriously injured or killed. I guess next time I book a place I’ll inquire if there any dogs around, assuming I use Airbnb again at all. I tried to reach out to customer service that night to find another place – was on hold for 1.5 hours – and never reached them. Airbnb should implement a “safety survey” for hosts that need to be asked things like “Do you have dogs? Or are there any potential dogs in your vicinity that guests may be exposed to?”