Airbnb Allows Fake Account to Let Felon Host

I was preparing for an extended work assignment in a northern state. After viewing several places, I came across an Airbnb that was in my price and location. I messaged the host and introduced myself to “Debbie”. She said that her retired brother and daughter lived in the home and she was traveling for work. Good enough.

I made the 12 hour drive and finally arrived at the house. I was greeted by a woman – not “Debbie” – and was shown around. There were more people than I thought staying there. The following week I met the homeowner. I inquire as to who “Debbie” was and he changed the subject rather quickly. I began to become suspicious as to what was really going on after he said that all communication could go through him via text.

I compared the number that I was given to me by Debbie and it was the owner’s. I decided to Google him and get more information. I found that Debbie had passed away the previous year and that he was a convicted felon (burglary). Apparently either she made the account for him or he used her information to open an account. I would have confronted him but quickly found out that he was currently doing a short stay in the local lockup for another DUI.

I packed my things and hit the door running. Nothing felt right about the stay there and situations like this are how people end up in an ice bath, missing a kidney. I’m currently in the process of trying to get some sort of refund from Airbnb and he should be out of jail at the end of this week. It should be an interesting conversation if he tries to contact me.

The Flophouse Fiasco Made us Leave Early

A friend and I recently took a trip to Denver using Airbnb as lodging. It was our first and last time and here’s why. We finally arrived in Denver and made our way to a neighborhood that was reminiscent of Fallujah. As we were unloading our things into the house the “host” pointed us towards a queen size mattress in the corner.

I looked around (we were in the living room at this time) to see three more “living areas” in this same room. Not to mention some sort of party table was right next to this queen size bed. We were told we were the only ones staying there via email but as we stood there in utter shock we watched a stream of “people” come in. By this time my buddy and I were very tired after driving all night to get there but it finally hit us – they expect my grown male friend and I to share this queen size mattress for three days in the middle of this dump house with people flopped everywhere.

Now I like my buddy but sorry I’m not sleeping with him for three days. After confirming that was the plan, we promptly grabbed our gear and left. We ended up just getting a hotel room and eating the fee from Airbnb. I’m not sure how they can legally rent one mattress to two adults but doesn’t matter because never again will I do Airbnb. People just get a hotel and save yourself the hassle and extra expense.

Airbnb House of Prostitution in Dominican Republic


When visiting the Dominican Republic in August and seeing my husband’s family, his aunt unexpectedly passed away. We had to return to Esperanza and try to find any place to stay at the last minute. We found an Airbnb at one of only two listings in Esperanza and inquired about staying. They would not give an address but agreed to meet us and show us where.

When my husband’s cousin realized where it was, he questioned them and they admitted it was a “rent by the hour” flophouse popular with locals to drive up with prostitutes and pay as they leave. When they opened a room up to show how “clean” it was, the walls were “decorated” with obscene photos and the only channel on TV was pornography.

My mother in law in her grief, and my seven-year-old son and young daughter surely would have been uncomfortable (to say the least) just to stand in that place, much less lay their heads down on a bed with more uses than a taxi. I contacted Airbnb because my experiences have been very good and I expected them to have a sense of how serious this could have been for an unsuspecting young woman or teacher for example. Honestly in a country that has a huge sex trafficking problem (in the shadows of course) this could have been a disaster.

Was Airbnb concerned? See the pictures and that listing is still on the site at the time of this submission.

Hippy Commune Crams in as Many Guests as Possible

My wife and I are frequent travelers for work, so we must find somewhat long-term furnished housing. Typically we will stay in a city for three to six months at a time. We had accepted an assignment near Los Angeles last spring. We decided on a place through HomeAway in Monterey Park for the first month we were living in the area. This turned out to be extremely unaffordable so we turned to Airbnb.

For nearly half of the price, we found this quaint little home on the northern end of Pasadena. After reading all of the reviews, which were mostly all positive, we pulled the trigger on the place. This is where it gets rather interesting. The specs on the house were very clear: 2 bedrooms, 1.5 bathrooms, shared kitchen. Since the hosts live at the residence, we figured that we would only be sharing the home with the couple that lived there. This didn’t seem like a problem at all, since the hosts were somewhat young and seemed normal enough.

We arrived on a Monday and upon pulling into the driveway, we saw a young couple packing up their belongings. This should have been a sign. As they pulled away, we entered the house and were greeted by an elderly woman and her granddaughter. They lived in the living room, which was enclosed by bedsheets that had been stapled to the ceiling. She showed us which room was ours and from there we began unpacking our things.

Storage was an issue, as the closet in the bedroom was full of the owner’s belongings. As we travel lightly, we made do. The room was very dirty but luckily I travel with a vacuum and was able to sweep up most of the filth. As it turned out, we were to be living with a group of people. The other bedroom was rented out nightly, and the living room (the red room on the Airbnb listing) was inhabited by the elderly woman and her granddaughter on a long-term basis.

We deserve medals for the hell that we put up with. For those reading this, you might be wondering where the “owners” of the house live. I’ll get to why owners is in quotations here in a bit. The owners live in the detached garage. Allow me to tally up the occupants: a minimum of two people in the garage, two in the living room, my wife and I in one bedroom, and usually two others in the other bedroom, which would change every few days. A grand total of eight people per night at a minimum.

This turned out to be pretty awesome with only one full bathroom. Every night, the young girl from the living room would spend 4-5 hours in the bathroom doing only god knows what. If we failed to brush our teeth or shower by 7:00 PM, we wouldn’t be able to until 1:00 AM. Gobs of fun there.

Here’s another amusing fact of our stay. Apparently nobody ever taught her manners, respect, or most of all, energy consumption. Sometime in the middle of the night, the little prick would turn the thermostat to somewhere between 90 and 93 degrees. Because of this we would wake up sweating profusely, angered to a degree with no rival. Between the hours in the bathroom, abuse of the thermostat, and stealing our food, I nearly decided against having children. I understand this is just terrible behavior of another tenant, but amusing nonetheless.

Let’s now discuss the house. Keep your shoes on, because if you don’t your feet will turn black from the dirt on the floors. The yard was something special. The owners kept a large tent in the backyard for storage, since they lived in the damn garage. As far as I could tell, it had never been mown. The grass was roughly four feet tall. Awesome. After staying for a few days, I was quite puzzled as to why anyone would neglect a place like this. Prime location, relative size… they were letting this place turn to crap.

I soon found the answer. The owners don’t own the house. They rent it. They then sublease on Airbnb to make money. This was eye opening. I cannot blame anyone for trying to make money. As far as I’m concerned, go for it. But at least disclose this information on the website. We had to go to the grocery store every evening because there was no storage in the refrigerator. It was full of condiments and crap from previous people’s stays.

Parking was also a nightmare. There were only three parking spaces. This would be sufficient if the house was properly occupied, but it isn’t. At times there would be seven cars in the drive, blocking us in. Often times we would park on the street to avoid any mayhem. Overall I feel like our two-month stay at this commune made us a stronger couple. After living in these conditions we can deal with nearly anything. Here’s a link just in case anyone wants to experience a Pasadena slum.

Airbnb Takes Host’s Side in Flophouse Complaint


It’s been ten days since I discussed the complaints about my host with Airbnb’s resolution center, to no avail. She won’t understand my queries. She uses all her energy to agree with the host and dismiss me. All she understands about my complaints are the cleanliness and misrepresentation, and that’s okay with her.

On April 21st, 2017, we reserved the master bedroom of for an appartment in Hollywood. The listing claimed the following amenities were included:

– You get your own master bedroom with a private bathroom, closet, balcony
– Sleeps three (third person can choose to sleep on living room couch or an air mattress)
– Free wifi
– Central air conditioning and heating
– Hardwood floors (carpeted bedroom/walk-in closet)
– All brand new furniture and apartment
– Dishwasher, microwave, full size stove
– Laundry Facilities inside the unit (modern washer and dryer)
– Cleaned by professional maids
– Full kitchen
– Extra comfortable mattresses: 600 thread count sheets, high quality comforter sets
– Chic and modern design
– Stainless steel appliances

We demand a refund for the following reasons. Before reserving, we asked for more pictures, because only one was provided in the listing. A woman claiming to be the host said that she did not have any at the moment. When we saw the apartment, we understood why she would not provide pictures. We did have our own room with a private bathroom. It was very sparsely furnished with just a bed and a TV. There was No bedside table or lamp, no dresser, no chairs, and no sofa, contrary to what was shown in the picture. In addition:

• We had to ask for the air mattress, which was stored in a pile in the dirty living room. • It smelled like cheap perfume in the room, as if someone wanted to hide a bad smell.
• The bath, sink, and mirror were dirty.
• The only linens that were provided were five washcloths and a hand towel.
• The blinds did not work properly, missing many slats
• The balcony was cluttered with stuff belonging to other people (and the host responded that he wasn’t responsible for the comings and goings of the people in the apartment)
• The room could only be locked from the inside, so we could not lock it when we wanted to leave.

Furthermore, the front door was always unlocked. The host only gave us the key to the building, not to the apartment, claiming that there was always someone there. Therefore, both the front door and the door to our room were always unlocked, so we could easily have been robbed. When we confronted the host about these problems, he made up excuses and said he would get the air mattress (which he did) and extra linens (which he didn’t). When we explained our problems with the state of the apartment, he replied that we had only rented a room, disregarding the fact that we were supposed to have access to the kitchen, which was in a horrible state.

As for the rest of the appartment…

• There were four or five occupants in the living room and kitchen when we arrived (alone, because the host did not meet us). These were all temporary lodgers or Couchsurfers, judging by all the couches and air mattresses.
• The kitchen and fridge were dirty and smelled bad, just like the rest of the apartment.
• There was no coffee maker, and no glasses. We only managed to find two cups.
• When we woke up, six people were sleeping in that mess of a living room. We have traveled a lot (often using Airbnb), enough to know what to expect from a room costing 123 CAD (plus fees) in Hollywood. We did not expect the Ritz, but we will not accept paying that for a room in a dirty apartment that felt like a bad youth hostel.

We also had the following problems communicating with the host:

• He made me repeat a lot of information before we arrived, while I was in Venice. All that information was already in our Airbnb messages.
• I had to insist that he take our luggage on the morning of our arrival, as agreed, because he thought he might no longer be available.
• He arranged a meeting to pick up our luggage, not in front of the apartment, but across the street. It wasn’t the host who met us, but a lodger who had been woken up at the last minute, and was late.
• When we came back that night, we again had to meet across the street. He then gave us confusing information, and asked us to claim that we are family if anybody asked.

The host did try to be courteous, and said he did not want us to be dissatisfied. He even made a brief attempt at tidying up the kitchen, but that did not fix anything. We had to sleep there the first night, because we arrived at 7:45 PM (as he requested), which was too late to find any other accommodations at a reasonable price, though I searched for three hours. I did find something for the next two nights, but it cost more than my Airbnb booking. At such short notice, barely anything was available in Hollywood. For all these reasons, and generally for false advertising, we demand a complete refund.

On a final note, I don’t think this host even has the right to rent out his apartment, because he always refused to meet us in front of the building, never came in with us, and asked us to claim that we were family if asked. I have contacted his co-op board to find out. Thank you for your attention and your cooperation.

Airbnb Neighbor Rents Out Home for Large Parties

I live next door to a large modern home in Sherman Oaks, California. For months we’ve seen people coming and going, films being shot, and dogs barking all day and all night. However, New Year’s Eve made us realize this house is actually empty and is being rented out for large parties. New Year’s Eve was pure hell. Even at 3:00 AM the music was still pounding, women were screaming and giggling, beer bottles were being thrown, furniture was being toppled on the back porch, and there were firecrackers being set off. Over 300 people in one house. If it happens again the police will become involved. The owner has turned this place into a frat flophouse. She should be ashamed of herself. None of the neighbors are happy. Maybe Airbnb as a company should vet these owners a little more carefully. I will make this owners life miserable if it continues. There’s no way to contact Airbnb. I tried and all they keep doing is sending me rental listings in my neighborhood. I wouldn’t use Airbnb if my life depended on it. They are as much to blame as these absentee owners who are just in it to collect the rent.