When I was a full time caregiver for my terminally ill father, I listed my home on Airbnb to temporarily generate income. This was my only source of making money, as I was spending 60 hours per week with my father. On December 30th, 2016, I was approached by four college students who claimed they were from Ivy league schools and hosting a small reunion for the four of them on their first winter break home from college. Instead, the following happened and my home was destroyed. I have been left with nothing, and no help from Airbnb whatsoever. All of my furniture and possessions were either stolen or destroyed. I am at a loss for words, as I have given up all hope of recovering any of the life that I had worked so hard to build. The video will show you everything. Please help.
Based on this experience I won’t ever be hosting through Airbnb again. First, we never know who will be staying in our home: their character, cleanliness, attitude, or past. This lady I hosted for few months in my beautiful little flat was a true nightmare.
The very first day she stayed she emailed me several times and took pictures of my belongings that I had left for my guests, such as shampoo, soap, a blow dryer, etc. Then she took pictures of the cabinets in my kitchen with the dry food and canned goods I also leave for my guests if they are hungry; there was also gourmet tea. She took pictures of all of this nice stuff I left for her and then claimed my flat was dirty.
I kept all of her insulting emails, as clearly she had never stayed in an Airbnb which in this case was someone’s home with belongings inside. As I kept getting these insulting emails, I told her that this was not a hotel. It is the flat where I live, and if she didn’t like my home then she was more than free to leave and find somewhere else to stay for the next two months. She agreed and asked to give her one night to think about it.
The next day she emailed me back and said she wanted to stay. I was hesitant at first because she had been super rude and already complained over nothing. I knew this was not a normal person. A few weeks went by and she complained about the internet and TV not working. She left me another email telling me that she called my carrier and they said I had an unpaid bill. Immediately after she told me this I knew she read and opened my mail in order to have this private information, which is illegal.
I personally almost fainted because I knew this person was literally wanting to know all of my information for some odd reason. The cable and Internet service was resolved that very day. I did ask her how and why she called my carrier and how the hell she got my personal account information. She lied to me and said she just used my phone number. After that I decided to keep calm but felt uneasy.
Weeks later she texted me about the Internet, claiming it was off once again. I explained to her that was impossible – she just needed to reset the TV. She had warned me on how the Internet was vital and it “needed to be fixed now”. Again, very rudely. Several hours later the Internet happened to be working after she decided to reset the TV; it was caused by a storm that previous day.
The day she was supposed to check out at a specific time in the morning on the last day of her stay, I had my partner go over to the flat to clean and check on everything before I flew in. Lo and behold, a half hour after her checkout time, she told me she had to go to work, she would leave my flat late in the afternoon, and she hoped I could wait.
My partner went over to the flat at 3:00 PM and she was still there. Not packed. She asked for his ID and said that he was “trespassing” and there to “kick her out”. She and her so-called “lawyer friend” were in my flat trying to stay longer. They used everything against my partner by threatening to call the police, and saying that he was in Europe illegally. I tried to call her on her cell phone but she wouldn’t answer. Then I was furious.
I came to find out she finally left but wouldn’t leave the keys with my partner. Instead she made a huge scene in front of my neighbors in my building and guardian and said that I “didn’t live here – she can’t be renting her flat out if she does not own it!”
Clearly what this evil person was simply trying to do was to dig into all of my personal business to try to stay in my flat long term. She had issues with people of color and always called my flat dirty, always spoke down to me as if I were some sort of slave to her. On top of that, she opened my mail, which is highly illegal. She ruined my flat with the smell from the pets that stayed there with her based on a bad call I made.
Please get to know the person to whom you rent your home, because not all of the guests are honest. They may see your flat as a place as an opportunity to somehow stay longer. Never leave your personal stuff around so they can snoop. Know your country’s laws and make sure you establish a checkout time that they follow and respect.
I recently rented my two properties for a major event that usually attracts motor enthusiasts. I have never had any issue renting the properties until the last recent booking. As opposed to the usual group of guys booking, it was a young couple with a young child. I did feel this was unusual for the event; however, I accepted the booking.
I did everything as per usual prior to arrival to ensure the house was in pristine condition. I also employed a new cleaning company to assist in the final cleaning and preparation. I actually witnessed the cleaners thoroughly clean the properties. We normally do not provide full linens at the property as in summer we receive many back-to-back bookings which makes it problematic to change the linens when there is sometimes only a 3-4 hour turnaround between bookings. However, as the guests were travelling we made an exception and provided the full linens free. We also sent the guests a welcome pack via email before arrival which detailed the operations of the house, local attractions, maps, and advice on how to maximise their stay.
There was some communication prior to the guests’ arrival but nothing during or after the stay, despite providing my phone number in the event of any issue. After their stay I sent a few messages to which they did not respond – until finally the guest replied. At that time as I lived two hours from the property, I had not yet inspected the house. The guest made some very odd references to the lack of cleaning – which was just not accurate – as the property had been thoroughly cleaned – by us and the cleaners – up until the day prior to their arrival.
She made particular references to a bathroom – toilet and shower recess – which we knew was incorrect and a complete fabrication. She also suggested she would send photos – which never transpired, leaving us to believe that this was some kind of veiled threat to in some way gain a refund. When I inspected the property, I found that she had dumped all of the towels we provided on the wet floor of a second shower recess – for what purpose, I have no idea, as we provide a laundry basket and by the time I inspected the property some of the new towels were ruined.
I reported this to Airbnb and sent a photo of what I found. Over a period of a few days, my case appeared to be handed from one operator to another. This was prior to any feedback being posted form the guest. Essentially I smelt a rat and felt the guest had fabricated issues regarding the cleanliness of the house to negate her own disgusting behaviour of dumping wet towels on the floor of a shower recess. I could predict what was to come and suggested to Airbnb that they review the feedback. We anticipated fabricated references to cleaning.
However, Airbnb would not do anything. The feedback was posted. We received two stars for cleanliness, which dropped our rating from a 5 to 4. Her comments were also quite distressing. We are now considering removing our house from Airbnb as there appears to be no recourse when a guest posts negative feedback which is untrue yet damages a hosts rating and reputation. I have sent additional messages to Airbnb since the feedback, but have not received any reply. We have supporting testimonial from our cleaners who are also really angry by the comments made after they had cleaned what they believed was already a fairly clean and well maintained house beforehand. Does anyone have any advice how I can address this situation?
I had a group of five people book the minimum stay in my house for three nights and they ended up staying only one night, getting a refund for the others. I received a snotty email the next morning with a list of unbelievable reasons why they left. This was planned. They must have had another booking somewhere and needed just one night as a filler. My house is immaculate. I work very hard to make sure it is always so, but they managed to get a refund from Airbnb, because Airbnb does not care. My “case manager” never got back to me or answered any emails. They just let me get cheated by some rotten people who even were so low as to give me a one-star review, when everything was provided and spotless. I did everything I could: sent maps, was there to greet them… I told them if they needed me to just let me know. Never did they look me in the eye. They were fishy, because something was up. Had they communicated any problem whatsoever – there were no problems – I would have been able to act and would have done so immediately. Airbnb will not ever provide any means to contact them, so basically it’s a one-sided system. I am very upset about the fact that there is no protection against assholes.
This guest used Instant Book for a month in advance for a weekend for 15 members of her family including herself. Note that she is a new member. From then on, there was no communication. She just wasn’t answering. A couple days before check-in, I finally got a hold of her and she informed me of some changes. I send her a price alteration, but time passed and she wouldn’t accept it. She kept ignoring me again. The day before check-in, I let her know since she was planning to break the house rules, I would cancel her reservation with Airbnb without a refund. Then she started responding. We finally got everything sorted out just before bedtime. One hour before checking in, she told me they were stuck in traffic and needed to push the time. Then again… and again. They finally arrived three hours late. We did strongly believe there were more than 15 people.
The first night, I got a noise complain from my neighbor. The entire group was outside, around the spa and had been screaming and very loud since their arrival. It was very late and dark, and my neighbor just couldn’t take it anymore. I tried to contact the guests, but my calls kept going to voicemail. I passed a message through Airbnb to warn her. I waited, and received no answer. I wrote to her again and made myself sound more serious. I got a response and from what my neighbor said, it took an additional 15 minutes, but the noise finally stopped. He still made it clear other neighbors wouldn’t have been as patient as him.
I arrived to check them out and found the upstairs hot faucet had been removed. How could this have happened? It was super noisy too. How could they have missed it? I continued my tour and a guest had decided to rip the lock off one of the closet to the point it ripped the door into two pieces. They forced open two other locked drawers too. They broke a large window frame probably by sitting on it or having a kid walk on it. They broke two parts of our spa and made a small tear in our spa cover. They were warned not to download anything because we didn’t have unlimited internet and they still used more than 85 BG in 40 hours. We have some decorative towels we asked the guests specifically not to touch because they already had a large number of perfectly usable towels at their disposal. Well, they decided not to listen and to only use our decorative ones. The BBQ was left in a horrific state; it was completely disgusting. This guest didn’t follow the house rules; she was truly disrespectful to me as well as the house.
I waited for her to reach out to me to apology about all the damages (my calls are still going straight to her voicemail each time) but she never did. She did text a week later inquiring about her security deposit where I finally was able to speak to her over the phone. She says she was unaware of everything. She didn’t do a tour of the house and wasn’t the last one to leave. She was not okay with everything I observed and was certainly not okay having any damaged charged to her. She said I better not charge her or she would give me a bad review. At the same time, I saw she just posted a review (a very bad one from what she said over the phone). I have some text messages exchanged that proves she indeed threatened me.
I called Airbnb and let them know immediately that she was violating their Terms of Service. They told me even if I had ”proof” and my story checked out, they couldn’t remove the review because in the text messages, she did not clearly say “don’t charge me or I will put you a bad review,” only “do not pursue or I will be obligated to take action.”
Because her review appeared at the same time, as she threatened me over the phone, customer service won’t budge. The facts speak for themselves. Airbnb guidelines strictly forbid reviews with content that is fraudulent, false and misleading, which is the case here. She had an amazing time and didn’t complain about anything. The review does not represent her personal experience. It is an attempt to use the review to force me to do something I’m not obligated to do (not charge her). They are not supposed to allow it, but they do. Thank you untrustworthy customer service at Airbnb.
I use an electronic lock to let guests in as a largely absent host. The guest locked himself out by inadvertently entering a code that disables the lock until you open it from the inside. This had never happened before in years of using the lock. He called me at 9:27 PM on a Friday night and said the lock was not working. I happened to be there outside in my motorhome set to have taken off that day but got delayed and was prepared to leave in the morning (me being onsite is really unusual). I walked 50 yards to the door, came over, and the lock didn’t work.
I told him I could get him in the other entrance upstairs (that has access to the mechanical area and common laundry). I unlocked that door, walked up the stairs, crossed the apartment down the guest access stairs to the entry area, and opened the door. As I walked through the apartment to the other entrance, I noticed the place was as messy as I have ever seen a place in eight years of hosting; it looked like a tornado hit it with my pillows on the floor, and clothes everywhere. I was shocked.
Nonetheless I kept moving and went downstairs to the door. We tested it a couple of times and it worked flawlessly. I have no idea why it didn’t work (then). I went back to my motorhome and send a text at 9:45, literally 18 minutes after he called. My text said the place was very messy and caused me concern about excess cleaning (they were relatively long stays, 13 days with kids). I asked him to try to be neater so we didn’t have a problem. I said I was glad to be around to get them in. I smelled alcohol on the guy’s breath as we interacted but it wasn’t really a problem; he was fine.
In the morning he wrote Airbnb and claimed I had locked him out to tell him off about being messy and that I had entered his premises illegally without justification. He tried to cancel the reservation and get his money back. I am dealing with this nightmarish guy, who literally will say anything and probably can’t remember much.
Our next door neighbor has turned his entire property (large house and guest house) into Airbnb rentals. He does not live on site. There have been multiple loud rave-like parties and there doesn’t seem there is anything we can do. We always call him personally and he refuses to take any responsibility. He says it’s Airbnb’s fault because they get the renters. He says to call Airbnb (haha, a lot of good that does) and then he says to call the police, which we do. They have come out so many times and there’s not a lot they can do either because the owner isn’t on site.
The latest rave resulted in a near riot in front of the house when drunken partygoers screamed and fought in the front yard when the police came for the third time that day. The party had started before 1:00 PM and this was at 1:00 AM. The whole day, disgusting foul music was pouring into our back yard. We couldn’t use our yard at all. There was screaming, fighting, and lots of free flowing alcohol. This was the worst that it has gotten but there have been plenty more events like this. He has been getting $1000 per event beyond the rental fee. These people did not tell him that they were having a party so he was mad also but still, he just told us to call the police. In the past, he actually had the nerve to ask me to go and quiet the partiers.
This last weekend, he sent his 70 year old mother over and she was afraid to introduce herself to the police. Then when I called him; he called his mother a coward. We are at the end of our rope and don’t know what to do. He has now posted “no events” on his Airbnb website but that isn’t going to help if the renters lie to him. Besides rave-type parties, we have had to endure a drug intervention with a poor addicted woman screaming and shrieking as she was detoxing. I did find an online form to complain to Airbnb as a neighbor. We’ll see how that goes. Not betting it does a thing.
I have been an Airbnb host for more than four years and in two countries. My review history ranged between 4-4.5 stars. Generally speaking I received lower ratings from those nitpicky guests this very website warns you about and great ratings form seasoned travellers who appreciate our friendly approach and willingness to assist guests with any reasonable requests for queries.
Last month we got this quiet, serious American girl with her two study mates. She had just signed up for Airbnb in March this year. I was their first booking. They wanted to stay for almost 1.5 months. Although I earn much better to rent to short term guests, I agreed to host them and even give them a discount, as it seemed they were nice people.
That was the wrong inclination. Firstly we discovered that although going to uni and studying aerospace engineering and nuclear physics (which they claimed to be their majors) doesn’t mean people know that one doesn’t hang wet laundry all over their host’s wooden furniture. Surely they wouldn’t do that at mum’s place? When we kindly asked them to hang it outside (we live in a country with daily sunshine and stuff dries in a blink of an eye) we were sneered at and ignored until reminded the second time.
For more than 40 days we lived under the same roof, yet they couldn’t muster more than a hello, which was usually initiated by us and they just politely answered to. Then they were gone. The place was filthy and some household items (hangers, plug adapters) were missing. We got a phone call from Airbnb that stated we were being terminated. No explanation was given and no one cared that our guests were filthy, and stole from us. This can’t be real.
Since I have discovered in life that (a German proverb says: “Recht haben und Recht bekommen sind zwei verschiedene Dinge”, i.e. “To be in the right and to be done justice are two different things”) I have now followed Kelly Kampen and opened 9Flats.com and Flipkey accounts. I will be actively promoting these in any way possible.
Go to hell, Airbnb. No one needs you. You are pretentious and unfair and outright biased, racist, etc. There will be other competitors. Let’s open the market to more competitors.
I had a guest from Seattle: Canadian, liar, Harvard Extension student. She traveled via Airbnb to deliberately find problems with hosts in order to find a cheap place to stay and free food.
You should have the full story. She had full access to the kitchen. The microwave was not in the kitchen (in my room) and was not included in the listing. She misled Airbnb to believe that I did not allow her to use the kitchen, when in fact I did.
She came into my room without my authorization several times to use the microwave. While I was not home, She came into my room and turned on the air conditioning (there is only one unit A/C in the unit, and it is in my room) while also using the microwave at the same time. Therefore she could have caused circuit damage. Air conditioning was not listed for use by guests on Airbnb. I notified her that I would ask maintenance to fix the circuit damage.
She lied about the laundry. I stated in my listing that there was a laundry card and showed her the laundry room downstairs when she checked in. It was not across the street and not coin operated as she fabricated. She’s unhappy and is playing the victim. However, I am also unhappy about the damage she caused because she did not respect my house rules by entering my room without permission, by using my A/C and microwave without permission, and by lying. She needs to pay for the damages. I am the victim of her lies.
The Airbnb representative asked how much I was willing to refund her. I was not willing to refund anything. I provided my service to the guest according to what was stipulated on the listing without compromise and without misrepresentation. She misled Airbnb about the microwave. She misled Airbnb about laundry being across the street. She might have misled them about other things as well. I went out of my way to drive the guest to buy groceries, and go shopping. I was attentive to the guest’s needs. I even allowed her to use my laundry card when she was short on cash. I allowed her to take some of my food. I stopped short of cooking for her, when she said she didn’t know how to cook.
I’m concerned she might have made similar complaints during other Airbnb stays and have received refunds for deliberately finding issues. If so, I don’t think Airbnb should want her as a customer, because that is really bad for hosts like myself who goes out of our way to make sure the stay is comfortable for their guests by adhering to the listing’s descriptions without compromise and without misrepresentation. Please don’t hesitate to let me know what other complaints requires evidence to clarify the fraudulent complaint.
Note from Airbnb Hell editor: this post contains strong language
I would like to tell you a story about how Airbnb has treated me when I was faced with homophobic abuse at my own house by one of Airbnb guests. Let’s start from the beginning: I am renting my spare room via Airbnb in Amsterdam, and I had a guest from Texas.
Upon arrival, the guest started making comments about me and my friend: that we were wearing faggoty clothing and have faggoty hair. Once he came into his room, he started screaming that he needed a door with a lock because there are faggots with him in the house and we would rape him at night. I choose not to have a confrontation and decided to leave the apartment for the night altogether. I left him alone there, so he wouldn’t be afraid of “rape.”
I would like to mention that when he arrived, I carried his six huge bags upstairs because I was trying to be polite. I also offered him the choice of cold water, tea, and coffee. After I left the apartment, the guest ran away with his bags and my keys. He wrote me a message stating exactly the same. When I returned home, I called the police and reported the verbal abuse. I also had to change the locks, which cost an additional 100 euro. I obviously have submitted a complaint against this guest to Airbnb, but naturally they haven’t done anything (what can I expect?).
Today I received a message that this guest filed a complaint against me, stating that I didn’t give him enough privacy and respect and he had to leave. In my reply to Airbnb, I explained the entire situation one more time and offered the following documents as proof: a police report; photos of the rented room to show that there was enough privacy; invoice for changing the locks; witness statement from my flat mate who was present during this event; witness statement from the neighbors, who heard all the commotion and to whom my guest spoke upon departure, claiming that “dirty AIDS faggots” lived here.
What do you think Airbnb did? They charged me the price the guest paid for the room plus extra charges from Airbnb. Obviously they refunded him all the money, because the poor homophobe was upset. Apparently I didn’t argue with him in the messages. I am shocked about the very fact Airbnb once again completely ignored the gay community and returned money to an abuser. Please feel free to contact me for more details. Let me know what exactly you want to do; I’d be happy to provide more information.