I had an Airbnb reservation for a basement (entire unit) from April 20th until May 27th. On April 22nd around 9:00 PM, the landlord decided that she wanted to cancel the reservation (because I was using the heater that was in the unit). Immediately, Airbnb contacted me, and told me I should leave the unit as soon as possible or the police would force me out. I had to rush to find a place so I wouldn’t spend the night in the streets.
We (my husband was with me at that time) visited this unit on April 4th to make sure everything was alright before reserving it; I was going to live there for 37 nights and I didn’t want to have any surprises. Everything looked okay. We also asked about the heating in the unit, and the landlords said that there was no problem as there was a wall heating unit in the living room. Even when I checked in on April 20th, the landlord explained to me how to operate the heating unit.
On April 22nd, I wanted to take a shower but when I opened the faucet, some brown waste came from the tap and filled the bathroom floor. It looked like sewage waste to me, therefore I messaged the host and asked her to take a look. When she came down and checked, she said that the house has a reliable sewage system and this should have come from the city water supply.
Then she came to the living room and asked me why I had the wall heating system on. I said that because I felt cold (the temperature was 2-3 C outside). She said I didn’t have the right to turn on the heating because the electricity bill would be high. I said I told her that I wanted to turn the heating system on. She left. The second time she came to clean up the waste in the bathroom, she told me that I couldn’t stay there anymore and I had to leave the unit. I said to discuss her issues with Airbnb.
Later, an Airbnb representative contacted me and told me that she had cancelled the reservation and I should leave the unit as soon as possible. I told her that I would find a unit tomorrow and will leave (I was very worried about my health with the sewage issue), but she said that I had to do it tonight or the landlord could call the police, and they would force me to leave. Mind you that this was 9:00 PM on a Sunday. I finally found a hotel at 10:00 PM and left the unit. I had to pay a high price for the unit because I was reserving at the last minute. This event has caused me so much stress that I couldn’t work for several days, and even remembering those events causes me trouble.
The next day, I sent a message to Airbnb and asked how they could force someone to leave the unit or threaten them with the police. This is totally unacceptable. If I have a reservation, I can’t cancel it without paying a high cancellation fee, but Airbnb can tell the clients to leave at 9:00 PM on a Sunday night or threaten them if they want to. The unit has serious sewage issues. It will threaten the health of anyone who wants to live there.
The following are the first messages that were exchanged between me and the Airbnb representative that night. She first called me but I couldn’t hear her, so she messaged me on the Airbnb website.
Agent:”I do apologize if you could not hear me. Your reservation with [host] is ending early. Please leave the listing as soon as possible. I have sent you an email that gives you the option to rebook or receive a full refund. Please let me know if you need rebooking assistance.”
Me: “Hi, I will think and let you know tonight. Thanks.”
Agent: “I have just tried giving you another call but was unable to reach you. Please let me know what time you can get out of the listing. If you don’t leave she has the authority to call the cops.”
Agent: “Are you leaving the listing now?”