Airbnb Nightmare: Threatened with Forcible Eviction

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?”

Driven from Airbnb Horror on a Snowy Christmas Morning

On a snowy Christmas morning in the Rockies everyone was staying in a poorly maintained house we rented due to a malfunctioning alarm system that flashed lights without stopping on the first floor of the house after beeping without interruption for several hours Christmas Eve afternoon (a missing sensor on an exterior door would not allow us to turn off the system). Adding to this awful situation we were told we could not adjust the heat in the house, as it was remotely controlled by the owner in Boston. Cabinet doors were torn off of the cabinets. The house was very sparsely furnished and in very poor repair. A king bed was not properly put together; nails were used instead of screws and in the middle of all the chaos it broke and the mattress fell to the floor. There was a large stinking pile of garbage in the kitchen. The house had two doors to the outside, and two were broken and unusable. We had complained about all this to the property manager who said she contacted the owner. This turned out to be a lie. She was unresponsive and lied when she did respond. Faced with this charming situation, we packed and departed the house about 6:30 AM on Christmas morning in a snowstorm. The owner in Boston responded with a blanket denial of all issues. We are in the process of a well documented dispute with Airbnb.

Airbnb Leave Guests Out in the Cold in Cork

I arrived at my rental in Cork, Ireland only to be told there was no running hot water in the kitchen and not to leave the heat on because if it ran out of gas and the hosts weren’t home we would have no heat. The only source of hot water in the kitchen was a kettle to boil water in. The house was three stories high so you had to go to at least the second story to wash your hands in warm water. I expressed concern to the host and got a hostile response; we left feeling threatened.

The host called me to ask why we left the keys. I again tried to explain, but he hung up on me. I called Airbnb and was told someone would call me back. No one did. I called the next day and was told someone would call me back… no one did. What Airbnb did do was cancel my reservation and refuse to issue a refund because according to them I didn’t convince the host to make the repairs on the spot. Repairs that would require plumbing and electrical work. Airbnb also said they don’t think not having hot water in the kitchen is a problem. Buried in the reviews of the house, I found another person who commented on the lack of hot water among other things. The response from the host was an announcement that no one uses the kitchen anyway. Since they were saving the planet, they didn’t think it was necessary.

They avoid responsibility for any problems and blame the guest instead. This is exactly what we experienced from the obnoxious young man with dreadlocks who showed us the place. I don’t use boiling water from a kettle to wash my hands or do dishes because boiling water burns and is a safety hazard. No heat in Ireland…. sure, that’s not a problem at all. Trying to work out problems in a rental with a very large and angry man behind two locked doors far from the street is not something I’m going to attempt. We had to scramble to find a hotel. Airbnb customer service is abysmal and their lack of concern for safety is a dealbreaker. I’ve had problems with them before but never anything like this. I’ll never use Airbnb again.