Airbnb Host Accuses Guest of Having COVID

I was staying at an Airbnb location in New York City at the height of the pandemic in April 2020. Fifty three days into a 60-day stay, the host contacted Airbnb and accused me of having COVID-19. I had no symptoms and have since tested negative with the swab nasal test and the antibody test.

Just after 9:00 AM on a Friday I received a text from Airbnb that the host accused me of exposing her to coronavirus and I had to leave within 90 minutes. Not only was my reservation cancelled but Express Booking was disabled and I was told that I would have to call and get permission to stay with another Airbnb host.

I refused to leave and the host called the police three times, but first she changed the locks. Just before calling the police for the third time, she began throwing my personal possessions onto the street. While all of this was going on Airbnb was threatening penalties, although they did not specify how much.

Airbnb refused to refund a subsequent reservation at another location and only refunded a fraction of the pro-rated charges for the first reservation. Ultimately, I did use my second Airbnb reservation at my next stop without a problem. Airbnb did apologize, but this situation was so over the top and the pandemic is still raging I would warn all guests.

Also during the three police visits, nine officers were dispatched. It was very intense with the officers. I am not exaggerating when I say I could have been killed, but thanks to connections I had I was able to get through to the commanding officer of the precinct to give him the facts directly.

The host is still being investigated. The owner of the property is being investigated. The police were investigated and my complaint was found substantiated and is now awaiting departmental trials. Finally several agencies are involved in investigating Airbnb at the state and federal level.

Money Hungry Airbnb Host Gets Guest Banned

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If you’re going to need a place to stay in the Lincoln-Omaha, Nebraska area, stay clear of this host. This greedy bastard tried to squeeze every dime he could out of me.

I was traveling as an essential worker. I needed a long term stay in Lincoln for me, my disabled wife and our two dogs. I saw the listing and the price was reasonable.

After about a month, he started raising the weekly rate. When the rate doubled, we decided to leave. We stayed there 83 nights and paid $8,000 for a dingy basement apartment. Then that’s when the real nightmare began.

He sent me texts threatening me and calling me a criminal, demanding $400 for carpet cleaning, $250 for extra cleaning fees, $700 for a stained shower, $220 for lost revenue, $120 for a urine-stained mattress (we never used it), $250 for a broken mirror frame, $60 for a dirty microwave, $60 for dirty towels, and $100 for torn comforters.

Here is my response to the host’s complaint with Airbnb:

I have rented Airbnbs all over the country and Mexico. This host was by far the worst host I ever had. He priced gauged me every chance he got. I messaged him letting him know I need a long-term stay as I am a traveling essential worker. When I first moved in I was paying around $550 a week. Then after about a month he raised it to over $700 a week.

I went ahead and paid it because my wife is disabled and it’s hard to up and move at a moment’s notice. Then he raised the rent to over $900 a week. That’s insane. He was taking advantage of us. I can’t afford that. He waited until we were good and settled and then surprised us with the higher rates without notice.

Had I known the rates would go up like that, I would have never booked this place to begin with. That’s something a con artist would do. Very deceptive of him. He was charging me more than he was charging for the four-bedroom house above us. I believe that after 30 days I have tenancy rights. That would mean that he would have to give me a 30-day written notice before he raised the rent. He owes me money for every week I was charged more than $550 a week.

We had to deal with bats. He did not respond when I informed him about it. He did not properly remove snow from the property and my wife fell and sprained her ankle. We had to duct tape a window to keep the cold out. The heaters were not adequate to keep the apartment warm. Now he is being greedy and is trying to extort more money from me. Instead of contacting me and talking to me like an adult, he sent me threatening texts privately, not on Airbnb, trying to bully me in paying him a bunch of money.

He was threatening to call and get me thrown out of my current Airbnb, call my job and call the police if I didn’t pay him by the end of the day. He also called me a criminal. If he would have talked to me like a human being, I would have worked with him to find a solution. I would have come back and cleaned the carpet, the microwave, and the shower basin and wash and bleach the towels. But instead, he wanted money. He wanted me to pay the full retail value, not the actual depreciated value. No one peed on that mattress. That was there before. Also, it is twin mattress, not a full.

I know that this is not the first time he found a urine stained mattress and it won’t be the last time. He should be prepared for it. Hotels have ways of cleaning mattresses. If I had an Airbnb, I would have had a mattress cover on it to protect it.

The carpet is old and dingy. It needs to be replaced. There were already stains all over it. It’s not worth the $400 he wants to clean it. Also, I found $79 carpet cleaning service for five rooms on Groupon. I’m not responsible for cleaning all the carpet in the apartment. I’m only responsible for for the three stains caused by my dogs, not the yeas of neglect this carpet has had.

The comforters were not ripped to shreds. If you pulled the comforters from the bottom of the bed, they would sometimes catch on the bed frame. That’s how they got ripped. Anyone with a sewing machine could easily repair them. I’m not paying him to get all new bed in a bag like he wants.

The mirror frame was already broken when we moved in. If we broke it, the mirror would also be cracked. He mounted the mirror right above a heater. Over time, the heat probably caused the wood to delaminate from the glue holding it to the mirror. You can go to Home Depot and find a piece for the mirror fairly cheap.

The microwave was not burnt. It just needs to be cleaned. Only one towel was ruined when my wife colored her hair. The rest were just dirty and need to be washed and bleached. The towels were dingy to begin with. The shower basin can be cleaned with Comet, CLR and some scrubbing. It’s not permanently stained. You have to do more than just pour bleach on it.. He’s trying to get a new shower out of me.

I don’t owe him for lost revenue because no one is trying to reserve the place. He is charging too much. He has it listed for $250 a night. I don’t owe him the extra cleaning fee. He is not paying for extra cleaning if he is having professional carpet cleaners come over and providing tub cleaner that he is already charging me for.

He acts like we ransacked the place. That’s not true. My wife scrubbed and disinfected the place from top to bottom. She made the beds and wiped everything down. We don’t owe him anything. He did not give me the opportunity to fix anything. He is greedy and trying to extort everything he can out of me.

He is mad because he thought he could keep raising the rent and I would keep staying there. I asked him the last time the rent went up he said he had no control over the rate and it was based on an algorithm. Most places would cut a deal with their long term renters to keep them there.

This was Airbnb’s reply:

After careful review of all photos, documentation, and related communication provided by both parties, we determined your host should be reimbursed for the damage caused during your stay. Thank you for your patience throughout this process.

As a guest, you’re responsible for leaving the property in the same condition that your host provided. These responsibilities are detailed in Airbnb’s Terms of Service. Based on the information available, we have determined that your host should be compensated $822.76 for their loss. The host timely reported the damage and was able to provide valid documentation of the loss and the cost to repair or replace the damage.

The total amount of the loss is $822.76, which breaks down as: 1) Mattress : $104.80 2) Shower repair/cleaning : $385 3) Mirror frame repair : $250 4) Lock safe: $33.08 5) Microwave : $49.88. Please submit the $822.76 using the below secure manual payment link. You must be logged into your account to access these links. We request that you complete payment within 24 hours.

Once payment is complete, please let us know by responding directly to this message.

I gave the host a $150 deposit after I booked the place. He requested through the Airbnb app. Also, I did not agree with the amount Airbnb said I owed. So, I sent this reply:

This amount does not reflect the $150 deposit that the host stated in his claim I already gave him. Also, the mirror is not worth $250. I did not break the frame. It is old. Years from being in a hot moist environment from the shower steam and being mounted over a heater caused the frame to break.

However, since I’m being held responsible for its damage, I’m going to prove that it can be repaired for a grand total of $14.74. At Lowes you can get an eight-foot strip to cut out the small piece of the frame that needs to be replaced for $3.46. Then you can a 1-qt can of paint that you can color match to the rest of the frame for $10.28. Add Lincoln sales tax of 7.25% for a total of $14.74.

This is very minor damage to an old mirror. If it’s going to cost $250 to fix it, then show me an estimate. I also attached a picture from the host’s rental page of the shower. It clearly shows permanent stains on the wall and the basin. It is not white like the rest of the shower. What I left was dirt, not tar. No effort was used to clean it. The host said in his statement that he let it soak in bleach for two hours. That is not going to clean it. He does not mention anything about scrubbing the shower. Comet cleanser and a scouring pad would clean that up. The host is trying to scam me and Airbnb.

A few days later I got this reply from airbnb:

Thanks for your reply and after a full review of the incident, we have decided to remove you from the Airbnb community. This means you can no longer access your account and cannot create a new one. We determined that you violated the Security section of the Airbnb Community Standards, which you agreed to in the Terms of Service.

The violation involving property damage was reported on Feb. 27, 2021. Any upcoming reservations have been cancelled and you’ve been fully refunded. We consider this decision final. You can read more about removal from the Airbnb community.

Now I’m banned from Airbnb. All because I stood up for myself. Airbnb will always be on the host’s side.

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Airbnb Host Posted Photos of a Different Apartment

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I rented a suite on Airbnb for 29 days. Upon check in, the entire place was filthy: hair on the floor, dirty sheets. Absolutely no towels were provided. We left immediately. The place was disgusting.

We messaged the host right away and he denied it, so I contacted Airbnb. We checked in at about 2:30 PM and didn’t hear back from Airbnb until the next day. We’ve been going back and forth with Airbnb for a month now. They are saying the apartment is exactly as described. However the host described it as a three-bedroom apartment when in fact it is a one bedroom with one bed and a couch.

The photos were 90% accurate but extremely misrepresented. It was photoshopped to remove all the rust and grime around all of the sink. Most deceiving is the living room the host advertised. He used an entirely different photo of another place with only a couch that somewhat looks similar. If you look at the photos of the windows, the sliding glass door, and the walls, it’s clearly not the same apartment.

I am out about $2,350 CDN as Airbnb is refusing to refund me. This host has also received similar scam reviews on his profile. The guests from his other listings are corroborating my claims. Yet Airbnb still has this host on their platform and refusing to refund me as a guest.

I have been using Airbnb for about eight years with over 77 excellent reviews as a host and a guest. I do not have a history of trying to cancel reservations. I’d like to sue this host in small claims court as I live in Vancouver as well but his information is not available to me and he did not give me a phone number (other guests have said the same). What are my options for getting my money back?

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Airbnb Host Repeatedly Lied About Cleanliness

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I booked an Airbnb apartment for the weekend of Oct. 23-25 for me and my daughter. When I initially made the reservation, I listed one guest not thinking that it mattered that I was bringing my 15-year-old daughter with me, since it was a two-bedroom, two-bath apartment.

Upon arrival, the host met us and gave us the key with a list of rules while staying. My daughter and I then left to run errands before we got settled in. When we returned, we had our shoes on as we ran back and forth to the truck to gather our belongings. Then put our own socks on while in the apartment. One of the rules was there were to be no shoes while in the apartment and she supplied socks for guests. Being that COVID does exist, we chose to wear our own socks.

We then toured the apartment and began to wipe everything down. When I went into the guest bathroom, I noticed that it had not been cleaned. There were old bars of soap in the tub area, splatters in the toilet as if someone just had diarrhea, toothpaste on the mirror and hair on the floor. The floors had not been vacuumed and there was food in the refrigerator.

I texted the host through the app with my concerns of the cleanliness. She came and cleaned the toilet and that was it. When I asked her if someone was living in the unit full time, she said yes. So I asked her about the other issues such as the leftover food in the refrigerator, she said it must have been from the prior guests. That was the first lie.

I grabbed bleach and bleach wipes and began to clean the unit myself because we didn’t have anywhere to go on such short notice. When I wiped down the kitchen counter tops, my Clorox wipes were brown. While wiping down the remote in the living room, I noticed that there was a camera on. I immediately unplugged it and called Airbnb customer service.

In the apartment listing it states that there is an active recording camera at the “door way,” but this camera was actually in the living room recording our every move. I told the representative that we wanted to check out because we were no longer staying there. My daughter had undressed in the living room area and was now paranoid. The representative sent me a policy stating that the host can have a recording device in the common area and it must state that in the listing. Well, that didn’t happen. That was the second lie.

They reached out to the host with all of my concerns and she said that there was nothing she was going to do. Although the policy states that I have the right to check out when I arrive and receive a refund for the nights not stayed, she still refused to refund me my money. The next morning I texted the host myself with my issues, saying that we were uncomfortable and that we were leaving at 10:00 AM.

She then called me on the phone with an attitude saying that Airbnb contacted her with my concerns and still refused to refund me for the next night even though I gave her notice. She also said that she noticed that I had a guest with me when the rules said that would be grounds of cancellation. Keep in mind, the “guest” was my 15-year-old daughter.

She then said that she noticed that we had shoes on while in the apartment. Again, we were going from the apartment to the truck to get settled. She claimed she cleaned the apartment herself and it’s not her fault that I had expectations. Well, I am a clean person and if I’m renting anyone’s place using my own money then I do have expectations for cleanliness.

She began to yell over the phone so I hung up on her. My daughter and I ended up leaving and checking into the Marriott, which was another expense for me. A case worker contacted me over the course of the weekend, but as of today, there has been no resolution.

I find it disappointing that Airbnb would be okay for a host to have an active recording camera in the living room, violating one’s privacy, and the fact that they find it okay with a host having a listing that nasty. I have never had a bad experience from a host and the lack of concern from Airbnb is very troublesome.

Every time I rented, the host always left a good review about me. When I went to leave my review, they said that I missed the cut off time to do so. I was told that I only had a few hours after my check out time, but again this was no concern of theirs. I did get pictures of the apartment and will attach them to my post.

My biggest mistake was over overlooking the fact that the host only had one review at that time. Save your money and the headache and rent from a host that not only cares about the money, but their guest’s peace of mind.

Racist Host Cancelled Over Holiday Weekend

What was supposed to be a peaceful, relaxing weekend away with some of our closest friends for Thanksgiving weekend turned out to be a nightmare. Our group consisted of a total of six individuals, ethnically diverse (east Indian and Korean) professionals, a mix of women and men. One might wonder why is it important to mention a description of our ethnic background — why does that need to be stated on an Airbnb review?

With everything happening in the United States, racial profiling and discrimination is something I felt free of in Canada, especially in British Columbia where our communities are multicultural. However, we were all victims of discriminatory behaviour by the host.

We booked accommodations at Campbell River about a month prior to our arrival. The intent of our stay was to have a weekend away with our friends and enjoy what we named “friendsgiving.” We were all excited to share a meal around a table, play some board games and enjoy nature. Upon our search we came across a “luxurious log cabin” and the six of us decided the cabin was to our liking and suited our needs and interests for the weekend. We proceeded to book the accommodation, and the host and hostess accepted our payment.

We started planning. We are all honest individuals and have immense respect for others’ homes. We did not want to bring or do anything which was not okay with the host so we took the liberty to be honest and asked the host if it would be okay if we cooked dinner for thanksgiving at the cabin. In addition to this, we asked if it would be okay if we brought our lovely Luna (our dog) with us. The host was quick and kind to reply that the kitchen is fully stocked for cooking purposes and we are more than welcome to host our dinner. However, she was not okay with our pet.

We respected her wishes and decided to let our dog stay with family and were very thankful that she was okay with us using the kitchen. It does state on the listing that the kitchen is available for use and we do have proof of the host’s messages agreeing to the use of the kitchen.

Two days before we were to leave for the weekend, we got a message from the host asking to change our cabin and to consider making changes to our accommodation. They send us pictures of a different cabin, which looks absolutely nothing like the log cabin we had originally booked — not nearly as nice. We kindly asked the host if we could continue to keep our original log cabin accommodation as the entire group is more comfortable with our initial choice. We promised her our dog is not coming with us and that we are all professionals and will leave the place with no damage. The host agreed to allow us to continue our stay at the originally booked log cabin.

All of our ducks were in a row. Ferries from horseshoe bay were booked. It was the day of departure and the six of us make the six-hour commute to Campbell River. During the drive in the morning, we got bombarded with messages from the host saying we could not stay at the log cabin. She was going to cancel our booking unless we agreed to stay at the other cabin.

We took the liberty of calling Airbnb customer support and explained the entire situation to them. They mentioned that the host is in the wrong and should not be changing accommodations without getting approval from the booking customer. The hostess was strong arming us to stay somewhere we didn’t book. Considering we had already commuted almost four hours at this point and it was a long thanksgiving weekend with no other place to stay that could accommodate six people, we had to agree to changing the cabin. However, our condition was that we wanted to see the cabin first upon our arrival.

Once the first half of our group arrived, the host refused to open the gate and let them in. We called her and messaged her to let us in — we paid for the accommodation and travelled a long way to be here. At first, she refused until we called Airbnb and agreed to cancel our original booking and accepted the new cabin. We politely told her that we would like to see the cabin she was recommending before agreeing to her request.

This is where it gets really ugly. When she finally came out to open the gate and take the group to the new cabin, we noticed that the cabin had not been cleaned at all. There was dirt and leaves everywhere, the sheets looked slept in, there were coffee stains on the tables, and a horrible smell. The cabin looked completely lived in and had not been cleaned at all.

Immediately the group refused to stay there — this was not what we paid for and this was not what we travelled six hours to stay at. When asked why we could not stay at the log cabin we originally booked her words to us were: “People like you stayed there last time and the people like you all burned the stovetop.”

At first we were taken aback by the phrase “people like you” and then expressed to her we had no intention of damaging the place. She could take a larger cash deposit from us and hold onto it until our stay was over and return it once she was content that there was indeed no damage.

Her response? “No, I cant trust people like you, you asked about bringing a dog.”

We reassured her there was no dog. We left her back home. She could have checked our car, but she continued to accuse us of lying about hiding the dog. Repeatedly she used the phrase “people like you.” She never once addressed us by our names. She called us violent people when a friend of ours tried to walk towards the other cabin and threatened to call the police.

Eventually we noticed that there was someone already staying at the log cabin we had originally booked. She accepted our payment but gave the accommodation to a family member of hers to stay at for the weekend and was forcing us to stay at another cabin so she wouldn’t have to return our payment. The host then admitted that she gave the log cabin to a family member to stay at and that she forgot to tell us earlier.

We as a group have never been so humiliated, insulted, discriminated, and racially profiled before. We have never had someone threaten to call the police on us, to be treated so inhumanely and to be referred to as “people like you.”

My advice to anyone of ethnic origin or of colour: please save yourself the long journey and headache and do not book accommodations unless you are okay with your weekend being sabotaged. The six of us had to resort to booking a one-bedroom place which slept three people. 600 square feet for the weekend because there was no other place to stay due to the long weekend. We tried to make the most of our weekend, but the horrendous behaviour from the host and hostess was unforgettable.

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Accused of Theft and Lying About Smells

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My wife and I rented an Airbnb e to celebrate our first anniversary. From day one it smelled like a dog kennel. The second day, we found one bed bug which the co-host implied that we could’ve been responsible for rather than just quietly making things right. She moved us to a different room that was much better, but then the next day, she and her daughter accused us of messing with the way their appliances were plugged in and costing them $95 for an electrical inspection, when we didn’t and had absolutely no reason to.

The host’s daughter did not objectively serve us and was hardly involved as opposed to her mom. We filed a complaint with Airbnb the next day and the hosts kicked us out, though we had not officially told them we were canceling our reservation. They falsely accused us of filing a complaint of theft against them and took pictures of our naturally messy room before we had time to clean it up. They reported us to Airbnb corporate for vandalizing and trashing their place.

Airbnb’s Dishonesty Over COVID-19 Cancellation

In February I booked a house in Manly Sydney for two couples from within Australia and New Zealand. Then came COVID-19 and with border closures flights were cancelled and borders closed.

I contacted the owner and was told cancelling would not be a problem and I would get a refund. I duly did so and it read that I would receive AUD 450.00 which was slightly less than I had paid. Then I received a email from Airbnb informing me that I would get no money as company policy was since I hadn’t paid in full, there would be no refund. I asked about a voucher but the answer was no.

Their blurb said if COVID-19 was the reason for cancelling and a booking had been made prior to shutdown then they would refund but actually that’s a lie. A lot of messaging between myself, the owner and the company was a waste of time. The owner blocked any communication and then Airbnb stated that due to COVID-19, property owners were struggling with their own debt hence the reason for no payment. They too refused to accept any further communication. The host did say that any reimbursement was out of his hands as Airbnb didn’t pay him until the date of the booking.

It is saddening that this company can take money from people and not return it when it’s a genuine reason for cancellation. The airline returned the full cost of tickets without even requesting the same but Airbnb is cheating us of our funds.

Airbnb has lost me as a user and I’ll stay with other honest short-term holiday rental companies that have been reliable in the past. I only used this one as it was exactly what we wanted and located where we wanted but I’ll look elsewhere and trust the company of choice. Use Airbnb at your peril but never again for me.

Airbnb Host Offers no Flexibility During Pandemic

This was the worst Airbnb I have ever stayed at in my life. It was like walking on eggshells. I can’t believe I stayed here and extended my stay. I was manipulated and taken advantage of at the same time as well.

Since I was trying to save money in the middle of the pandemic, I figured I should probably stay in a cheap place with a kitchen. I was hesitant with booking with this host since the kitchen was not allowed. I figured she might be able to make an exception so I decided to message her first.

In our conversation, she told me “light cooking” would be okay. Unfortunately, that was my mistake. “Light cooking” was her way to get me to book the room so that she could make some extra cash during the pandemic. Apparently sautéing was not considered to be “light cooking”. Light cooking to her was considered to be making a sandwich, which is not really cooking at all. Because of this miscommunication, I had to throw away $30 of groceries.

My host also came into my room and moved my stuff around so that she could tidy up one day while I was gone for the afternoon. If I can’t come into your room I would really appreciate it if you didn’t go into the one I paid for when I’m not in the apartment. I mean how do I know if my stuff is safe in the room?

I can also see why previous guests were complaining about the bed. I had to fix the bed frame several times since it’s made out of wood. On her listing, it also says that a laptop friendly space is included. When I was at a desk typing on my laptop I was told to go to my room because “the living room wasn’t an office”.

If you’re a tourist and you’re not in the apartment a lot I can see why you would leave a good review but this was not my experience. I’ll never use Airbnb again.

No Reservation Fee Refund for July Travel

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic closing events and the related travel restrictions we are unable to travel to Croatia this July. We had paid the large reservation fee at this point.

I spoke to my host to cancel the reservation and discuss refund options. She seemed to sympathise and said she had changed her cancellation policy and hoped I got all my money back. However, when I tried to cancel the booking there was no refund indicated as due.

I contacted my host who basically stalled me. I have tried to go via the resolution centre but cannot as it states I have not paid the full fee. I am prepared to negotiate a fair number with the host but she continues to stall. I am concerned that it now looks like I’m paying a large reservation fee for an apartment that I cannot stay in for no fault of my own.

I cannot take it to resolution as I have not paid a fee. The help centre is absolutely no help at all. I’ve sent multiple messages with no response. Is there anything I can do or have I lost all the money?

Airbnb Refuses to Refund First Responders

We had a group of first responders planning to stay at an Airbnb for three days in April. During this time, the COVID-19 virus had made its way to Southern California. We have been transporting symptomatic patients everyday and many of our paramedics/firefighters have been contracting the virus. This virus has the possibility to be asymptomatic and our fear was coming in contact with civilians that could suffer life-threatening symptoms.

I reached out to the host explaining how it was best if we cancelled. Our host had the ability to give a full refund and said he was on board. Immediately after I canceled, he went back on his word and kept the money.

A few days later, Airbnb released extenuating circumstances for a full refund for customers that fell within certain dates. Although my dates were included, I had already cancelled; they refused the refund. I tried to explain the situation I had with my host.

I received very generic and automated responses from customer support denying any help. I am very disheartened about how Airbnb customer support has handled this situation. This has cost me a lot of money and I don’t see my myself ever using their services again. To all that are reading this: stay safe during this tough time.