Our Private Home Rented Without Our Knowledge

We were in the process of arranging to rent a portion only – no pets allowed – of our holiday house on Airbnb with the owner-operator, who had access to the house. We had not completed the necessary renovations, most importantly a locking door to separate our private area from the rental area. We left New Zealand with the plan on pause until our return. To our horror, when we returned, we learned that our entire home had been rented out repeatedly starting just after we left. Numerous adults, children and pets were in our home, free to go through all of our personal belongings. The house was infested with fleas, and hundreds of dollars of new linens and the TV decoder were missing. The manager denied everything, but did compensate us for the missing items and flea treatments. So… all this person had to do was tick a box on Airbnb saying they had permission to rent. This is outrageous. Airbnb’s reply? “Really sorry, but not our problem.” How can this be legal?

Airbnb Not Paying Host After Guests Stayed One Week

My story is very sad and hopefully can help other hosts and guests to make an informed decision if using Airbnb’s services. I hosted a family of four people in my flat, and after they stayed for one week and I did not receive any payment, the day of checkout, I contacted Airbnb who told me my payment was on the way and would be in the bank within 24 hours. Reassured from this, I let my guests leave the flat without paying.

Obviously the money did not arrive and nobody from Airbnb contacted me any further in regards to it. After creating a new case with customer support, I was told that I had some debt on my account for roughly 800 Euros and that’s why I did not receive the payment. The debt of 800 Euros obviously was disputed three years ago, when Airbnb sent me the money and allowed a customer to cancel a strict reservation asking for the refund of the amount that obviously I never paid.

Being particularly upset with Airbnb, my guest who stayed for six days and effectively not being paid, I decided to go to to small claims court with my guest since the Airbnb contract is void due to the lack of payment. What I have learned is Airbnb support was completely useless after three weeks waiting for the money they just pointed to their terms and conditions. Airbnb is an intermediary and fails in their role; this makes the implicit contract between hosts and guests valid.

As a guest I would think twice before using Airbnb in the future, knowing that host could still take me to court since Airbnb’s terms and conditions is not a legal contract, but just a policy that Airbnb uses to do business ignoring local laws. Once I will succeed in this case, I will then take them to small claims court for recovering the resulting damages for failing in the intermediary role and all the fake advertising that they are doing in UK. An agent who took the money and did not pay the host is a scammer, not an estate agent.

Airbnb Locks Changed by a Judge, Belongings Seized

Illegal Airbnb in LA Means Sneaking Around

We booked a two-bedroom apartment in Hollywood for 18 nights as our son is autistic and has allergies so we sometimes like to cook. A few days before our arrival, we received a message from the Superhost not to discuss Airbnb anywhere near the apartment or building; this was because the hotels in the area are losing a lot of money and are going to court to have Airbnb banned.

On our arrival to the apartment it was clear that Airbnb subletting in the apartment building was illegal as there were signs in the lift, entrance and parking lot. The person with our key was not the host but a friend. We also noticed that the carpets were heavily stained, the balcony light had blown out, the Sonos sound system was missing and one of the stovetop burners didn’t work. The next day we went to Walmart and spent $200 on food which was placed in the fridge and freezer.

When we woke the next morning we discovered that the freezer had stopped working; everything had defrosted and was ruined. I sent a message to the Superhost and discovered she was in Europe. I told her we wanted everything fixed. She made no mention of compensating us for the food. She then asked me to take the keys to her friend so they could arrange the repairs. As I was on holiday, I refused (I should not be running around after her). She couldn’t ask management to fix it as she was illegally subletting the apartment.

After much to-ing and fro-ing and abuse from the Superhost we requested a full refund and went to an hotel. Airbnb was good and sorted the refund out quickly. The Superhost gave me a refund because she knew she was in hot water with the apartment if they found out. I’m not sure we’ll use Airbnb again.

Tenant Hijacks Property, Airbnb Refuses to Help

I’m not really a guest. I am an owner whose tenant decided to operate an Airbnb even though it violated his lease and is a breach of our agreement. When we asked Airbnb to take the property down from their site they refused, indicating their arrangement with our tenant and stating only the tenant can take it down. The tenant has refused to do so, so we served him with a Notice to Quit, the first step to eviction. The process could take four to six weeks if we are lucky. Until he is out, we can do nothing about him continuing to be on Airbnb. Last weekend he rented out to a party of about 200 people. We are in California, where tenants have more rights than owners and when the state needs money they turn to the owners to provide it. We need better laws to defend honest citizens from the leaches that some Airbnb hosts are.

Slandered and Threatened at Airbnb in Mexico

I am now rounding out my sixth week at an Airbnb in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. I am in total shock over how I have been treated and if the advice I’m about to give saves even one person the psychological pain I have suffered, it will have been worth it. Somewhere within the Airbnb contract, it says that a host ask a guest to leave for any reason. That, in and of itself, is insanity. And in the state of Guanajuato, it is completely untrue. In my case, the “hostess” saw me smoking a cigarette in her “casita”. That was a no-no. I apologized but her response was, “I am changing the locks and will throw all your belongings onto the street.” My response was to call my Mexican attorney. Yes, I have one. He advised me to tell her to back all the way off. Which, I did. Instead of her backing off I starting receiving daily Airbnb emails from her and from Airbnb itself. Her emails included the following flowery phrases she used to describe me: “pissed off addict”, “worst person I have ever met”, “you are beneath me”, “unethical”, “shame on you” and endless references to this one cigarette. She repeatedly told me to “GET OUT”. So after more than five weeks into this drama, I asked my lawyer to write her a letter.

Here is the real deal about renting in Mexico, through Airbnb or just directly with a landlord. Harassment of a tenant in Mexico is a criminal offense. Any attempt to evict a tenant outside the court is a criminal offense. Airbnb has no jurisdiction here and therefore, the tenant holds all the cards. Did I want to leave? Of course. But nothing was available that was not quadruple what I had already paid the hostess so I had to stay put. Do not knuckle under if you find yourself in a similar situation. You are being abused, you are the victim. There is nothing Airbnb can do to remove you. In fact, if any attempt had been made to remove me, that person would be subject to arrest. I hope this helps someone.

Learn From Our Mistake: Airbnb Illegal in Singapore

Earlier this year my family booked two nights at a condominium in Singapore. Everything looked good, and the host responded well. There were no problems with the booking. Upon arrival, a different host greeted us, and we noted in the lift large signs stating “Airbnb illegal in these apartments. We have CCTV.” The apartment was certainly not ready for us, and the host claimed a problem in a change of ownership which we needed to discuss with Airbnb. To cut a long story short, it appeared that police had in fact visited this block recently, and the original owner cut his ties. We told the new host we did not want to be part of an illegal practice and would leave early next morning, which we did, involving time wasted and additional expense during our short break. I have since raised this with Airbnb and gotten absolutely nowhere. It appears that sublets of less than six months are indeed illegal in Singapore and most people certainly knew this. Suffice to say, our condominium and many others continue to be advertised on their website.

Legal Troubles with Airbnb: Is it Worth the Hassle?

We are currently going through an ordeal with Airbnb where a recent guest party resulted in us having to cancel one month’s worth of rentals. We would go into more details about what the guest did and how Airbnb handled it but at this moment sharing more information publicly may make us easily identifiable by Airbnb. They may terminate our account to destroy evidence of message histories and emails, etc. It may also bias a future potential legal case. We filed a claim with Airbnb for theft, damages, and lost booking revenue under the Airbnb Host Guarantee and were sure that they would take responsibility and help us. After many emails and phone calls and not being called back, experiencing the exact same horrific lack of support for hosts as has been described over and over here, eventually Airbnb agreed to compensate us for only some of the stolen and damaged items. They have also agreed to compensate us for our lost revenue from the bookings we had to cancel.

However, Airbnb consistently refuses to compensate us for our lost booking revenue (nearly 10000 GBP) from our cancelled bookings from competing sites such as Home Away, Owners Direct, Holiday Lettings and FlipKey. This despite the fact that we have provided Airbnb with documentation which validates that these are bonafide bookings that we had to cancel in the aftermath of the Airbnb guest party. We have also provided a police report number and other relevant documentation to Airbnb. They are referring to their vaguely formulated Host Guarantee Terms, i.e. this paragraph:

“Booking Income Loss is the loss of booking income from the booked portion of a Covered Accommodation (according to bona fide Airbnb confirmed bookings, contracts or agreements in force prior to the established time of loss) by you, as a Host, resulting from a Covered Loss. Booking Income Loss does not include non-continuing charges and expenses or any loss of booking income during any period in which the Covered Accommodation would not have been tenantable for any reason other than a Covered Loss. The Booking Income Loss will be measured by Airbnb’s insurer starting from the time of occurrence of the Covered Loss and ending when the Covered Accommodation can be made ready for habitation under the same or equivalent physical and operating conditions that existed prior to the damage.”

From this paragraph it is not clear that Airbnb will not cover lost revenue from competing booking sites and Airbnb is clearly just trying their best to escape paying us. So far we have not accepted their offer of compensation as it does not cover our losses from accepting a booking from this verified Airbnb guest. We are now considering our options and we understand from reading various articles on Airbnbhell.com that the only two options available to us are to get media coverage or engage a lawyer.

Can any host on this forum please share with us if they know of any successful cases where a host has brought legal action against Airbnb? Is it worth our time, effort and money to try to fight such a big organization that has the legal backing and resources to win legal battles against entire cities? Do you have any recommendations as to what type of lawyer would be suitable? Is this property law? Contract law? Dispute law? Do you have any recommendations for lawyers in the UK who have had experience successfully running host cases against Airbnb? Or is it better to let the national newspapers run a story about this? If so – would Airbnb be more likely to compensate our losses then? All we want is to get our losses covered so we can keep up our financial obligations for our property and get back on track with our rental. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Does Airbnb Condone Prostitution in Paris?

Here is an experience that shows how Airbnb truly operates with the practice of totalitarian and dishonest methods in order to maximize its gains. The resolution center is there to give anyone that files a complaint serious headaches, to make it as lengthy and complicated as possible to put off potential claims and, in the end, to make a decision without the possibility of appeal or protest. In short, disgusting downright incompetence and amateurism combined. Be warned.

An American female traveler stayed in my studio, located in Paris, France. After three days the complaints from neighbors multiplied and one called the police in the early morning. They discovered my guest and a gentleman who admits to having “paid [for] sexual services” having a heated argument. The traveler denies <em>en bloc</em> and demands a refund “because of some renovation that disrupted her stay.” In fact, it concerned a facelift of a nearby building.

Despite sending the police record and an affidavit from a neighbor this is the Airbnb resolution:

“Hi Paul, This is Keith with Airbnb. I hope this email finds you well. After reviewing all the documentation provided for this resolution case a fair mediation has been reached. Juliana was requesting $1320.00 for the issues had during her stay. I’ve processed a refund to Julian in the amount of $321.00 USD for the issues she experienced. Since your payout was already released for this reservation, a $320.00 adjustment has been added to your account. This means that the amount will be automatically deducted from your future payouts until it has been reconciled. You can check the status of your payouts at any time in your Transaction History, which can be found at Account > Transaction History. The Completed Transactions tab displays your payout when it is released by Airbnb, and when it’s processed by the banking system. This concludes this Resolution case. You are now able to submit your own Resolution case for consideration. All the best, Keith S.”

In other words: Airbnb condones prostitution. Airbnb doesn’t care about hosts. According to my calculations, I’ve made the equivalent of $20,000 in the past five years for this Mickey Mouse company. The style and spelling of their replies clearly demonstrate that Airbnb representatives have zero legal expertise, and are mere puppets of the corporate philosophy of maximizing revenues at any cost.

Does Airbnb Protect Hosts’ Neighbors?

My neighbor is an Airbnb host, not me. I tried to contact Airbnb regarding issues and questions I had related to my neighbor’s hosting, and it’s impossible to contact them through their website without providing the host’s listing information. Seriously? There is no email listed on their website. So, my questions relate to Airbnb’s verification process and how they protect neighbors if a guest damages the neighbor’s property, attacks the neighbor, steals from the neighbor, etc; and so, I called Airbnb. They planned to refer it to their legal department, but they refused to do so unless I provided my neighbor’s information. Seriously? In what universe would I trust Airbnb with my privacy if they can’t even provide an email or phone number on their website in which to contact them? I can’t allow my neighbor to know I contacted Airbnb. So, I asked to speak to the customer service representative’s supervisor; until I through a complete and utter hissy fit and repeated over thirty times “I need to speak to your supervisor” did I get to speak to someone who could take down my information to get back to me. I wasted 32 minutes on the phone trying to get a few simple questions answered on top of trying to go through their website.