Airbnb Host Wanted Guests to Feel the Heat

We arrived at a rental for an entire house ($1200 US for three nights) with high expectations as it was advertised with air conditioning in the amenities. The host (Adam) was not there but left his cell phone number. On arrival, we found a single wall air conditioning unit in the first floor hall and turned it on. When we went to the second and third floors looking for the other units we were surprised; there were none and the temperature was 85F outside with 80% humidity. The host answered his phone and said to “close all the windows and leave the air conditioning on high.” The upstairs temperature continued to rise making it impossible to sleep or even breathe. We contacted the host the following morning and he said that he’d “see about renting a portable air conditioning unit.” We told him we’d be out for the day and he had our cell phone number.

We were surprised on our late afternoon return that there was no new air conditioning unit. There was an email on our 4:10 PM return that said he tried to find one but there was none. He was on a “waiting list” and if that wasn’t an acceptable solution we’d have to vacate by 4:00 PM, which had already past. We called him again and he became verbally abusive telling us that “he knew that New Yorkers would be trouble.” Luckily a friend from the town was with us and we found a local electronics store (thanks to Harvey Norman Inc) which had units in stock, but were closing at 4:30 PM. We rushed over, picked up the unit, and after six hours the third floor bedroom was cool enough to use.

When we told the host we spent 300 AUD he said we couldn’t use the unit because his electricity bill would skyrocket. We continued to use it anyway. Our friend kept the air conditioner when we departed two days later for the US. The host changed his Airbnb posting after we left so that it no longer said that the place had air conditioning in the amenities but then gave us a bad review; we never even reviewed him but did delete our Airbnb account. Never again. Airbnb gave us $175 US back and a credit for $100 since the host would not return his emails.

Search for Respite in Florida Turns to Airbnb Scam

I’m a recovering cancer patient and I went to Sarasota, Florida for respite and to look for a permanent home. I used to live close by there and enjoyed what the city had to offer in the art and culture areas. The efficiency apartment I thought I was renting for more than a month turned out to be a sort of converted single car garage without many of the listed amenities, i.e. pool view, Internet, el fresco table, privacy. Tiny windows were blocked by bicycles hung on hooks and there was no real entrance. Instead, there was a wooden gate with a padlock. The garage faced a storage shed, recycle bins, and a large lumber pile with critters. The shower was smaller than my son’s coffin. The host and his wife were very nice. If you want to be scammed, nice people do it in a charming way. There was a puppy (this was August 2016 so it may be a little bigger now) and two little children, not the one little child in the advertisement. The apartment was not across the street from a bus stop, and I don’t recommend that you stop here, period.

Family Vacation in Airbnb Historic Hell Hole


Our story begins like so many, an innocent Airbnber looking for a place to stay for our six-month working holiday. We made arrangements for what seemed to be a charming cottage with three bedrooms. We are a family of five with a one year old, so having an entire home with three bedrooms appealed to us. Upon our arrival, things weren’t quite so charming. The cottage was more of a hovel. What appeared to be shabby chic online was just shabby. The neighborhood was full of overflowing dumpsters and dilapidated homes and trailers. Everything was padlocked so we were nervous about safety, both personally and for our property. The rental had been advertised as historic and an easy walk to downtown. Unfortunately this walk was in the aforementioned neighborhood, full of traffic, and lacking sidewalks. We were also without Internet, which had been supposedly included. The gas stove was leaky and the smell permeated the utility room as well. The fourth night there the toilet overflowed.

We notified the landlords but an hour later when we heard back I’d fixed it and cleaned the floor. Unfortunately wetness kept seeping up from the floor, which was disgusting. Because the shower floor was spongy we wondered if perhaps the entire bathroom subfloor was rotten? The biggest concern to us wasn’t actually these things (though they did suck). The biggest issue was that the stairs couldn’t be adequately protected for our baby. We notified the landlords about our concerns at the first opportunity available. They were unresponsive and said if we moved out they’d keep our first and last month’s rent and deposit, totaling $4200. We tried to negotiate by paying them a higher daily rate by moving early but they weren’t willing to be flexible. Mind you, we had not signed a lease and the place wasn’t safe! We moved to a hotel and got an email saying they’d contacted an attorney and had property damage from us. Also, they knew we had a cat there because of all the black fur. We don’t have a cat! So now, while I’m sure they can’t do anything to us legally, there’s a definite shadow over what was meant to have been a magical family adventure.