Filthy Condo Forces Couple to Leave Early

My wife and I were very disappointed with our stay at this property in Laguna Niguel. I would not recommend this condo; it should be removed from Airbnb. We only stayed three nights then could not stand it any longer so we booked a room at the Hilton Garden Inn in Irvine. Upon entering the condo, we noticed the place smelled. We found the property to be very dirty. Countertops had dirt and grit and had not been wiped or cleaned prior to our arrival. Toilets had not been cleaned and had dirt and hair on the tops of the bowls and rims. Bathroom countertops had not been cleaned and had dirt, hair, and grit. When we tried to clean the area with wipes, they came away with quite a bit of black stuff and dirt.

There was mold in the master bathroom’s shower. This concerned us very much. The sheets for the master bed were washed and folded on the bed, but when we made the bed we found the sheets were stained and made of a very cheap, thin material. We did not use the second bedroom with a twin bed as it was only the two of us. The towels and washcloths were very old and grey from long-term use and multiple washings (in other words, not white anymore); one washcloth even had very dark stains. It made us uncomfortable to use them.

The shower wand in the master bath was lying on the floor of the shower and I thought it must have fallen. When I put the wand in the holder it was dripping. Attempting to turn the hot and cold faucets off securely did not stop the dripping and this was the reason the shower wand was left on the floor of the shower (otherwise when sleeping you would hear the constant drip).

The condo only had a toaster oven and no microwave. The toaster oven was dirty. The coffee pot was a very old drip type with no cup markings on the carafe or water reservoir to tell you how may cups of water for filling so it made it difficult to determine how much coffee (scoops) to put into the filter. There was spilled and crusted food on the shelves of the refrigerator.

On Wednesday morning we got up early and washed the sheets and towels as instructed (this took over two hours to wash and dry, so we made sure to get up early to complete this task). We mopped the floors (the mop we found was filthy). When I went to vacuum the carpets, I found the filter was completely clogged and caked with dirt. I cannot imagine how this vacuum could have picked up any dirt from the carpets. For a filter to be clogged and caked this severely must have been from neglect over a matter of months. The connecting hose from the vacuum head to the filter was duct taped. I cleaned the filter as best I could between each of the pleats.

We just could not stay in this condo, so we left early and reserved a room at the Hilton Garden Inn at John Wayne Airport. This added an extra $300 on top of the $480 we paid for four nights in the condo. The host responded to our review stating that we were “scammers”. This was my 67th birthday. I am a professional engineer and very responsible and very clean. We keep our home immaculate.

Airbnb Takes Host’s Side in Flophouse Complaint

It’s been ten days since I discussed the complaints about my host with Airbnb’s resolution center, to no avail. She won’t understand my queries. She uses all her energy to agree with the host and dismiss me. All she understands about my complaints are the cleanliness and misrepresentation, and that’s okay with her.

On April 21st, 2017, we reserved the master bedroom of for an appartment in Hollywood. The listing claimed the following amenities were included:

– You get your own master bedroom with a private bathroom, closet, balcony
– Sleeps three (third person can choose to sleep on living room couch or an air mattress)
– Free wifi
– Central air conditioning and heating
– Hardwood floors (carpeted bedroom/walk-in closet)
– All brand new furniture and apartment
– Dishwasher, microwave, full size stove
– Laundry Facilities inside the unit (modern washer and dryer)
– Cleaned by professional maids
– Full kitchen
– Extra comfortable mattresses: 600 thread count sheets, high quality comforter sets
– Chic and modern design
– Stainless steel appliances

We demand a refund for the following reasons. Before reserving, we asked for more pictures, because only one was provided in the listing. A woman claiming to be the host said that she did not have any at the moment. When we saw the apartment, we understood why she would not provide pictures. We did have our own room with a private bathroom. It was very sparsely furnished with just a bed and a TV. There was No bedside table or lamp, no dresser, no chairs, and no sofa, contrary to what was shown in the picture. In addition:

• We had to ask for the air mattress, which was stored in a pile in the dirty living room. • It smelled like cheap perfume in the room, as if someone wanted to hide a bad smell.
• The bath, sink, and mirror were dirty.
• The only linens that were provided were five washcloths and a hand towel.
• The blinds did not work properly, missing many slats
• The balcony was cluttered with stuff belonging to other people (and the host responded that he wasn’t responsible for the comings and goings of the people in the apartment)
• The room could only be locked from the inside, so we could not lock it when we wanted to leave.

Furthermore, the front door was always unlocked. The host only gave us the key to the building, not to the apartment, claiming that there was always someone there. Therefore, both the front door and the door to our room were always unlocked, so we could easily have been robbed. When we confronted the host about these problems, he made up excuses and said he would get the air mattress (which he did) and extra linens (which he didn’t). When we explained our problems with the state of the apartment, he replied that we had only rented a room, disregarding the fact that we were supposed to have access to the kitchen, which was in a horrible state.

As for the rest of the appartment…

• There were four or five occupants in the living room and kitchen when we arrived (alone, because the host did not meet us). These were all temporary lodgers or Couchsurfers, judging by all the couches and air mattresses.
• The kitchen and fridge were dirty and smelled bad, just like the rest of the apartment.
• There was no coffee maker, and no glasses. We only managed to find two cups.
• When we woke up, six people were sleeping in that mess of a living room. We have traveled a lot (often using Airbnb), enough to know what to expect from a room costing 123 CAD (plus fees) in Hollywood. We did not expect the Ritz, but we will not accept paying that for a room in a dirty apartment that felt like a bad youth hostel.

We also had the following problems communicating with the host:

• He made me repeat a lot of information before we arrived, while I was in Venice. All that information was already in our Airbnb messages.
• I had to insist that he take our luggage on the morning of our arrival, as agreed, because he thought he might no longer be available.
• He arranged a meeting to pick up our luggage, not in front of the apartment, but across the street. It wasn’t the host who met us, but a lodger who had been woken up at the last minute, and was late.
• When we came back that night, we again had to meet across the street. He then gave us confusing information, and asked us to claim that we are family if anybody asked.

The host did try to be courteous, and said he did not want us to be dissatisfied. He even made a brief attempt at tidying up the kitchen, but that did not fix anything. We had to sleep there the first night, because we arrived at 7:45 PM (as he requested), which was too late to find any other accommodations at a reasonable price, though I searched for three hours. I did find something for the next two nights, but it cost more than my Airbnb booking. At such short notice, barely anything was available in Hollywood. For all these reasons, and generally for false advertising, we demand a complete refund.

On a final note, I don’t think this host even has the right to rent out his apartment, because he always refused to meet us in front of the building, never came in with us, and asked us to claim that we were family if asked. I have contacted his co-op board to find out. Thank you for your attention and your cooperation.

Rude Airbnb Host in LA Stole My Jacket

My host’s name was Vince. He lived at a house near Venice Beach in LA. While listing his property, he posted a different address; the real house was much farther from Venice Beach than the address posted. I would like to say the following to him. When I first passed this message along to Vince, he didn’t recognize me as a guest and I felt ignored. With this evidence, I would like to thoroughly clarify the Airbnb messages we exchanged.

Hi Vince,

Upon arrival, I noticed right away how your listing misrepresented the property. It was unsanitary, to say the least. Your advertisement made me falsely believe that I was going to share a secure and clean room with 4~6 people, while in reality there were closer to 35 people on the entire premises and the conditions were extremely unsanitary. I felt very uncomfortable and felt the urge to cancel my reservation right away, but decided to give it a couple of days since your rates were affordable. However, this morning, I was extremely shocked to find out that someone had stolen my leather jacket, which was kept securely in the closet in my room. It is one thing to stay in a place that has been misrepresented and unsanitary for its affordability, but it is absolutely intolerable to stay at a place where security is at concern. 

I doubt he even lived in the house. He said there were four hosts, but I didn’t know who were the hosts and who were the guests. When I asked for a refund, Vince suggested that I could stay longer if I worked on the house. I was skeptical about his management system as a guest. I cannot believe people who call themselves hosts anymore. There’s just too much uncertainty using Airbnb.

Beware Booking Airbnb Properties in Los Angeles

We tried to stay in three Airbnb properties in Los Angeles over the past three weeks. The first one in the Echo Park area was great. The host was kind and helpful. The property was clean and very suitable for our needs. The other two were very bad. The second one in Mid-City had parking, but we had to go through two gates to reach the parking lot behind the house; the first one was padlocked. It was in a rundown neighborhood with garbage and used mattresses sitting on the street near the house. When we first entered the house we noticed that the rugs were filthy. We heard water running in the bathroom and found that the bathtub faucet had an annoying leak. There was a built-in heater already on which we couldn’t turn off , though the outside temperature was over 85 degrees. There was no air conditioning. When we opened the windows to cool off a little, we found that all the screens were ripped. We left the next morning, and got a refund of at least some of the money (we still lost hundreds of dollars). We then found another place on Airbnb to stay on short notice. It was a clean apartment in the La Brea area. Not until we checked in, however, did we learn that the owner and his wife actually lived in the house. We faced the choice of sharing the place with total and complete strangers, which was a total surprise and completely unacceptable. We immediately cancelled, but because of the strict cancellation policy of this property we lost over $500. Interestingly, each of these properties had multiple rave reviews on the Airbnb website. Be aware.

Uncomfortable Airbnb Experience in California

I booked an Airbnb for the first time for a recent two-week stay in the Los Angeles area. I was messaging the female host who sounded pleasant but upon arrival was greeted by her “boyfriend” who I was never even told lived there. He helped me with my luggage and I was taken to my room. I was never greeted by my host, saw her in the flesh or spoke to her in person. I started to question if she was even real. The boyfriend told me to keep quiet to the neighbors about him as he wasn’t on the lease. The whole thing felt sketchy and I was a woman traveling alone. There was no way I was going to stay there for one night, let alone two weeks, so I left and got a hotel. I called Airbnb, told them that I did not feel safe and that the listing was not as advertised which they seemed understanding about. I am now in a dispute with the company and had the full prepaid amount of nearly $1000 reversed from my bank as the case was being disputed.

Today I received a letter that I lost the dispute because of the Airbnb reservation policy and will only receive a partial refund of about a third of what I prepaid. I was in the room for less than one hour and their policy includes you must be greeted by the host. This is ridiculous and I am looking into small claims court. Has anyone else experienced something similar? This service came highly recommended to me by friends who both host and others who have been guests. I am beyond disappointed with this experience and being told I’m obligated to pay for a misrepresentation of the service being offered. All hosts should have to supply documentation of other residences and have a formal letter from their landlord or coop that they are allowed to host.

You Charge a Cleaning Fee? For What?

To whom it may concern: this location, though convenient to LAX, was the worst Airbnb property at which I have ever stayed. I have stayed in eight other Airbnb locations this year, and all have received good reviews. I normally don’t leave bad reviews, but the public needs to be warned. This place is that bad. The first thing that hits you is the smell when you walk in. Being that is a very old and dirty apartment, it’s not surprising there is mold growing everywhere and an unidentified slime coming out of the wall. The carpet is filthy, there is miscellaneous junk sitting along the edges of the wall in different rooms, and when you start looking around you begin to notice all the places the walls have been patched. The ceilings of both bathrooms and inside the cabinet over the kitchen sink have mold growing, literally hanging down like moss on a tree in the rainforest. The handles on the refrigerator have been ripped off and are on top of the refrigerator along with 1/4 inch of filth.

The cabinet above the kitchen sink is like something out of a horror movie. In the cabinet above the stove is more filth and a sticky trap with a dead cockroach and cricket. The ceiling in the top of the cabinet looks to have been finished by a drunk auto-body man who got a volume discount on Bondo. In the cabinet under the counter top stove are 220V wires just wire nutted together. This place has so many health and safety violations it should be condemned. The three bedrooms were sparsely furnished with cheap $5 pictures from Walmart but the worst part is the linens. For the room in which I slept (rather fitfully), the queen size bed had a king size fitted sheet, no top sheet, and a comforter that appeared threadbare and very old. The room at the front of the house was so bad that the person assigned to sleep in that room opted to sleep on the couch. All the vertical blinds had missing slats and did not allow for privacy from the neighbors. If we had not gotten into town so late we would have gone somewhere else. I think the part that makes me so angry is that I was charged and I am assuming previous occupants were also charged a cleaning fee. I have to believe that all the recent reviews that say the place is clean are fake. Unless you are okay living in filth do not book this dive.

Lost Everything in Airbnb Theft… Inside Job?

We moved to Southern California on July 15th, 2016 and unfortunately, while staying at an Airbnb in Pasadena and looking for a permanent place, our apartment got broken into and everything we had brought with us including our passports, birth certificates, national ID cards, all our academic diplomas and transcripts, and every single immigration document we had got stolen (including the copies of them). This is in addition to the huge financial loss due to the jewelry, laptops, even specialty contact lenses being stolen. Obviously the police were immediately notified and involved. We are still in shock and I don’t think it’s something we can easily recover from. We’ve compiled the list of the items we remember that have been stolen and every day still remember some new items that are missing and realize they were in our suitcase or backpacks… The truth seems to be far from what the reviews and the Internet suggest!

Unfortunately, some of the documents are irreplaceable such as both of our undergrad and masters original transcripts and diplomas as they are issued only once in our home country. This can have a significantly negative impact on our professional lives and careers. The magnitude of the damage is beyond repair. The host and management company failed to change the lock on the unit, after the previous tenant had not returned the keys. The Airbnb host and the apartment management are telling us conflicting stories. The Airbnb host says he had asked for the locks to be changed but management denies it, as says he only asked for a duplicate key.

The apartment management claims that the security cameras were being serviced exactly in that hour when the burglary happened and thus no footage has been recorded. There was no evidence of forced entry (remember this is a gated apartment complex with a digital entrance, gated parking, and a key to the unit). These all suggest that it was an inside job. Nothing that was originally in the Airbnb property was even touched by the thief, whereas all of the stolen items belonged only to us! The property loss is about $20,000 (jewelry, laptops, bags, clothes, etc.). Financial loss is something that you can forget and recover from, however the loss of all identification documents, educational records, and most importantly the feeling of having been violated this way, is something that will be haunting us for a long time. We firmly believe the people who caused this need to pay for it and make sure this does not happen to anyone else…

We believe Airbnb should have done something to make sure any apartment that is being rented using Airbnb’s name is a safe place and that if a tenant does not return a key, that it is immediately reported, and the unit made unavailable as soon as possible. I hope this will not happen to anyone else!