Shabby Airbnb in Beverly Hills with Ants

Last week we completed a nearly two-week Airbnb stay in Los Angeles. It was not good. There were ants in the bedroom and bathroom which were discovered in the first hour of arrival. Our host helpfully offered the upstairs accommodation instead (normally more expensive, but it was offered at the same price). We were grateful even as we noted that it had the same bug problem on a smaller scale.

The host responded the next day with ant bait traps and spray. We put the ant traps in the affected bathroom and bedroom and this confined the problem to those areas. Our group of five adjusted and moved into two bedrooms instead of the three and used one bathroom since the other had the bug problem, All was manageable and though it was disappointing, they were just ants. One can live with inconvenience.

However, on the last couple of days the ants moved into our beds. At 7:30 PM of the last night of our stay we texted the host that we had to camp in the living room since there were ants in our bed. Incredibly enough, there was no response.

A few hours later after 10:00 PM, I texted the host again. No response. Nor has there been any response, gesture, refund or apology since then.

I contacted Airbnb. I provided photos of the ants and a screenshot of my messages with host about the ants. The process with Airbnb had an investigative tone (somewhat tolerable and understandable) until the representative said that in order to really move the needle I needed to have taken photos the very first moment I communicated with the host on hour one of day one.

This seemed an excessive of burden of proof to require when nothing adversarial had even taken place. He also seemed to convey from the host that we attracted the ants in the first place or later. This felt punitive and demoralizing. It felt like a lot was required to back up a reasonable claim: refund the money for the last night because we had to leave the bedroom and maybe a small gesture in addition. We would have been okay with that.

Instead, what we got was a torturous, rigid and righteous reading of the rules as though it were the Magna Carta or the constitution of Airbnb. The offer of $126 (half of one night’s stay) was completely lacking in imagination and compassionate identification with the renter. It were as though I had to prove (even after photos were produced and messages sent) that we hadn’t fabricated a claim. To get what? One full night credit?

The prospect of writing a review is not only unappealing but unfair to the host and disconnected from reality. The host has medium sized business staging properties and manages them for Airbnb renters in southern California. What good is a single review against a conglomerate of Airbnb and its multi-property host?

I feel like David against Goliath. I simply want the respect entitled to someone who came to Airbnb in good faith with the presumption of a lodging where every night of your stay you can sleep in your bed.

Airbnb Superhosts Receive no Help with Fraud

Following the fraudulent use of our Home Sharing Certificate number by an unknown Airbnb host, the City of Los Angeles had Airbnb de-list out home for short-term rentals. The city investigated, and reissued our permit when they confirmed the fraud. They notified Airbnb we had been issued the new permit. We were informed that Airbnb simply needed to remove the restriction from its end, to allow us to relist for short-term rentals.

However, Airbnb still will not let us relist for short-term rentals — after two weeks. We have called support, chatted and emailed, but there has been no response other than being told repeatedly that our case has been “escalated.”

We have never heard from any member of this escalation team. We’ve emailed a copy of the new certificate, and even sent them a copy of the fraudulent listing’s page with our certificate number on it. We have exclusively used Airbnb as our rental platform, but will now list on other sources, and more actively solicit direct rentals through friends, and NextDoor. Eventually, we will drop Airbnb.

Never Been so Angry Dealing with Airbnb

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I booked with an Airbnb host going off the pictures. I arrived in LA and called to tell them I would be having dinner with a friend and would arrive late. They said that was not a problem.

After dinner I took an Uber to the location and called saying that I had arrived. They said they would be right down. I waited 15-20 minutes and finally a lady that actually looked homeless came out while on the phone and waved me to follow her.

We went through a broken gate and beat up door and entered the building in which the entrance was completely surrounded by trash on the floor. The air smelled like cigarettes and mildew. I walked further in and heard her on the phone saying she could not find a key for the room.

The place was a mess and gross. I felt so uncomfortable there. Especially with the virus all over.

She went off and told me to wait. I finally got tired of waiting, left, and got a hotel. I asked for a cancellation and refund and they refused.

I left a review and then they responded saying I was on drugs and that was not cool. I will be going after them legally. I have already hired a private investigator. I also emailed the CEO of Airbnb.

No Refund for State of Emergency in LA

On Tuesday evening I decided to spend two days in LA and booked with Airbnb. Wednesday morning, LA County declared a state of emergency. I’m not afraid of the virus, but deliberately going to an area where the state of emergency was declared because of the virus doesn’t make any sense either. I decided to cancel.

Unfortunately, the state of emergency because of the deadly coronavirus is no reason for cancellation and therefore the host doesn’t want to refund my money. I called the customer service on Wednesday early afternoon and they promised a call back from a supervisor.

Now it is Thursday at 11:00 PM (PST) and I called again. This time it was someone who promised a call back from a supervisor. No callback so far. I also filed a claim after I cancelled but I haven’t received any response here either.

Feeling Like I’m on Candid Camera with Airbnb

I can’t imagine any experience with Airbnb customer service as frightful and frustrating as this ongoing experience. Had I not found this site I would have thought I was crazy. Get ready for a ride.

My husband and I are seniors (so they tell us). We got to Orange County on February 1st for a month’s stay while we visited our new grandson. Our son made our arrangement with an Airbnb host.

When we arrived we found this one-bedroom apartment. The major problem was that the bedroom had no closet nor did it have a dresser. My husband and I looked at each other perplexed with the same question: where would we put a month’s worth of clothes? Lay them out on the floor?

There was a tiny hall closet that could have possibly held a weekend’s amount of clothing with a portable hanging shelf which would hold the same. We were screwed. We immediately called our son who contacted Airbnb and the host to inform them we were not staying and we left within ten minutes.

Now the story gets good. The host offered to return half of our $3100, but by the time my son got back to her she rescinded the offer. Here’s where the story kicks in and the ride starts.

Airbnb told us to contact the host, which we did. This was her response:

“Hello, please stop the nonsense and willing harassment of me. This is my last communication with you. If you have further questions, please contact the rightful party.”

What? We were told to contact her… was she not the rightful party?

“I have nothing else to do with this. And nothing you’ve said has relevance or truth to it besides greed and entitlement.”

Are you kidding? What does that mean? It cost us a hotel room for days and then we needed to find a place for the month. I texted the host that there was no way that apartment could be rented for a month with no place for clothing. No response.

To make a long story short, we have, since February 1, spoken to nine different people at Airbnb who keep telling us our case had been handed over to a different case manager. It is now in the hands of a senior case “do nothing” manager with always promises to have someone contact me and tales of a procedure to follow.

One of the agents actually told us that in the amenities a closet was not mentioned. Since when is a closet an amenity? A hair dryer is an amenity.

Now get ready for the best part. We found out that the apartment complex does not allow their renters to sublet or rent through Airbnb. You’d think this meant gotcha. No. One agent told me that if they called this complex and that was the case then they could retrieve our money. No one has called them. So here I am, doubling up on my blood pressure pills, calling daily, and getting the same script from a different person.

Los Angeles Airbnb Not Fit for Rental

I absolutely will not book an Airbnb ever again. We recently booked a house in LA which wasn’t as advertised or reviewed. We subsequently came home, wrote an honest, but ultimately negative review, which a couple of days later was taken down by Airbnb. It seems they give more protection to their hosts than their guests, quoting that they are purely a platform for people to host their homes. The house we stayed in was filthy, unhealthy and not secure.

I appreciate that reviews are given based on each individuals personal standards and expectations, so I have tried to give an honest account of this Airbnb to try to give a true impression of what you can expect should you wish to stay there. If you’re in LA to visit Disney then the house is ideally placed, just 25/40 mins from both parks, in a lovely area just south of Walnut. If there are 8 to 10 of you, then the size of the property is great – two of you will get an ensuite, whilst the rest will share two further bathrooms, and there’s room for three cars on the drive.

However, once you get in the property, things turn a little grubby, especially in the kitchen. I got the impression that the previous occupants, or more likely the owners, do a lot of cooking at the hob, with a lot of oil. There were splats of grease all over the hob splash back that clearly hadn’t been cleaned. The hob itself was greasy, with a greasy cooking pot left on it: clean inside, but a bit splattered with grease on the outside.

All kitchen cupboard doors and handles were sticky to the touch. The Venetian blinds in the kitchen were thick with dust, stuck with grease, and had also trapped insects by the look of it. Two kitchen drawers were hanging off and being held to the worktop with sticky-tape. The dishwasher wasn’t working, which is ironic, as there was no crockery to eat off of, just bags of paper plates and bowls, and a big box of plastic knives, forks and spoons. There was a token gesture of some cutlery, a set of four from IKEA still in its packaging.

There was no kettle. There were only three mugs, so we took it in turns to drink tea or coffee in the mornings, once we’d boiled the water on the hob. There were no glasses to drink from, just tiny wax paper cups, slightly bigger than a shot glass. The kitchen was the most disgusting part, but other parts of the house clearly hadn’t been cleaned for a while either.

There was thick dust on a number of surfaces, most noticeably on top of one headboard, the kitchen lights, and extractor hood. There was black grime on some light switches and air conditioner controllers. The TV had a layer of smeared grime all over it. Personally, I’d sack the people who do the cleaning, because they’re not cleaners. If the owners do it themselves, use the cleaning charge to actually pay some professional cleaners to do it. I would like a refund of the cleaning charge.

Some bed sheets looked as though they’d been slept in a couple of times (very creased around the torso area). Windows, patio doors and mirrors had been wiped, but were left really smeary all over, and hand prints left on them from previous occupants. The mantle piece looked as though it would fall off the wall at any moment. One of the bathroom sinks was cracked, and was badly repaired, as was a toilet seat in the ensuite.

One of the double beds had no base, so the mattress was on the floor, with the bed frame around it. The mattress subsequently sinks lower than the frame. The TV in the same bedroom was covered in white paint splatters, where they had painted the ceiling with a roller and not covered the TV.

In another bedroom, the window frame didn’t actually fit the size of the window opening. I thought my wife had opened a window, only to find a 4-cm gap either size of the window between the frame and the wall of the house. There were no bath towels in the bathrooms, but found a pile in the garage.

The house didn’t feel secure; I won’t go into detail why in this public review though. There were four sun loungers outside, two of which had collapsed, with the screws sticking out. There was a can of 7 Up left out on the patio, which had clearly been there for some time as the print had all faded. The BBQ was disgusting (wiped, not cleaned), and even the patio had large grease patches over it.

Personally, on the whole, I feel that this Airbnb needs a good freshening up and clean. It could be lovely, but it isn’t. In its current condition, I would never ever book this house again, and I would advise anyone to do the same. Don’t take the very high risk of disappointment. In its current condition, my view is that this house is not fit for holiday rental.

Stranded in LA after Airbnb Nightmare

When I arrived at my Airbnb I would have had to walk over a group of homeless people living inside of the building just to get into the apartment. The host refused to give me a refund and refused to help me.

I called customer support and they told me they would help me find a new reservation and call me back. They never did. I called back and waited for hours for any call back or help. I was stranded in LA alone, hungry and beyond nervous in the dark for hours without a place to go.

After countless phone calls to get a refund I still haven’t heard back. The people in customer service are not helpful or professional.

On top of all this the reason the host wouldn’t cancel was because he knows he will still get the money; even if I complain, he doesn’t have to give the money back. He gets to keep the money, he told me a lot of people complain about his rental but if he doesn’t agree to give a refund, he keeps the money. I can’t leave a negative review and I can’t do anything about it.

“Superhosts” from Hell in Los Angeles

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The arrangement at our Airbnb was of the kind where you let yourself in. This means that there is no one on the premises to talk to, and if something is wrong, there is no one who can set it right. Although we paid for two people, the apartment was set up for only one. There was a solitary towel in the bathroom and one on the floor, and bedding for only one bed. The owner did not answer the phone and communicates only by texting, so there was no way of remedying any problem in real time.

Although this was supposed to have been a non-smoking apartment, the air was stale and it was reeking of cigarette smoke. The apartment was superficially cleaned. The floor was not quite washed (there were unwashed spots), there was dust on some furniture, and there was junk behind appliances in the kitchen. There were fruit flies in the kitchen and the living room.

Although it was advertised as an air-conditioned apartment, I was not able to find any air conditioning (only a floor fan). This was a problem because the house faces a major traffic artery and it is impossible to keep the window open because the soundproofing is poor, so there is continuous traffic noise and noise from the neighbors, especially from upstairs. The area under the sink was all rotten, with mildew on the floor and the pipes, and as a result, the garbage can was left outside the cabinet, open, and without a lid.

In general (unrelated to this particular apartment), I think that properties where guests let themselves in without meeting the owner should be advertised as such. I would not have taken an apartment if I knew that there was no one on the premises to talk to. If there had been, I would immediately have declined this place, if only because of the fact that it had been smoked in and the area under the sink is rotten and mildewed, which is a health hazard for people with allergies.

I was charged $45.16 for the second person. After a lengthy correspondence with Airbnb, I found that the cost of an additional guest for two nights should be $22. I requested a refund, since the place was set for one. The “superhosts” refused. I think these people are beyond belief: dishonest and greedy, they both overcharged and did not deliver the service.

Finally, Airbnb (hopefully) issued a refund of $30 (why this particular amount?). I haven’t seen the money yet, as it takes them up to 15 business days. A normal service provider should take responsibility, issue a refund, and then solve the problems with the hosts. Airbnb… never again!

Ant-infested College Dorm Poses As Luxury High-Rise

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My recent Airbnb was undoubtedly the worst stay of my life. I live in Los Angeles and decided to rent an apartment in Downtown LA to celebrate my birthday with my girlfriends, somewhere more luxurious than my own home. Unfortunately, that did not happen.

The night before my trip I messaged the host to ask about parking. He didn’t respond, so the morning of my stay I called him to ask where we might put our cars. He said, without apology, that my apartment was under construction and he would be ‘upgrading’ me to another building. Taken aback, I asked if it had the same facilities, as the main reason I was paying $347.71 for one night was that I wanted a hot tub and rooftop pool to enjoy. He claimed it did and I had no choice but to switch.

He didn’t send me the listing but did tell me I had two parking spaces. At least our cars would have a reasonable stay. I wondered what would have happened if I hadn’t called, and when he was planning on telling me my reservation had changed. Perhaps when I arrived and noticed that 80% of the building wasn’t there. We arrived that afternoon and while waiting for our host to show up, admired our temporary home. Instead of an early 20th century expression of luxury this place resembled a late 2000’s college dorm welded together with gorilla glue.

The next issue was parking. He didn’t have two spaces for us. My sister’s car had to be parked blocks away at some random building with no access to it until we checked out. Obviously this would have been problematic if we’d wanted to sightsee. Luckily we prefer drinking over culture.

Finally we got into the apartment and it was, frankly, a barren concrete mess. The interior was seemingly decorated by an alien whose only resource was a Pinterest board and a $20 gift card to the dollar store. There were numerous framed inspirational quotes, placed on the ground and the TV table, as I’m sure if you nailed anything to the paper-thin walls you’d risk breaking through to next door’s kitchen. There were also cheap plastic bushes placed strategically over floor stains and a couch that screamed ‘I filter by price not the best match’.

At this point, we still believed we’d have time for a quick dip in the pool (what fools we were). We quickly found there were only three towels. As a skilled mathematician, I immediately found this alarming as there were six of us. But, an even more pressing issue was the lack of any toilet paper. I called the host and he advised me to go and buy some. So, instead of popping a bottle of birthday champagne, we traipsed down to the nearest store to stock up on his supplies.

On the way back from our TP mission we checked out the pool facilities. Instead of the rooftop pool I’d booked, it was a dingy floor-level puddle. Even more pressing, there was no hot tub… honestly, the one thing I’d wanted from this stay. We double-checked with some residents who’d clearly learned to expect disappointment from this ‘luxury home’. Confirmation? No hot tub.

Disappointed, we headed back up in the world’s slowest elevator, arrived in the apartment and closed the door… at which point the handle fell off. With handle in hand, I decided it was time to call the host. On the phone, the host tried to convince me that there in fact was a hot tub. He asked ‘had I checked next to the pool’. Surprisingly, I had. I then listed all the other problems with the apartment including the door handle I was currently holding.

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He grumpily offered me a laughably small refund that kept him in profit and me losing my birthday and to an extent my mind. He also said that I was lucky he hadn’t just cancelled my booking earlier that day when he’d realized his error. How lucky I was that he still wanted to take my money and put me in this cardboard cutout of an apartment. Irked by this woman who dared to have an opinion, he then threatened to cancel my booking right then.

With the desire of wanting to sleep somewhere that night I asked him not to. He said that Airbnb wouldn’t care about my complaints because he has 37 (I’m sure, equally impressive) locations on the website. Basically, this guy was a big deal. At 5:30, with the hopes of salvaging what was left of my birthday afternoon (it was too dark for the pool now) we went to fix some drinks. Let’s not forget where we were: the apartment from hell.

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We opened the freezer to get some ice and instead of cubes we found an old slab of ice covered in cigarette burns. Warm drinks it would be. We gathered with our tepid beverages in the living area making sure to sweep away some rogue broken glass and carefully avoid the couch’s dried food stains. The sun slowly set and then, darkness. Not just outside: the only light source in the communal area wasn’t working… because the outlet was broken.

Six women, enveloped in blackness clutching increasingly warm solo cups finally realized there was nothing left to do but laugh (because I’d already cried). We moved the light, (still partially wrapped in its IKEA packaging) to the kitchen and decided that dim lighting could be atmospheric. I’m sure you’ll be happy to know that once we left the building, our evening really improved. We had a fun night on the town and temporarily forgot about the day’s struggles.

The next morning, we woke to the bustling streets of Downtown Los Angeles and the busy work of a family of ants. That’s right, the ants had arrived. I assumed they’d been attracted by the one solo cup we hadn’t thrown in the trash can which, I’m sure by now you can guess, was broken. One of the girls then explained that she’d noticed them the day before. She’d held back the information because she’d feared it would have tipped me over the edge and out of the poorly constructed window.

In the bright light of day, we could see the place for all that it was: a dirt-covered storage unit for humans masquerading as a modern living space. All the towels were stained and dirty, the bathroom floor and doors were covered in who knows what and after inspecting the sheets we’d slept in, we discovered blood stains and more. I feel like I’m flogging a dead ant at this point, but one last time let me iterate this stay was less than ideal and truly ruined my birthday and my poor willing friends’ weekend.

I’m very unimpressed that Airbnb allows this management style and low quality of rental. This guy and his minions run 37 properties which is very apparent considering he didn’t even know what facilities they have. They’re unwelcoming, unprofessional, and clearly see this as a high-turnover operation with zero concern for the enjoyment of their customers. I hope my cautionary tale can be used to help others. Others that were thinking of maybe staying anywhere this money-sucking moron deems worth $300+ per night.

Airbnb Caretaker Decides to Rent out Owner’s Property

I found what appeared to be a very chic two bedroom place in LA to stay in for my son’s graduation. The renter was responsive and pleasant until I paid. Then he disappeared. I kept emailing him with questions, but he didn’t respond until just before our trip. He wouldn’t set a time to meet; he told me to text him, which I did. He didn’t appear to be the type of person to own a place in this high-rent district. He claimed he was a busy lawyer and didn’t have too much time (he isn’t a lawyer – I checked later).

I kind of got the feeling he was supposed to be tending to the place for the owner, but was renting it out on the sly. The place turned out to have only one bedroom, even though I paid for two. There were no staples in the kitchen and the floors were filthy. I didn’t let this ruin the happy occasion, but I did spend an inordinate amount of time trying to contact him before, during and after to rectify the issues. Airbnb was unconcerned and dismissive about my complaints. I felt cheated and unheard and won’t use Airbnb again.