Moldy, Faulty Wiring, Broken Windows, Next to a Prison….

Dangerous safety and health issues, among many other problems, prompted us to leave our Airbnb in Buena Vista, Colorado after one terrible night. We have stayed in comparably priced facilities in Colorado and have never encountered anything even remotely this bad. Good luck getting any money back. We aren’t the only ones to have problems with this property either.

1. The house smelled moldy, especially in the downstairs bedrooms. In the kitchen trash were the lids from two “Damp Rid Odor Genie” units which confirmed that the place had moisture and odor problems. We both had runny noses for the remainder of our trip.

2. The smoke alarm was in pieces on a shelf. In a house with iffy wiring (#3) that was of particular concern.

3. When I plugged in my phone charger in I found another plug in the socket, connected to an extension cord-type wire that ran outside through a hole drilled in the window frame. In the kitchen there was another jerry-rigged extension cord for a light fixture, with a broken in-line switch. Upstairs there was a light over the bathroom sink similarly jerry-rigged. It did not work at all.

4. During the night I got up to close the window, which was open when we got there. It would not work. The next day I saw that the closing mechanism was not connected to the window itself. When we left the next day we closed it and another window by going outside and pushing them shut.

5. In one bedroom there was a large hole in the floor that had various odds and ends stashed in it.

6. That bedroom contained a laundry machine which still had wet items inside from the previous occupants.

7. The kiva fireplace was blocked by a large TV set.

8. The wifi worked properly only in the kitchen.

9. Both bathrooms had problems. The tub downstairs was very slick, the cold water control hard to shut off, and the toilet seat was terribly discolored. The upstairs shower had the hot and cold controls reversed. When we hung a towel on the hook by the shower the hook came out of the wall.

10. The front door lock and deadbolt were hard to operate, somewhat of a concern given the men’s state prison a short walk from the house.

11. The sorely needed “warning tape” on the many interior steps was worn off in places.

We have photos to document the above. Per this KKTV report the owner does not like negative reviews, which is the only leverage customers have. In short, stay away.

Dirty Airbnb House Not Suitable for Children or Adults

We rented a house in Massachusetts for $4,500 for one week for the entire family: adult children and grandchildren. The host told me we could enter the night before our start date. I thanked him and said my son would probably do that. At 2:30 AM, my son arrived at the host’s house. Early Saturday morning my son called me and said he was very disturbed by the condition of the house. He hadn’t even wanted to sleep there with his wife and three small children but felt he couldn’t find a hotel in the middle of the night. He reported to me that the house was not reflective of the pictures on the Airbnb website: it was dirty and in disrepair.

I phoned the host and told him what my son had reported, saying we could not stay in the house. Almost immediately he said he would return our money. Additionally, he said he’d drive from Boston and meet me there at 12:30. At 12:30, the host and a companion of his met me at the house. I was distraught over not only the inside but the outside of the house. It did not look like the Airbnb picture; it was overgrown with weeds, some of them four or five feet tall around the garage door. The three of us entered the house, and there was no resemblance to the pictures of the house I rented.

The host asked me to show him exactly what I was unhappy about, which I did. As a result, he got angry and said I was rude. All I did was document the condition of the house as he had asked. As an aside, I am not a rude person; I’m a psychologist and I’m accustomed to dealing with all kinds of people. My son arrived while we were going through the house. We continued to cite the unacceptable conditions of the house.

When the conversation became heated, I asked the host for our money back. His companion said: “Just give them their money back”. He said he would but we had to “cancel the reservation right now so I can rent it.”

My son and I went out to our cars and immediately canceled the reservation. I had no contact with the host after that morning. He was supposed to refund $500. We’re in a resolution dispute with Airbnb. They have not responded to phone calls and emails were returned as ‘Airbnb did not receive this email’. I believe that at one time this was a nice house and actually looked like the photos on Airbnb; however, it has been abused and neglected. It has not been thoroughly cleaned in a very long time as indicated by the considerable thick dust on top of the refrigerator and other areas. The insects, mold, and broken moldings, as well as the state of general disrepair are not only a health hazard but a safety hazard. I have 38 photos of mold, insects and filthy broken furniture. Screens with holes big enough for a child to climb through. I want my money back. My biggest frustration is that Airbnb will not respond.

Traumatic Airbnb Experience in Philadelphia

I stayed in an apartment that Airbnb found for me in Philadelphia. It is in the Rittenhouse area and is listed by Andrea. I requested to stay with my wife and three children, ages 6, 4, and 5 months, for five weeks. I traveled all the way from Europe. I was in constant contact with the host before arriving and read all the comments about the location. I am a Veteran in the US forces and have been overseas for 10+ years. I wanted to show my family where I am from because they have never been here. My parents left the city a long time ago. After an eight and a half hour plane ride we arrived to a dirty apartment. We told the host there was leftover food in the cabinets and refrigerator and she suggested we eat it. My wife and I decided to clean the apartment because, where else were we going to go?

Cleaning consisted of swiping down the microwave, and finding bedsheets with human hair all over them. After vacuuming everything, we found more things wrong within the first 24 hours of staying. The apartment was infested with ants and large roaches, the kind that are as large as your thumb. One flew across the room onto my daughter’s bed. The host said, “we are in the city and you should expect roaches and mice.” The host did offer to spray the place with pesticides but told me I had to find out if they would be safe for children as the problem occurred after the first 24 hours. I spoke with the exterminator and he sent me a write-up of his poisons. It said that if any were inhaled to go to the emergency room. Needless to say, I told them they could not use it around my children. I was told that was all they could do. My 4-year-old daughter stepped on a piece of glass in the apartment and punctured her foot. The roaches are a constant problem. I brushed my teeth and found ants in my mouth because I forgot to check my tooth brush.

The listed washer and dryer was coin operated next door, shared between the tenants of two fully occupied buildings. The host does not supply quarters and I was told to go to a bank and get them (not mentioned in the listing). The ceiling began to leak on the outlet in the living room where the air conditioner is plugged in. The host never came by to check and told me if I wanted to move, I should contact Airbnb, as she is not responsible for the problems. I contacted Airbnb several times and the people I spoke with sympathized with me and my family. Airbnb offered me these options: refund what is left of my money from the stay and send me on my way; or refund what is left of my money and coordinate a stay somewhere else that is smaller, has fewer amenities than this place was supposed to have, and costs over $1000 dollars more.

They also sent me a $75 gift certificate for a five-star restaurant that would cost over $100 for the evening. I didn’t have the money to move out or buy a ticket home, so my family and I were stuck in an apartment with roaches, ants, and a ceiling leaking on electrical outlets. The apartment smelled of sewage because of the water leak, and more rain was projected. The host, Andrea, has her money, Airbnb has their money, and my family and I were stuck. Airbnb did send a cleaning crew by, which helped. Then less than 24 hours later it rained again so the place still smelled like sewage. The bugs never left. If anyone would like to see pictures I would be happy to provide them.

Be aware if you are in a situation where Airbnb cannot find something for the price they deem is appropriate they will let you rot in a location that has been proven to be vermin infested and dangerous. Because I could not leave I was told I wouldn’t be reimbursed for anything when we left. God help you if you have children and use Airbnb.

UPDATE: After posting this on Facebook Airbnb did pay to move me for my last eight days out of a 38-day stay (all it took was me letting the world know what was going on). Both Airbnb and Andrea refuse to discuss or pay for the damage to my property that occurred during the stay. They also told me if I wanted to write a review of the property I had to send them the review so they could screen it first. The property still listed on their site. They never pulled it.