My 16-year-old daughter and I just relocated to California and made a long-term reservation through Airbnb (11/18/17 – 03/30/2018) to provide us time to find a permanent home. We are renting a guesthouse in Sylmar, CA, right in the center of the fires which are currently raging through LA.
I contacted Airbnb yesterday afternoon at approximately 3:00 PM, after being advised by my host (the owner of the guesthouse I’m renting) that due to toxic smoke it is unsafe to return to Sylmar. I was just leaving my office in Culver City, so had nothing but the clothes on my back (same for my daughter). My host also contacted Airbnb, advising them of the dire situation. I waited and waited for Airbnb to contact me, but after they failed to do so, was forced to book a hotel.
Airbnb did not contact me until the next morning and after re-explaining the entire ordeal, the case manager advised that she would have to speak to my host and I would also have to send documentation proving my situation. I advised the Airbnb case manager that I would have no problem proving the situation and she could verify by simply googling “LA Fires”. After about three hours, I received an email from Airbnb stating that although they are sorry about the situation, the only thing they can do is cancel my long-term reservation, from yesterday (12/5/17). I immediately called Airbnb to discuss this, as they should have.
Cancelling the reservation is not a solution. We have just relocated from Arizona, have no family out here, can’t get any of our stuff, and can’t afford to stay in a hotel every night. As I explained to the Airbnb case manager I was assigned, I just spent $275 on groceries for the month, which is money that I’ve now lost and couldn’t afford in the first place. The case manager said, and I quote: “It is not Airbnb’s fault that the fire started and we don’t have any alternate places right now that we can book you in, so there’s nothing further we can do for you.”
I asked to speak to her supervisor and she hung up on me. I don’t know what to do and am in desperate need of assistance. This treatment by Airbnb during such a scary situation is horrific and unfair. This wasn’t a week-long booking; we were supposed to be there until the end of March. We have nothing; all of our stuff is stuck in a guesthouse we cannot gain entry to and we have nowhere to go.