Thrown out of Cuban Apartment Based on Fake Rule

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I had made a reservation through Airbnb for an apartment for two months in La Habana, Cuba. The apartment conditions in the Airbnb listing are: “No se admiten mascotas; No se admiten fiestas o eventos; La hora de llegada es a partir de las 15:00” (Pets are not allowed; No parties or events are allowed; Arrival time is from 3:00 PM). When moving in to the apartment, the host took my name and the person’s name who was helping me with the luggage. We agreed on the weekly cleaning fee and they left.

Three weeks later, in another context, I mentioned that another person had been in the apartment. They start making lots of noise that I could not invite any person inside without calling the hosts and informing them of the visitor’s ID number. The next day they started threatening that I should move out immediately. I reminded them that by Airbnb rules I have already paid for one full month which could not be cancelled. The address had also been registered with immigration, so they could not just throw me out.

They insisted that Cuban law allows them to do that and as a foreigner I just didn’t know their laws. I insisted they must do this through Airbnb and could not just throw me out on the street. They said they could and were not even obliged to return any money to me. If I would get any money back (from a 61-day reservation when they threw me out after 21 days) it would be for Airbnb to decide and that the agency was responsible for finding any other place for me to stay; as owners of the apartment, they had the right to throw me out any moment they wanted.

There was no phone number to contact Airbnb, nor a possibility of doing so online. I was in Cuba. At 19:30 in the evening (it was dark outside), they started insisting that I must go. The host (female) was there with her husband, and there is also a third person who took their side. As a lone woman, I had no means to physically oppose them. They said I must go and they had organised a room next door that costs double the price of the one I was staying; apparently I had to go there.

I insisted I could not start packing and moving in the dark; they should allow me at least to stay the night until next day. They didn’t allow it. It was dark outside, and I was alone against three people. They made me quickly pack a suitcase of essentials and carry that and my computer and monitor with me to the room they forced me to take.

The next day I tried to get in contact with Airbnb, but the internet connection in the park for mobile phones was so bad that I could not find a page nor phone number to contact Airbnb from Cuba when I was in trouble. The form page submission was interrupted when trying to access it through a mobile connection. The host called and said that if I wanted to get the rest of my things, I must go to the apartment to pack them. It took me several hoursto pack all my things (I came for a long stay). At least I finally got to pack and take the dinner I had prepared for myself and had not been allowed to eat on the previous day.

It got dark again, so I went back to the room to try to sleep. The following day I found a space with a computer and internet. With a proper browser and Google I found an Airbnb page where I could request help. There was no phone number to call inside Cuba. The host had not even changed the dates of the accommodation; it looked like I was still on the trip, staying in their apartment, and the payment for the second month was due in four days.

I sent a help request through the Airbnb form, describing the situation and requesting that Airbnb find me a place to stay at least until the end of the paid period and compensates the price of the room I have been forcefully put in by the host. Now I am waiting for their answer; it should come in 24 hours according to the information they give. I found this website about Airbnbhell and decided to share my story with you, so that I am not the only one to follow and see how Airbnb reacts, and if they allow the host to remain on their site. Or at least require them to make visible the invisible rule they enforce so strickly that feel entitled to throw people out based on that.

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Leaves Guests Homeless in Athens Rather than Give them a Refund

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To start off, I’ve used Airbnb a lot. I’ve given them tons of money in fees and pretty much never had any problems in the many years and countries that I’ve used it. I have great reviews. I thought that being a long-term and good customer would be something they value but clearly they don’t.

I booked this place in Athens, which clearly said it was a house. The pictures suggested it was a house and all communication with the host suggested it was a house. Since I planned to stay there for December and January, I specifically looked for a place with heating, which was a given here. Also, I liked the fact that it was recently refurbished and certainly looked so in the pictures.

I arrived at the property at 7:00 PM only to discover that it was a ground floor flat. The heating was a single A/C unit located in the living room, with the host saying, that the master bedroom does get cold. In fact, when I arrived, he had locked the master bedroom and prepared only one room for me with one of the two single beds. He seemed very surprised that I said that I would like to have a double bed for myself. He unlocked the master bedroom and then went on to lock the two-bed bedroom, saying that I won’t need it anyway. I was surprised to say the least and said that if I pay for the whole property, I would like to have the whole property.

In addition, the flat looked sad and worn, with dampness in the bathroom, paint falling off the walls, an electricity socket falling out of the wall in the kitchen and the sofa cover being worn and looking dirty. Furthermore, I pointed out to the host that there was no TV nor hairdryer. The host replied that no one in his how-many-years doing Airbnb has asked for a TV. But in fairness he did say he would get a TV and hairdryer in a few days.

After spending about an hour in the really sad looking flat and freezing my butt off, I decided that it was time to give Airbnb a call. Little did I know that my nightmare was just about to begin. I got connected to a case manager who works in the PST time zone. The first few minutes she didn’t sound that terrible, until she saw that it was a long term reservation; then she let out a groan.

In that split second she flipped from someone trying to help to someone most definitely not trying to help. She started off: “Do you realize these aren’t big complaints at all? Do you realize it is around Christmas time, so all other places will be booked? How will you find a new place.?

I said, “Well, I can’t stay in this place.”

She said she would send me an email, which she wrote right there and then, to which I would need to reply with pictures of the defects and then she would contact the host. A mere half an hour later I received the email which among other things said:

“As per the call, please inform your Airbnb host of the issues you are experiencing. I should point out that if the reservation is cancelled under our guest refund policy this would have to happen tonight and as I mentioned on the call, it is getting late to find an alternative. If you stay at the listing tonight, and decided to leave tomorrow then an alterative to end the reservation could be possible and a partial refund for nights not stayed upon agreement with the host to end the reservation.”

At this point I was confused because she never said I had to contact the host. It was already 9:30 PM in Athens. I called Airbnb again; they had her call me back. She now started to use her favorite phrase which is “following the process.” There was a process and that was I had to write to the host right then and tell him about the issues. It didn’t matter that I had already told him and I couldn’t do it then next day; I had to do it then. She also looked at the pictures that I sent, but they were not good enough for her. Then she wanted wide angle ones. I also say that I wanted to get a full refund, so what was I supposed to do? Could I stay at the property that night? What about their 24-hour reporting policy? What if I’d only reported all this the next day?

She said that she had sent the host a message and that we would have to wait for him to respond, which might not happen that night. That did not solve my housing and refund crisis, so I asked her what I was supposed to do. It was two hours before midnight and I was willing to book a hotel. She said she would ask her manager and call me back in 5-10 minutes. A mere 25 minutes passed… no call. I called Airbnb again and asked for her. Meanwhile I got a support message on the Airbnb platform:

“As per our guest refund policy: have used reasonable efforts to remedy the circumstances of the Travel Issue with the host prior to making a claim, including messaging your host on Airbnb to notify them of the issue. We’ll verify this in your account. Also please send me the wider photos of the apartment you took. I will send him an email and inform him of the issues you are experiencing.”

This was not helping me at all, so I asked again and again: “What am I supposed to do regarding my overnight stay?

Airbnb customer service: “Please bear with me. As I mentioned we have to follow a process. Did you message the host over Airbnb as I mentioned?”

I told her I would go ahead and book a hotel (it was almost 11:00 PM)

Airbnb: As per our guest refund policy: have used reasonable efforts to remedy the circumstances of the Travel Issue with the host prior to making a claim, including messaging your host on Airbnb to notify them of the issue. We’ll verify this in your account.

Me: Sorry?

Airbnb: We need you to raise the issues with your host over Airbnb messaging.

Me: Ok, I’ll do it after I go to the hotel. I have the 24 hour reporting time.

Airbnb: We spoke about this two times on the phone, that you have to message your host with the issues if you are to be valid for the guest refund policy. Also you host said he would replace TV tomorrow and the host also said that you mentioned the hairdryer to him and he said he would send a hair dryer. (So I don’t understand if she has actually been able to reach the host at this point?)

At this point I was taking off to the hotel and told her to contact me on the phone. That ended up a total clusterf&%k with her asking me to meet all of her demands by essentially midnight, without a care of how I could stay in a freezing cold flat, where I would sleep instead, that I am a human being, and so on. I told her I would continue the next morning. She sounded happy about that.

The next morning (doesn’t get any better) I called Hellbnb again at 9:00 AM. I was informed that the representative to whom I had spoken was not there and that they couldn’t do anything about my case until she came back. They didn’t know when she would be back. They said they were hopeful my case could be resolved that day. I told them that I literally didn’t have a place to stay so I would like to have a different case manager. After some struggle they agreed.

It didn’t get easier. I was told by the new agent that because I left the property, that means I didn’t try to resolve the issue, so it was not their problem anymore. No matter how I tried to explain the situation last night, I was at fault. I asked them how they imagined the host could have solved the issue that it wasn’t a house but a flat, that it was not refurbished, but apparently that was no problem for Airbnb:

“Did the flat have a separate entrance? If it did, then that is a house.”

“No,” I said, “it didn’t.”

“Aaah,” said the agent, “but you haven’t proven it! You have to film it!”

I said, “No problem; I’ll go back and film it.”

The agent clearly didn’t like that answer. She searched some more, then said that if I had searched for “entire place” on the Airbnb website then there was also a category for “entire apartment”. That’s what the flat clearly was and always has been, so clearly I was in the wrong. She completely dismissed the refurbishment and said that the host will bring a TV… so that surely solved all my problems?

At that point I was losing it. I had a long and difficult year so I was looking for at least a pleasant ending. Now I was literally having a nervous breakdown. The Airbnb agent couldn’t have cared less. She told me to talk to the host and plead with him to refund me.

At this point I needed to check out of the hotel and I was homeless on the streets of Athens. After a while I called the host and asked what was going on on his side. He told me he actually agreed to refund me because the flat didn’t fit the description but now Airbnb wasn’t approving the refund. We had to wait. It was 3:00 PM when I finally got someone helpful from Airbnb on the phone, who was actually nice and resolved all of the issues in 30 minutes. He also told me he would be able to transfer the money from my previous booking to the new booking.

At 3:30 PM Airbnb called me again. She said that nothing was possible; it was most definitely not possible to transfer the money. The nice person I spoke to clearly didn’t follow the process, because they have a process and returning money is not part of it.

I told her that I was on the streets and that I don’t have enough money to make a new booking. It was getting dark. Being a human being is clearly not part of this process, so she was more concerned about the nice person not following the process rather than helping me find a home. At this point I told her I didn’t want her on my case. I maxed out my credit cards and made a new booking, extremely stressed out and depressed at this point. Later that evening, I received a message from Airbnb:

“I am sorry if this has been a stressful time for you. If you experience any issues with your new reservation please do not hesitate to contact us.”

…if this has been a stressful time?

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Airbnb Guests Cause over $10k in Damage, Still Refunded

The only reason I’m reaching out is that I would like to make sure I explore all avenues at Airbnb available to me before I obtain counsel and have to go that route. This guest contacted us and requested our home for one month for himself and his two colleagues for a work trip. We let the guest know that we actually would not have the house ready in time for his original request which was November 8th because we would not be finished remodeling the kitchen. We were remodeling the entire house and putting in new furniture (of which we have all receipts). He wrote back and said he really wanted to stay at our house, requesting from November 15th on. We agreed to this and the booking went through.

What ensued was much worse and different. A woman came to the house with the guest to whom he referred as his ‘daughter’ but he had told me two work colleagues. We came to learn that this was someone he was having sexual relations with (she stayed at another host’s house and told her he paid for their Airbnb’s all the time and that she had ‘snagged her a good one’). Besides this third party booking that occurre, the number of people that moved in were not three but eleven. Seven Children from teenagers (2) down to toddlers (5). Several were babies not much older than two.

We continued to call Airbnb and let them know that there were all these people living in our house. Our case manager told me we didn’t have any ‘proof’ but my gardener had seen all the children, I had seen them, I recorded audio of them playing, and my friend who came to watch the property (there are two houses on the lot as there are two subdivided lots on the property) had seen them. He told me they would be refunded if we decided to cancel on them because we didn’t have the proof to say they were violating the agreement even though an entirely different set of people were living in the house then who booked and more than we agreed to.

From November 19th-26th we went out of town for Thanksgiving and my friend kept an eye on the property. She said they had kids there staying overnight the entire time. When I got back on the evening of the 26th I heard the children. The next day I heard them in the morning. I also saw different men coming and going and none of them were the official guests.

On the 28th I saw a review posted on their account which wasn’t there before from a Superhost. She stated all of the things I was telling Airbnb – there were people who were not the guest staying at the listing, it was a 3rd party booking, and they brought several children. She also said they moved her stuff all over the place and trashed her guesthouse.

I called Airbnb immediately. The representative looked at the review. He realized something was wrong and said I could cancel the reservation (penalty free and not refund the guest, as it was apparent the guest had violated the agreement in every way). He canceled the reservation. The guest would not leave for eight hours. I called Airbnb several times. They told me to call the police but we could have had a scene on our street.

I went to the house twice to ask the guest to leave and she did not. She also refused my cleaning service woman. I was on the phone with her and could hear her refusing her access to parts of the house. We learned later she was keeping five children in one of the bedrooms we could access. Finally at 8:30 PM I went into the house and told her I wasn’t leaving and she had to go. The house was completely trashed. Our description is on their review page but there was not a surface on the house that didn’t have food, poop, urine, weed, juice, or some unknown sticky substance on it.

Short list of broken items:

– Faucet broken and it was brand new and newly installed
– Mattress, covered in urine and poop
– The floors were scratched up badly because she dragged wooden pallets from outside into the house and across the floor and moved all of our furniture around.
– All the linens were covered in severe urine stains and poop
– Poop on our leather sofa
– Floors covered in poop and trash
– Weed butts
– Dirty diapers on the floor
– New stone counters covered in dirt and muck. juice stains, food stains
– Robes missing, linens missing, pillows smelled of urine and had to be replaced.
– Rugs were rolled up and thrown out by the trash

We submitted damage claims totally over $7000 and then it was $2400 for the extra persons fee for 12 days (eight people over the reservation). Since that submission, no one from Airbnb has spoken to me or returned my calls. I get nothing but the run around from every person I talk to when I call. I submitted all receipts and repair bids; I could not get any real response except today when Airbnb refunded the guest the entire amount. They paid $2997 out of my future payout and will not respond to me, my calls, or anything I say.

At this point the guest does not have rights to that and forewent rights when they broke our agreement. For Airbnb to reimburse them for even the nights they did stay is unfathomable for me. We cannot get any response other than being shoved off so have to resort to legal action and speaking to members of the press (of which I thankfully know several). I am writing because I hope you read your email or your assistant scans them and sees this is a serious issue.

There are several hosts like me that have experienced vandalism at the hands of these guests and nothing is being done. We are hoping for a real response and that Airbnb delivers on the promise given to us as I cried uncontrollably over the phone to Airbnb about how bad this was. Their promise was that Airbnb would take care of us and would not leave us high and dry and here we are – high and dry.

Airbnb Party Houses Are Out of Control

“I’m in hell. This is hell and I’m in it.”

That was the second to last complaint I left with Airbnb about the McMansion next door. The last one I just left a few minutes ago, at three o’clock in the morning on a Friday. I have to get to work in a few hours. I live in a residential area of Los Angeles. There’s a high school nearby, lots of homes and apartments, and it’s comfortably far from noisy areas and nightclubs. Within the past couple years, one of the properties right behind our apartment complex underwent construction, and when it was completed there was a massive open-plan mansion there. Just kind of wedged in among the other houses. It’s a quaint little neighborhood just off of Melrose.

Walled off, it’s like a fortress that you can’t see into, but you can certainly hear everything happening within. There’s a large pool area and a patio in the back, about ten or fifteen feet from the bedroom windows of every rear-facing apartment in our building, and you can hear the rushing of the swimming pool’s water feature with your windows closed. That’s actually quite nice… it’s like camping near a tiny, douchebag waterfall.

When there are guests staying there, you can hear the water feature and literally everything else, and that’s why I’m in hell. The property owner rents this property out at $600 a night. That attracts two types of clientele: people pooling their cash and looking for a place to party, and rich douchebags. The difference between the two groups is negligible. No matter who the guest is, it always results in some form of party, with shouting, blaring music, and general assholery until around four o’clock in the morning on any given night. It doesn’t matter if it’s a Saturday or a Tuesday.

These people paid $600 to party in a mansion in our back yard and – by god – they’re going to make the most of it. We can close all of our windows and crank up the volume if we want to watch a movie and it makes no difference; the noise carries so well and so aggressively that any music or shouting drowns us out in our own home. It’s like they’re bringing the party into our apartment, into our living room, into our laps, sitting right down and screaming in our faces.

To escape the noise, I’ve devised a lot of tactics, mostly involving a variety of white-noise devices and noise-cancelling headphones. What a future we live in. Several people in my apartment building have complained, either to the police or to Airbnb. It’s not like we were expecting much, but Airbnb somehow exceeded our expectations in not giving a single f#$k about us or our complaints. The police – I was told the last time I called – are generally putting up with too high a volume of calls to deal with noise complaints.

The property owner, who lives (I think) in France most of the year, is the kind of guy who charges $600 a night for strangers to party in his party mansion, so his capacity for caring about whether or not his neighbors sleep at night is buried away somewhere in the wretched cavity of his decomposing soul. One of our neighbors was talking about going to the local courthouse, but as of yet, nothing has materialized there.

I spent an hour one night just trying to make contact with the guests who were having the world’s loudest bachelorette party. Or maybe it was a birthday party. Or maybe I don’t give a f#$k what it was. All I really care about was the five hours of shrill screaming that started at 7:00 PM and somehow lasted throughout the entire night. I discovered that the wall surrounding the mansion is apparently very good at letting noise escape, but also very good at keeping noise out. I shouted, I pounded, I shouted some more. The front gate was locked, of course, and it wasn’t until the next day and I was speaking to a neighbor that I discovered the property owner had disconnected the front gate’s buzzer, so that if you buzz it for an hour in the middle of the night, no one inside the mansion can hear it. Ultimately, I wound up scaling one of the property’s walls in order to get the attention of the guests so they might be so kind as to shut up. Great times, all around.

The long and the short of the matter is, the poor suckers who live in my apartment complex – all of whom have jobs we need to be rested for, some of us having children who definitely do not manage well when they don’t sleep – are living within ten feet of a nightclub. A shitty, horrible nightclub. For me, the ordeal will be over on the 15th of December. That’s when I can move into a new place in a different part of town, where I’ll be able to sleep at night. My roommate is moving out on the 8th. For a moment we entertained the notion of sticking out the rest of the month, like normal people living in a normal apartment, but there’s nothing normal about this. There’s nothing normal at all about this. This is hell. I’m in hell.

New Years Eve Nightmare – Defrauded by Students

When I was a full time caregiver for my terminally ill father, I listed my home on Airbnb to temporarily generate income. This was my only source of making money, as I was spending 60 hours per week with my father. On December 30th, 2016, I was approached by four college students who claimed they were from Ivy league schools and hosting a small reunion for the four of them on their first winter break home from college. Instead, the following happened and my home was destroyed. I have been left with nothing, and no help from Airbnb whatsoever. All of my furniture and possessions were either stolen or destroyed. I am at a loss for words, as I have given up all hope of recovering any of the life that I had worked so hard to build. The video will show you everything. Please help.

Booking Hotel Rooms Through Airbnb Not The Best Choice

I book at Palms Place in Las Vegas through Airbnb regularly because it is a great hotel and there is no casino there. My initial room was not clean. The carpet had not been vacuumed and there were brown spots all over the white walls. There was also nonstop noise coming from under my door. I had to deal with this mess for one night until I could reach management the next day. Finally I reached someone and was moved to another room, and it was presented as if it was a courtesy only, when the issues of my room were not my fault. I had to wait in the lobby two hours and thirty minutes going back and forth between managers being told by one my room was ready, and by the other my room was not.

I was in Vegas for work and was supposed to be working at this time but got pulled away to handle this situation. The new room had a broken TV that would not work. I wanted a refund to move hotels or to even be switched to a new hotel. Now I’m getting no response because I want a refund for my troubles. Airbnb blames the hotel, the hotel blames Airbnb, and then they both said it was the owners fault. All should get together and issue me a refund. Do not use Airbnb. book directly through a hotel so you do not have to pay for the additional amenities that should be included: like towels that I had to pay an additional $5 per set; or housekeeping, that I did not receive the entire four days I was there.

Left Homeless in Mexico City when Airbnb Host Cancelled

I’ve used Airbnb several times without issue. However, last week I had a horrific experience that Airbnb completely failed to resolve. My host canceled a three-night booking in Mexico City on my day of arrival two hours before check-in. Airbnb did not phone to alert me to this significant last minute development, but rather sent an email. In the email, various “alternatives” were proposed – none of which were in remotely the same area of Mexico City, a massive metropolis – that I could book directly, or I could request my money back.

The alternatives were not comparable. I had guests arriving within two hours, and did not have time to research, communicate and rebook (hoping that there would not be another last minute cancellation). In lieu of availing myself of a non-comparable alternative that would have taken time and effort (and luck – there was very little time to pull all of this together) on my part to reserve, the only option that I was left with was to request a refund. I was forced to book two hotel rooms at the last minute, incurring a cost $300 greater than my Airbnb booking. Airbnb offered no further assistance or recompense for the stress and extra expense that resulted from using their platform.

Subsequently, I received a phone call purportedly to learn more about my point of view regarding what happened. When I said that Airbnb failed in its customer service, and that it did not provide me with assurance, as a paying guest, that I could depend on pre-booked and pre-paid accommodations, I was informed that it wasn’t their fault. Problems happen, but Airbnb’s management of the situation and subsequent follow-up was pathetic. I will not be booking with them ever again, and urge other travelers to be cautious as they also may not know that Airbnb hosts can cancel prepaid bookings at the last minute, with no excuse and no assurance from Airbnb that you will be relocated to comparable accommodations.

Another Story of an Airbnb Vacation Nightmare

This was a very recent experience – mid-October 2017 – for a long planned and awaited trip to New York City. I am still immersed with the mess which I will relate in the following. Enclosed is my review of the experience, which Airbnb recently informed me they would not post onto the listing. Before posting it on the listing, they reviewed it. They said I had one chance at writing a review and since it didn’t follow their strict guidelines, I would not be given the opportunity to edit it so it could be posted.

In my research I learned that 95% of their posted reviews are positive. The bad ones never make it. That meant that people would not learn the truth of what caused my case to be the nightmare that it was.

“I wish I did not have to give a terrible review, but my experience was so negative that I have to warn others about this situation. The host was avoidant and unresponsive in her communication and her unwillingness to address critical problems about her living space led me to have to forfeit my stay with her and greatly upset my long planned trip. She was initially prompt in responding to my interest and I booked the room for nine nights.

As it was a brand new listing when I booked it, there were no reviews. I was excited about staying there. Unfortunately when I arrived in late evening, the elevator was not working and she did not mention that she lived on the 7th floor on her profile or anywhere else. I am a senior citizen and although active for my age, the seven-floor climb – each floor consisted of two long flights, fourteen total – to the room with luggage was horrible. I texted and phoned the host before ascending, but received no response.

Along the way I met three sets of residents who all said that this unreliable elevator was a long time, ongoing problem; indicating that she likely had prior knowledge of this malfunction. I stayed the night because it was so late. I called Airbnb immediately after reaching the apartment and they were sympathetic to my not being able to stay there. The next morning I called and texted the host asking her to speak with me so we could figure things out. She texted that she would call me when she was out of the subway. She never did.

The next three days were consumed with dealing with Airbnb customer service – 15 emails and 16 phone calls totaling 3 hours and 36 minutes. The host unexpectedly canceled my reservation, stating she did not feel comfortable with me staying there. Under Airbnb rules, she was able to keep my money for the nine nights even though I only stayed there one night.”

I was very upset with the final determination to refund a token amount of my money. Airbnb never accounted for the lack of full disclosure in the listing as well as the host’s total unresponsiveness in the situation. Certainly if I knew the listing was on the 7th floor in a 97-year-old building, I would not have booked it. Three weeks later, with full knowledge of my experience at the site, there have been no revisions on the listing to state it is a 7th floor rental with an unreliable elevator.

Airbnb, in denying the posting of my review, has contributed to/aided and abetted the dishonesty of this listing. The host continues to offer the listing omitting vital information that definitely would compromise her ability to rent it out, and Airbnb stands silently by taking their cut of the bookings.

I have done research on this site and many other resources to realize the ugly truth about Airbnb. You think their customer service is being helpful when all they are doing is wasting your time and wearing you down with the expectation that all will be resolved justly. It is disheartening that a $30 billion company consistently and definitively demonstrates a lack of regard and interest for the well being of its guests.

Guest From Hell Tries to Stay Even Longer

Based on this experience I won’t ever be hosting through Airbnb again. First, we never know who will be staying in our home: their character, cleanliness, attitude, or past. This lady I hosted for few months in my beautiful little flat was a true nightmare.

The very first day she stayed she emailed me several times and took pictures of my belongings that I had left for my guests, such as shampoo, soap, a blow dryer, etc. Then she took pictures of the cabinets in my kitchen with the dry food and canned goods I also leave for my guests if they are hungry; there was also gourmet tea. She took pictures of all of this nice stuff I left for her and then claimed my flat was dirty.

I kept all of her insulting emails, as clearly she had never stayed in an Airbnb which in this case was someone’s home with belongings inside. As I kept getting these insulting emails, I told her that this was not a hotel. It is the flat where I live, and if she didn’t like my home then she was more than free to leave and find somewhere else to stay for the next two months. She agreed and asked to give her one night to think about it.

The next day she emailed me back and said she wanted to stay. I was hesitant at first because she had been super rude and already complained over nothing. I knew this was not a normal person. A few weeks went by and she complained about the internet and TV not working. She left me another email telling me that she called my carrier and they said I had an unpaid bill. Immediately after she told me this I knew she read and opened my mail in order to have this private information, which is illegal.

I personally almost fainted because I knew this person was literally wanting to know all of my information for some odd reason. The cable and Internet service was resolved that very day. I did ask her how and why she called my carrier and how the hell she got my personal account information. She lied to me and said she just used my phone number. After that I decided to keep calm but felt uneasy.

Weeks later she texted me about the Internet, claiming it was off once again. I explained to her that was impossible – she just needed to reset the TV. She had warned me on how the Internet was vital and it “needed to be fixed now”. Again, very rudely. Several hours later the Internet happened to be working after she decided to reset the TV; it was caused by a storm that previous day.

The day she was supposed to check out at a specific time in the morning on the last day of her stay, I had my partner go over to the flat to clean and check on everything before I flew in. Lo and behold, a half hour after her checkout time, she told me she had to go to work, she would leave my flat late in the afternoon, and she hoped I could wait.

My partner went over to the flat at 3:00 PM and she was still there. Not packed. She asked for his ID and said that he was “trespassing” and there to “kick her out”. She and her so-called “lawyer friend” were in my flat trying to stay longer. They used everything against my partner by threatening to call the police, and saying that he was in Europe illegally. I tried to call her on her cell phone but she wouldn’t answer. Then I was furious.

I came to find out she finally left but wouldn’t leave the keys with my partner. Instead she made a huge scene in front of my neighbors in my building and guardian and said that I “didn’t live here – she can’t be renting her flat out if she does not own it!”

Clearly what this evil person was simply trying to do was to dig into all of my personal business to try to stay in my flat long term. She had issues with people of color and always called my flat dirty, always spoke down to me as if I were some sort of slave to her. On top of that, she opened my mail, which is highly illegal. She ruined my flat with the smell from the pets that stayed there with her based on a bad call I made.

Please get to know the person to whom you rent your home, because not all of the guests are honest. They may see your flat as a place as an opportunity to somehow stay longer. Never leave your personal stuff around so they can snoop. Know your country’s laws and make sure you establish a checkout time that they follow and respect.