My story is very sad and hopefully can help other hosts and guests to make an informed decision if using Airbnb’s services. I hosted a family of four people in my flat, and after they stayed for one week and I did not receive any payment, the day of checkout, I contacted Airbnb who told me my payment was on the way and would be in the bank within 24 hours. Reassured from this, I let my guests leave the flat without paying.
Obviously the money did not arrive and nobody from Airbnb contacted me any further in regards to it. After creating a new case with customer support, I was told that I had some debt on my account for roughly 800 Euros and that’s why I did not receive the payment. The debt of 800 Euros obviously was disputed three years ago, when Airbnb sent me the money and allowed a customer to cancel a strict reservation asking for the refund of the amount that obviously I never paid.
Being particularly upset with Airbnb, my guest who stayed for six days and effectively not being paid, I decided to go to to small claims court with my guest since the Airbnb contract is void due to the lack of payment. What I have learned is Airbnb support was completely useless after three weeks waiting for the money they just pointed to their terms and conditions. Airbnb is an intermediary and fails in their role; this makes the implicit contract between hosts and guests valid.
As a guest I would think twice before using Airbnb in the future, knowing that host could still take me to court since Airbnb’s terms and conditions is not a legal contract, but just a policy that Airbnb uses to do business ignoring local laws. Once I will succeed in this case, I will then take them to small claims court for recovering the resulting damages for failing in the intermediary role and all the fake advertising that they are doing in UK. An agent who took the money and did not pay the host is a scammer, not an estate agent.