I hosted an Airbnb guest who booked our home for five people. He then had his entire club team from the Virginia Commonwealth University stay in our home. They did damage to our home by making holes in walls, smashing windows, breaking furniture, etc. Airbnb will not consider receipts we provided for the damage because they are not on company letterhead. We live in a small town of 6,000 people and our dry cleaners have no computers for this. They will not explain the process of documenting damage so our cleaning crew can be trained by vocational rehabilitation. Our professional crew is from Autism Enterprise and they hire adults living with autism. For example, damage to the sheets was photographed on the bed and someone from the Trust and Safety Team wanted all four sheet sets photographed in one photo over ten days after the issue with the guest. The Trust and Safety Team asked for links for replacement items and then used links that were nothing like the item that was damaged. They asked for reports and invoices from carpenters and then denied everything on report after the guest admitted to damaging our home. I’m still waiting for a response but Airbnb seems to be unethical and unaccommodating of people with disabilities.
I am disgusted and disappointed with Airbnb, and I couldn’t be more heartbroken to admit that because over the last year, after Superhosting over 55 guests, having almost perfect scores across the board (last check was 4.9 Stars), being an advocate for Airbnb to everyone I know, feeling so lucky to be able to make much needed income while still working and taking care of my family, Airbnb has made me feel like nothing the only time I’ve really needed them, for damage that was done while a guest was staying.
On August 29th, almost a month ago, during a guest’s stay in my Airbnb-hosted basement, the toilets got clogged. As always, when a guest needs something, we have done everything in our power to help, fix it and exceed expectations. Since the electricity had gone off down there to a portion of it, along with sewage water flooding from my storage room down there too, I immediately made arrangements for my guests to move (at my own expense) to another home, bought them pizza, and called out a plumber to see what was going on.
After the plumber finally arrived that evening, he finally found the problem: baby wipes had been apparently flushed down the basement toilet (he literally pulled them out of the broken pipe in the storage room). He attempted to get the ejector pump working again. Realizing it was completely broken – also advising us that the overuse of the electricity the pump was putting out while trying to process the baby wipes, had tripped the electricity – he said that because the pump had been installed with the home when it was built, he would have to call the manufacturer to get a quote and then include installation fees and he said we’d also have to pay for an electrician to come out to fix the wiring.
In the meantime I went to the basement to start taking pictures of everything before I started my normal “cleaning up” after guests. Since there wasn’t electricity, it was the first time I really had looked in the bathroom area (where the toilet had gotten clogged in the first place). There was an empty container of baby wipes still sitting on the counter next to the toilet. I immediately look pictures of that and it was only at that moment I had evidence this was something my guests (not intentionally of course) obviously did.
After getting the estimate from the plumber of over $1250 just to fix the broken pump (several days later) and knowing the costs of the amount of things I had thrown out due to sewage water in the basement, the future cost of an electrician, etc., I was so deflated because I knew it was something one of my Airbnb guests had caused and I knew I wouldn’t be able to host (which has been a large portion of my income over the last year) until I could get that fixed. As a struggling mom trying to take care of her family, I knew I couldn’t afford the costly repairs on my own, which started me really looking into the host guarantee that Airbnb had always talked so highly of (especially to me, as a Superhost). As long as we submitted all documentation and proof of the damage and followed the steps of the process, I thought everything would be fine.
I won’t bore you with all the details (and I have every single one of them written down) but sadly since my first call to Airbnb on September 2nd (where I not only got hung up the first time, but waited over 20 minutes the second time, only to get a representative that didn’t seem to know anything about what he was talking about), I did everything they asked. I sent in a claim. I sent several online messages (that took them days to respond to and offered no real help in any way. I submitted documentation, pictures, and estimates from the plumber. I finally successfully got a case submitted, and had to wait for the guest to decline it for Airbnb to get involved.
Once they started getting involved on September 17th it really got quiet. Even after multiple calls to Airbnb, calls I made to them (as no one ever reached out to me proactively, despite the promises of getting assigned a person or that someone was “working on it”) days continued to go by, days with me getting no income or even being able to begin repairs to the area. I couldn’t even get the security deposit back, even though that is something the guests agreed to from the beginning.
After every call, after hours on the phone, frustrating conversations that led nowhere and being told “that group can’t get inbound or make outbound calls”, “we have no way of contacting them”, “they’ll get to it”, the most disgusting response of all being a guy who told me “I’m sorry, there’s no supervisor or manager you can talk to because they won’t be able to do anything to help either”, I was at my wit’s end. I begged for a supervisor, a manager, or anyone that could escalate the situation, not just the claim either.
At that point, since I was unable to host or even start repairs since that last guest checked out on September 6th in my basement, I had lost over $1700 worth of income based on what my rentals had been running after a year of hosting. I was getting nowhere and begged for someone to just tell me what to do, since I was late on bills and had a basement that didn’t even work. My bank account balance didn’t allow me to repair it myself and I shouldn’t have had to pay for it anyway, since it was the guest’s fault.
Airbnb does not have our backs, as hosts or Superhosts, no matter the good and dedicated Superhosts we’ve been to them and all of our trusted guests. I’m stuck. I’ve ended my relationship with Airbnb – not because I wanted to, but because they are forcing me to. I was wasting so many frustrated hours on the phone getting nowhere, talking to people that ultimately couldn’t and wouldn’t do anything, and no one is losing more than me in that. I am left with no guests, no repairs, and more bills I can’t afford to pay (bills that I shouldn’t have to pay) and Airbnb doesn’t seem to care at all, despite the faith I had in them.
I just want to be able to fix my basement, be compensated for my losses and loss of income from the days in which my case had just been waiting to be “looked at”. I guess at the very least I just hope someone who really cares about what Airbnb truly stands for will see this, hear me, fix what they should fix and do something, do anything to regain my trust. I just can’t tell you how much sadness and anger this whole situation has added to my life over the past month, a month that was hard enough as it was. I worked so hard to host happy guests. It had brought me so much joy up until I saw Airbnb’s true colors, and those colors certainly aren’t as pretty as they first might appear.
I rented my villa in Marbella, Spain to a guest from Ireland. He informed me his family were arriving the following day. Subsequently I found out that six or more young guys turned up and in the week they were in my house, they destroyed it. Airbnb has been ‘looking into this’ for five weeks now. They blocked two toilets with whole rolls of toilet paper, ripped a door off the hinges, broke my washing machine, made cigarette burns on my brand new couches, vomited on the bed and walls and around the toilet, made marks all over the walls, and somehow got them wet. I had to employ three cleaning ladies for eight hours each, fix the toilets and door, and purchase new linen, towels, and glasses for what wasn’t broken or thrown out. I’m not sure how many people were sleeping on the bed but the supporting boards were also broken and this was a €3000 bed. The damage and costs equate to around €10,000. At check out, when we were supposed to meet, they vacated the premises and locked me out of the house without meeting me or giving me the keys back. I had to employ a locksmith on a Sunday to change my locks. It has caused me a lot of stress and my house is ruined.
This guest and his family completely trashed our home. We came home after five weeks to a complete infestation of flies, fruit flies, maggots, bed bugs and lice. This guest never took their trash out in five weeks in July; they simply left it in the house and, as you can imagine, the condition of it was deplorable. We found piles of maggot-filled trash bags inside our home. The smell of rotting food and trash was overpowering. The swarms of flies required multiple treatments from a professional exterminator, who said he had never seen anything like it. They apparently ate in every room in the house (living room, bedrooms, bathroom) and left spilled food on the rugs, couches, and bathroom floor. I’m not talking about crumbs; these were chunks of meat, broccoli, and tomatoes on our furniture just surrounded in flies and maggots.
They broke our TV, refrigerator, and dishwasher, ripped our brand new bed sheets and bedspreads, put tables on top of bureaus (why?), left the mattresses on the floor (had taken off the bed frames), and clogged up the kitchen and bathroom sinks with god only knows what. Our home will never be the same. It’s been over two weeks and the stench of these disgusting people is still in our home. We had to have exterminators come back twice to eradicate the flies and eventually had to throw everything away: beds, couches, pillows, rugs, sheets, towels. We hired professional cleaners to remove the dead bugs not once but twice. These guests lived like complete animals but that does not explain how as human beings, they could completely disrespect and destroy another person’s home.
We have been going all through the proper channels with Airbnb for three weeks and we cannot even get anyone to contact us regarding our claim for over $20,000 worth of damage. They supposedly cover up to $1,000,000 but I don’t believe it. We’ve been waiting on hold for hours at a time, and sending multiple emails with no response. Customer service agents claim to have no authority to do anything except send an email to a supervisor say they will contact us but they never do. We sent 50+ pictures of the damage to our home, videos, receipts for everything, a copy of the police report, and there has been nothing from Airbnb.
Our family has been displaced from our home for three weeks, having to stay in hotels and pay for and replace our damaged items completely on our own. Our lives have been put on hold and this incident has caused our family great emotional and financial duress.
I am sharing my story because I feel all hosts need to know how important it is to protect your home from unruly guests. We recently had our first guest in our vacation home on the Columbia River by the Gorge Ampitheatre. Sadly, our first experience did not go very well. We met the group coming in (a party of eight), went over the house rules, walked them around our home, and felt like we connected with them. Our home is a special place in the world, and we really were hoping to attract people that would enjoy it.
Unfortunately, our guests decided to host a party there and had over 50 people in our home. Our floors subsequently were damaged (over $14,000). We contacted Airbnb. We were directed to message the guests to see if they would pay for the damages. After three days of no resolve, we were allowed to escalate this to a case manager and seek coverage under the “Host Guarantee”. Our case manager asked us to get a bid from a contractor as well as furnish them with the original cost of the flooring (not the easiest thing to find, but we did). They had us send pictures of the damage to them as well as provide a professional statement from the contractor. We did all of this (keeping in mind we live over two hours away from our vacation home), and in the end, Airbnb emailed this to us (our home is 800 square feet):
Thank you for your patience throughout this process. After careful review of all related documentation and communication, we have issued a $50 security deposit payout for the reported damage. You can view this payout in your Transaction History. While the documentation you provided far exceeds this amount, Airbnb is only able to reimburse for fair market value of the damaged areas in question. The average laminate flooring costs from $2.40-$4 per square foot and since you have higher grade flooring, we’ve issued the payout based on $5 per square foot for the 10 feet of estimated damage. It’s been a pleasure to assist you. Please let me know if you have any further questions or concerns regarding this case.
$50 on damages over $14,000 (we have a $1500 security deposit on our rental… who knows where that went) and no further explanation as to how they came up with $50. We have emailed, called, and have gotten no support or help. I am shocked as a frequent Airbnb traveler as I have always had good experiences. As a host, this can’t be the way business is conducted. We are devastated. Does anyone have any thoughts or ideas as to where to take this issue?
I have a condo at the MGM Signature in Las Vegas that i just recently started listing on Airbnb. I had a guest stay on Mother’s Day weekend with her boyfriend. I got a message on Airbnb from the guest saying that she was locked in the room for two hours and that MGM employees had to break down the door to let her out. After following up with the employees I found out that the door was broken on arrival. It appeared that someone had kicked in the door at the lock, causing it to malfunction. The engineer had to take apart the lock to let her out. It cost $580 to repair the door. I have statements from the engineer stating the door was broken when he arrived yet Airbnb has refused to pay. Also, she was not locked in for “two hours”. The engineer had her out of the room 20 minutes after the call was placed. She says she waited two hours to call because she was trying to open the door herself. The manager stated that her boyfriend was clearly intoxicated when the incident happened. I am furious that Airbnb let her get away with it. There is no “host guarantee” – none at all. It’s false advertisement; a class action suit needs to be made against Airbnb.
A guest booked my place for three nights. She agreed to my house rules: no parties, no noise, be respectful of neighbors, and have a maximum of four occupants. She hosted a prom party with a large group until 4:00 AM and trashed my place: they jumped on the bed, ripped kitchen back splash tiles off the walls, left spilled booze pooling on my countertop (it seeped into the seam, inflated and warped the countertop so much I had to replace it). All of the linens, comforters, blankets and towels were covered in food, makeup, and booze. The inside of the oven was black with food scraps and a big pile of stinking, rotten forgotten food. The floors and furniture were covered in scattered garbage, half eaten food, drink bottles, and personal items that had been left behind. My dishes and decorations were found tossed around in different rooms. What normally takes four hours to clean took twelve hours. The cleaning and countertop repairs cost me over $700. Airbnb took eleven days to get back to me, despite many calls I made asking for an update. They responded via email, refusing to pay for anything and described it as normal wear and tear. I emailed them back twice asking for someone to contact me, but they have not. I have hosted for almost two years and have had hundreds of guests. I have never put a claim in. I have zero trust and don’t feel safe using Airbnb after their refusal to honor the host guarantee. If it doesn’t cover partiers trashing your home, what does it cover? It appears that the host guarantee is a scam that gives you a false sense of security. If your place gets trashed you have no recourse.
In March of 2017, I had an Airbnb booking from a person I will call CR. This person experienced some bad weather and a power outage beyond my control. When I had the home cleaned after CR’s stay, my cleaner found that they had damaged my pristine glass-top stove. When I confronted CR about the damages, he threatened to change his positive review if I filed a claim.
I filed the damage claim with Airbnb. CR was able to change her review to a one that was full of mischaracterizations of the events and portrayed me and my home very poorly. Airbnb refused to remove the retaliatory review; I had had all five-star reviews until then. CR was a newbie and had zero reviews on Airbnb; she has one now from me. Airbnb took her word over mine on the issue. I even had texts from CR showing they would change the positive review if I filed a claim and another text showing CR saw no improvement was needed.
As far as the damage, Airbnb has not released the money to pay for the damages. I keep getting emails from them stating someone will be contacting me. Before you consider being a host with Airbnb, consider this fact: Airbnb is the one holding your property damage security deposit. They have a very high bar to clear that you have to prove to get a damage claim from them. Once I learned that it is going near impossible to get Airbnb to pay the damages, I unlisted my home and cancelled five bookings with them. I could not take the chance that the next Airbnb guest would trash my rental home and have Airbnb do nothing. They do not return calls, they do not communicate in person, and they send out form letter emails. When you call their support line, be prepared to wait for over thirty minutes on hold, only to speak to someone reading from a script. If you want to protect your property, you need to hold the security deposit. Personally I would not use Airbnb ever again, unless they change their policies on who holds and controls the security deposit and how retaliatory reviews are handled.
I am a new Airbnb host. I started listing my property on December 1st, 2016. The first 45 days were ok: the guests were friendly, and using Airbnb helped me earn some money. However, on the eighteenth of January, 2017, everything changed. One guest stole my $600 TV. He checked in at 11:30 AM. At that time, the room still had not been prepared so I let him stay in the living room (where I keep the TV) for a half hour. I believe that he saw the TV when he was waiting for his room. Then, at 2:15 PM, I went to school. When I left, he was the only person staying in my house. Then, when I came back at 4:00 PM, I saw my TV was missing. I tried to knock on his bedroom door, and no one answered me. After I opened the door, I saw his room was vacant. That means he left my house. That’s when I knew that he stole my TV. The guest was a thief. His profile certainly was deceptive. Airbnb is always saying they are part of a community of safety, but their guests are stealing people’s property.
I want to share the horrible experience when I contacted Airbnb customer service. I contacted them on the day that the TV was stolen. The representative answered the call, asked about the situation, and then she promised me that Airbnb will solve the case and pay me. She set up a case for me and I provided the evidence. After that, I was thinking my case would be solved easily; in actuality, it was not. After two weeks, customer service contacted me and told me that I needed to set up a case in resolution center, as it was the only way to get paid. Why didn’t they let me know that when I called on January 18th? After I submitted the case, there was still no resolution to my case for two weeks.
Two weeks later I received an email stating I had not provided evidence to them so they closed the case. I actually provided evidence on the first day. I called customer service again. They said they have no information about investigations with the Trust and Safety Team, so the only way I could get compensation would be to set up another case in the resolution center. I did that, then they closed my case again today without any notice. It has already one and a half months, and I still have not been paid. Where is the trust? Where is the HPI (Host Protection Insurance)? Where are the promises from Airbnb customer service? Now I believe Airbnb’s host protection insurance and their customer service are both jokes. I am appealing to hosts who have similar cases to get together with me and sue Airbnb for their unreliable HPI. The HPI is fooling hosts.
After six years it saddens me to say we were thrown off Airbnb without even a phone call -just a email and all future bookings refunded to the guests. We were erased like we never even existed. They say we broke the rules of not allowing four single men to rent our two bedroom with just two beds. After a phone call they said they planned to have girls over, which would have brought the total to eight people in my two bedroom. I am not anti-gay or anti-lesbian. We just had a great gay couple weeks prior to this and none of this matters to me. What matters to me is fitting double the occupancy for my apartment. When you have this many people coming through our place you’re bound to have a few arguments with people. I’m not saying we are angels; we have had to straighten out some people trying to damage our property.
Here in Medellin, Colombia things can crazy with our renters partying too hard. On top of all this, in September Airbnb renters had a underage girl in our apartment. Someone called the police and they came at 1:00 AM. The renters were rude to the police. They found the girl and kicked all of them out and then sealed our building. It took two weeks and $8,000 to remedy. To this, Airbnb said they were sorry. No financial help. No million dollar policy they claim in ads is available to help. We were left with the bill. We swallowed hard, paid it, and opened back up. Now we have been removed? It’s the silliest thing I ever heard. We have done nothing wrong accept say no to a booking which included four men and four more on the way to stay there. Above is a picture of the guy opening the door to a slew of police. Six years and many happy clients are gone in a blink of a eye. Try to talk to Airbnb about it: you can’t. They are the Microsoft of the industry and we will hurt because of it.