Sue Airbnb to Receive Your Host Guarantee

I had a guest who lied, saying he lived far away and that he wanted to visit San Francisco. In fact, he live an hour away and wanted a house to trash while he was with his friend. I don’t allow smoking, but I found ashes and cigarette butts in my bedroom. Items were stolen and glasses broken. Urine was everywhere but in the toilet. He annoyed my neighbors, and left trash everywhere.

When I got home four hours after he checked out, I came home to a house with the lights on, TV on, stove burner on high, and windows wide open when it was raining. I was so upset seeing my nice home defiled. I cried for it. I did most of the cleaning myself, but I sent it for money for the stolen and broken items and for the wood floors warped from the rain.

Airbnb’s Home Guarantee office said that they wouldn’t refund me; apparently I violated the terms of service because my house is under contract for sale. My house wasn’t for sale, and it still isn’t. I called and emailed them, and I received this reply: “This is our interpretation and it is the only one that matters. Don’t contact us again about this.”

I then had to research how to sue them. It isn’t hard; I recommend it to everyone who gets ripped off. I sued them in small claims. You need to write a demand letter stating what happened and what you demand, what you want. They have thirty days to respond, and then you can file. For me, they responded right after the demand letter.

Look online on how to write one; you don’t need a lawyer. Small claims in California is for claims under ten thousand dollars. I needed a name to put on the form, so I just used the CEO. I live in California, so maybe it is easier to sue them, but I recommend everyone do it. After I sent the demand letter, I received a crappy apology by email and most of the money I asked for. I am done with them forever.

One Airbnb Guest Brought a Gun, Killing Four People

A home in a wealthy suburb of San Francisco was rented on Airbnb. The renters lied to the host, saying they were escaping from the fires and wanted fresh air. The host was out of town. The guests posted on Facebook that they were hosting a mansion party for Halloween. Forty minutes into the party, 50-100 people were at the house. The homeowner called the police. The police were on the way, but gunshots were fired before they arrived. One of the guests shot at the guests, killing four and sending four to intensive care. Airbnb hell for the host and the neighborhood, and the dead. Here is the story.

Illegal Airbnb Rentals, One Where a Shooting Death Occurred

I live in West Covina, California where Airbnb and other short-term rentals are not legal but people set them up anyway. In one instance a house was rented and there was a paid admission party with about 60 people, many of whom were not from West Covina. Helium balloons were distributed for people to get high. A couple of guys from another area showed up and shot an 18-year-old man who died.

Since then another house was rented out in a swankier part of town. This party was featured online as a paid admission event and had a very vulgar name that suggested a possible front for prostitution or at least booty calls. This party was scheduled for three days over Labor Day weekend. Underage looking people were seen going to the premises, a man was seen masturbating on a nearby corner, and I was told of loud music and fireworks in early morning hours (fireworks are not legal in WC).

Fortunately, citizens contacted the police and it was shut down. I contacted Airbnb about these concerns and their reply was to contact the renter, host or local authorities. Perhaps they need to verify that these rentals are legal to begin with.

Airbnb left me with a dead body, $50,000 in damages

There was a story that was aired on the local news the morning of July 28th, 2019. This story included vague details of a pool party that went wrong and the death of a Clay High School student by gunshot. Including only one side note was that it was an Airbnb listing.

There were many details that the story failed to capture. I am the homeowner of that Airbnb listing. I had listed the home on Airbnb just over a year ago as an entire house rental, private property with horses and country escape at around a $500/night booking fee.

Of the seven or eight bookings I had, it was a great experience, until it wasn’t. I had a one guest for a one-night booking the week prior to July 27th. This person had a verified Airbnb account that included one five-star review. They didn’t offer a lot of details about their stay but like every time before, the house was prepped, the key was left, and I was gone before they arrived.

I was notified by a neighbor around 1:30 AM that something seemed wrong with the amount of cars at my property and traffic in and out. I immediately called the police to assist in removing anyone from the property, as they were all trespassing and likely causing unspeakable damage to the home.

The shooting happened shortly after that, before the police even made it there, leaving one 18-year-old man dead in my driveway. This one guest rental was a 200-300 person party of underage people and dangerous criminals. There were Hennessy bottles thrown at my horses who were on the property during this time, luckily not causing any significant harm to them.

Upon further discovery, the actual verified guest has an extensive criminal background. There was blood throughout the entire home, over $20,000 in building damages and another $30,000 in personal property that was either stolen or ruined. Although the local police recommended bleach and water, I hired a hazmat crew to come and disinfect the home and clean the immense amount of bio waste that was covering my walls, floors and furniture.

People continued to return to the home in the days following so for the safety of my family I hired private security to protect the home and property. These people are and have been at war with each other. My home just happened to be the location that the battle was fought at.

I live with the reality every day that every single person who had access to my home can clearly tell it’s only a young woman and a five-year-old boy who live here. Of all the things damaged and all the pain this has caused, there is no greater fear than the idea that these monsters could come back and harm myself and my son.

My story isn’t about publicly shaming those who did this. My goal, however, is to shed light to the darker side of hosting for Airbnb and the complete lack of restitution that they have offered per their Host Guarantee and the lack of actual vetting they do to verify a guest. Almost three months, over 50 emails and communications, and they have decided to wash their hands of this due to the fact my personal homeowners insurance stepped up and covered just under $20,000 of the damages.

The process of their Host Guarantee is basically a death march to the point hosts rely on personal finances and their own homeowner’s insurance to begin the process of putting their lives back together. Although my insurance was amazing in the process, there is still $30,000 of personal property that was accounted for in detail as a loss.

The Host Guarantee specifically states (per their contractual agreement) that they will pay the difference of insurance claims. The most recent communication is that they took a if/then method stating that if my personal insurance has stepped up, then Airbnb is free and clear of any liability.

I hope to share my experience so those who are simply doing this to share the experience of their home, improve their homes for their families, or even just make some side cash on their primary residence know that if something does go wrong, Airbnb will not stand behind you.

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Airbnb Guests Destroy Neighbors’ Property

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The house next door has been an Airbnb property for about a year. Until last weekend it wasn’t a problem. I arrived home from work on Saturday afternoon to discover that a large section of privacy fence that my husband and I had installed to divide the properties had been destroyed. This damage apparently occurred during the very large, very loud party that went on there over the entire weekend. I have attempted to contact both Airbnb and the property owners but have so far not gotten anywhere. I guess the next step will be to get a lawyer.

Virtually no Verification of Airbnb Guests

I recently hosted a group of overseas teens, who managed to make my home in London a complete mess. I evicted them, and refunded the unused portion of their payment, in conjunction with Airbnb. Now I am trying to be more selective with my guests, but have found out that Airbnb’s way of verifying a guest’s veracity can be as little as getting a phone number.

In the past, there used to be items such as “Government ID verification” which must have had some value. I do not think a phone number counts in any way to establishing identity, as anyone can get one within minutes. The same applies to email addresses.

When I challenged Airbnb on this, they stated that this was their policy, and if I don’t like it I can always cancel a booking. This I did, and received an email stating that my listing may be suspended. Arrogant outfit. As soon as I can get myself off this platform, I will.

Airbnb Provides Noisy and Unruly Neighbours

For nearly two years, my life has been completely disrupted by an Airbnb next to my apartment. This is a mirror image of my apartment, and while I live alone, mostly, up to 14 people have been accommodated next door. The floors of this place are tiled, so all sound is amplified.

I have listened to countless nights trying to sleep, through drunken, drugged behaviour, people roaring and screaming, night and early morning. Nothing has been done to address my objections and my life has suffered greatly. The owners of the apartment are registered in Belize and the entire operation is shrouded in secrecy.

This is definitely a tax evasion, and possibly a money laundering operation. My apartment block is a small residential one with medium to long-term sublets. The people at Airbnb are completely disregarding the laws in the pursuit of profit, and ruining my home life.

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When your Condo gets Trashed by Spring Breakers

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My condo located in Destin, Florida sleeps six. I booked it to a seemingly sweet couple, but in reality, it turned out to be twenty spring breakers who trashed my place. My housekeeping company charged three times the departure cleaning fee and rightfully so. All of my bed and bath linens were destroyed along with many other things.

I filed my claim with Airbnb and sent my housekeepers’ images. The response I got back from Airbnb was that the guest had already paid a cleaning fee. My reply was the cleaning required to perform a necessary departure clean of one hour is far less than the real cost of four additional hours to clean up after 20 spring breakers partying like rockstars for a week. Airbnb indicated that the images didn’t look that bad.

It appears that Airbnb is now setting the cleaning rates nationwide. My housekeeper has taken great care of my unit over the years. Airbnb charges whatever they want for their services and now seems to be deciding the fees on other businesses also. If 60 images of a trashed home are not enough for Airbnb, what is?

It’s crucial for owners who become hosts to know that Airbnb is not going to cover the cost of your vacation rental getting trashed by the guest. They surely did not mention that to me when I was signing up. Now the fault and loss of cleaning up after a lousy guest are dumped on me and the local cleaners and housekeepers. Without my housekeeper, I do not have a vacation rental.

If you are a guest through Airbnb go ahead and trash that unit. The cost to clean it up is on the backs of the cleaning companies now who are being forced by Airbnb to clean it up for free. If I don’t pay my housekeeper, I will receive a lien on my property.

The Love Shack… Just Groovy, Airbnb

I live in a quiet suburban neighborhood in Farmers Branch, Texas. Homes in my neighborhood are 50-60 years old, some remodeled, many not, averaging 2,000 sq ft. It’s a quiet neighborhood with many elderly, some young families and mid-life couples/families.

In November 2018, a homeowner two doors down listed his home on Airbnb as “The Love Shack.” The home is very nice inside and has a great outdoor entertaining area with a pool. I would estimate he gets about 80% occupancy. Over the past six months, our neighborhood has increasingly become angry about the activity at this house. Here are a few examples of what we’ve seen and experienced:

  • Loud parties late at night and into the early morning hours
  • Many cars parked on our street taking up spaces in front of our homes
  • Cars racing down our street
  • Drunk teenagers
  • Marijuana use (resulting in arrests)
  • Trash left out for days, then strewn about by critters
  • Thug and hooker traffic
  • Vomit in the street
  • Beer cans/bottles and party waste in our yards and streets

There are often large teenager parties involving very large quantities of alcohol (hence the vomit). We see thug and hooker parties. Now we are beginning to see prostitution in the neighborhood this past week (April 13th).

One night, a bed was delivered to the home (there’s already three bedrooms in the house). Later that night, there were very bright flashes coming from the house. Based on the attire and thuggery in the house that night, there’s no doubt this was a porn shoot.

The owner has been contacted multiple times. He is disputing the city’s code violations for trash and he has revised his rules to disallow bad behavior. However, he isn’t actively monitoring the activity in this house for the sake of being a good neighbor. In fact, he has asked us to call him if we observe guests breaking his rules. I am not his personal security detail.

Airbnb invites activity into our neighborhood that people don’t want to do in their own neighborhood. Then what the hell makes you think I want it in  my neighborhood? This comes in the form of drunken teen parties, sex parties, porn activity, prostitution, perhaps sex trafficking, drug use and generally, undesirable people and activities.

This is degrading the safety and security of our neighborhood, so much so that several of us neighbors have had to install security cameras and additional security lighting. Numerous complaints have been filed with Airbnb. We get nice letters stating they shared our complaints with the owner. Nothing changes. The homeowner could care less. He is getting his bone at our cost. I believe Airbnb has a good and viable purpose, but not in my neighborhood. This means war.