Airbnb Stay Literally Killed my Husband

In December 2015 my husband, our two young children, and I decided to holiday in Malta. We decided we should give Airbnb a go because at least we would have our own pool and jacuzzi. The stay was fine; the farmhouse was cold and took nearly a week to warm the rooms. Also, the jacuzzi was on the cold side. Looking back I realized this property was probably empty for a few months as it wasn’t high season.

On our return to London my husband started feeling very unwell. Within one week he was in a coma. The following week he was dead. The tests came back that it was Legionella from the jacuzzi. I have lawyers on the case but apart from Airbnb calling me from San Francisco and reimbursing me the fee, I have heard nothing.

My husband was 45 and I’m left with two children to raise alone. We had to move from London; we’ve lost everything. I’ve moved back to New Zealand to be close to my family, so our life has had a full shake up, I’m finding it difficult to get work in my field and am living with a brother who turns out has severe mental health issues. My children do not feel safe and require counselling. I’m looking at going into a female refuge.

I’m very bitter towards Airbnb. I feel they need to pay for the wrongful death of my husband so I can at least give my children a safe place to live. The biggest regret of my life was ever booking an Airbnb. They couldn’t care less about people and they don’t consider themselves one bit responsible. It’s their responsibility to make sure every host property is safe.

Thrown out of Cuban Apartment Based on Fake Rule

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.

Airbnb Does Nothing to Remove Illegal Listings

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I owned a property that has been posted without my permission. After reporting to Airbnb about this fraud, their response was that they cannot help because of their obligation to privacy of the host’s account. Clearly there’s no screening process to ensure that the host and property are legitimate. The humor is I found out because the person putting this ad has contacted me about the reservation. I have changed the locks and informed security at the property. I do not know how long my property has been advertised on Airbnb and of any damages from this fraud. My point is it’s not safe to rent from Airbnb, and I hope this is a reminder for guests of Airbnb to be careful booking with them. Simply irresponsible.

Active Guest Reservation and No Payment from Airbnb

I have been a pretty happy host on Airbnb the last three years up until now. I had a three-month trip to Europe planned and found a last minute three-month reservation request. The dates were perfect. I met the lady in person with her teenage son and her dog. I was pretty happy to hand off my keys to a family that was really appreciative at the time and left for Europe in peace. She confirmed the reservation and moved in.

Three weeks later she called me in tears saying she had her identity stolen, needed to move out in 48 hours, and requested her money back. By the way, it was $2,700/month for my NYC pad in a prime location. I really needed this money to pay my rent while I was not staying in NYC. I told her I have a strict policy in place so she took it to the support team. They also basically said she needs to pay. This angered the guest, so she started cussing at me, knocking on my neighbors doors saying she needs to find the landlord. She kept saying she doesn’t want to be involved in illegal activities and wants to talk to my landlord. It was so much unnecessary drama. Most importantly I was so scared for my personal stuff.

Finally the guest checked out early after creating a lot of stress and just problems, playing games with me on where she will leave the keys, and just being rude and disrespectful. I told Airbnb I was so uncomfortable with this guest and this situation. They said not to worry and I will get a partial payment if she was to cancel. The crazy lady moved out (thank god), but she never cancelled the reservation. It kept going as an active reservation.

When next month rent’s was due I should have gotten either the partial amount or the full amount since her reservation is still active but all that Airbnb did was email me saying they cannot collect payment and if the guest doesn’t pay; they are not responsible. I really didn’t expect this to happen but I’m happy the crazy lady is out of the apartment and my stuff is safe. Any advice on how I can collect one month of rent that is still active on my Airbnb account?

Guests Robbed in Salò Airbnb, Host Possessions Untouched

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We rented a beautiful place in Salò, Italy on October 1st, 2017. We were greeted by the host on the first day and she was very friendly. She gave us the keys and the code to the safe. We asked if we could change the code for the safe, and she said no. We also inquired about the alarm system and she replied she didn’t know how it worked but it’s a very safe area.

One night while out to dinner our unit was robbed. One safe was picked open, the other pulled out completely. Only after did we realise the safes were not fastened to the wall, just fastened underneath with some short wood screws. Our losses would have been considerably less if the safes had been secured and the code was not common.

A police report was made that night. The police came in and there were no signs of forced entry. We left the apartment the next day, a day earlier than our planned departure. We felt unsafe and violated. Our trip continued for another two weeks. When we returned to the states we asked the host for a refund or a partial refund since we left early and our losses were substantial. The answer was no.

When I arrived back in the states I tried to write a review. Airbnb gives you 14 days to post a review. It had been 21 days. I called Airbnb and explained the situation. I have used Airbnb in the past and the beauty is the transparency of the reviews. I felt it was my obligation to let others know that this host did nothing to provide the security and safety you would normally expect while renting. I wrote three emails to Airbnb and a few phone calls asking to not only let us review this apartment, but also help us with a refund. As of this writing, there has been no response from Airbnb except that they would look into it. None of the host’s items or property was disturbed or stolen except for the one safe. The safe was recovered by the police the next day… of course empty. My suggestion is to look for other accommodations.

Airbnb Host Tries to Assault Underage Drunk Guests

About a year and a half ago now I stayed with Airbnb for the first time in Nashville. As soon as we arrived, my host poured shot upon shot of alcohol down my then underage friend’s throat. He offered to show us a good place to eat. That went well.

Later that night he invited himself out on the town with us. Up until this time he was cool so we didn’t really question it. We went out and he started getting grabby with my friend, who made it loud and clear she was not interested. He then abandoned us in the middle of Nashville, knowing both of our phones were dead. Finally I was able to hail a taxi with a phone charger so I could get the address and return to the house.

We made it back to his place and went inside. Since my friend was drunk, I had a few drinks myself. It was 2:00 AM, so we decided to hunker down for the night and leave that place first thing in the morning. We put his dog in the bedroom with us (which he previously had given us permission to do) and went to sleep. An hour passed and I heard him come home. I got up and let him know we made it back and we were leaving in the morning. At this point he apologized for his behavior and seemed fine. I went back into the room and locked the door. I know for sure because I showed my friend it was locked, as she was still unsure of him.

About an hour later I was asleep but awoke suddenly. I could sense someone was in the room. I sat up and saw his shadow crawling across the floor. I yelled “WHAT ARE YOU DOING?” Along with a few other choice words. He told me he was looking for his dog (who was white and very clearly laying on the edge of my bed, very visible even in the dark). I told him to get out, along with a few other choice words. I then locked the door again and propped a chair up against it.

As I was trying to process what just happened I picked up my phone to see the time and noticed it wasn’t charging. Thinking maybe he unplugged it while crawling around, I saw it was still plugged into the wall. I then went to turn on the lamp; it didn’t work, and neither did the other two. It hit me this man literally turned the power off to our room to prevent us from turning on the light while he was in there.

Now I was in survival mode. I packed all of our belongings and got my friend out of bed in about five minutes. We made a plan, jetted out of the house and out to my car, and sped off.

We called the Airbnb emergency number and initially they were great. They paid for us to get a hotel for the night and refunded our money from the host. They also told us he was blocked from the website and gave me a $300 credit to use within the year. I tried three times to use the credit; it always said there was an error and to contact customer service. They always said they would figure it out and get back to me but never did.

After my $300 expired I swore to never use Airbnb again. Finally a friend convinced me to try one more time, so I made an attempt to book and found I still couldn’t, as if my account was locked or something. Again, I contacted customer service and again, I was told they would figure it out and get back to me. They never did. This company is garbage. They will cover their rear while an emergency is taking place but besides that the customer service is terrible. Do not stay with Airbnb.

The review I left on their page a week or so ago is attached. Conveniently I got an email today saying “after a routine review of my account I have violated the terms of service so I can no longer be a supported guest”… funny how they can ignore me for over a year until I go public with what happened.

Airbnb Takes No Responsibility for its Hosts

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This is my Airbnb horror story from my stay in New Orleans with my sister. I will preface by saying that both my sister and I have traveled the world, been to many different countries, and stayed in hostels many times, but never had an experience like this.

We booked a room in a house in New Orleans. The house stated that it was on Frenchman Street. For those of you who are not familiar with this area, it’s a popular destination in New Orleans, lined with bars and restaurants where all the locals go to listen to live jazz music. Unfortunately, Airbnb does not disclose the exact address of the house until the day before your stay; they give you a radius to give you a general idea of where it’s located.

Well, when we arrived at the house it was on the very far end of Frenchman Street, not at all walking distance to that area as described (nor would it have been safe to walk, day or night, male or female, ever). It was in a very bad, crime ridden area with bars on many of the windows and doors, and wood paneling covering windows that had been blown out. The house was not at all how it was described in the ad.

We stepped outside for a moment to contemplate if it was safe to walk just around the corner to Walgreens, and within a few minutes someone made an attempt to rob us. I will spare the long details of this but luckily we escaped the situation unharmed.

When we ran back into the house we discovered that someone left the door to the back patio unlocked. This was a shared space, meaning other guests were staying in other rooms just down the hall. Luckily no one had entered the home from off the street but we feared that if the guests accidentally left it unlocked again, someone could enter the home in the middle of the night and rob us… or worse. There were no locks on our bedroom door, leaving our belongings at risk while we were out exploring the city.

I realize that New Orleans suffered awful devastation from Hurricane Katrina and is still recovering. It’s really sad, but Airbnb should be more forthcoming about the state of these houses/rooms. This place was completely misrepresented. It said there was a “porch overlooking the yard as well as the street… and two sets of French Doors that open up onto Frenchmen Street, letting in plenty of light and allowing for prime people watching.” The French Doors in the kitchen were bolted shut, and the only view from the porch was a very tall fence that separated the back of the house from the street. We couldn’t view the street as stated.

In addition, the house was unsanitary. The pillows were stained brown (very brown, spotted, disgusting – see pictures attached), the towels that were folded and placed on the bathroom counter were damp and smelled like mold, and the toilet wasn’t completely bolted down to the ground. We did contact our host and were as nice about it as we could have been about our complaints (although in hindsight we shouldn’t have been).

Overall, the conversation was amicable but he was very defensive and didn’t seem to care very much. He said that what happens in his neighborhood outside of his home is out of his control – which I agree with, I blame Airbnb for that portion. When it came to the pillows he didn’t seem to care; I don’t know how you can look at those things and think it’s okay to let people sleep on them. Unfortunately, Airbnb has a refund policy that protects them from just about anything.

We contacted their customer support line immediately and worked with a case manager in an attempt to get a refund, but they refused. They said that they cannot refund anything due to neighborhood factors, only things pertaining to the house itself. We sent the pictures of the house and everything inside that was dirty (including those nasty pillows) but they still refused. We were also shocked that there were no prior reviews about any of these things, which led us to believe that perhaps the negative reviews are being deleted.

After the incident I decided to do some more research on the company and found that other people have experienced the following situations (also without refunds): door locks being broken when you arrive, getting kicked out of the house by disgruntled ex-spouses, cancelling people’s stays hours before their reservation, hosts openly using drugs in common spaces, getting kicked out by HOA reps because the host doesn’t have rights to rent, not refunding people who were supposed to stay in Napa Valley during the devastating fires.

I don’t care what their policy states; they should operate by what’s right and what’s wrong. This company has no moral compass whatsoever. It sounds like just about anyone can qualify to rent their space through Airbnb and misrepresent it in their ad. I would highly advise against using this service.

Burgled within 60 Minutes of Checking into Airbnb

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My wife, our young daughter, and I checked in to this apartment in Lisbon, Portugal mid-afternoon. When we arrived, the first thing we noticed was the dangerous staircase; it was nearly impossible to lift a large suitcase all the way to the third floor and I struggled to do so. Despite this property being listed as ‘child friendly’, the staircase was an extreme hazard and at this point I was already concerned about our three-year-old.

When we finally reached the staircase summit and the apartment, a young lady was waiting inside who spoke limited English but showed us the apartment and seemed helpful. The apartment seemed nice and in a great location. It also seemed like a low security risk for the following reasons: a very steep, straight staircase; two other apartments (one on each floor); no escape points for potential thieves; and tourists/cars around outside. Keep in mind it was also about 2:45-3:00 PM at this point (broad daylight). However, we learned that safety and security was a big problem.

Here’s what happened. Shortly after check-in, we went for a brief walk to look at the surrounding streets and picked up some food. Upon our return (approximately 45-60 minutes later), we opened the building door, walked upstairs and discovered the apartment door had been kicked open (visible footprints over the door) with a broken lock. All our possessions including passports were stolen (including my three-year-old daughter’s).

We immediately phoned the host who contacted the local police and Airbnb. To their credit, each party responded well: we received a refund from Airbnb and they offered to put us up for a night in a nearby hotel. We later discovered two critical pieces of information for which we should have been informed but were not:

  • The building was in fact, empty, with no neighbours. This means that had the break-in occurred while my wife and child were alone, no one would have heard or seen anything (I was on a business trip). A simple burglary could have in fact been much more serious.
  • The property had been recently burgled before our experience, which we discovered from another reviewer on Airbnb.

The break-in was perfectly timed and this property is definitely being targeted by professional thieves and criminals. From the moment of our arrival, we were being watched (either by chance or someone knew of our arrival time) and the intruders had very easy access to the building; the front door was flimsy and provided little safety. This kind of burglary would easily have required some coordination and good timing: at least 2-3 people (one outside to keep watch) and the others to lift/struggle down the staircase quickly to avoid being caught. Remember, the street outside was busy and there were cars and tourists coming past.

There were also a few peculiarities. The thieves were extremely forceful with the apartment door (it was smashed/kicked open and broken with pieces of wood were everywhere), yet they were able to access the building door extremely easily (it was perfectly closed when we returned). It also struck me as a little odd that they also stole a key. Surely, their interests would be primarily in the valuables and getting out (not returning especially as the locks would be changed). I can only theorise at this point but regardless, it scares me to think what could have happened during the night or at other times. Intruders could easily walk up the stairs (with no neighbours around) and simply try their luck. We appreciate the host’s attempt to support us but this is a serious security and safety risk and I am concerned for future guests.

Hosts are a bit too Overbearing at Spanish Airbnb

I booked with Airbnb only once, and will never do it again. It was in Tenerife, Los Cristianos, and my host was a complete psychopath. Having just escaped from another psychopath, which was the reason I left the country and traveled abroad, I was pretty overwhelmed. First of all, she lied about everything, was untrustworthy and pushy, and added hidden costs for everything. I kind of knew she was off from the first time she replied to my message when I was still in the booking process; I should have listened to my intuition.

After the first few days of my stay it became worse: she started harassing me in the apartment and sending random people to “check on me”, with the typical “I am worried about you” gaslighting. I was thinking “I am an adult on vacation and you’re not my mom. You aren’t worried – you’re a psychopath.”

I started feeling so unsafe I left after one and a half weeks. I paid for a month, so I called Airbnb. Customer service was of the same mentality, especially because I made the mistake of letting the host know I was about to contact them, and being a good psychopath, she called them first with some made up BS about me as if she were the victim. I never got any refund, and I had to find new accommodations by myself in a panic. I’ll stick with hotels from now on; those provide better quality service anyway, and they’re also safer and more trustworthy. When I’m in a hotel room alone I don’t feel like I’m exposed to a sick person with no help if things go south.