Stay Away from Airbnb Properties in Niagara

Niagara is not where you want to book an Airbnb to take your family to relax on vacation. I have seen combat videos from Kandahar that were filmed in better neighborhoods. The house was listed as “excellent” and I couldn’t get my husband and children to leave the car. There were burned out buildings and boarded up houses all along the street and the only indication that anyone lived in this neighborhood were the blue recycling bins randomly scattered about. I think they might roll the sidewalks up at night to stop them from being stolen.

Now, I have an adventurous personality and out of curiosity, I entered the residence with a flashlight because I couldn’t see the keypad on the doors; there was no hallway light. The good news was there was power and heat, though the derelict furnace that had been replaced was sitting in the downstairs hallway. The living area was cleaned, but really shabby and not in any kind of a “shabby chic” way. The spray painted clawfoot tub installed crookedly on the rotted sloping floor was the bathroom.

The rest of it was furnished like a college student’s apartment: mismatched single curtain panels stretched across the painted shut windows, old mattresses on metal bed frames, and a slouchy futon. We immediately left and contacted the host to tell her we were not staying the night. I could tell she’d had this conversation before. Her very best defense was that “many people” had stayed there and had never had a problem in this neighborhood. It was my choice to leave and she was not giving me my money back.

Of course she wasn’t; I’m sure it was my $200 she’d spent to furnish the place. I later looked up the address on Trulia and learned she bought that dump for $15k just recently. Since May of this year there have been six assaults, five shootings and a robbery in that very same blighted neighborhood. I should have looked for blood stains on the floor.

That’s right: she bought a whole duplex for $15,000. You’d think this would have tipped off Airbnb. Isn’t this their business? They don’t have some algorithm to compare and evaluate real estate listings? God bless the Canadian border agent that took pity on our shocked faces as we crossed the Rainbow Bridge twenty minutes after we had just left. He was empathetic and understanding and more than willing to help provide a safe passage into Canada for a family of Americans seeking refuge from what I have since come to learn is the most dangerous city per capita in the State of New York.

Airbnb has so far been pretty responsive to my complaint and they refunded me about $30 thus far. I wanted $200 to cover the cost of the hotel room I had to rent at the last minute but I’ll settle for them pulling all the listings in that zip code because it’s just not a safe place for anyone to visit after dark or leave their vehicle unattended. I would not be the least bit surprised if the police were afraid to patrol there.

Drugged and Assaulted at Airbnb in Denver

My first and last time using Airbnb was a complete and utter nightmare. I had just gotten the role I had been pursing in my career for two years. I flew out to Denver to take my drug test and start work that Monday. Everything was solid. I decided to stay at an Airbnb, thinking it would help save money. Little did I know the host has claimed to have been abducted by aliens, is on barbiturates and amphetamines, and was a former meth addict and who knows what else.

She seemed fine in the beginning but her stories got weirder as the days passed. I figured I was okay and I’d be gone soon enough. As for my own idiocy, I accepted a cup of tea from the host. She assured me it wasn’t weed tea or anything else funky; this was since I informed her I was supposed to get tested the next day.

I woke up a little fuzzy thinking it was the Denver altitude sickness. I went confidently and handed over my urine with not a worry in the world. I then woke up the next morning 5:00 AM to the host and her boyfriend beating the heck out of each other, then I was assaulted when trying to stop him from smashing her head into the floor any further. She climbed onto the roof, he ran, and the cops came. Maybe she was looking at aliens again…

Long story short, this was the most psychotic experience of my life. I failed my drug test, lost my job, and am now part of a criminal investigation. Airbnb has done nothing for me nor does it seem they care. I have other job offers and will stay in a homeless shelter until my first check comes in. My entire life has been turned upside down.

Airbnb sucks. Once I am back on my feet I am prepare to pursue and pay for a lawsuit until I regain my dignity and justice is served. This ordeal has ruined my name, upset my family and caused me to possibly have a breakdown.

Death Threats From Other Airbnb Tenants

Emails between Airbnb customer support and myself:

“Hello, I was not able to stay here as the other boy living in the apartment harassed and abused me. It was so scary. I had to flee at 6:00 AM, taking my wet clothes out of the washing machine. I was going to call the police but I just wanted to get out. The host offered me alternative arrangements but it was so traumatic and awful I just want a refund. So bad. Worst Airbnb experience. I can provide more details of the harassment. The boy took a video of me and laughed as I was crying and begging him to leave me alone. I can easily get a police report if you need it.”

We are very much concerned about your current situation and we want to verify if you are now safe. We also want to know if you were able to find a secure place. Please let us know how we can help so we can call this to the attention of the other department.

“Yes. I left immediately and am staying in a hotel. The host was extremely apologetic (obviously) but the situation was really scary. The power in the unit had gone out when I got home from work and so I couldn’t have a shower; my washing hadn’t finished and there was no air conditioning. When I asked the boy if he knew where the fuse box was he became irate that I had used his washing powder (which I didn’t realise wasn’t communal) and was also very angry that I had gotten home so late and that I needed to leave so early in the morning (I work very long hours). The whole situation was a bit of a nightmare to be honest, definitely out of character for an Airbnb experience. I am completely fine now, just a little rattled and in need of finishing my washing.”

Thank you for confirming that you are now on a secured location. We really value our guest’s security and you were right in highlighting this concern. In relation to your recent reservation, I understand that you paid a total of $465.32 for four nights, but due to what happened, you were not able to fully utilize the reservation. I have escalated this concern to our of our case managers. Kindly expect a communication from them anytime from now. I am really sorry that you have experienced this; I know that this is not normally how things go with bookings. In case there is anything else I can assist you with, I’m entirely at your disposal.”

A short time later…

“Thanks for reaching out. I’m happy to help. We’re very sorry about your experience. We’re glad you feel safe now and that you’ve found an alternative place to continue your trip. I’ll talk to the host about your refund for the nights not stayed. I may also need to alter the check out date.

“I think I should be refunded for the whole time as I was put in a completely unreasonable position. I also don’t think this a good place for people to stay. The boy who lives there is aggressive and even after I locked myself in my room crying on the phone to my husband he stood outside banging on the door abusing me. He smoked inside. The power didn’t work. It was pretty much a bust. A total refund is basically the minimum I would expect. Thanks.”

I understand. I’ll inform the host. To set your expectations, though, in our refund policy, the guest is entitled to a maximum of 50% if they stayed despite the issue. This is to be fair to the host as the listing was used. We are generally in a much stronger position to assist any of our guests when we’re contacted within 24 hours of check-in so we could have helped you in arranging for a transfer to another suitable listing. I’ll talk to the host about the full refund. She is yet to respond.

Also, we need documentation for us to establish the issues so we can adjust the payment to the host accordingly. She agreed to refund you the last two nights. And she said the boy was disturbed by the noise late last night. Please send if you were able to take photos of the other issues. Once we establish a hosting violation, we can work out the additional refund. But as a courtesy from us, I’ve issued a discount coupon to help in your next payment should you book with us again.

“I feel as though as I should be extremely explicit about what occurred. It was my understanding, maybe misunderstanding, that I would be staying with my host and not an overseas student. When I first went to the house to get my key it was not what I was expecting at all and I was very apprehensive. However, I was on my dinner break with a taxi waiting downstairs so I chose not to bring it up. I also chose not to stay at the apartment and crashed on a friend’s couch instead as the apartment was a bit dirty and smelly. This meant last night was my first night in the apartment.

I arrived there at midnight. I did not make any noise but the boy (who I had never met) had his bedroom door open which opened onto the hallway. I apologised and closed his sliding door. I appreciate he probably wasn’t expecting me given we had never met and I hadn’t been there the night before. The house smelled intensely of smoke and there were empty bottles on the table and bench.

I put in a load of washing and while I was reading in bed the power went out. It was very late (2:00 AM) so I just went to sleep. In the morning when I woke up (6:00 AM) the power was still out, my washing was sitting in a pool of water trapped in the washing machine and the bathroom was too dark to have a shower. I messaged the host about the power and she told me to wake the boy, whom I assumed was her son, and ask him to check the fuse box. I knocked on his door and went in. I asked him about the power. He said “what the f#$k is wrong with you?”

I apologised and left the room. I messaged the host again. She messaged me back to ask what time I had to be at work. The boy got up and came to my room. He was shouting and getting too close to me. He kept saying “what the f#$k is wrong with you!?” and being aggressive. I was sort of flabbergasted and I asked him to leave my room. I also remember telling him to leave me alone. He left my room and I shut and locked the door.

I messaged the host to say the boy had been very rude to me. I got dressed for work and as I was doing my make up (by torchlight) he began banging on my door and shouting things like “what have you done to the power”, “you have ruined the house” and “how do you live?” – those sort of nonsensical things.

I opened the door to ask him to stop and also because I thought I could calm him down by explaining the power situation. Instead he stopped me from leaving the room, moved forward towards me, raised his fists. He laughed when I flinched. I thought he would punch me. I wanted to deescalate but I couldn’t work out what was happening. He said he wanted to kill me and some other threats I didn’t really understand.

I was very scared and I ducked down beside the bed. He left the room and went onto the balcony. I shut and locked the door again and sent the host a message saying “I am extremely scared for my safety. Please help.”

She replied saying the boy would not hurt me. It is sort of difficult to explain the way a woman feels when confronted with a violent man. We’ve been calling him “the boy” but he was in fact a strong young man. I thought he could do anything and I could not do anything. I began to cry. I called my husband to ask him what to do but he didn’t answer. I decided to just leave for work. I got completely ready and tired to leave even though I didn’t start work until 8:00.

The boy would not let me out the front door. He was mocking me for crying. He threw somethings at me. He took a video of me on his phone as I begged him to leave me alone. He got mad at me about the washing detergent, demanded I pay for it, held the box up to my face with his other hand behind my head. Pushing them together. Mock rubbing my face in it. He wasn’t aggressive, but more menacing and frightening.

My husband called me back distressed by the panicked voicemail I had left. He instructed me to pack my things and leave and if he wouldn’t let me leave to call the police. I told the boy I would call the police if he didn’t stop. He mocked me for over reacting but also seemed a bit nervous. He said a few more awful hurtful things. I was crying a lot by then. The power came back on. The boy got in the shower.

I quickly packed while he was in the shower. I put my wet clothes in a bin bag. I left my toiletries in the bathroom and my phone charger. As soon as the shower went off I ran out the door. I stayed on the phone with my husband until I was in the lift and it cut out. The left items are worth about $50. I had to get a taxi which cost $30. I was too upset to work today, which cost me $350. I had to go to the laundromat, which cost $6.

If you think what happened to me deserves a partial refund you have a very strange idea of customer service. While the host was not malicious she was culpable, neglectful and opportunistic. This is not a safe place for women or anyone really to stay. For documentation, you could check the hotel’s security tape of me running and crying for my life. You could ask the front desk who saw me terrified. I have the messages with the host which I sent you. I have the voicemail to my husband. I offered to get a police report. I’m still considering pressing charges.”

Again, we’re very sorry for what happened. Due to lack of documentation, we are unable to chase a full refund from the guest and also to be fair to her, you’ve stayed for two nights hence she has to be paid. If you were able to get a police report, we’d like to check this so we can also see if the listing is safe for future guests. It would be a great help from you. For the missing items, kindly open a resolutions tool for the host. 

“I can’t help but feel you’re not taking my report of physical and emotional abuse seriously. I don’t care about the money. I’m worried other single women will be harassed. I don’t feel like this is the political climate to ignore women’s reports of abuse.”

I hope you can believe me when I say safety precedes everything. The reason why we cannot chase the full refund from the host was because you stayed for two nights. The first and foremost best and first responders to an emergency are the police and I do hope you were able to report this to them. I also hope you understand our position to maintain our objectivity and our need for documentation.

“And I hope you appreciate that by putting the onus on me to prove what happened to me you have already made a decision to prioritize property over people. Is the host being asked to provide evidence I was safe? It seems clear that you care about your bottom line but I wonder how it might affect the bottom line if people no longer believed solo female travellers were safe in Airbnbs.”

That is exactly the reason why we ask if there is documentation you can provide that the property is not safe so we can present this to the host. I already mentioned the boy to the host and the host said he might have been disturbed with the noise about 1:00 AM when you got home. This was between the two tenants, you and the boy mentioned, so we are trying to establish the safety concern you raised to us. Were you able to take photos of the empty bottles you saw? Also, the host said the power was cut for a few minutes only. We are a third-party website not present during the reservation and we need to be objective in making our decisions. I may believe you, I truly do, but we need proof. Please advice if you are able to send that to us.

Afraid of Confronting Airbnb Host When I Leave

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Here I am sitting in my car, the night before I check out, and I’m afraid to go in to pack for fear of my host cornering me again. I feel like I can’t even complain to Airbnb because I let her behavior continue hoping it would stop. I also moved to communicating over WhatsApp as requested by my host – which I usually never do and definitely will not be doing again.

I arrived at my Airbnb in Cascais, Portugal three weeks ago. From the second I arrived here, I knew I was in for a bit of a wild ride. Firstly, we agreed at a check in time of 3:00 PM, very typical and normal. I had arrived to Cascais earlier than expected and told the host I was ready whenever she was but that I was with friends so there was no rush. I’m not sure what she understood from that but she told me she was at her father’s birthday lunch. She said she would leave immediately mid-meal to check me in. I thought it was a bit odd since I insisted there was no rush over the phone.

When we arrived the host showed us (my friend came along) the apartment, how things worked, the keys, etc. We expected her to leave quickly as she said she had to return to her father’s meal and I said I was also in a rush. However, she stayed for nearly 30 minutes talking to us about her life, her job, the history of the building, etc. Eventually she left and my friend and I were left perplexed by her complete inability to read the room. Anyhow I settled in and life went on.

The issues I raised over the month were:

1. No kettle – this was given upon request, which was great.

2. The front door entrance to my basement apartment was pitch black – I was told nothing will be done about this, to use the light on my phone. That was scary but I’m used to now.

3. I can quite literally hear a pin drop from from the upstairs apartment. It was so bad I have woken up thinking I am being broken into or haunted more time than I can count. Every single thing my neighbours do sounds like it is coming from inside my apartment. The host says it’s normal and if I really want she can tell them to stop wearing heels but it’s nothing to do with walking around; the key inside their door sounds like it in my door, their dog sounds like it in my apt. Again, I am used to it now; my dog is not though.

4. Then the wifi went down, and is still down two weeks later. She said it was my fault. I don’t know how it’s my fault as I barely used it but again there was nothing that could be done.

5. At check in, the host said there was no washing machine but to give her anything I need washed and when I wanted the place “serviced” to ask. When I asked, she only dropped off clean sheets for the bed. The second time she said to use the local self service laundry. The third time I asked she said it was not included as I’m not paying the cleaning fee, that she only offered the weekly service to me at check in because “I offered you that in case you read all the advertised amenities.” I have no idea what that means, but I had to buy a mop and sweeping brush.

6. Entering the apartment when I was not there. I had to specifically tell her not to go inside the apartment unless I have given permission or was there. Her response: “Besides, Airbnb is like a family where people should trust one another as if we were in one.” My mother was visiting and was asleep; she woke up to this host standing over her. What the actual ****?

Weirdly enough, all these issues haven’t bothered me as much as when she approaches me in person. She’s so odd and her English is really backwards. I don’t really know if she knows what she’s saying.

One time she woke me up to tell me the neighbors have been complaining about me for throwing my trash bags out the window. I asked to see the trash in question, so to claim my innocence but was denied. I was told it was definitely me, cause the lady next door said so. I had to literally close the front door on her face as she wouldn’t stop ranting at me. She just kept getting louder and more angry talking over me, so I left the conversation.

One time she knocked, just walked into the apartment uninvited and started a rant about me disrespecting her and her house and that the money I pay is going to her and not her neighbours. That I need to more respectful of her and her house. She then told me to move my clothes to a different part of the apartment that she doesn’t want to have to call over a builder to fix the damage I am causing by using that particular clothes rail.

Last week she cornered me in the hallway to tell me that my dog has been pooping in the neighbour’s yards – I quickly apologized and went to clean it up. All I found was cat poop. I picked it up as she was watching from her balcony, even though it was not my dog’s mess. I should have told her to shove it up her ***.

A couple days ago I told her I’m blocking her on WhatsApp and to only contact me via Airbnb so I have some proof of her madness. It’s a bit late now; I haven’t seen or heard from her since. I leave tomorrow and I think I would rather leave in the middle of the night than face her. She is tiny in size but is definitely psychotic.

Airbnb Doesn’t Live up to Expectations

I recently booked an Airbnb in Toronto to visit my granddaughter. The apartment is in what looks like a city housing building in a very rough area of Toronto; the building and grounds are in a state of disrepair, and the elevators were scary to ride. I would never bring my granddaughter there for a sleepover. The apartment was a mess; food was left over from other renters, and all the dishes were sitting in a dirty dish rack on the counter. The beds were just a bunch of mattresses thrown on the floor with no couch and no living room. The furniture was all beat up with blankets thrown over them, and broken old pictures taped for repair. The stove was not fit to cook on.

I have been trying to reach the host, and much like Airbnb he took my 500+ dollars and became unreachable. The Airbnb folks are turning their backs on me. When I asked them how this location was approved, they stated they cannot check each location, and became very rude and short on the phone. If you are booked into an unacceptable location, Airbnb could care less. I have resigned to the fact that I have been ripped off by both Airbnb and the host and am hoping this post will avoid anyone else booking this Airbnb hellhole. I stayed there one night, paid for five, slept in an office chair and picked up take out. So much for Airbnb.

Host didn’t answer the door when I arrived at midnight

I booked a ferry set to arrive at an island at about 8:00 PM. I noted this when booking my reservation. Two days before I was supposed to arrive, the host asked me to confirm my arrival time. I thought that my message went through, but apparently the wifi didn’t load and the message didn’t send. Regardless, the host didn’t ask for a follow up and I assumed that he knew and all was well (the listing noted that the check-in time was flexible).

My ferry ended up running three hours late. I let my host know as soon as I could… and then I realized that my initial message didn’t go through. There was no response from the host during the three-hour ferry ride. I got to the apartment at midnight, but no one was there. I had to show up at a random hostel to find a place to stay. It was not a great situation to be in as a young solo female traveler. My host said that he assumed I was no longer coming because I didn’t respond to the message. I asked the host if he could refund my stay. He hasn’t responded. Is there anything I can do about this or do I just have to cut my losses?

Airbnb put a $200 Coupon Value on my Personal Safety

My husband and I stayed at an Airbnb, where on our very first day within hours of our arrival, the downstairs neighbor shoved a passive aggressive threatening letter under the door stating that the hosts have not fixed the insulation in the apartment, the result of which is the neighbors downstairs hear all of our footsteps in the lounge, kitchen, and bedroom areas. In fact, the letter itself said the neighbors downstairs have made it a habit to serve every single Airbnb guest of this host with the letter, so that the hosts will do something about it.

At around 9:00 PM on our first day, when I was walking to the kitchen to get a glass of water, the neighbor downstairs started shouting at us through the floors to stop walking and hurling insults. As a result, we had to tiptoe through the whole apartment through the most of our stay. To tell you the truth, we felt so unsafe that we were ready to call 999 during our stay if the yelling neighbor ever decided to knock on our door. It was that bad.

We did contact the host as soon as possible on the very first day of our stay stating in detail how the neighbor verbally harassed us and how we have to tiptoe around the apartment now so that he doesn’t start yelling at us again. The host said he would take care of the situation but nothing was done at all. Neither the host nor Airbnb took any steps to protect us from harassment. In fact, both the host’s and Airbnb’s negligence allowed this verbal harassment to occur in the first place.

Despite previous reviews mentioning the insulation issue with the neighbor and the neighbor’s behavior, Airbnb allowed this host to continue to rent this place out to unsuspecting guests like us. When we contacted Airbnb about this they stated that they can only give us a $200 coupon for the verbal harassment and bullying we suffered at one of their properties. I’m sorry but a $200 coupon is unacceptable and frankly offensive.

My as well as my husband’s personal safety and well-being is worth more than a $200 coupon to me. I don’t think it is asking for too much to expect Airbnb to value their customers’ personal safety and well-being more than a $200 coupon, especially when their own negligence in supervising the host’s property allowed this harassment incident to occur. I’m writing this review because I want to highlight Airbnb’s negligence in allowing this verbal harassment to occur despite previous reviews mentioning the insulation issue with the neighbor and the fact that Airbnb, as a company, puts a $200 value on their customers’ personal safety and well-being to warn future customers.

Airbnb Loses Recording of Guest Threatening Me

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blank blankToday I discovered that a female Airbnb guest had sneaked a male into our home unannounced without paying for him. I discovered this by taking clean towels, toilet paper and water to the room when she left for her “photo shoot”. I was confronted with an unknown man who claimed to be a “boyfriend” although the female guest told me she lived in and had just flown in from LA. The male guest eventually slipped up and said he had just arrived from NYC.

I contacted Airbnb immediately to report the violation of the rules, false booking number of guests and to express that this was a potentially unsafe situation of a guest leaving an unknown unapproved unverified person in my home without so much as even a text message to let me know, let alone not asking permission. While I was on the phone with an Airbnb supervisor who was supposedly recording the event and confirmed she in fact heard the male guest and heard me ask him to leave (I asked the super to stay on the phone with me for safety while I asked him to leave),  the female guest returned, came into my home and started yelling at me that she was a 32-year-old woman, could do as she pleased, and I had no right to go up there or confront her “friend.”

There was no reasoning with these people; that was evident and why I asked the super to contact her and cancel and handle the reservation because I didn’t want nor did I feel it was my place to safely confront guests under these conditions. The super advised me that she was escalating this to the Trust & Safety department immediately. She said she also needed to speak with the guest. I advised her that was fine, but have someone else call and for her to stay on the phone with me for safety and documentation. She hung up.

The guest and the male “friend” started yelling in my home. The female backed me into my home office and blocked the door. I was totally out of composure and had to threaten to call the police. They spilled out into my driveway (I live in an upscale urban neighborhood) and of course the neighbors were not watching. They eventually left but not after the random male invited me to step out of my home to deal with him in my driveway and calling me a racist.

I went back inside and went back to my office to deal with clients and calls. About four hours later when I had a break I contacted Airbnb again because I had not heard from anyone. There was no ticket in my Airbnb mailbox and no return phone call from the company as had been promised. When I called back, the new customer service agent and his super said they “had no record of this event, no notes, no ticket and no recording and would need to call the guest to get her side of the story.”

I lost my grip with them. The guests last words leaving were, “you’ll get yours.” As I’ve reached out and as of the writing of this event six hours later, there has been no follow up. I had one email from a customer service agent that wrote me after the third call. I’ll attach the three replies I’ve sent in and not a one has had a response.

This is not the first issue I’ve had with Airbnb. I’ll post the others now that I know about this site. I’m all in about supporting some serious collective effort among hosts to bring change and safety to both hosts and guests. Airbnb alone does not seem to indicate they have the incentive to do so without some serious movement from those of us who have experienced this sort of stuff.

Harassed by a Mentally Unstable Airbnb Host

This was the letter I sent numerous people at Airbnb; it explains everything except all of the bizarre messages this host sent us.

Three of my adult children and I stayed here last weekend. It was a business trip. We arrived on Friday, September 14th, 2018. With two air conditioners running, the heat was intolerable in the kitchen and second bedroom. Saturday morning we sent a message to the host, stating as such, just to make them aware. We made no demands or requests.

Sunday, over 24 hours later, while we were on a boat tour, our rental host messaged stating they would be entering the property. We requested they wait for our return (a completely reasonable request). The host then began harassing us, saying we were denying them access, then stating that according to what neighbors had reported (neighbors who were in the other part of the house and turned out to be friends of the hosts) we were in violation on several counts because we had more than four guests, had a pet, and were smoking in the building.

None of these things were true; I am the only smoker and I do not smoke inside. The host continued messaging us until late in the evening, even threatening to have New Orleans police escort us out. This was bizarre behavior – keep in mind this all began simply because we requested they wait for our return to enter the property.

I am a 62-year-old female. This is my first experience with Airbnb. It was unsettling to say the least to have this person threatening us and making false allegations. All of the above, as well as all correspondence between ourselves and the host, has been reported to Airbnb through their resolution department. We were offered one night’s refund as a resolution. This was unacceptable: this host cannot be allowed to cause other guests to be fearful and feel unsafe in a rented space due to their irrationality. There was something not right with this host.

Sunday night I was quite uncomfortable even going to bed. At approximately 3:00 AM a loud bang woke three of us up. I immediately thought it was the host banging on the door; it was frightening thinking we would be confronted by this unstable person. It turned out it wasn’t anyone at the door; it was fighting going on next door and lasted for a couple hours until someone left in a car.

I have read numerous such experiences with Airbnb hosts and there seems to be no accountability for such behavior and harassment. Their resolution offer is completely missing the human element; it’s not just about the money, it’s about Airbnb looking the other way when a host harasses, threatens, and causes a fellow human being to feel unsafe. This host should be held accountable and should not be given the opportunity to make another person feel unsafe or threatened. This all happened through Airbnb, and this is their responsibility. They need to fix these issues even if it means losing properties. Keep in mind it’s the guests who keep them in business.

We left Monday morning as scheduled and left the property in the same condition we would have had we had no issues with the host: extremely clean and tidy, linens/towels, etc. in the tub, trash all outside, dishes washed and put away, floor swept, stove cleaned, refrigerator wiped down, ice cube trays replenished, etc. We took numerous pictures and videos because we did not know what to expect next from this unstable person.

On our drive home the host messaged us and asked if we enjoyed our stay. It was quite strange, like asking if she successfully ruined it for us. This person is not safe. Airbnb should be concerned about the environment they place guests in. We are all placing trust in Airbnb when we rent through them. I am confident their agents would not want to be in such an environment.

Airbnb Stripped away my Rights as a Guest

Airbnb was initially very supportive of our situation and processed a full refund but denied me the privilege of sharing my full story because I had initially mentioned the company who was managing the key collection. They did not ask that I remove the name of the company, but they removed my entire review as written below. Your rights to share your experience on Airbnb are very limited. Know your rights and be careful.

We felt cheated staying with these hosts. The whole set-up seems like a scam. The key collection area was unwelcoming; there was a notice to say that it was under construction. A man came up from the basement: no “hello”, no explanation, and zero hospitality. He just handed a set of key to us.

At this point, it all felt like a scam, and we were worried. As we entered the building, there were trucks with graffiti parked on the roads. It didn’t give us a welcoming feeling for a place that is described as a modern five-star apartment. It also claimed to be family friendly. There was a homeless man sleeping at the entrance to the building, blocking our path to use the ramp (we have a baby stroller). There were foot steps and dirt all across the common areas and entrance. This was our first impression of the place for which we paid the premium price of AED 805 per night (167 pounds).

There were alcohol cans and rubbish at the entrance. It was a shelter for the homeless (sleep during the days, take drugs and drink alcohol during the nights). The apartment was serviced, but it was not clean (as a five-star modern apartment). We were also charged AED 200 in cleaning fees (42 pounds). This was what we found as we walked in: pubic hair in the bathroom, hair in the corners of the whole apartment, mold on curtains and edges, salt built up in the kettle – not washable even after I tried. I needed a kettle as I was traveling with young children.

We decided to come home before dark as the area felt unsafe. When we came home at 7:00 PM, there was another homeless guy sleeping at the walkway. We decided to order food to be delivered to the apartment. We felt trapped as the walkway and building entrance was not suitable for our needs and always blocked by homeless people. Our delivery guy had informed us that our food was snatched by one of the homeless who on either drugs or alcohol. That was when we decided to look for an alternative accommodation for the remaining of our stay.

Our apartment door was opened from the outside in the morning while we were still there. When my husband inquired she said she didn’t speak English (Spanish speaker). We decided to check out after our first night there as we were concerned about our safety.

This property was not suitable for family. It is not a modern five-star apartment if the entrance is a home for homeless people. The shower and bathroom was two-star. The cleanliness is zero stars. Both beds were sofa beds (not one bed and one sofa bed as claimed). The amenities were very poor. It was an unsafe area for families.

The hosts didn’t meet me or call me even once although I called the emergency number. She only communicated using the Airbnb messaging and the response was slow. They didn’t provide any hospitality or assurance whatsoever. She claimed to have visited the apartment to take pictures of the cleanliness but didn’t even have the courtesy to come up to check on us. She also said she lives around Camden. It felt like the reason why she visited the apartment was to take pictures after she had cleaned the entrance and walkway to defend herself. Very disappointing. We didn’t want to ruin our holiday and left.

I lodged an official complaint to Airbnb and the host and she only wanted to give us a 20% refund despite us moving out after one night. I logged a safety complaint with Airbnb. The case manager worked on my case and I have received my refund. However they have now removed my honest review of this case and all pictures that I have shared. Airbnb has stripped my rights as a guest who wants to share her poor experience to others.