Airbnb Takes Host’s Side in Flophouse Complaint


It’s been ten days since I discussed the complaints about my host with Airbnb’s resolution center, to no avail. She won’t understand my queries. She uses all her energy to agree with the host and dismiss me. All she understands about my complaints are the cleanliness and misrepresentation, and that’s okay with her.

On April 21st, 2017, we reserved the master bedroom of for an appartment in Hollywood. The listing claimed the following amenities were included:

– You get your own master bedroom with a private bathroom, closet, balcony
– Sleeps three (third person can choose to sleep on living room couch or an air mattress)
– Free wifi
– Central air conditioning and heating
– Hardwood floors (carpeted bedroom/walk-in closet)
– All brand new furniture and apartment
– Dishwasher, microwave, full size stove
– Laundry Facilities inside the unit (modern washer and dryer)
– Cleaned by professional maids
– Full kitchen
– Extra comfortable mattresses: 600 thread count sheets, high quality comforter sets
– Chic and modern design
– Stainless steel appliances

We demand a refund for the following reasons. Before reserving, we asked for more pictures, because only one was provided in the listing. A woman claiming to be the host said that she did not have any at the moment. When we saw the apartment, we understood why she would not provide pictures. We did have our own room with a private bathroom. It was very sparsely furnished with just a bed and a TV. There was No bedside table or lamp, no dresser, no chairs, and no sofa, contrary to what was shown in the picture. In addition:

• We had to ask for the air mattress, which was stored in a pile in the dirty living room. • It smelled like cheap perfume in the room, as if someone wanted to hide a bad smell.
• The bath, sink, and mirror were dirty.
• The only linens that were provided were five washcloths and a hand towel.
• The blinds did not work properly, missing many slats
• The balcony was cluttered with stuff belonging to other people (and the host responded that he wasn’t responsible for the comings and goings of the people in the apartment)
• The room could only be locked from the inside, so we could not lock it when we wanted to leave.

Furthermore, the front door was always unlocked. The host only gave us the key to the building, not to the apartment, claiming that there was always someone there. Therefore, both the front door and the door to our room were always unlocked, so we could easily have been robbed. When we confronted the host about these problems, he made up excuses and said he would get the air mattress (which he did) and extra linens (which he didn’t). When we explained our problems with the state of the apartment, he replied that we had only rented a room, disregarding the fact that we were supposed to have access to the kitchen, which was in a horrible state.

As for the rest of the appartment…

• There were four or five occupants in the living room and kitchen when we arrived (alone, because the host did not meet us). These were all temporary lodgers or Couchsurfers, judging by all the couches and air mattresses.
• The kitchen and fridge were dirty and smelled bad, just like the rest of the apartment.
• There was no coffee maker, and no glasses. We only managed to find two cups.
• When we woke up, six people were sleeping in that mess of a living room. We have traveled a lot (often using Airbnb), enough to know what to expect from a room costing 123 CAD (plus fees) in Hollywood. We did not expect the Ritz, but we will not accept paying that for a room in a dirty apartment that felt like a bad youth hostel.

We also had the following problems communicating with the host:

• He made me repeat a lot of information before we arrived, while I was in Venice. All that information was already in our Airbnb messages.
• I had to insist that he take our luggage on the morning of our arrival, as agreed, because he thought he might no longer be available.
• He arranged a meeting to pick up our luggage, not in front of the apartment, but across the street. It wasn’t the host who met us, but a lodger who had been woken up at the last minute, and was late.
• When we came back that night, we again had to meet across the street. He then gave us confusing information, and asked us to claim that we are family if anybody asked.

The host did try to be courteous, and said he did not want us to be dissatisfied. He even made a brief attempt at tidying up the kitchen, but that did not fix anything. We had to sleep there the first night, because we arrived at 7:45 PM (as he requested), which was too late to find any other accommodations at a reasonable price, though I searched for three hours. I did find something for the next two nights, but it cost more than my Airbnb booking. At such short notice, barely anything was available in Hollywood. For all these reasons, and generally for false advertising, we demand a complete refund.

On a final note, I don’t think this host even has the right to rent out his apartment, because he always refused to meet us in front of the building, never came in with us, and asked us to claim that we were family if asked. I have contacted his co-op board to find out. Thank you for your attention and your cooperation.