Guest Leaves, Takes Keys, Receives Refund

Please consider the following chain of events. I have now been waiting for Airbnb to help me retrieve my keys from a guest for almost a week and two weeks since the guest claimed he moved out (without returning my keys). I have lost numerous reservations and will most likely close my Airbnb account after this is resolved.

I accepted a reservation and arranged for the guest’s arrival and key pickup at my neighbor’s at the guest’s convenience. He checked in and the same day requested a new microwave oven, which I arranged and delivered the next morning.

Two days later he informed me he wanted to leave because of noise that he cannot prove to Airbnb and which was not confirmed by the neighbors. After I refused the change — being informed by Airbnb that I did not have to accept — the guest got hostile and accused me of “taking advantage of him.”

I was then informed by Airbnb that the guest can cancel at his own will, which I also informed him, even though I was not happy with this. I did not know cancellation was possible after checking in. The guest did not cancel, so I assume he stayed.

Prior to the original checkout date, I informed the guest he needed to leave the key where he picked it up: at my neighbor’s apartment next door. I also asked him to take out trash as I won’t be able to visit for a long time due to quarantine. When the checkout date passed and the key was not returned, I asked my neighbor to enter the apartment to look for the key.

He didn’t find the key, but a big mess, unflushed toilet, and trash left out, possibly for 10 days. I was now informed by Airbnb that the reservation is considered cancelled as by the original alteration request that I did not accept. And that I will now owe Airbnb the money for the remaining days.

A day after original checkout date, the guest finally answered and informed me I needed to travel to Stockholm (I am in Norway) to pick up my keys on the other side of town where he now apparently resides. He also requires a receipt of key return. I have no evidence of when he checked out, as the keys have not been returned. For all I know he could have used the apartment all this time, even after the original checkout date.

Instead of help from Airbnb when a guest has not returned my keys, I was informed I owe Airbnb money for the time the guest claimed he has not been in my apartment, even though they keys have still not been returned. The guest repeated he will not travel to return the keys and take out the trash “as I have caused him inconvenience,” thereby somehow “punishing” me for not accepting his alternation request which Airbnb told me I had the right to decline.

Accused of Theft and Lying About Smells

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My wife and I rented an Airbnb e to celebrate our first anniversary. From day one it smelled like a dog kennel. The second day, we found one bed bug which the co-host implied that we could’ve been responsible for rather than just quietly making things right. She moved us to a different room that was much better, but then the next day, she and her daughter accused us of messing with the way their appliances were plugged in and costing them $95 for an electrical inspection, when we didn’t and had absolutely no reason to.

The host’s daughter did not objectively serve us and was hardly involved as opposed to her mom. We filed a complaint with Airbnb the next day and the hosts kicked us out, though we had not officially told them we were canceling our reservation. They falsely accused us of filing a complaint of theft against them and took pictures of our naturally messy room before we had time to clean it up. They reported us to Airbnb corporate for vandalizing and trashing their place.

Airbnb Founders Should be Ashamed of Themselves

Firstly I’d like to say Airbnb has falsely pushed up rental prices all over the world. This first came to light when I joined Airbnb as a host. I know the average rent in Hua Hin, Thailand. As soon as I joined as a host I was told I could get much more in rentals for my condo.

They’ve tried to push up rentals all over the world. People in Thailand are generally poor. A good monthly wage is seen as $400.

I took over management of my friend’s Airbnb account. I received a booking for 1500 Baht (about 40 USD) but I could not get a cleaner so I emailed the customer and asked if he minded if I canceled because of this issue. He understood and we agreed to cancel. I pressed cancel. I received a fine from Airbnb for 3121.08 Baht because I canceled. This is theft and breaking international contract law.

When you “stole” something that was never there

I want to preface this by saying that this is my first time ever booking with Airbnb, and I definitely made some amateur mistakes.

I let my host text me exclusively since they wouldn’t respond through the messenger. I also accidentally signed up for one guest. When you’re searching for a stay, you can choose the option for two guests but I didn’t realize that didn’t transfer over when you booked. I texted my host that I was coming with another person the day before our check in and they replied “excellent” since it was no extra charge (which they denied, because it wasn’t on the messenger. Luckily I had screenshots.)

I believed that people wouldn’t try and scam me without proof or accuse me of stealing something that was never there. I recently got back from a weekend trip with Airbnb and this is my first time booking a reservation myself (yay for adulting).

I thought the host was a tad bit aggressive on the trip, because they were constantly texting me with their personal number and asking what we were doing. I didn’t think much of it and gave them five stars since they claimed they would rate me five stars as well if I did (which is extortion?).

I got home and everything seemed to be fine, but then I got an email that ruined everything. The host is claiming that I walked out with a comforter and a 55-inch TV in broad daylight with no proof other than “it was here before they checked in and gone when they checked out.”

When we got to the apartment there was no TV. The bed was missing a comforter and it wasn’t made. In their defense, we did arrive an hour early (but they told us we could still come in). I didn’t report the unmade bed, because, again, this was my first time renting an Airbnb and I didn’t want to seem rude to someone that was letting me into their home. I also didn’t think it was that a big a deal since we were the ones that arrived early.

With the TV, we assumed that it wasn’t included or being repaired. They gave us a list of amenities to check, and while the TV was pictured on their page when we booked, it wasn’t on the list they sent us when we arrived. We assumed that meant it wasn’t included. We did tell our host about a few other missing items, and even sent pictures telling them that we didn’t want to be charged for things that were missing upon our arrival.

At this point I’ve sent them a receipt of a comforter that we had to buy and a speaker that we purchased for our personal laptop, since we couldn’t watch movies due to no TV being there. I’ve asked that surveillance be checked and for our reports of other missing items to be documented, but the host keeps saying that we need to refund them immediately.

They’ve told us that there is a cleaning person that comes in between us and their other guests, and that’s the only reason that I can think of that might be why the TV and comforter are gone. Maybe another guest took them or they were never there to begin with. The keys for the apartment are also outside in a lockbox that’s on a rail on the street for anyone to access.

They also told us to never contact the front desk for anything as we were not allowed to; we didn’t have a lease in our name. Is that normal for other Airbnbs? I wouldn’t know because this was my first time booking one.

For the first time since we’ve been back, the host used the messenger to claim that we never sent anything to them regarding issues to the apartment or my second guest. They are telling Airbnb that I’m lying about everything, because the communication I’m talking about never happened. I may not have the videos of the apartment, but I do have screenshots and text messages to share, which the host isn’t taking kindly to, saying that my character and responses can’t be trusted since I’m “insane” and a “liar”.

The host has harassed me every other day in private messages for money, I guess Airbnb isn’t moving fast enough for them. People are probably wondering why I’m so worried if I have nothing to hide, but I have an anxiety disorder that’s constant and makes me stress and worry about things that I shouldn’t: “What if they don’t believe me, because my host didn’t update that I had a second guest; what if they assume that the TV being gone is my fault, because they didn’t check that their last guest had it; what if I can’t get another Airbnb because of the review this host left on me.”

It’s a lot to think about. I had to block my host with this final message after they called me insane:

“Everything about this experience has been so stressful. I just wanted to have a good time with my partner and you keep saying that we took your TV with no proof. Your keys for the apartment are outside. Anyone could have gone in and taken your device. Next time get insurance on your items or put something into the booking to protect you from something like this.

I’m really sorry that your TV is gone. I’d be upset if someone took my things, but I’m not the one that did it. Instead of waiting for Airbnb to decide on an outcome, you keep messaging me to pay you for something that you have no proof of me taking because it wasn’t in the apartment to begin with.

We assumed that your listing was inaccurate because of the missing blanket, TV and bracelets. We didn’t report it, because we arrived early and assumed your cleaning person didn’t have time to prepare. And if we reported the pool bracelets not wanting to be charged, why on earth would we take something so expensive as a TV? It doesn’t add up.

This entire time, you’ve been unprofessional. You’ve attacked me. My character. And my honesty. This is the very last time that I will message you directly. If you are so sure that we took your TV, just let things play out the way that they are supposed to and leave me alone. Especially if you have the evidence to back up your claim. I hope you have a great day and that no one else has to go through an experience like this.”

I’m not sure if I ever want to use this service again after this, especially since support won’t do anything about the host harassing me.

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Need Support after Getting Robbed of over $2000 by Airbnb

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I have been a host in Kobe, Japan for several years with Airbnb and as a Superhost, I had many satisfied guests and enjoyed very decent reviews. Around mid-January this year, Airbnb sent me a notice to do a verification of my account, threatening to block payouts if I did not complete it before February 4th.

I immediately sought out help from Airbnb support staff who walked me through the entire process and helped me fill in the form until the support staff himself was 100% satisfied that everything was in perfect order. He also confirmed clearly that any payout would not be blocked as the verification process was successful.

Below is proof of that chat where he congratulated me and confirmed that the payouts would not be blocked at all. I received a booking for 220,000 Japanese yen for check-in on February 11 and check-out on February 27th (a 17-day booking) with a specified payout date to me for February 13th. Today is February 17th and the nightmare I am facing is already four days into the process of dealing with the most incompetent so-called case managers and support staff.

The experience I am having in trying to collect my money is abusive, and nothing short of real torture as they are all behaving like thugs sitting on my money illegally and giving me the royal run around while whistling Sweet Dixie. No host should ever have to be subjected to this kind of torture I am facing just to try and collect what is rightfully due to me.

This kind of behavior from Airbnb usually comes as a prelude to bankruptcy. I am alerting all hosts to please be cautious because the tactics Airbnb are using here to rob me of my money are nothing short of gangster ones. I have no idea when I will see my money, I have no idea when my nightmare for chasing for my payout will stop, and I have no idea of what options I have.

I am reaching out to all the hosts reading this to please share your experiences with me if it can help me get what is due to me from these thugs. The guest from this payout is still staying in my property and Airbnb is threatening that if I use the option I suggest, i.e. ask the guest to cancel her reservation with Airbnb and demand a refund as I will waive all cancellation fees, to pay me directly, then they will penalize me for trying to deal directly with the guest and bypassing them.

The guest is still staying in the property until February 27th. I do have time to seek some sort of agreement with her but I don’t want to do anything to pay a hefty price later. Any advice on this matter would be highly appreciated. I just want to warn all hosts now and in the future to be totally aware of these gangster tactics by Airbnb to sit on your money whenever they feel like it, as if they have a right to take your funds. This is tantamount to stealing. Please be careful not to get trapped as I have been.

Right now I don’t know what more torture I have to endure from these thugs and their team of the most incompetent staff on the planet. I keep banging my head against the wall trying to recover my money from them. Any advice or helpful comments would be highly appreciated.

Payment for Extra Guest was Never Released to me

Airbnb let a guest stay in my home on December 21st. Come the 22nd after they checked out I didn’t get the payment deposited into my PayPal account. After trying in numerous different ways to talk to someone, I was told that the guest paid the majority of the fee, but when the guest altered the stay for more people they didn’t pay the extra $30.

Airbnb allowed them to stay in my home but refused to pay me my money. It’s been 14 days and I keep getting told someone is working on it and they will get a hold of me but no one has. When I ask to speak to someone above them they say they don’t have that information for me.

Left Broke and Homeless after Airbnb Experience

I’m glad I found this site. My story is horrifying. I don’t even know where to turn to seek legal counsel, but I am Googling it now.

I had booked a week’s stay in Tijuana in July. I stayed in a very affluent home, with several guests. The couple that owned it (different from the people I was corresponding with on Airbnb) seemed friendly and nice at first. When I first arrived, and told them my plans to stay longer, they showed me this sweeping private room with a bathroom on another floor that was still under construction. They said it would be ready in a week, at $700/month with a $700 deposit down. They said that the deposit was refundable at any time, and that there was no minimum or maximum amount of time to stay.

Within a couple days, I began paying them the $1400 to reserve that room. The process was a bit strange, but they received all their money within four days of my seven-day stay. On the fifth day, I had a horrible fall on a broken sidewalk in the shopping area, and twisted my foot badly. I came back to the home, trying to see if they could assist or direct me in any way. They sat, reading the paper, and sort of ignored me. I found the whole experience very offputting, but kept it to myself.

On the sixth day, I was outside chatting with another guest and smoking a cigarette (in a designated area), when the couple came outside and yelled at me about leaving a door unlocked. I hadn’t been the culprit, but they were aggressive and kept pushing the matter. I had – to be honest – forgotten to lock the door a night before, but only had stepped outside to smoke. This time I was not to blame, as the home has over four guest rooms (to my estimate) and a lot of foot traffic.

This accusation was the straw that broke the camel’s back, and I told them I was no longer comfortable being in their home, and wanted my money back. They immediately pushed back, saying no. I told them that wasn’t acceptable, and went to my rented room to try to contact someone who could help (not easy to do when in another country).

Before I knew it, two fedarali were at my door. They told me to get my things, and get out (my lease officially didn’t end for a couple more hours). When I demanded my money, the woman who owns the house told them I had bought a big screen TV (they had, it was in the front room of their home. I’d seen it that morning.). Being a temporary visitor with no car, I explained to the officers I absolutely didn’t buy a TV, it made no sense I would do that at this stage. They seemed to half believe me, but were very intimidating.

The police made me sign a document in Spanish before they would let me exit the bedroom (they were acting in a way that I for sure felt they were going to arrest me, and don’t speak any Spanish). I also suffer from severe anxiety and PTSD, and this sent me into a fear spiral. I signed the document so they’d let me go, and was put in an Uber.

I had him stop to get what little money I had exchanged (I also realized what was left in my backpack was now missing). It wasn’t much, but while I was in the grocery store, the car left with my bags.

Now down to nothing, I was forced to walk for a couple miles to beg someone for help. I had to sleep on the street that night, and my foot was swollen to three times its size. I suffer from a degenerative bone disorder, and am basically handicapped. I took a picture of what my foot looked like the next morning.

The next day, I was determined to get my money, so I spent a couple hours in town finding a couple of bilingual high school students. I offered them money to get in the taxi with me to translate at the house. When we got there, it was worse than I expected. I was given $400, and before receiving it, was forced to sign another document in Spanish (I was so desperate, I did it).

At that point I was almost at zero dollars, in a town i didn’t know. They accused me of losing their keys (I absolutely did not. I know this because I have a chain wallet and left my keys attached to it for the course of the stay. When the federali escorted me out, I handed the key over then). According to them, they were going to have to get the locks changed and that would cost a few hundred more. In the end, they stole over $1000 from me, plus some of my luggage, and sent me into an anxiety spiral that took weeks to work through in therapy.

I am currently seeking legal representation, and would like any advice the community has. Thank you.

Airbnb Puts Lives at Risk when Everyone has the Keys

We arrived in Paris at 9:00 AM on November 22nd. We arrived at Urban Flats around noon and stored our luggage with them. They assured us they would be in a secure location. We returned at 4:00 PM and checked into our prepaid Airbnb rental. We had eight people in our group: five adults and three children under 7 years old. That night my son and daughter in law decide they would sleep on the sofa bed in the living room.

My son awoke to someone opening the front door. He spoke out and the person closed the door and left. My son got up, locked the door again and place furniture in front of the door. We thought maybe it was a mistake and went out sightseeing at 10:00 AM. We made sure the door was properly locked.

We returned at 6:00 PM. When I went to my room, I noticed my converter plugs and iPad were missing. We then realized everyone had all their electronics (three iPads, one computer, one smart watch) and chargers missing. Upon further search, we found that all the jewelry was missing. In fact, a carry-on bag was missing and I believe they used it to remove our property.

We went to the Urban Flats office and reported the break-in. The employee went to our apartment and found the spare apartment key in the lock box by the front door. He said that should not have there. He then proceeded to lie to us: first, he said he called the police, and next we had to walk to the police station. At first he said he notified his boss, then he said he could not call him. Lie after lie. In fact, he said we should not worry since travel insurance would cover it. He assumed we had insurance and could not understand why we were upset.

We did file a police report, but they said they could not help us. We called Airbnb and filed a report. The next day they acted as if we never reported anything. We personally notified the owners of the apartment. They were helpful and gave us a full refund so we could go to a hotel, which turned out to be more than we planned on spending. The first time we called, the Airbnb agent said they would give us $250/person for a hotel and then the next day we were told that was not possible.

As far as I am concerned, Airbnb put our lives at risk. This was an inside job since someone provided the robbers with the building code and key box code. I plan on posting on every social media website that Urban Flats is corrupt and dangerous. Airbnb has been no help. I plan on seeking legal counsel due to the fact that eight lives were put at risk.

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Taking to the Media – Robbed by Airbnb and Guest

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Not only did a guest rob me and cause over $7000 in theft and damages, Airbnb will not release the $2000 the guest paid to stay there. So as of right now I’m out $9000 and Airbnb could care less. Anyone that can help you will not email or call back. The company makes false promises to help. There is zero accountability at this company. They will not give you their last names, only their first. Hosts beware!

Believe it or not, the cops have been easier and more helpful than Airbnb. They have made thousands of dollars off of my properties but will do everything to not help me. Upper management at this company should be appalled at the practices and procedures they have set forth. I’m going to the Orlando Sentinel on Friday. I think I have a pretty good case for a five-minute bit on the 6:00 news in one of the busiest tourist destinations in the world.