I checked into an Airbnb on June 12th, 2017. There were a few issues that I realised were not advertised on the Airbnb listing. The “The Chinese spa style bathroom” advertised in the listing was just an old bathtub with no shower handle, meaning you had to use just the hose to take a shower. Furthermore, the bedroom did not have any curtains, just decorative tulle over the windows that did not even cover the whole window. As there was construction going on next door and there was a scaffolding, it was uncomfortable to sleep and get dressed in the bedroom without the windows being covered.
Finally, the listing stated: “Your bedroom is situated upstairs with the living room, the bathroom and the toilet that are only shared with me” which led me to think that she had a bedroom upstairs too. When I went to collect my keys she told me I would be staying in her room and she would be sleeping on the couch in the living room, which was not advertised. She did not stay in the house for the duration of my stay. I did not complain about these at the time because of the cancellation policy. I thought I could just get on with it.
I did contact Airbnb to say I felt uncomfortable at the property, and wanted to talk about my options. I left the property on the morning of June 20th, and did not come back until the next night. When I entered the house, the bathroom was a complete mess, and the bathtub was under construction and not usable. Even the sink was blocked with heavy furniture so I did not have access to any water. I’ve added photos from my first cancellation request; however, if needed, I can provide more photos.
This was a week in which the temperature was over 30 degrees in London. Since I work full time, not being able to take a shower or even wash my face in the bathroom sink was extremely inconvenient. If the construction started after I left on Tuesday, then she or the flatmate had more than 24 hours to let me know about the construction. If it had started on the morning of Wednesday, they had a full day (12 hours) to let me know about the construction. Yet no one informed me.
When I went to the property to pick up the keys on June 9th, the host had told me that there could be some quick work going on in the bathroom during my stay, but she told me she would give me notice. This was not ideal either, as if I had known this I would have not booked the property. This should have been told to me before the booking process.
After I left for work not having taken a shower, on Thursday, the host told me I could use her flatmate’s shower. However, the flatmate had strictly marked her own areas in the house and was not friendly at all, so I would have not been comfortable using her shower. I am sure the flatmate would not be happy with it either. More importantly, there was also work being done in that bathroom with tiles missing and dust around. Therefore, there were no clean usable shower amenities in the house. This is contrary what was advertised and I believe constitutes a Travel Issue under Airbnb’s Guest Cancellation Policy: “The listing booked is misrepresented (ex: number of bedrooms, location, lacks promised amenities).”
On Friday, June 23rd, I messaged the host, asking to shorten my stay and leave on Sunday. She immediately agreed and gave me the option to deal with the refund through Airbnb or directly with her. She gave me a calculation of how much my stay had cost with the weekly discount rather than the monthly discount, and agreed to refund me for the nights after my checkout. We then agreed that I would leave on Saturday, June 24th, making my stay 12 nights. However, I had not stayed in her house since Thursday, the 22nd, meaning that I only stayed at hers for 10 nights.
In short, from the first moment she agreed to refund me. All this is documented in our messages (not on Airbnb but if required I can provide screenshots of the conversation). If she had not agreed to refund me, I would not have left the property and would have stayed there until the end of my tenancy, July 10th. I immediately contacted Airbnb on what to do, yet I was kept being promised a call back from my case worker but I never received one. After calling Airbnb many times over the week I was advised to cancel my reservation and then ask for a refund.
I was advised to ask for a refund starting from the night I stopped staying at the property due to the bathtub construction, so I calculated my stay only for 10 nights. I cancelled my reservation and asked for a refund based on 10 nights, however the host declined my request. I imagine you can see her reply – she said that it was my responsibility to know the refund policy. I was aware of the refund policy; that’s why I wanted to confirm that she would refund me for the nights I did not stay. When she confirmed she would refund me through our messages, I cancelled. So I feel victimised now that she is saying she won’t refund me after I left the property. Like I said, if I had known, I would not have left.
Secondly, in her response she said that the construction had been finished in two days. When I went to collect my belongings on Saturday, the bathroom was still a mess; the bathtub was not finished and unusable, there were still construction equipment, and there was dirt and a mess all around the bathroom. There was no one working on the construction and since it was Sunday the other day no one would have been working on it the whole weekend. This means that the construction was going on for four days, and was probably going to go on for the next two days. Her claim in her response is simply untruthful.
Finally, in her response she said that I stayed 12 nights (even though it was 10 nights in reality), and that I should submit a refund request for the remaining nights after my stay. This is against what Airbnb advised me to do, but I just wanted to be done with this whole process and get my money. I requested another refund for 12 nights as she said. It has been more than 72 hours and she hasn’t replied. I’ve sent her another reminder message and she hasn’t replied to that either. I have been calling Airbnb every single day for he past week, and I can never reach my case manager. I don’t know what to do.