Penalized for Cancellation due to COVID Exposure

My friend and I booked a week in a New York state lake house for August. Five days before the vacation was to begin, her roommate was exposed to COVID, and said roommate wasn’t aware of her exposure until three days before our trip, at which point she informed my friend.

Out of an abundance of caution, concern, and unwillingness to potentially spread COVID, we made the painful choice to cancel our trip. The host was immediately rude, behaved like we’d set out to screw her out of money intentionally, and mocked us for believing COVID to be a concern. Airbnb was zero help, and didn’t seem to give a damn about the fact that we were operating under extenuating circumstances while trying to be good members of our national community.

We managed to get half our money back after extensive time spent publicly confronting Airbnb on various social media channels, but the entire thing was disgraceful, and cemented the distrust I’ve always had for Airbnb (I mean, what with destroying rental markets, pricing locals out of their communities, and the racism far too prevalent on their platform). I will never book through them again.

Airbnb Host Ghosted us During Winter Storm

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Don’t expect any communication with this very sensitive host. If you try to give him any feedback about cleaning issues with his house, he throws a temper tantrum and acts like a little two-year-old. He gave us the silent treatment.

From Feb. 12-17, we decided to celebrate our 18-year anniversary in Nashville. We had never been there before so we decided to check it out. It’s only a six-hour drive from where we live. Usually we go overseas but with COVID we thought it would be safe to stay within the states.

We arrived at our Airbnb and noticed the fire pit on the roof wasn’t working so we mentioned it to our host. Very kindly and respectfully, we mentioned that we noticed a few dirty areas and that he should be aware that his cleaning crew was not doing a good job. We figured since we paid a $299 cleaning fee that the house should have been cleaned more thoroughly.

Instead of responding back to us to apologize and acknowledge the issue, he decided to ghost us. He didn’t respond to us for two days. Even when we messaged him a few more times, he did not speak to us. We have never met a host that acted like a two-year-old. My wife and I don’t have children so this was going to be difficult for us to handle. We do have a cat but our cat is more well behaved than this little child.

Two days passed and there was still no word. We started to get worried. Maybe he was on a timeout for misbehaving. Or maybe he was stuck in his crib and couldn’t reach his phone. Either way we decided to contact Airbnb and put out an APB.

Two hours after we contacted Airbnb, he finally messaged us. The reason why we were trying to reach him was because there had been an ice storm and we needed the driveway to be salted so we could safely come and go. This was exactly at 12:50 PM.

Hours had passed and there was still no word from him. We decided to try to leave the property to get food that night but there was no way we could leave. We slipped everywhere. We decided to park back in the driveway and stay home.

When he messaged back, this is what he said:

“I’m not able to get out and salt the driveways of all my rentals. This is highly unusual for Tennessee.”

This message was at 9:06 PM. It took him eight hours to message us back that day. When I mentioned to him that I had reached out to Airbnb to see why he hadn’t messaged us back he said:

“I didn’t know you messaged Airbnb haha. You’re a great guest.”

This child has a real attitude problem. Sounds like he needs a spanking. So I’ll be honest I got smart back. I said:

“And now your wifi isn’t working haha. Great house.”

Then he said:

“Feel free to leave.”

Whoa, whoa, whoa. He wanted us to leave? How dare he tell us to leave.

After hearing that, we didn’t feel safe or welcome in his home anymore, so we decided to leave that morning. Fortunately it snowed that night so we were able to have a little traction to get out. We had to drive in reverse to get out but we did it.

You’re probably wondering, what did Airbnb do? Absolutely nothing. Airbnb was useless. Apparently Airbnb has changed their terms and conditions. This did not work well for us. Airbnb informed us that if we didn’t contact them within 24 hours of arriving at the property then they can’t do anything. Even though we had proof that our host did not respond for a whole two days and that we had cleaning issues from the time we arrived, it didn’t matter to Airbnb.

As a warning to anyone using Airbnb, you must correspond with the host as well as with Airbnb for every issue. Don’t allow anytime to go by without informing Airbnb and taking pics of everything. In the end, Airbnb only offered a 25% coupon for the first night which was $70. We at least expected a refund on the two nights we weren’t there. But that didn’t happen.

In conclusion we were not pleased to pay $2,265.88 for five nights which included a $299 and $244.80 fee for just two people. This is an anniversary we will never forget.

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Host Called Cops On Us But They Hate Her Too

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We rented an Airbnb called the “streamside forest peaceful” in Salida, Colorado from a host for $1,900 for five nights. Even with some bad reviews about her being nasty, spying on people, not refunding damage deposits, and a mouse problem, we were desperate so I reluctantly booked it.

After I booked it she sent a lengthy contract with crazy details. Others had complained about this as well. I have never seen a contract sent after the booking. Anyways, we got to the tiny trail of a road behind a cow gate and it looked sketchy. The contract said a 4×4 was recommended but that she maintains the drive. In 19 years of going to Colorado we have never taken a 4×4. Two years ago we had five feet of snow that week and still only used front wheel drive. We were in a front wheel drive Buick Enclave.

We started up the slight incline and it was sheer ice and clumped up snow that hadn’t been cared for at all. I have attached a picture. The car immediately started spinning out and turning sideways in the road. My husband had everyone get out thinking that may help. The kids went in the house which was dangerous even walking to, and we continued to try to get the car to either go up or down. No luck. We got a shovel and that was a joke.

After pushing and accelerating, it backed up a bit but then got stuck again. At that point we called the host. She offered no solution and told my husband the contract said we should have 4×4 and she was not responsible for his inability to drive. What a joke. He was a police officer and drove in every condition as well as driving every year to Colorado with no problems.

My husband told the host we needed to call a tow truck. She offered no assistance and he said we needed to cancel because we couldn’t get to her house. Even if we got towed to the drive, we would be stuck all week. She then hung up on him. I called her back and she didn’t answer.

I cancelled the reservation even though it was obviously past the refund date, thinking Airbnb would consider it extenuating circumstances and we would still get a refund. Then she messaged me and told me to leave the property or she would call the police. We left having no place to go, exhausted from driving 13 hours. It took all of us pushing the car to get it back to the end of the trail to the cow gate.

We were parked on the side of the road when the police came up to talk to us about the “trespassing report.” The policeman said: “Oh, we know her! She is always calling the police about stuff. Her neighbors hate her and we can’t stand her.”

We had a good laugh about what a miserable person she is and they went on their way. After that I messaged three other hosts looking for a new place to see if we would have the same driveway problem and all three said they maintain the property and it was all clear, like it should be. We rented a new place from VRBO. The host was so gracious and the road and drive completely clear.

Now the fight with Airbnb started. They completely leave it up to the host whether they refund you or not. Do you think she would refund us? — she got to keep every dime. I’m sorry the host is such a greedy miserable person that wouldn’t refund a family on vacation.

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The Grouchy Airbnb Host that Stole Christmas

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I booked a room from Nov. 30 to Jan. 4. I had just moved back to Colorado springs and was attempting to get re-established. Upon checking in, it seemed a bit of a strange set up. There was the main area with the living room, the kitchen, and the den. Up the narrow staircase there were four rooms and a small bathroom. Each room was numbered on the door.

As I came to find out, the host, his wife, and three young daughters all live in the basement level of the apartment, when they are not all occupying the common areas with cooking or meals or remote learning. So I wouldn’t call them common areas — they are his family’s area and you can use them if you want though it seems to be frowned upon as I was the only guest that seemed to be using the dining room or den.

There was a girl living in one room who seemed to be a permanent resident as she had plants growing in her windowsill. She was never there and kept her dog locked up 20 hours a day. The dog barked and banged on the door viciously every time I went up or downstairs.

There was a backyard area but it was cumbersome to get to via a side gate and completely covered in dog feces. The lower patio area was strewn with kids’ tents, old rusty chairs and other debris. When I first arrived I brought poo bags but after seeing the crap covered yard and no one else making an effort (he has a dog too) I said, “why bother?”

I tried to make the best of it, but it was awkward as other guests were either not there most of the time, or hid in their rooms, taking meals in their rooms. They expect you to do your dishes right away, but of course being a family of five they leave the sink full quite often. You are provided your own mini fridge which is nice.

Another thing is you are always being watched on camera. There are cameras everywhere in the “common” areas on the main floor. I was really craving a soda which I don’t normally drink. I drank a Pepsi out of a 12 pack on top of another guest’s fridge, with the full intention of replacing it. I know probably shouldn’t have but hardly a cardinal sin.

Less than a minute later, the host came running up the stairs and started checking things. He obviously saw what happened, and was down in the basement spying on his guests. He finally brought it up and I said I was sorry. I bought the other guest a liter to replace the can and still she left a note on her fridge saying to “stay out of her stuff” Even though she herself had commandeered one of my tupperware containers.

I worked late sometimes doing Doordash and had to let my dogs out when I got home, sometimes at like 1:00, 2:00 AM or later. I started getting messages via the app that I was being too loud and waking him up outside of his hours. He works from home so he’s always there, watching. His poor kids are forced to live down in the small basement area in a single bedroom. I only know the layout of the basement level because he allowed me to do laundry once with very restricted hours because his washer and dryer are also down there. When I saw it, it was in complete squalor: dirty blankets and dishes.

Like I said, I tried to make the best of it and be a good guest. Then the real trouble started. I need to mention that I was in the hospital in Texas for two weeks prior to returning to Colorado and had emergency knee surgery due to certain complications. I discussed some of the details with the host in casual conversation at about day 20. He then began asking me questions about whether I still had an “active infection” and telling me to wash my hands.

Apparently he suddenly became very concerned; it became very awkward quickly. Soon thereafter I suffered a severe ankle sprain and was completely bedridden for the next two days. I was in a lot of pain, and when I hobbled to the bathroom or to take my dogs down to potty, I’m sure made a lot of noise. One time when I was stumbling around the kitchen at night trying to make some food I heard him yell from the basement “you’re making too much noise.” No offer to help — both he and his wife were aware of my condition and just watched me suffer.

I will say in all fairness the hosts did take my dogs out for me like three times, once brought me water, and she bright me an ice pack. On Christmas Eve I got an appointment to see the doctor on short notice for a cancellation. I had less than 90 minutes to get there. I asked the hosts if they could take me to the doctor for like $10, and they said they were busy. I tried to get ready as best I could and struggled to take a bath and get dressed.

I hobbled to my car with no help and tried to make it in time. I didn’t make it. I was really upset. I then got my Christmas dinner from Boston Market and ate alone in my car at the park. When I got home that night there was no close parking by the house. My ankle was throbbing, my wrists tired from using the crutches. I just wanted to get to bed.

I parked behind his SUV and sent him a text letting him know the situation. Very coldly he texted back he needed to be able to move his vehicle “at any moment.” I asked if maybe he could park my car up the street I got no response.

I woke up Christmas Day. My foot was somewhat better, and I managed to make it to the grocery store. I used the handicapped cart to get my groceries which was embarrassing. I came home, put my groceries away, and was not in a great mood. I told the host something to the effect that, well in 100 years we’ll all be dead and no one will remember this anyway. She very sarcastically said “well have a wonderful day” and went down to the basement.

About 30 minutes later I got a call from Airbnb stating very matter of factly that I had violated the terms of service and my reservation had been cancelled. Dumbfounded, I asked what that meant. They told me I needed to leave to property immediately. I tried to talk to the host, but it became quickly obvious this was a premeditated decision to get rid of me, with my busted ankle on Christmas Day.

I had to pack all my things. The host carried my bags down and I loaded up my car. Airbnb did put me in a hotel last night, for one night, but I was unable to book anything else due to the ongoing “investigation.” I used my mother’s credit card to book the room so the refund is going to her card and will not do me any good. I am currently broke as I hadn’t worked and literally spent my last $25 on groceries an hour before I was tossed to the curb.

I am writing this from my hotel bed. My ankle is bruised and swollen still, I’m hobbling along the best I can with no help and all the walking and moving from yesterday has not helped my condition. I am currently 50 minutes from being homeless, as checkout is at noon. I have $3 in my account and as of now cannot book another Airbnb using my mother’s card. Being this close to New Years there are ever decreasing options every time I look. If they decide to ban me, I’m not sure what I’ll do. Long story short, do not ever, ever stay at this house in Colorado Springs, lest you meet a similar fate.

Warning to Hosts Allowing Renters Who Smoke Marijuana

If you are a host potentially housing federal employees, you need to be aware of Airbnb’s tolerance of marijuana use by guests. Federal employees are randomly tested for drugs to maintain security clearances, which will terminate their employment if they fail. This includes marijuana as it is a Schedule I controlled substance.

Despite this, Airbnb policy cites that “many states” legalized marijuana, and therefore they allow its use by guests. As a host, you need to realize the potential for cross-contamination of guests, and your potential liability if you’re the cause. After over four years of solid five-star ratings and excellent guests, our number came up. We had the guest from hell.

The 21-year-old arrived on a “one-year break” from college, and claimed to have a job telecommuting and a full ride to a good school. When we showed her around the room, and the amenities, it was as if she wasn’t even listening.

A few weeks later she asked to turn the heat up at night. We had to point out that she had a heated bed. She often didn’t clean up after herself in the common area kitchen. Once, we asked her to remove dishes from the sink. She removed some and promptly added more. She routinely woke us up at 5:00 AM singing or talking loudly on the phone, and had to be reminded of the rules numerous times.

When her time was up on Airbnb, she asked to extend four months, and promised to follow the rules. One night at 4:00 AM, she woke us up yelling vulgarities. We texted her, “haha, quiet time please.” She later tried explaining it away as her watching and commenting on a documentary, as unbelievable as that was.

Two days later, in retaliation, she sent a text complaining of loud sex noises from our room, saying she had an interview to attend and asking us to keep it down. Then she texted that she needed to talk, setting up an appointment to meet in the kitchen. We set up a different time and she didn’t reply or show.

Later that night, she said that she needed to talk to us “about boundaries.” I texted her back the rules of the house, emphasizing the ones that she was breaking. She texted that she felt “uncomfortable” and made up a story about her catching us having sex in a common area within plain sight. We refused to give it credence and told her she had a week to leave.

Upon leaving, she demanded her money back for the rent, prior to room inspection, and sent harassing and threatening texts. We inspected the room and it reeked of marijuana. Servpro inspected it, found receipts for pot, spent vials, and paraphernalia. Their estimate was $1,500 to clean the room, contents, and high-touch common areas.

That night, her mom called and asks why we hadn’t returned her money. We told her the situation, and that she was liable to pay for cleaning to decontaminate. She wasn’t aware of her daughter smoking pot, and she wasn’t aware of the daughter’s promiscuity. We felt bad having to be the one to tell her.

Within a week, we got a call from Airbnb. The guest filed a complaint. We told our side of the story and sent pictures of solid evidence of pot use, spent containers, receipts, notes to herself with a daily schedule beginning with “smoke” at 6:00 AM. It didn’t matter. Airbnb removed our accounts, citing a violation of their safety policy and providing no other evidence. They refused to pay for the cleaning, saying that their policy does not prohibit marijuana use, although we explained that there were many federal facilities in the area, and workers are subjected to drug testing, including marijuana as it’s a Schedule I federally controlled substance.

The guest was using oils as well, and it was all over the place. Future guests, mostly professionals, could test positive on random drug tests and lose their security clearances and jobs by coming into contact with the residues in the room. Regardless, Airbnb refused to pay, and we were banned with no explanation other than the vague violation of the safety policy.

Other than the cleaning costs not being refunded, we were glad to be done with Airbnb, as it was an eye-opening experience. Reading other experiences of hosts here cemented this decision. Again, beware of Airbnb’s tolerance of federally illegal drug use by their guests, and let these hosts’ experiences here be a lesson to those thinking of doing business with Airbnb.

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Dirty Hip-Retro Cabin in Big Bear — Not Airbnb Worthy

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The first weekend in November, my family and I (girls only trip), I stayed at an Airbnb property in Big Bear. The visit to this beautiful city, generally speaking, was nice. We arrived with no snow anywhere and were able to experience a snowstorm and see the landscape change to all white overnight.

Now I don’t know what to do. It is as if I have no voice or that my words do not matter. This is why I have sent this information to Big Bear Lake Mayor, Council and the City Manager. It is as if the host of the property I rented is a powerful man; he is getting undue favorable treatment by Airbnb. He has misrepresented his cabin, which is not in a condition to be Airbnb worthy. This host has supposedly reported me to Airbnb. I just can’t understand why and how this continues.

I originally made my reservation for the “hip-retro cabin” in August for a stay in September. On the day of check-in, we were told to cancel by a San Bernadino Forest representative because the El Dorado Fire was flaring up in the direction of Big Bear in addition to the air quality being dangerous to be outside. We had called because Google Maps advised one of two roads up the mountain was closed. All visitors were advised not to come up the mountain. Residents were okay, but visitors were advised not to come.

I contacted the host to tell him I was not comfortable going against the advice of the Rangers and that I did not want to cancel but would prefer to reschedule. The host asked me to select a date but to please avoid holidays. I chose Nov. 6-8, giving the fire time to be extinguished, avoiding Halloween and Thanksgiving. We both agreed to the new dates.

Two days before we traveled, I reached out to the host asking if it would be possible to extend an extra day because the winter weather was coming and traveling down the mountain on the 8th was not looking safe for us to drive. We are not experienced drivers in snow and certainly not during an active storm. The host was very helpful to extend another night and we paid an extra $357. Our new departure day was Monday, Nov. 9.

We arrived at the cabin around 5:00 PM on the 6th. It was getting dark, cold and windy: 38 degrees, and the storm was close. We were thankful to have arrived and get settled before the road conditions got bad. We had two cars. When we got into the cabin, as we brought all food and kitchen items inside, we noticed the countertops had old food debris and needed to be wiped. We brought Lysol wipes and used the paper towels to complete the job. It was very disgusting how much dirt there was. We decided to sit and eat our lunch that we missed hours ago and determine who would sleep where.

After eating, we put away the food and began to look around. I texted the host at 7:14 PM to ask if they were available for a call. I first had tried to reach them through Airbnb but the app was not easy to navigate. I wanted a live person to speak with and for the number I called I had to select several options. I decided that it would be easier to contact the host. In my conversation I shared that we are uncomfortable with conditions in the cabin and moving to somewhere else would not be easy with my daughter driving while it is snowing (18 years old). I wanted her to stay parked for the weekend.

Here is everything I verbally shared. There were dirty counters and floors, no dish soap, no dishwasher soap, the coffee pot was dirty/moldy with old grounds still in it, all the towels in the cabin are wet (not damp, wet), the heater on the second floor was not efficient, the third floor bathroom sink was stopped up/draining slowly and leaking under the sink, and the first floor bathroom sink had no hot water. The host’s response genuinely seemed concerned and that he wanted to help us. He sent his “house manager” within an hour.

She did not knock — just left bags on the doorstep with towels (which were also damp and smelled like cigarette smoke), dish soap, dishwasher soap, and firewood. He advised he would refund the cleaning fee, $180, and offered a cleaning crew to come the next day. We declined due to COVID-19 parameters; we were not going to allow non-family members in our space, indoors. The cabin should have been cleaned before we arrived. In addition, the storm was in full force we were not going to leave the cabin.

We had decided, as a family, we were going to stay positive and make this all work. But I do feel the $1900 I paid for the three-night stay, minus the offer to refund the $180 cleaning fee, is not what I agreed to. I agreed to pay this amount for an Airbnb Plus property that is clean and in good repair. What I got was a cabin that was decorated as advertised, “70’s hip-retro,” but I did not agree to dirt, grime, thick dust and poor heating (to withstand outside temperatures, as low as 9 degrees).

Here is my text that I sent to the host, at 6:30 PM, the last night of my stay:

We have our last night in Big Bear. My family and I have had the FULL winter experience! Wow- cold, wind, snow. Our lodging has been a little frustrating but we have made the best of it. As an Airbnb Plus property host, residing out of town, I am alerting you that the cute Retro Cabin, through poor upkeep, needs general cleaning-as pics show, in addition to my previously stated communication.

The condition makes me worry there has been no additional sanitizing due to COVID-19? Here is some cabin info: 3rd fl: bath sink plugged and leak under (we couldn’t use); and 2nd fl: heater is caked with dirt(see pic), many dishes in cupboard are dirty, dead bugs in kitchen light casing (which is not completely affixed to the ceiling-see pic), screen slider to the deck was off track/nearly blew away in wind-we had to secure it, snow coming in at slider as well as significant draft; and 1st fl: bath no hot water at sink, heater controls not safely mounted/wouldn’t turn on (didn’t use) 35-40°on 1st fl, mold on blinds. We found a vacuum &ran 15 minutes on main(2nd) floor and nothing was picked up in the bagless canister which is why we couldn’t clean the heater. (The extra towels delivered, *thank you* arrived wet – sprayed w/Febreeze – to cover up cigarette smell (unsuccessfully.)

Asking if you would consider refunding some fees? I am hoping for a fair amount. $180 cleaning fee, $357 extra day fee, Plus any additional you would deem appropriate for the inconvenience and discomfort we experienced. I will not provide a review at this time while we settle the situation, as you have been responsive to me reaching out to you. I saw on numerous reviews that you have communication with many of your guests. I would be glad to speak with you if you would like me to further elaborate on details. Thank you.

Almost immediately, he called me. He tried to tell me that my expectations were too high for a mountain cabin and that I should have stayed in a hotel since I was looking for a luxury experience. He said that he did not agree with me that anything I described was a problem and that he would be glad to reimburse the cleaning fee and, under his breath, he said he could offer me a free night at another time, but I wouldn’t want that, he knew.

He also stated after 30 minutes of trying to shift my attention from the poor lodging conditions to the fun family time and great memories we made from the weekend together. And the fabulous, stunning view this beautiful cabin offered us all weekend. And then finally, he said it. He said he would give you back the additional $357 we paid for the extra night if we gave him “a 4- or 5-star glowing review.”

I was astounded, offended, and disgusted that this man was trying to buy a good review from me to show on Airbnb. This explains all of the numerous reviews that state he’s “a great host, very responsive every time we needed something.” I now know that is an absolute red flag, in hindsight. A host should not be needed so much. Why would a host be needed? If the property is all that is represented, why would a host need to be contacted so often?

As I have taken our time, me typing this message, and you reading, I would like to conclude with a plea. A plea for a review of my entire experience. I really wanted to make things right with this host and help him with his property. I wanted to leave a satisfactory, he-did-the-right-thing kind of review. But not only did he reject my request for reimbursement, on the up and up, he has left lies and inaccurate statements in his response to my review. I was not mean or emotional when writing the review. I gave facts.

I called Airbnb the night we returned home and was able to reach a person. She advised that once she could validate the information I shared that I could be eligible for 50% of each day’s fees refunded to me. Since then, I have had messages back and forth with a case manager and most recently received one this evening from another stating that the decision to decline any additional refunds will be upheld.

What happened? Why did my request get disregarded? Please, can someone please review my file and all of the notes and the pictures I have attached here and even more in the Airbnb app? I would be most grateful for a phone call and an honest review. When will this host be held responsible for his actions, words, and dirty cabin? I have received suggestions and many angry sentiments from friends and colleagues. My hope is that Airbnb will see me as a valued customer, person, and family woman trying to do the right thing and give a proper evaluation of this property and refund what is deemed appropriate.

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Chicago Airbnb Listing Gone Horribly Wrong

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Even though I thought my host was attentive in the beginning, she dropped the hammer when it came to my noise complaint. She basically said that I was a light sleeper and that the refund policy is strict. I did feel that this was in bad taste. I don’t expect a full refund but I did want to check out early and not stay the month that cost over $2,000. I was disappointed in this since I approached the matter with kindness and gratitude for her attentiveness.

I lived in the downtown Chicago area for 15 years and came back for work and had to stay a month. This was the loudest building I’ve ever encountered in all my years of living there. I hate leaving negative reviews but the description is inaccurate and the host blamed me for not reading it. Airbnb looks out only for hosts since it looks like what’s in the listing is the golden rule (you will be held to this very strictly).

Here’s what was different from the posting. It was actually a studio, not a one bedroom. The listing said, and I quote, “Due to the apartment’s prime location, you may encounter some city noise, nearby train.”

That’s all it says. I’ve taken time to outline what this really looks like below. No CO2 detector as indicated. The smoke detector also did not appear to work (I saw no blinking lights) and it was loosely hanging by wires. TV remotes didn’t work. There were dirty walls with holes and splash marks and a dirty downstairs area with trash everywhere. No ethernet as promised or indoor fireplace as listed. No dedicated workspace as listed. There are two pop up countertop areas and one was broken. The other was not a “dedicated work area.” I tried to setup a workstation there but could not.

Here is the truth about the noise. There are multiple trains that run right past the building all day every day. The orange line, green line, and red line (underground). You hear every train announcement and the screeching and rattling. There are also multiple sets of tracks. Don’t forget the Metra train whistle that you can also hear. It basically sounds like you are living at the train station.

You also have the regular street noise which includes people shouting (and cursing), music, car mufflers, buses, horns, and sirens. I can even hear people skateboarding down the sidewalk. Roosevelt is an extremely busy street that connects to Michigan avenue. It’s like staying next to an expressway.

The building in itself is noisy and the lobby area is pretty run down. I heard loud music blasting at late hours and other hours in the day. There is also the sound of screeching chairs and the smell of marijuana that comes into the unit. I work from home so I had to spend a lot of time in the unit. If you are coming to sightsee (which you currently can’t because of COVID) and won’t be home often, then it could work. I myself had to sleep with noise-canceling headphones and constantly spray because of the smells wafting in.

To top it all off, the host basically accused me of vandalizing the unit and insisted that there was no damage before I got there. I had been there less than 24 hours when I sent her and Airbnb photos of the holes, scratches, and damaged smoke and CO2 detectors on top of the noise complaints.

I learned my lesson: report any and all damage right away. Because when issues start popping up, people will look for any way they can to make you pay the price. She also kept apologizing that I didn’t understand the listing and sent me screenshots of all of the good reviews. She then told me that her husband was a lawyer if I needed one. I was forced to leave the property because there were no working smoke or CO2 detectors and the noise. Airbnb customer service just said she did offer to fix it and expected me to continue to stay there and put my health and safety at risk.

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Host Violates Texas Property Code, Airbnb Doesn’t Care

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On Oct. 4th we moved into an Airbnb for a four-month stay for a military temporary duty travel. We noticed that the back door had water damage to the frame and the property did not have a strike plate for the locking deadbolt. The host was notified of this issue and said they would fix it.

The host told me two days later to reduce the length of my stay to end on Dec. 4, and then from there I could pay them directly to stay for the rest of my time. On Oct. 24, the problem was still not fixed. There was no action at all by the host.

I contacted Airbnb for assistance. Airbnb said the host would send a handyman to fix the issue. The handyman came and replaced the doorknob and deadbolt, but did not install a strike plate due to the water damage and rot to the frame. He said the frame and door needed to be replaced and he would come back later to do it. He later said it would take another week to fix the issue.

Airbnb closed the case on Oct. 31. By Nov. 12 the issue had still not been fixed. I opened a new case with Airbnb, requesting to end my stay early since I found a new place to stay. Airbnb closed the case on Nov. 19 without resolution, so I opened a new case.

During my call with Airbnb, they told me my case was an “urgent priority” and someone would contact me. The support ticket chat tikd me that they couldn’t get a response from the host, so they could not do anything. They said: “Well, it seems that you can lock the door and the door opens and closes. I wish you a great rest of your day. Kind regards.”

I told them to elevate the case to someone above them. They did and said “He’ll be in contact within 24 to 48 hours.” 48 hours later, and there was still no contact. I called Airbnb again, and was told by the “catch and dispatch” person that answered that they would elevate my ticket to urgent and the case manager would contact me shortly. I demanded they let me talk to someone above them, and they forwarded me to a case manager.

The case manager, who had a thick accent, said that they could not do anything for me since the ticket has been elevated. They said that the supervisor should get back to me within 72 hours of the elevation and might call me in a few hours. I said I would call back tomorrow if I did not hear anything.

Texas Property Code, chapter 92, sections 92.154 and 92.164 state that all rentals must have a locking deadbolt with a strike plate. If the issue is not repaired within 7 days, the tenant can unilaterally nullify any agreement, leave the property, and be refunded a prorated amount for payments made. Airbnb and the host do not seem to care at all about this.

What are my options? A chargeback on the credit card?

No Compromise For Changing Dates Whatsoever

Over the last three years I have stayed in 19 Airbnbs. I would consider myself to be a loyal Airbnb customer. I made a reservation for the Thanksgiving holiday for 10 days in San Diego because it was not only a vacation, it was also an attempt to support Airbnb during these difficult times. I know that Airbnb hosts are probably suffering from lower than normal occupancy rates.

A couple of weeks ago I started having growing concerns because the number of COVID-19 cases was starting to rise. I contacted the host, who in this case was represented by a vacation rental company in La Jolla. I mentioned to them that I was concerned about the situation and wanted to know what my options were. I never mentioned the idea of requesting a refund. Rather, I asked if I could modify the dates until the time when the virus started abating. Their response was that they would not allow any modifications.

A few days later the State of California raised the level of COVID restrictions from Code Red to Code Purple. It is the highest level that they have, effectively closing all restaurants to indoor seating, closing all non-essential businesses, and closing all theme parks (if they weren’t closed before). In addition, a stay-at-home recommendation had been issued for the area. I also mentioned the fact that state officials were recommending a 14-day quarantine if one traveled to California.

I brought this to the attention of the vacation rental company and they refused to accept an official modification request for the dates. After pleading with them about being upset that my entire $4,900 deposit was in jeopardy, they said that, if I canceled my reservation, they would attempt resale and issue credit for what they could resell. On the outside that sounded reasonable until I realized that they would sell it for a greatly reduced rate and that if they were unable to sell any of it, I would receive no credit.

I want to also include here that, if you go to the availability chart for this property, with the exception of one week over Christmas, this home is completely unavailable until Sept. 4, 2021 — good luck to those renters if they decide not to go. I decided not to accept their offer. It’s not like they would be refunding me and losing this income; all I wanted was a modification of dates. I went to the Better Business Bureau (BBB) website and noted that this company is not held in high regard. I also noted that Airbnb has an “F” rating. The BBB apparently is looking into this issue and we’ll see what they come up with.

I have also written the Governor’s office. Airbnb has been essentially worthless. They sure know how to support their hosts, but the customer is screwed. I have written 4 emails to the CEO of Airbnb and have heard nothing in response. The management company constantly refers to the fact that they are going to follow the letter of the contract I signed. That, to me, is laughable.

I signed a contract a month earlier for a home in Truckee or the month of June next year. It was accepted and I got the “you’re going to Truckee!“ message. That to me is confirmation of a contract and I got the receipt for the full payment. Five days later I got a message from the owner asking me if I could change the dates of my stay in order to accommodate other clients. These clients turned out to be people he referred to as friends. To make a long story short, Airbnb customer support — instead of defending me and supporting my contract — cancelled my reservation.

I am feeling incredibly frustrated. I am not seeking a refund in this issue with the house in San Diego. I am just wanting to change the dates until the Code Purple restrictions are relaxed and it’s safe to travel again. I would appreciate any assistance in my issue with Airbnb. It’s getting to the point where a lawsuit appears the only thing that will get their attention.