Last-Minute Cancellations are Schemes by Hosts

I made my first Airbnb request for my bosses staying in Orlando for a conference. The host confirmed the reservation and sent me a written confirmation. I paid the full amount for the reservation.

At the last minute, he called me to say the unit was suddenly not available, even though I have a written confirmation in hand and I paid the full amount. There’s a conference in town and he obviously got more money from someone else and cancelled on me. To get my money back, I had to “cancel” the reservation, but didn’t get all my money refunded.

When I contacted the host, he said I cancelled, not him. So now it’s a matter of he said/she said. Since Airbnb holds the money and doesn’t send it to the host until you check in, this is a great scheme for the host. Who has the money that wasn’t refunded to me?

Screwed by Poor Airbnb Host Cancellation Policies

I have been a loyal Airbnb customer now for almost ten years, staying at places both in the U.S. and internationally. I have received nothing but positive reviews from hosts I’ve stayed with, and I have never canceled a stay.

Over these last 9+ years, hosts have either cancelled or ghosted me after confirming my reservation at least three times. I don’t mean cancelling my reservation within a reasonable amount of time before my trip starts. I’m talking about less than 30 days, and in some cases, less than two weeks for trips that I had booked months in advance.

I know folks have had it worse, but the fact that Airbnb continues to let this happen is garbage. All they can offer is a voucher worth 10% of the booking costs. What is the host penalty? Anywhere from $50-$100. That’s it – it’s often a fraction of what guests have paid, many times upfront.

Well, I’ve reached the final straw with Airbnb. I’m turning 40 this year, and as you might imagine with such a major occasion, I began planning festivities well in advance. I typically go to Palm Springs with family around my birthday every year (in mid-March) anyway, but for this milestone birthday, I thought I’d open up the trip to friends.

I polled people I wanted to come to gauge budget and availability, and in November 2019, I booked an affordable place for eight people. While many 5+ bedroom options in Palm Springs exist on Airbnb, the ones that cost less than $800/night are few and far between. Especially in March, which is the beginning of peak season in Palm Springs because of major tennis tournaments, auto shows, music festivals, etc.

Again, being a regular visitor to the area and knowing about these regular events, I always book as early as possible to have the best choice of affordable options. My trip was booked for March 13-18, 2020.

On February 17 – less than 30 days before the start of my trip – I received an email that the host had canceled my reservation. No reason was provided in the auto-generated email, but when I called customer service and asked, I was told that the owner was planning to sell the property.

I obviously don’t know this person’s circumstances, but I don’t think selling one’s home (unless connected with a death) is necessarily an extenuating enough circumstance for such a short-notice cancellation. I spent nearly $3500 on this rental and booked it months ago. It was in a location chosen specifically because it was near where other family were going to be staying.

Of course, when I quickly searched Airbnb after getting the cancellation notice, the cheapest comparable option available was $4691, a difference of over $1300. I was told Airbnb’s policy was to offer a credit of 10% of the original booking cost.

If you’re not a math person, let me explain the problem here: 300-some dollars will not cover a $1300 cost difference. Not only did I express my extreme frustration, but I emphasized that since I booked this place back in November, nonrefundable flights had been purchased, time off from jobs requested, etc.

A host cancellation didn’t just mean my group was out of a place to stay; there was a domino effect of other potential cost implications. After berating customer service about this BS policy, I was approved for a $670 credit. This would have been a fine solution, because since the new property was a bit larger, the cost per person would effectively be the same as the original booking.

There seemed to be some confusing information about the place I was hoping to book, so I immediately contacted that host to get some questions answered. One of which was why I wasn’t able to split the payment as I did with the previous booking and on other listings I had seen. I was not prepared to make a single $4500+ payment, especially given the fact that I was automatically issued a refund, and with Monday being a holiday, it would be several days until those funds would be available.

I was told by the host to contact Airbnb, and when I did, not only did they take forever to respond, they told me I would see the option to do two payments on the final “Request to Book” screen. I think you can guess what happens next. There’s no option to split the payment. I’m still being told I’ll be paying $4691 right now.

I messaged Airbnb again to tell them that – quelle surprise – I have no option to split the payment. You guessed it again – during the time this all transpired, the place I was trying to book was snatched away and showed up as no longer available.

Not only has Airbnb wasted hours of my time, they’ve now cost me more money. Given the ticking clock and the big group I needed to accommodate, I was forced to book the next least expensive property I could find at $4849. Again, if you’re not a math person, we’re now at almost $1500 over the cost of the original booking with only a $670 credit.

To say that I am livid, pissed, irate, beside myself with anger is an understatement. I’m officially done being screwed by Airbnb. I had not intended to spend the few weeks before my big celebration being stressed out dealing with this nonsense, nor had I intended to shell out more money for an already expensive trip which had already been budgeted for.

The absurdly minimal recourse guests have against hosts is unconscionable. Hosts – particularly in big or popular tourist markets – are making hand over fist dollars for these rentals and when they screw up, the guests pay. What started out as being a genius idea has, like most, gone to s%*t because no one seems to care about quality or the consumer. That’s not accountability – that’s greed.

Sick of Airbnb Deleting Negative Reviews

Airbnb is so afraid of losing revenue that it is, as others have noted, deleting negative reviews. I stayed in an Airbnb in Atlanta that operated more as a rooming house and had a refrigerator full of old food that smelled so bad I would run in the kitchen to microwave coffee and then run back out.

In my review, I talked about the neighborhood (fine), the room (also fine), the other guests (fine), and the gross smell emanating from the kitchen (not fine). Then I learned that Airbnb took down the review because it didn’t meet their “Content Guidelines”.

Does it get any more absurd than that? The reason I had this awful experience is because Airbnb is censoring reviews that might have alerted me to the situation. They don’t care if you walk into filth. They just want to keep their numbers up. I’m really getting sick of dealing with this company.

Airbnb Cancelled my LA Accommodation with no Warning

I have been planning a road trip around the US from Australia for several months now. There are five of us going: myself, my sister, my brother, and two friends who are a couple. Between us we are aged 27 to 43, one of us is pregnant, and we’re all nerdy. Hardly party people, right?

Due to the fact there are five adults needing four beds and we’re driving so we have a car, Airbnb is the cheapest and most convenient way for us to book accommodation. We booked all of our accommodation months in advance.

Last week, with no warning, I got an email from Airbnb stating our accommodation in LA had been cancelled. There was no explanation, no apology, just that it had been cancelled and I would get a refund. I messaged the host asking why he cancelled, and in the meantime searched for a new house.

What did I find? The house I’d booked, back online and available for the dates I had booked, but at an increase in price. Furious, I emailed Airbnb Support. According to their guidelines, if a host cancels the reservation “you won’t be able to accept another reservation for the same dates of a cancelled reservation”.

The host responds and assures me he has not cancelled the booking, but Airbnb has instead. Nowhere in my short email and text from Airbnb alerting me to this cancellation is it clear that Airbnb has made this cancellation. The host says it’s due to new laws in LA.

I Googled these “new laws” and found one news article saying Airbnb has cancelled a number of reservations in LA due to complaints of these houses being “party houses”, after a mass shooting at one in October last year. I sent Airbnb a follow up. The host has said that Airbnb is usually pretty good at assisting guests with rebooking after cancellations. This was not something they had offered to help with for me.

I finally get a response from Airbnb Support. They stated: “When we checked the host account, the reason why they cancelled the reservation is due to the new law in California regarding renting the place. Almost all the reservations were cancelled. Their local government is requiring them to do some stuff before hosting. Until the host settle this with their local government, that’s when they will start hosting again.”

I responded, asking why the house in question was still listed as available on Airbnb if the host has to “do some stuff” before being allowed to host again. I also requested advice on how to rebook in LA if this is a blanket law. Airbnb responded saying they do not have control if the reservation is cancelled by the host, which is why there are cancellation penalties in place.

Obviously the people at Airbnb were struggling to read English. This is not the case. Airbnb cancelled my reservation, not the host. I requested clarification, Airbnb responded with yet another weak excuse, blaming the host. I responded expressing my disappointment, asking why they hadn’t addressed my concerns or been able to give me an apology. They didn’t respond.

I’ve been sending them a message everyday, reminding them that I don’t believe my matter is resolved, and requesting to speak to a manager. I’m hesitant to rebook in LA, if the same thing is likely to happen (they won’t address this concern at all) and don’t want to risk my booking being cancelled too close to the trip, as LA is our first stop. Honestly, this has put me off using Airbnb because clearly customer service is not a priority for them. Does anyone know how you make a formal complaint against them?

Sudden Construction at Airbnb House in Miami

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This report is about a host who spontaneously thought he could cancel our reservation four days before our arrival because there were (suddenly) renovations that were not “foreseeable”. My husband and I wanted to rent a condo from this host for about one month (mid-December 2019 until mid-January 2020). The pictures were breathtaking and promising. Also the testimonials of other guests had convinced us to spend a little bit more money than usual and to get in exchange an accommodation where we could live well for about one month.

We paid about 1950 Euro for the accommodation and quickly got the confirmation with the instructions. On November 27, 2019 I received a message via Airbnb from the host that he still needed copies of our passports, as he wanted to send them to the administration so that we could check in without any problems. November 27th was a good two weeks before the arrival date – that’s going to play an important role in a moment.

I sent the host copies of our passports via email the same day. After that, there was no further communication. On December 7th, I received a message via Airbnb from the host. He wrote that there was a problem with the apartment and that we could not stay. However, he would cancel the reservation and he was sorry. I answered him promptly that this was very unpleasant and if he cancelled, we would charge him the difference to the new accommodation.

His answer was that this was not what Airbnb policy says and that he can only refund me the apartment fees. He further explained that there was supposedly a large construction site or extensive construction work going on in the building, but it will not be finished in time – at least not at the time of our stay.

With effort and distress and under great temporal stress we were able to cancel the reservation (on the part of Airbnb) and found a new accommodation, which nevertheless gave us a nice holiday experience. The new accommodation was about fifteen minutes away from the original one (North Bay Village) and so we decided to drive past the building complex in question and see what the status of the construction work might be.

Well, who did not suspect it yet: There was no construction site, no construction noise, no construction vehicles, nothing. We drove past several times on several dates to rule out that it might have been due to the holidays, but even after several visits there was nothing to see of a construction site. Well I ask myself, if there really was a construction site or work, it should have been known at least on November 27th.

For me (and not only for me) this means that our host either didn’t have an apartment there anymore, it was rented twice or maybe he was warned by the administration. Whoever finds an offer from a host in North Bay Village anywhere should be careful. By the way, all communication between him and me was very slow.

Reservation Cancellation Costs Airbnb Guests $800

I made a reservation with Airbnb for a two-bedroom unit in St. Pete Beach, Florida, for February 13th through the 19th. Initially, there was some confusion as the host indicated that the unit had already been rented. Resolution services at Airbnb contacted the host and then indicated to me that everything was good to go. This all happened around December 20th, 2019.

Yesterday, January 29th, I received an email form the host saying that the two-bedroom unit wasn’t available; would I take a room with two queen beds instead? This came out of nowhere. The reason I didn’t accept this offer is because I reserved a two-bedroom unit and because one of those bedrooms would be for a six-year-old who is hyperactive. Obviously anyone can understand why I wanted two bedrooms.

Anyway, I contacted Airbnb about this email from the host and after being on hold for half an hour, was told that a resolution specialist was not available right then and someone would call me back ASAP. Two hours later, no phone call. As you can imagine, my frustration was building; my trip was two weeks out and all of this was going on.

I called Airbnb again, and after speaking with someone in customer service, who obviously needed a lot more training, was finally able to speak with someone in resolution services. She indicated that she would contact the host and find out what was going on. I received a message from her later that the host wasn’t available and that she was leaving the office.

I called Airbnb again and once again spoke with someone in resolution services, who kept assuring me not to worry about it and that she would contact the host and get back to me. Again, I got a message that she was leaving the office for the day and hadn’t been able to reach the host. In the meantime, I got a email from the host saying I had ten minutes to decide if I wanted the room with two beds or she would cancel.

Just as I was calling again, I got an email from Airbnb saying the reservation had been cancelled and that my money would be refunded within 5 to 15 days. I did speak with someone in resolution services who did confirm that the reservation had been cancelled, but couldn’t or wouldn’t tell me why.

So here I am, two weeks before my vacation with granddaughter and great-grandson, who are flying in from Connecticut, while I am flying in from Wisconsin, and now we have no place to stay. The person with resolution services did send me several listing they had in the area, all quite a bit more that I was originally planing on spending.

I got on the phone and started calling resorts directly, Not surprisingly, everything was booked, and I mean every place I called. Finally, I found one place where we could get two rooms, which was not ideal but better than nothing.

The bottom line is that it’s going to cost me $800 more for the six days than I was going to pay through Airbnb. Refunding my money is one thing, but are they willing to pay me the extra $800 as well? I think not. I’m never going to use Airbnb again, and certainly won’t recommend them to anyone else.

Up in Flames – Airbnb from Hell over New Year’s

Last year’s New Years was the first and last time I ever used Airbnb. Every time someone says they use it, I pray to the almighty Airbnb gods that they make it out alive and in one piece.

Last year, I researched a place to stay in Chicago for New Years for a good couple hours. My budget was low, and I wanted somewhere close to the venue I was gonna be partying at that night. Airbnb was the cheapest and most convenient option I could find. I found a cute little place in Ukranian Village pretty close to the venue, and the host had pretty good reviews. The only bad reviews complained about how the place was kinda dirty and rundown. If that was the only thing people complained about, it had to be safe, right? Wrong.

I can handle a little dirt so I booked a night for ~$30. When I got there to check in, the host seemed like a decent guy. He made me food and showed me around. The place was beat up and he hadn’t shown some of the more rough areas of the place to me, but it was livable for a night.

What I should have done was run away screaming and never look back when I got to my room and found a broken window by the alleyway and stab marks on the walls. I wish I was exaggerating. I also wish I had had the frame of mind to take pictures. Some of the marks were small enough and at the right height that they could have been from nailing something into the wall and having the nail dragged down from the weight of a frame or something, but not all of them.

My stomach dropped but I wasn’t able to afford a hotel room that was any better than this. Since he seemed like a nice guy, I asked him about the stab marks on the walls. He told me he had had a crazy guest threaten him like that in a fit of rage. We left it at that and talked for a couple more hours before I left to get ready and go to my show. The show was amazing and I had a great time.

When I got back to the house, the host was still awake and let me back in. I offered him a cigarette and we went outside to go smoke in the backyard. We were talking and smoking out there for a while before we heard a sort of muted bang and his fire alarm going off inside. He said that his fire alarm went off randomly sometimes and told me not to worry about it. It kept going off for a while, and a look of concern started to spread over his face. He kept his cool at this point in time, though, and went in to go see what had transpired.

Not more than five seconds later, a look of panic spread over his face and he jumped back, saying, “We need to get out of here.” He grabbed a couple things off the table and frantically ran out of the backyard around to the front of the house. Not knowing what was going on, I ran after him.

He opened the front door and I saw nothing but bright orange flames filling the house. He had been charging his lithium battery motorbike in the living room of the house and it exploded. Let me say that again. He had been charging his lithium battery motorbike in the living room of the Airbnb and it had exploded. Google “Ukranian Village fire Chicago January 1” if you don’t believe me.

Out of sheer panic, he started to abandon me and the apartment completely, running off down the alleyway to leave me there to deal with the entire thing. I was the one who had to call 911. I was the one who had to talk to the fire department and police and landlord and everyone else who contacted me as if I had been the one who had put everyone’s lives at risk, but nope.

This spineless idiot had just destroyed all of my and his belongings and the entire first floor of the complex, causing the people on the top floors to have to be rescued by the fire department, and he took off like a bitch. He told me to lie to the fire department and anyone else I made contact with, AKA put myself at risk to save his pathetic ass from the consequences of his own actions. Happy New Years.

I ran after him because I’m a small female without protection and I was in fishnets, out on the streets of Chicago, at 3:00 in the morning. When I ran after him he told me he’d take me to the train station so I’d at least be somewhere safer than out on the streets. Below the bare minimum of what he should have done, but fine.

It was freezing. We got followed by an intoxicated homeless dude who wanted my number and wouldn’t take no for an answer. The Amtrak station wasn’t open until 5:00 AM (and it was 3:45). The entire thing was a nightmare. We spent those hours walking the streets looking for a place that was open where we would be warm and off the streets.

I felt extremely unsafe and had no idea how I would get any of my valuable belongings back, such as my student ID and keys to get back into the dorms. At my school, if you lose your keys you have to pay $300 to get all the locks replaced for whatever reason. At this point, though, all I cared about was making it back in one piece. I missed my first train and had to pay for another ticket.

When I got back I had to report the incident to my school and Airbnb. I talked to the landlord, the fire department again, and the police. I spared no details. When I filed the claim, Airbnb basically laughed in my face and said they could assume no responsibility whatsoever for what happened.

Hundreds of dollars’ worth of belongings? Not their responsibility.

Multiple threats to my and many others’ safety? Not their problem.

They said it was up to the host to give me a refund or reimbursement. He did that for me, thank god, or I would have made sure every cop in the city knew about this host’s reckless endangerment. I eventually was able to get my belongings back, by some miracle. They were burnt and covered in ash and soot, but some of them were still usable (including my keys).

I had given the host my number so he could get my stuff mailed to the proper place and he started hitting on me, saying we should hang out, I’m kinda hot, etc. Unbelievable. Get a hostel or hotel where they actually care about peoples’ safety and well being. You 100% get what you pay for. Don’t trust reviews and don’t trust Airbnb; trust your instincts.

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Airbnb Supports Fraudulent Listings in Scottsdale

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My family and I planned a trip to Scottsdale, Arizona for my son’s graduation from college. I decided to try Airbnb for the first time. I searched their website for the exact location I wanted to stay in: “Old Town Scottsdale”. I found several locations with “Old Town Scottsdale” in the title.

We found one called “Upscale Townhome, Old Town Scottsdale”. It had enough beds to accommodate my family so we made our decision and booked the accommodations for four nights. I paid our deposit of $451 and paid the balance 14 days prior to our arrival (an additional $451). So in total, $902 for four nights.

We arrived at the property on the specified date, only to find that this property was not located in “Old Town Scottsdale” as stated in the listing. The location of this townhouse was in a group of apartment buildings, which did not fit the description of “upscale”. Using Google Maps we mapped how far we were from my requested area: fifteen minutes by car.

Immediately I contacted the host, told him of our disappointment, and informed him that we would not be staying in his townhome. I contacted Airbnb with our complaint, I also contacted our credit card company to reverse the charges. After a week of going back and forth with Airbnb, they decided that they were siding with the host of the townhome and we would not be refunded our deposit or final payment.

Not only am I out $902 from Airbnb but also the additional cost of having to find accommodations elsewhere for the four nights. After reading Airbnb’s cancellation policy, where it states that if the location is wrong a full refund will be awarded, I contacted them again. They are standing by their original decision of no refund. Now my only course of action is to contact an attorney.

Before you book this company for your vacation, check their background. There are multiple websites (Airbnb Hell, BBB, Airbnb complaints…) with similar or worse experiences, all with the same outcome of the guests being refused a refund. I wish I had checked before I booked. I will never use this company again and highly suggest that others do not either.

Sexually Assaulted at Owner-Occupied Airbnb

Has anyone else been sexually accosted and verbally harassed in an Airbnb by their hosts? I am a single, professional executive female who travels domestically (US) and internationally extensively. I recently stayed in an owner-occupied Airbnb in Denver. This was my first time sharing a residence, though have been renting “entire place” Airbnbs for 5-6 years now.

In Denver, it’s now apparently illegal to short-term rent your space (it’s a felony) unless you – the owner – live inside the home as your primary residence. This made me a bit nervous, to share a residence with a stranger, as a single woman traveling alone, so I specifically looked for either woman-owned or couple-owned places. I found one owned by a male and female together. I was able to Google them based on their info on Airbnb and discovered the woman was an elected official in Denver, so felt even more comfortable renting a room there.

The first night I showed up, only the male owner and his male nephew were there. I arrived about 7:30 PM on a weeknight, only to find the owner seemingly very drunk (8-10 beer bottles on the kitchen counter). He showed me to my private room (note: in the listing, they do not say that they rent out up to three bedrooms at a time in their home, and all guests – so up to six – share one small bathroom) and when I came back downstairs to make some food in the shared kitchen, found the owner smoking pot (which is legal here in CO, and they do note in their listing that they are “420-friendly.”)

He began asking me about my kids, asked to see photos of my gay sons and said he’d like to “eat something as delicious as your boys sound.” Sadly, things got much worse from there. The female owner was out of town for the first half of my stay, and when I mentioned on my second day there that I needed to do a load of laundry (access to W/D is in their listing), I was told I “better hurry and get it done before [female owner] gets back home – she doesn’t like people in the basement and doesn’t like people using her things. Just do the laundry now and don’t tell her you did it.”

The female owner did return from her travels. I barely met her for a few minutes as I was not comfortable in the home, so was staying in my rented bedroom with the door locked most of the time (there were huge festivals and conventions in Denver that week, so nowhere else to move/rent).

One night when I knew the owners were out, I came downstairs to make some food and work on my laptop. The female owner came home while I was cooking, and had clearly been drinking. She continued to drink, began insulting me for being a single mother, asked why I had so many kids, how I got so many gay kids (implying I’d done something “wrong” to have this outcome), etc.

I was doing my best to exit the conversation and go back to my bedroom when the female owner got into my personal space, said “I’m going to kiss you now,” and before anything even registered, she grabbed my face with both her hands and kissed me full-on on the lips, then began crying. I made an escape to my room, very shaken.

I left their property less than 36 hours later for good (as soon as I could), but not before the male owner (fiance of the female owner) apologized for her behavior, asked if I’d sit and talk with her and said she had just begun trauma counseling – that was why she was blackout drunk, put her hands (and lips) on me and had said so many inappropriate, discriminatory things.

I did report them to Airbnb as soon as I left. They assigned a case manager to me, and I explained how traumatizing the whole experience is, as I am a sexual assault survivor from an incident with a work colleague in 2015. All Airbnb did was to refund my stay, say they’d look into it, and then cut off all communications with me. Both my attorney and I have repeatedly tried to reach Airbnb via email and phone and cannot get anyone to address my continued issues. It’s been two months now since the incident. If anyone has any advice based on similar experiences with Airbnb, please do share.

Worst Airbnb Experience at their HQ, San Francisco

We rented a unit for a month and regretted it. Read this to understand what you might experience at an Airbnb location. When we arrived, the owner gave us a key, took us through a dark garage, opened the door and wished us luck. When we walked in, the place smelled bad. The owner gets paid for cleaning between Airbnb visitors but it didn’t look clean when we arrived.

However, we had been traveling for ten hours so we just collapsed. There was no welcome card, no information about the area, or even basic information like which day the garbage would be picked up. It turned out that the regular entry to the apartment was down a dark, dank, dusty hall that looks like no one has been there for years. Spooky.

The bedding looked very used. On top of that, the mattress squeaked with every movement. When we took their bedding off, we found stains and rips in the mattress protector. If you are allergic to dust mites, good luck; no amount of Zyertec will help.

The next morning we went to IKEA and bought our own bedding. My husband was starting a new job the next day. When he left for work I bought my own cleaning supplies. There was no mop or broom or anything else to keep the apartment clean. No paper towels. Nothing. Yet the minimum rental is a month. I guess you’re just supposed to let it get dirty.

I started cleaning. It took days. When I mopped the floor, the water was black. Whatever I wiped showed layers of dirt: the tables, chairs, headboard, cushions, the shelves, everything. I took videos to show my family and friends. They couldn’t believe that such an expensive place was in that condition.

We decided it would better if we covered the couch. It smelled bad. There was an old carpet that looked very dusty, and it was. When I lifted it to clean there was a cloud of dust. We set it aside, not wanting to it to foul the air through our visit.

The kitchen utensils look like a mixed bag of whatever other visitors may have left behind. The sprayer on the sink was rusty and there was rust on the refrigerator too. We didn’t want to touch the dishes so we ate off of paper plates and plastic utensils. When we sat down to our first meal at the table, we could see sticky spots from previous visitors.

When you see the picture of the outdoor patio it looks inviting. In fact, all the furniture is covered in dirt and mold. I tried to clean it but it was way too beat up and old. The chaise has a couple of old, moldy cushions. You can’t sit on the furniture anyway because it’s falling apart.

It would be nice to open the sliding door to the patio for the pleasant air. Unfortunately, there is no screen and the bushes are filled with mosquitoes. When we did leave the door open, bugs and flies would come in. On the walls you will find squashed mosquitoes left behind by other visitors. My husband was bitten many times. I took pictures of the red blotches on his face.

The door to the unit is next to the host’s garage. Several times we opened the door to find that their car had blocked our exit. Either we had to climb over the bumper or push through the bushes to get out. This was unsafe.

I hope you’re not looking for a quiet evening. On random evenings you’ll hear pounding on the ceiling. It’s the kids jumping and running around above you.

Now about safety; the address is “2022 A.” The main house is “2022.” The only indication that there is an entrance to “A” is a tiny half-inch letter. If you have any mail or packages, you’re in for trouble. Twice the owner took my packages and opened them. A bigger problem is theft. Two very large packages were delivered at the owner’s door. They were new clothes that I had specially ordered. After a couple of days, I noticed that they hadn’t been delivered to 2022 A. They were stolen, so we had to file a police report. I have my copy.

Here’s something else creepy. I was in the kitchen and I heard a noise in the bedroom. I went to see and found that someone was trying to get in from the main house through the door from the owner’s garage. It was a woman who called herself the nanny. If I hadn’t remembered to lock the door while I was cleaning, the owner and other people in their house could have just come and gone unannounced. Don’t leave anything valuable behind.

We left ten days early, and we were glad to go. I know what the owner will say: “Why didn’t you tell me?” Shouldn’t an owner who constantly rents their property do more to make it livable, clean, sanitary, and safe? Is it our job to point all this out to the host, who lives upstairs?

The second bad experience was trying to post a review on Airbnb. We posted our review at the end of our rental which meant it was available for Airbnb to review at any time. They waited 14 days to see if the owner was going to write a review too.

After 13 days and 18 hours (late in the evening) Airbnb sent an email saying: “I wanted to reach out to you about the review that you left about the host. We wanted to let you know that we investigated the review and in the review you give out the address of the listing which is a violation of the Airbnb Policy, so because of that we will have to remove the review.”

We hadn’t listed the address, only the street numbers because of the problems we encountered. But, okay, no problem. We could make a tiny edit. However, by the next day they said the “time limit” to edit the review was up, so it did not appear.

I called Airbnb four times and also emailed them. The operators were pleasant but in the end, no one would listen. I simply explained that they had not given us any time to make the tiny correction and that we wanted to post the review. We let the host know about our review. She immediately threatened us writing, “Do not spread a bad review and rumors. I would consider it libelous to do so. The Airbnb lawyers will handle this.”

Airbnb prohibits “extortion” saying, “reviews are a way for Airbnb guests and hosts to share their experiences with the community. Any attempt to use reviews or review responses to force a user to do something they aren’t obligated to do is a misuse of reviews, and we don’t allow it.” That includes “hosts asking a guest to take specific actions related to a review in exchange for a resolution to a dispute between the parties.”

Beyond that they say the hosts and guests agree to follow all Airbnb guidelines and policies, including the Extortion Policy and that failure to do so may result in the restriction, suspension or termination of your Airbnb account. “If you think you’ve experienced extortion, please contact us”, which we did. There was no response. I know this is a lengthy review but if your experience was like ours, you will regret not paying attention to this story.