Over the holidays, I rented an apartment. There were problems with the maid. She basically moved into the unit with me and spent half the day there, despite me desperately trying to get her out.
After the first week, I decided to stay a second week. The host agreed. She accepted a second booking at a discounted rate. On the last day, I was accosted for money for “payment for the last five days – in cash and now” and actually attacked by the maid. I only lost about $50, but reported the incident to Airbnb as a “Trust and Safety” issue. I also complained to the host. She proceeded to defend the staff member, and told me she would lodge her own complaint with Airbnb, stating that I had tons of “unregistered” guests, and damaged the apartment… and this was after she renewed my booking.
The next day, Airbnb contacted me and asked for a police report and photos of my injuries. They said the host complained that I damaged the unit and had four “unauthorized” visits. They wanted to know if I had stayed in the apartment without checking out after the first week and stayed for the second week, as they did not see the payment. A payment was in fact made with my Visa. I had 25 photos of the apartment as well as video. The only damage was a stain on the rug, which I believe had been there for months.
The results? The host’s listing was back online in two days, and I was banned as a user. Moral of the story: be very careful when making a safety complaint about a listing. The host can retaliate against you. There is no whistle-blower protection rule. Airbnb could accept all of the host’s complaints, ignore your safety concerns, and ban you.