I hosted an Airbnb guest who booked our home for five people. He then had his entire club team from the Virginia Commonwealth University stay in our home. They did damage to our home by making holes in walls, smashing windows, breaking furniture, etc. Airbnb will not consider receipts we provided for the damage because they are not on company letterhead. We live in a small town of 6,000 people and our dry cleaners have no computers for this. They will not explain the process of documenting damage so our cleaning crew can be trained by vocational rehabilitation. Our professional crew is from Autism Enterprise and they hire adults living with autism. For example, damage to the sheets was photographed on the bed and someone from the Trust and Safety Team wanted all four sheet sets photographed in one photo over ten days after the issue with the guest. The Trust and Safety Team asked for links for replacement items and then used links that were nothing like the item that was damaged. They asked for reports and invoices from carpenters and then denied everything on report after the guest admitted to damaging our home. I’m still waiting for a response but Airbnb seems to be unethical and unaccommodating of people with disabilities.
I’ll start off by saying that these were my first guests with Airbnb. We rent out a guest room in our house, with access to our sun room, kitchen and pool area. The guests were a father and son. The father did not speak English, but assured us that the son was fluent. They arrived and promptly began breaking all of our (very simple) house rules. They hung out constantly in areas that were not included in the listing, took our groceries, ruined a set of sheets and mattress pad with blood, talked loudly on FaceTime while wandering through the house, and were unsafe in the pool.
After a week of this activity, we sent a reminder email with the house rules, asking that they please follow them, and also slipped a copy under the door with a translation. The men apologized and said they would stop breaking the rules. They did not stop breaking the rules. The final straw came when the father returned to our home after visiting with friends, completely intoxicated. He was giggling and running around the house, trying to get me to swim with him in a pretty inappropriate way (my husband was at work, and I was working from home). I refused the swim.
My husband came home and we went out to dinner, only to return to find the man, still intoxicated, running around the house in his underwear. The next day I contacted Airbnb, and the representative escalated me to a higher up team member. The higher team member said, “Oh, no, we can’t have that,” and proceeded to terminate their stay with us and said they would contact the guests and have them placed elsewhere. She explained that we would lose out on the rest of the money from the listing, which I agreed to (just get these people out of my house).
When I returned home, the men were still there, not making any move to leave. When we spoke to them, they said their information on Airbnb was out of date and they had not heard from them. We explained the situation, and they became agitated and started arguing with us, saying that the underwear situation had “only happened once.” I had to threaten police intervention to get them to finally pack up and go.
Now, in an obviously retaliatory fashion, they have put up a one-star review with one sentence in their native language, but the listing is, obviously, ruined. When I contacted Airbnb to express my frustration, they said it was the guests’ chance to tell their side of the story. Except… they’re not telling their side of the story. They’re downrating our home so we will have trouble booking (as I mentioned, this was our first experience). I have been back and forth with Airbnb about the false nature of this “review” and the fact that it is defamatory. Supposedly my grievance has been forwarded to the legal team. I’m considering deleting our listing altogether and starting over. Shame on me, I suppose, for thinking they wouldn’t recommend eviction if they were going to allow these guests to ruin our listing.