Airbnb Hosts cancelled because their house sold!

I organized a trip for 6 people to attend a bird festival in Northern Ohio in May. I booked a nearby house in January, then a month later in February, the hosts cancelled my reservation because their rental house had sold.  As this is a very popular destination in May, there were no houses left nearby, even in February, so I was unable to take advantage of Airbnb’s offer to give me ~$50 toward another reservation in the area. I had to go to VRBO to find a house that was not only farther away, but cost about $100 more for the overall stay. I think that all of these sites should require the host to either post that their rental property is for sale or require them to honor the reservation in this kind of situation and penalize them if they don’t follow those rules. And Airbnb needs to offer something better than a ~$50 voucher if the host cancels. At the very least, the consolation “prize” should be applicable to other locations and dates, not just the original ones.

Dream turned into a Nightmare

My husband and I have been planning a trip to Rio for the last five years. I’m Brazilian and he is American and he has been saving money in order to visit the city where I was born and spend time with my relatives there. We booked an apartment with Airbnb for $2188 to stay for six days and we were really satisfied with it based on the pictures online until relatives and friends raised concerns about the neighborhood and its far distance to all main attractions in Rio, which was contrary to the ad on Airbnb. My husband searched on Google Earth and found out that the apt was located on top of a mountain and that it would take us at least 20 minutes to walk down the mountain in order to get to public transportation, supermarkets, etc. My husband had a leg surgery recently and he can’t walk long distances, specially in an inclined terrain. We contacted Airbnb in order to request a cancellation and they asked us to send a letter from my husband’s doctor stating that he can’t walk such a steep mountain. We sent the letter to Airbnb on the same day as we spoke with the person on the phone and on the next day, they sent us an email stating that our cancellation refund has been denied and that they would only refund us a cleaning fee of $100 and $137 in service fee. This vacation has been a dream to us and Airbnb with its unfair strict cancellation policy had managed to turn it into a nightmare.

airbnb scam, airbnb hosting


I’ve been an Airbnb Host for over a year without significant problems, but this experience showed me that I’ve really just been lucky not having a nightmare hosting experience before now!

Long story short, I had a guest book one of my rooms for a 3 months stay, just like I’ve done many times before.  I received my first payment from Airbnb as usual… but then when the second monthly payment was due, I received a crazy email message from Airbnb saying that they couldn’t process the payment from the guest!  What’s even crazier, they didn’t cancel the reservation until 7 days AFTER the last date had passed that the guest had actually paid for, meaning that I was going to lose at least a full 7 days of rental income and presumably I no longer had any form of security deposit to protect me… ALL WHILE THE NON-PAYING GUEST WAS STILL LIVING IN MY HOUSE!!!

What sort of idiotic policy is that?  Airbnb waited until the last minute to charge the guest, then waited an additional 7 days before cancelling the reservation with a message (attached) that basically said “sorry, but we’re not going to pay you anything else, beginning 7 days ago.  Good luck getting rid of this leech of a guest!”  Why wouldn’t Airbnb charge the guest sooner, so if there was a problem I could cancel the reservation and kick out the guest before their paid time expired?

I wrote back to Airbnb asking them to clarify the situation… but they never responded!  I emailed them asking if they could use the $400 Security Deposit (my standard deposit) that they should have previously collected to at least pay me for the 7 days the guest had already stayed without paying before the reservation was finally cancelled… no response from airbnb after several days.

What a total scam airbnb has become!  I thought it was a brilliant concept, and it is, but the execution abysmal and the policies lack any sense of foresight or basic protection of their CORE value, their HOSTS, it’s truly shocking to me that no competitor has destroyed them by now!  It’s like comparing Facebook to Myspace.  Myspace was “great” until Facebook came along and showed everyone just how horrible Myspace actually was!  Who will be the new “facebook” of home rentals and put Airbnb out of business?

PLEASE share this story with any current Airbnb Hosts you know so perhaps they can save themselves from this type of horrible situation dealing with such a stupid and irrational company.


airbnb scam, airbnb hosting

How to scam airbnb! Guest doesn’t pay, and airbnb waits 7 days before cancelling reservation. Host is left holding the bag and takes a total loss!


airbnb ran away and hid behind it's horrible policy

No response from airbnb! Host lost money because guest didn’t pay, even though EVERYTHING was handled through the Airbnb system!