Apartment in Paris: Definitely NOT Calm and Cozy

This is one of those rare Airbnb horror stories that is so wild, it’s hard to believe. Luckily, I have attached the slew of text messages the host exchanged with me as proof. The first thing to note is how misleading the location of this Airbnb is. All the pictures, as well as Franck’s description of the environment, makes it seem like a “calm” and “cozy” apartment in a cute side street. This is far from the truth. Franck’s apartment in Montreuil is in the middle of a GHETTO. The street two steps away from his apartment is LITTERED with destitute African migrants – the majority of whom ask you if you want to buy drugs when you pass by. In addition to this, there’s a very apparent stolen goods market there – people always peddling things in the streets. At night, the place feels very dangerous to walk through – I can’t imagine how it feels for a young woman. If you’re a white European, you feel like a stranger there. I felt like there were nightwalkers as well. There’s NOTHING cozy about this neighborhood. It’s also beyond filthy. That’s just the environment.

The host, Franck, is an entirely different monster. Before I even arrived, Franck send me over 100 WhatsApp messages, most of them having nothing to do with my rental of his Airbnb. He was sending unusual pictures of his friends partying, and implying that I should respond to him ASAP because he might be “too wasted” to let me into his apartment on time if I don’t tell him when I’m arriving. I thought “whatever” at first… maybe he’s too friendly… but that shouldn’t be a problem. I’m one, like most Airbnbers, to just keep to myself. However, the messages kept on coming, long before I even arrived. Most of them were verging into very business personal territory, until finally, at 3 AM one night, the host messaged me with totally inappropriate drunk texts. This made me feel insanely uncomfortable, obviously. I am not homophobic, nor do I have any problem with staying at a gay Airbnb hosts apartment. I simply stop replying politely to the messages and expected he would get the hint.

However, when I arrived, the host’s attitude had completely changed. He appeared angry or upset about my lack of responding to his (literally) 75 texts. I began to feel as though this guy was expecting a “friendly” (quotations relevant) guest but didn’t get what he wanted. The worst thing to come was when I stumbled upon one of his neighbors in the building, who demanded to know who I was. When I told them I was an Airbnb guest, THEY told me Airbnbing in this complex was illegal and that tourists were generally not welcome. NOW I began to be extremely uncomfortable. I decided at first to stay quiet about it and make it through one more night, but after my host sent more passive aggressive messages (totally inappropriate) in regards to demanding to know when I’ll be in and out of the apartment, I spilled the beans. I told him I paid him and I don’t need to talk to him or explain myself period. I want to be by myself and left alone. I also told him I don’t appreciate the constant comings-on, or so they could be interpreted.

Lastly, I said that it was making me uncomfortable being in an illegal Airbnb, especially since the neighbors said that cops have been called in the past regarding this. He told me that it wouldn’t behoove me to leave a bad review of him regarding this, because via Airbnb review policies, I am at bigger risk than he is. One bad review won’t do anything to him, but leaving a bad review of me as a bad guest essentially ruins my chances of Airbnbing. Needless to say, it was a complete clusterf#$k. I left the Airbnb without much of a hassle after that, and told myself I would not leave a bad review and we can just go our separate ways. Two weeks later, the host leaves a completely libelous review of me, way after the period in which I could have left a review for him. He timed it out perfectly. The review was an immature scatological reference that apparently accused me of “not flushing” (it’s the best he could come up with). The irony, of course, being that after all the questionable prescription drugs I found in his apartment, I never even considered using his toilet. (Needless to say, the guy has an open homosexual lifestyle – not that there’s anything wrong with that – but he’s not the clean type).



Unbelievable!! Out of respect I left the host Vinayak a nice review, because the place is in fact amazing and because Vinayak apologized to us many many times by text for everything that happened to us during our stay, so I felt sorry for Vinayak. But now Vinayak changed his character. Let me now start about the way Vinayak treated us and share my side of the story, which I have not mentioned in my first review. First of all, I messaged Vinayak (the host) on the arrival day, regarding the keys and checking in time, but Vinayak never replied. This left us discussing the situation with the security supervisor and we told him to reach out to Vinayak. The supervisor then told us that it is ILLEGAL and AGAINST THE LAW in Dubai to rent out the property to other people for a short term, no matter if the place feels like a resort or residency. So from no where, two so called agents of Vinayak arrived at the supervisor office. They said Vinayak has not rent out a property to you and that he is on holiday. We were shocked and showed them the proof from airbnb that we did have a reservation at this property. The two agents then called Vinayak’s sister and she explained to us that we should not discuss anything with the supervisor, as it is not allowed to rent out the property for a short stay. The two agents then took us to the property, as if nothing happened, and said that Vinayak would sort everything out with the supervisor, as the supervisor allowed us to stay at the property but refused us to use any of the facilities, such as the pool and gym. From this point we thought everything is fine, but it still felt weird on how the agents first said we did not have a reservation and told us to leave, but after a call with Vinayak’s sister, everything was fine and we were shown our property. Never mind the next day, my kids went to the pool but they were sent away as one of the security said we were not allowed to use it and Vinayak has to come down or call the supervisor. I then messaged Vinayak the phone number of the supervisor and over the next couple of days the security kept removing us from the pool because Vinayak still has not contacted the supervisor. He also said he thought Vinayak was scared to speak to him and only spoke to the normal security person that have no right to make any decision. This shows that Vinayak was aware that it is ILLEGAL to rent out the property, therefore did not want to contact the supervisor. After the first five days, Vinayak returned back from his holiday, but never came to the property to check on us. He then phoned us telling us that it was his fault renting it out to 6 people but he apologized and said that only 3 people are allowed to register with using the facilities. We accepted that because from this point on we just wanted to enjoy our holiday, and after speaking to security ourselves, they allowed all members of my family to use the facilities, because they became confused about the whole situation with Vinayak. They said that we were nice guests, therefore, allowed us to use everything. Vinayak therefore has done nothing, and we had to keep chasing him with issues that should have been solved by Vinayak, not by guests who are there to enjoy their holiday. Therefore, Vinayak is a liar when he says “we tried our level best to settle these issues”. Vinayak did not settle anything, and does nothing to help anyone. We have proof from text messages on how long he takes to reply and solve the issues. Sometimes he does not even reply or pick up his phone, leaving you there on your own. Another lie is when Vinayak says we damaged the house, which we did not!!! I do not believe how someone like Vinayak, which acted nice over the phone and text, lies so much. We left the house in the best cleaning condition possible. We cleaned the house everyday. The house was not even clean the first day we arrived but we did not complain. In fact, one time the roof was leaking water. We contacted Vinayak and he apologized and sent people to fix it. Ask any of the lifeguards, security or housekeepers about me and my family and they will tell you how we were such a nice family to have us there. If anyone needs proof of the text messages between me and Vinayak and the way he treated us, feel free to send me a message and I will send you my contact details, so I can send you all the messages and you can read it yourself. I am here just to help you to not trust this guy. I do not wish upon anyone to go through the same experience, me and my family have gone through with Vinayak. Remember that this property is ILLEGAL for Vinayak to rent out, and from now on, every person that books this property, will be refused to stay there as the supervisor is now aware that Vinayak rents this place out AGAINST THE LAW.