Trapped in Dirty Airbnb Apartment During Pandemic

I rented an Airbnb apartment in Lima. The description said there were two beds, an air conditioner, pots and pans, microwave, oven, stove, and a washer/dryer. In fact, there was only one bed, no air conditioner, no washer/dryer and no pots and pans. The microwave, oven, and stove didn’t work.

In the pictures there are two couches, and there was only one, which was much smaller. Nothing is like it was the pictures. It’s a totally different apartment. It smelled bad, and was quite old. I talked to the host, and he said that the original apartment was dirty, and not usable (he told this to me via Airbnb messaging). The situation got worse.

I checked out of my hotel because I knew I had an apartment, and now they won’t let me back in (due to coronavirus, it’s really hard to find hotels that accept new people). I was waiting on the phone with Airbnb for almost three hours. When someone finally picked up, she told me that someone else will call me back. Of course I never got a call back.

Now I’m stuck in Lima. Two people in a dirty, smelly, small apartment which has one normal bed for $70 a night (which is expensive for Peruvian standards).

Posted in Airbnb Guest Stories and tagged , , , , , .


  1. I agree, I would not stay there. I would have made other accomodations and then gotten a refund later on if possible. Not always possible depending upon the reason for the refund. Airbnb doesn’t usually consider a dirty apartment with broken appliances as a valid reason for a refund. Now if the bathroom was unusable or there was no heat and it was infested with rats or insects then you might have a case. When I happened upon a airbnb that fit the description you described, I just ended up going to another place. I lost money on it but sometimes health and safety is more important.

    Airbnb is a crap shoot and you dont know what you are going to get until you walk in the front door of the property. Out of all of the times that I have used it less than half the properties met expectation. In some cases, the properties were uninhabitable, (infestation of rats, burnt out electrical sockets, no heat, holes in the ceiling, toxic fumes, mold) In those cases, I got a refund of all of my money but even then I had to fight just for that. Now I have a handful of places where I have stayed previously. These are superhosts where I know the hosts care about the guests. Plus their properties are equal to or what you would find in a 5 star hotel so I only book with those properties when I need a place to go. But I had to book alot of crappy places just to find those nice places which are a needle in a haystack on airbnb.
    Its always best to have a back up plan when you book with airbnb.

  2. Write to the host and cancel the stay, stating the reasons you have stated here, make sure it is documented. There are multiple hosts that are desperate to rent out at the moment, move to another place.

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