We recently stayed at an Airbnb in Los Angeles. This was a family vacation with small children ages two and three, plus visiting family with a newborn 0-3 months, and another two-year-old toddler. We viewed all the site photos, read reviews, and thought the location was nice, the place looked good, and everything should be fine. We were wrong.
When we got there, the security code to get into our unit was wrong and the host did not let us know he had changed it. This was at 11:00 PM when we got there with crying children. We got inside with no safety lights down 20+ concrete stairs with – again – small children, and luggage. There was no lighting to see where or what we were going or doing, because it was pitch black outside.
After we finally get the door open in the dark, we looked for our pack and play for the toddler to sleep in. It was not there. I called the host and he told me he would bring it tomorrow. I said we requested this back in September when I booked this reservation and he had replied “No problem!” He complained about it to me via IM – never by phone – and told me I was a very demanding guest.
The next things to happen were so ridiculous that I could not even believe they happened, but they did. We were told in the listing the property had a BBQ grill that was very nice. It was not: it was a rusty, filthy, piece of crap, that had a broken gas regulator on it, unsafe, a plugged grill jets and so rusty you would get lockjaw from eating off of it. We again sent an IM. He told us again we were demanding and he was not responsible for a BBQ grill even though he listed the place as having one.
The next thing was the loose railing on the very large and scenic overlook on a cliff setting that was not secure or up to code. The code states 42″; his was maybe 36″ and very loose. If our grandchildren would have leaned on it it would have been disastrous.
We paid for the place to be cleaned and ready when we checked in. There was so much grime on the floors that our socks were always black from it. We would have even washed the floor ourselves but there was no proper equipment – no vacuum, no mop, only a two-foot broken sweep broom and a spray broom which really just pushes the dirt around. Black mold was in every corner.
The host would say the floors looked clean. They did, because it was a light colored vinyl floor that looks clean until you walk on it barefoot. This was our problem and we discussed it with our host, sent him photos, and asked if he could make any of this better. He came back with “I suppose I could come and clean it if you will be keep your complaints on the other things quiet.” I refused and took photos of what he considered acceptable to rent – a construction zone – and still charge full price for with only a half ass way of doing things.
I complained to Airbnb and they told me I had no claim because I waited until after I checked out to do so. We were all afraid we would have no place to stay if we did it ahead of that, and of course they said that would never happen.
I believe this is all a shame: bad Airbnb hosts getting away with poor listings, a system of checks and balances that does not work, and everyone still making money off of honest unsuspecting renters like us. If karma is working I am hoping this comes back to bite our host big time and am very glad none of our family got hurt or sick from such a poor listing.