Undisclosed Noise, Refused to Adjust Cancellation Policy

I rented an apartment in Dusseldorf, Germany for ten days to visit my seven-year-old daughter. The place seemed to be as advertised. Then it got dark and the thumping bass started. It turns out the apartment is directly across the street from a nightclub. The nightclub played thumping bass that emanated through the entire apartment until 3:30 AM. This was unexpected because it was not disclosed in the listing and in the US you usually don’t see nightclubs in residential areas (zoning).

The next day I canceled the rest of my stay and booked a hotel. I had to pay a premium for the hotel because I was booking last minute. The landlord sent me a message asking me why I canceled. I explained the thumping bass until 3:30 AM situation and suggested they modify the listing to clearly state there is a nightclub across the street and it can be quite loud.

I asked for a refund, agreeing to pay for the night I stayed in the apartment plus cleaning fees. The landlord refused to give any refund. He did, however, modify the listing to note it can get loud due to the “pulsating life in the old town.”

When Airbnb looked into the issue they said the listing states that it can get loud. I explained this was not noted in the original listing and that I had communicated to the landlord that I would be staying there with my seven-year-old daughter. I sent Airbnb the email correspondence with the landlord where I specifically mentioned he should disclose the loud noise in the listing. He thanked me for the feedback. I explained to Airbnb that the listing was modified after I booked my trip.

Airbnb replied they acted fairly and are not going to refund any money. This is outright fraud. Airbnb’s business model is flawed and it is time for congress to setup up and defend consumer rights. If this were a hotel I would have been treated completely differently, but because of the decentralized nature of Airbnb they seem to be able to get away with acting unethically and stealing people’s money.

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