1. I have been a host on Airbnb. Until today. I finally decided to pull the plug after the following incidents occurred.
I rented out my flat to three different guests during a three-week trip I did for my company. I always arrange everything with my cleaner, who is fully reliable and always makes sure my guests arrive safely in a super tidy and clean apartment.
The last guest had checked out one day prior to me returning and the just left the keys in the apartment, so no one was there for checkout. When I got back, I was pretty surprised as a huge hole had been burned into my toilet tank… Furthermore, there were lots of splashes of wax all over my bathroom wall and on the floor. Confronting the last guest, he claimed all of this had been there already when he checked in. He said he didn’t mention it because it didn’t make his stay less comfortable.
I asked my cleaner, and the guest before him, whether they had noticed anything in the bathroom. The previous guest confirmed, the apartment was fine when he left. My cleaner always thoroughly wipes off everything including the toilet tank… plus missing a hole with a 10cm/ 4inch wide gaping hole is… pretty impossible.
The conclusion: the guest lied and doesn’t want to pay for the claim I filed with him/ airbnb.
– Posted by Nils Decker
2. I had a run-in with a wacky potential host. Ended up not booking.
I was planning on taking my 2 youngest daughters to Monterey for a weekend. I found a nice place there at a good rate. The host said it was available and asked me to PayPal or wire her a $50 deposit on top of the booking fee (Which it turns out is against Airbnb policy). The host also mentioned that my Airbnb profile was “hidden”–but, as best I can tell, there’s no such setting in Airbnb.
After working out details with the host on Tuesday, I spent most of Wednesday and today working and getting my taxes done (and watching some opening day baseball). I hadn’t yet booked the place on Airbnb–but I still planned to. Apparently, that wasn’t soon enough for this potential host. The Airbnb message thread (with names removed) is included below.
I will admit, Airbnb was very helpful with the situation.
– Posted by Erik Dungan
3. Recently, we had a terrible experience with our Airbnb host.
My husband had booked an apartment from a lady who was renting out an outhouse (small apartment) behind her home. The price wasn’t reasonable either. We had to pay nearly 150 dollars per night stay.
Here it starts:
I went to take a shower in the morning. Few minutes into the shower, hot water stopped! Halfway through the shower, I had to finish since the water was terribly cold. Now, the landlady neither picks up the phone nor responds to text messages for a while. After 20 minutes, she says there is no way for the hot water to stop in few minutes and may be I was washing my hair (which I was not and even if I did, I have shoulder length hair), so the hot water must have stopped. That’s a lame reason Ms. Landlady! We waited for another 30 minutes. There was no hot water. My husband had to forgo his morning shower and we went on a bike tour in LA for six hours.
Now you can imagine, how much we were in need of shower after six hour bike tour in a day! Meanwhile Ms. Landlady had sent a very rude email saying, we must have turned on the shower for a long time or must have not used it properly which caused the hot water to stop.
Once we came back, my husband wanted to monitor how long we could get hot water. So, this time he turned on then stop watch. Again, I tried to hurry up my shower and we saw that after 9 minutes it stopped. Atleast I had finished taking my shower this time :).
Again, the landlady, even though she was home, she didn’t respond to our phone calls or messages.
Fun starts now:
She lets her dogs out to check if we are still home and takes them in after confirming. My poor husband, without shower and I head for dinner. From the sound of the opening gate and the front lights, it’s obvious to her that we have left. We were in our car thinking what we could do now. Luckily we hadn’t started. Now, Ms landlady calls since she thinks we had left. We trapped her!!!! She was shocked that we were still outside. Finally she reveals the truth:
The geyser in the apartment heats a next batch of cold water every 25 or so minutes. This wasn’t clear in her listing. But unfortunately, there was something wrong with the geyser and it had stopped functioning properly. Meaning, it would take more than one hour to heat next batch of water. Also it would fetch the hot water only for nine minutes at a time!
Now since she was trapped red handed, she was sorry about the situation and tried to reduce the total fee by 50 dollars as a bribe, I guess.
– Posted by Nandini Arkalgud Sundar
4. Mark and Star King rented their home and it turned out to be a drug-induced orgy.
They found revelers had left puddles of alcohol and urine, broken glass, toilets plugged with condoms and chicken meat in their shoes. Their neighbors saw a party bus and cars pull up to their house, with about 100 people filing out of the vehicles and into their home
“We came and wished the home was burnt down to ashes,” she said. “It would have felt way better.”
“The couch was completely broken, there was food product everywhere, the occupants had urinated everywhere, the table was smashed,” said Sergeant Jim Leung of Calgary police told.. “In 27 years of policing I’ve never seen somebody take a home and trash it as badly as they did.
5. Bad experience hosting: I had a couple stay, not a peep.
Once they left and deposit retuned, they sent an email saying “We will POST this TERRIBLE Review” unless you refund us our stay.
About 95% Lies (one part that was true was the couch had a stain on it…). I responded that I don’t do blackmail…sure enough she posted a terrible review. I called Airbnb and sent them the emails and they DID nothing. Nada.
Bad Experience as a Guest: We booked a romantic home in Sonoma for the weekend where it said “Entire Home”. When we arrived, there were 2 pitbulls in a cage outside the home. Apparently someone would come every morning to feed them then leave. Well after our first night, the lady that did come, opened the cage and one of the pitbulls got out…somehow a neighbor down the street with a stroller saw the pitbull, and started running away – which gave all reason for the pitbull to go after him. Pitbull bit the mans arm…and ran away. Within an HOUR about 3 police cars came to our house and that’s how we spent the Saturday, trying to get a hold of the owners (again Airbnb was pretty useless). Fun times as you can imagine. Pitbull wasn’t found until the Monday.
– Posted by Rebecca Bahr
6. Having a horrible time hosting at the moment and not sure what I can do other than to sit it out.
2 Russian girls are staying – first off, they demanded that I meet them at the airport. Obviously this goes well beyond the requirements of any host. Secondly, when arranging for the pickup of the keys, I stated that I worked only around the corner so timing was flexible, but the only time I couldn’t do that day was 11-12 because I had a meeting. Lo and behold, I was contacted multiple times just after 11am to meet. I ran quickly there after the meeting but it was annoying to have made that one small clarification and then to have it immediately violated.
The girls, since their arrival last Tuesday, have been leaving all lights on, even on the sunny days; leaving rubbish and dirty underwear in the shared areas of the flat; leaving the cooker hobs and heating on high, unattended for the whole day; making loud noises audible through the walls; leaving evidence of menstruation all over the bathroom; and leaving the flat in a general state of mess and uncleanliness.
– Posted by Antonia Lim
7. As a host, I had was very recently an older man from the Middle East.
He didn’t have any concept about the idea of AirBnB being not merely a place to sleep but also to meet locals and learn about local culture. He did not like that I am a woman living alone and asked me many intimate personal questions, how much money I make, my mortgage. He demanded the security code of my place and treated me like his slave – demanded I do his laundry, make phone calls for him, wash his dishes, etc, and when I informed him that I would not do so, he got angry and said, “In my country women do all that, why not you?” and swore at me. He constantly ogled at me and it was extremely uncomfortable. Yes it may have been cultural differences – Middle East vs. North America – but his behavior was NOT acceptable.
– Posted by anonymous
8. I’ve been doing airbnb as a host for over 4 years now. First in Amsterdam and later in Panama City. After 4 years i said “enough is enough!”
Our top-4 worst guests;
A young German couple (so shy that they didn’t say a word) where having sex so loud, while we were around, every single day and the young lady NEVER flushed the common toilet, even the neighbours complained. The sheets were very dirty.
There are the minor annoyances: people that don’t listen nor read your directions (Panama doesn’t have streetnames) and then blame you for giving them the wrong directions…? People that never hosted before that give you all kinds of advice (not needed) or people that use your washer for 5 loads or leave the front door unlocked….
- A couple from Canada that never traveled before: i was severely sick at the time of hosting them but if you cancel airbnb gives you a fine so i hosted them after all. The female guest from both was bitten by bugs outside the house and blamed “the house” for her bites. They demanded their money back, left a devastating review AND send some ridiculously mean messages.
- Young people from Italy stole $150 from the house, we had to call the police. They completely ruined the room. Airbnb didn’t refund.
- A chair was ruined and a microwave was ruined because some stupid young people put silverfoil in it, airbnb didn’t refund. This is monetary so not that important compared to the income you get.
- A single guy that took “lovers” to his room, people we didn’t know..
9. I had a guest from Italy for 3 months.
I made dinner for her when she arrived and she made a point of telling me she threw it up (I am a good cook and have published a cook book). Two days later, her son arrived without telling me to stay the entire time. She used my address to establish permanent residency in the U.S. and to open financial accounts without telling me.
She took a hammer to my quartz countertop, causing $1000 in damage and then said it was gouged by someone else (no one else was in the house). She hung her underwear on my awnings to dry because she did not like the dryer. I came home to find her building wooden displays in my living room and with cans of black spray ready to paint them in my house. She poisoned my dog deliberately and I had to spend $800 at the vet. She took my carved wooden salad spoons from Africa and used them to stir pasta and ruined them. She said that anything I cooked smelled bad and I should eat out. She threw out pieces of silverware, chef’s knives, and china. She threatened to write horrible reviews about me on Airbnb if I did not drive her where she wanted to go and help her with her errands. I called Airbnb for help and they were useless. They said it was my problem.
The night she finally left she poured red wine all over expensive new white linens. I found out I could not collect the deposit or the Host Guarantee because I “did not have proof” even though I sent 20 pages of documents and photos. Airbnb requires a police report and this is impossible to obtain in Florida because any damages caused by a “resident” of a home have to be brought to civil court, not the police. That was the last guest I had on Airbnb.
– Posted by Julie Myers
10. My elderly host was very nice, but was having some sort of emotional crisis.
At first I thought she was just lonely and was desperate for some company. After a couple of days, it seemed more serious. She was coming by and contacting me continuously, talking in great detail about how alone she was, how bad her financial situation was, how her relationships had all failed with family and friends, and how she wasn’t being treated right by the medical community. She kept talking at length about the suicide of her aunt and that she thinks her sister is suicidal. I heard her sobbing and shrieking several times during the night. I contemplated calling 911, but she had been to the hospital twice in the past few days and I assumed they were a better judge of her health and safety since she had lived in the small town more than 20 years and had told me in great detail that she had been under the care of a physician and a psychiatrist. Instead, I left a day early and didn’t ask for any money back, I just needed to get out or there.
11. Ari Teman, from New York, unwittingly rented his apartment to a perculiar group in March 2014.
The group engaged in an orgy party and left his home in shambles. In his post in tumblr, ‘Dear AirBNB, No thank you for the XXX Freak Fest. I am homeless because you stuck a “XXX Freak Fest” orgy in my apartment and abandoned me to deal with the fall out.
I’m not homeless because of finances – though the unimagined debt and massive amount of lost work caused by your orgy hasn’t helped – but because thanks to Airbnb I’m on a blacklist and cannot get a legitimate lease in all of New York City. Brokers refuse to help me after looking me up and finding I’m on the blacklist. One building management refused to even accept a full year’s up-front payment because I was on the blacklist.
I’ve had to sleep in over 20 places since you put an orgy in my apartment, because I cannot get a lease. I’m exhausted and want a home.’
As hard it is to keep track of who uses the popular rental site and app, Airbnb stated that:
Over 11 million guests have had a safe and positive experience on Airbnb and problems for hosts and guests are incredibly rare, but when they happen, we try to help make things right. We were appalled when we learned about this incident and we took immediate action to help this host. The individual who rented this space has been permanently removed from our site. We’ve reimbursed the host for damages to his apartment and ensured he has a new place to stay. In the days ahead, we’ll continue to work with the host to assist him with his additional needs and we will work cooperatively with any law enforcement agencies that investigate this matter.
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