Day after day of hard work and stress, you’re worn out and undedicated. It would be a good time for a vacation.
Why not give Airbnb a shot? For those out of the loop, the popular hospitality service lets homeowners rent out their houses and apartments to travelers looking for a more authentic experience than they might get staying in a hotel.
Sounds great, right? Before you book anything, you might want to browse these horrifying stories from Reddit users who have been both Airbnb guests and hosts.
It’s a good idea to wait until after lunch, though.
1. “My one and only Airbnb stay was at a nice condo in Long Beach, CA right on the beach.”
“Once I got home, the hosts tried to charge me $7000 for damages that were 100% false. They claimed I broke their refrigerator, TV, and Internet, spilled oil on their couch, and stole their bathroom rugs. They also claimed I did drugs in their apartment.” —caffeinedreamz
2. “We arrived at our Airbnb in Austin to find that the master bedroom had been quite literally blocked off by the pool table.”
“We thought ”Eh, no biggie, they were probably cleaning and forgot to scoot it back.”
So we scooted it back to center of the room — right into the four little divots in the carpet from where it had been sitting before. Trip goes well, we leave — and a day later, I get an email from the property owner demanding payment for a professional balancing service to be performed on the pool table. Five hundred ding-a-lingin’ dollars.
After several days of going back and forth between the property owner and Airbnb customer support with these and other questions, my credit card was charged $500. So I called my credit card company, explained the situation and they recorded it as fraud.” —beefwich
3. “My first experience with Airbnb was when the host cancelled on us at 1am before our 6am flight. I just happened to check my email from the airport and was on with support within 10 minutes.”
“Ended up in a really nice place in Jersey (original booking had been in Manhattan), but spent an extra $120 on private ground transport because we didn’t know the transit system yet and hadn’t planned to go to New Jersey as our first stop.
Later found out that she had cancelled on the two guests before us, though never so close to the last minute. Airbnb had taken down her listing, I saw the listing back up a few months later, with plenty of host cancellations.” —Scops
4. “I sent the guy a message before my flight saying I looked it up on Google Maps and it didn’t look like a residence but didn’t get a response.”
“The guy had the wrong address listed and when I showed up at around midnight there was nothing there. The only hotel I could find that would answer the phone was a Courtyard Marriott.
At this point I was tired of lugging my stuff around like a dumbass and bit the bullet on a $350 room, which I only got to enjoy for six hours because I had to be up at 6am for a conference call. The next day I was given the correct address but was only given a partial refund.” —sdfsaasa
5. “We arrived after 20 hours of travel to a completely moldy apartment in Paris that gave us instant headaches.”
“We called customer service who said we need to provide photo evidence before they can do anything but they will email us first so we can send the photos. That email never came because they sent it to the wrong email address even though we had them repeat it back to us twice. They said they can’t help us get a new place and so we were left on the street to fend for ourselves.” —asherfergusson
6. “My parents just this week discovered hidden cameras in their Airbnb spread throughout the house.”
“Even worse, when they discovered them and covered them up, within an hour they got an angry call from the host demanding they uncover them so they could continue watching my parents.
So not only did they have cameras, they were actively monitoring them, which is such an insane invasion of privacy.” —DebatableAwesome
7. “I have a service dog & became friends with another lady who went through the same program as me for her mobility service dog.”
“When she got married this past year she tried to go through an Airbnb ‘host’ in GA. We live 700 miles away from the wedding’s location, so it’s not right around the corner & easy to rearrange plans on short notice.
Everything was fine with the arrangements until 2 days before she was supposed to leave. The host suddenly changed their minds on allowing her service dog to come with her, even though that violates federal law and Airbnb’s own ‘policy.’ The lady told my friend she didn’t care if my friend was handicapped & that the dog assists with walking, maintaining balance, & retrieving items, there was no way they were letting a ‘filthy dog’ in their room because it could break things, potty in their floor, and they’d never be able to advertise it as ‘pet-free’ again.
Even after being informed of federal rights that service dog handlers have, and Airbnb’s ‘policy’ on service dogs, they refused to make it right. Utterly disgusting behavior.” —heartofbronzexxviiii
8. “My in laws used to air bnb their house while they were traveling.”
“Once, the people staying there left the deck doors and windows open all night (despite the instructions being very clear that this should not be done) and a bird got into the house and in its stupid attempt to escape bloodied itself all over the main floor and died in the living room.
The people staying there decided not to mention anything and just left it like that. Two days later they get back and see the mess. What the fuck people!?” —maumacd
9. “I used to work customer service for Airbnb. One night at around 4am, I got a call from a guest saying that the place they rented was burning down.”
“Twenty minutes later, I got a call from a host saying that a guest had burned their place down.
It wasn’t really my job to figure out who was at fault, or even what actually happened, but one thing was certain. That place did burn down.” —bayek
10. “I am a host and had a girl stay with me for about a week. Our house is a duplex, Airbnb downstairs and we live upstairs. We have pricing that varies dependent on the amount of guests who are staying, and she paid for just herself. Well, she also snuck in her boyfriend and her ‘housekeeper’ with her to stay. No big deal we let it go.”
“We heard a lot of fighting through the ceiling/floor. Apparently the main guest ‘K.K.’ was staying with us because she had just closed on a home and needed somewhere to stay before moving in. Her and her boyfriend were having screaming matches about the mortgage payments on the house they hadn’t even moved into yet.
There were also a lot of crashing and banging sounds coming from downstairs. Well, when her visit was over we went downstairs … there were cigarette burns EVERYWHERE, piles of ashes, a trail of blood from the bathroom, through the kitchen, down the hall, across the living room floor and onto the bed sheets. A cat litter box (didn’t know she had a cat) in the middle of the living room FILLED to the brim with cat poop. And puddles of red wine everywhere. Our house smelled like dead animals and rotting food for two months afterward even after we had a cleaning company come through.
I had not ever had another experience like this in the year since as most of our guests are really lovely people. But wow. $35 cleaning fee didn’t cut it.” —manduboo
11. “So I was room mate with a guy who rents out the third room at Airbnb and we had quite a bunch of cool people living there like two professional snowboarders, backpackers, couples.”
“They have always been very nice and cool to hang out with as well. But this one guy, something was really off with him. He was an Australian visiting Norway for the first time and we have universal rules in the apartment like you knock on the bedroom door before you enter, common courtesy more or less.
I came home from work, went to my room and it was around 5 PM and in the winter so quite dark outside. I turned on my computer, sat down in my chair and suddenly the Airbnb guy stood inside my room staring at me with droopy eyes, neck tilted and his mouth open. I turn my head and look at him for a good 5 seconds before I say “Can I help you with something?” The guy, startled by me asking him a simple question, said “I … I heard voices …” At this point I’m not really sure what to make out of the conversation so I ask him kindly to leave my room and to knock on the door the next time.” —rubaduck
12. “I stayed at an apartment in Garden Grove, California for six days.”
“My room had a serious ant infestation, which my host tried to resolve by applying some strong-smelling stuff to the floor. It did not stop the ants very much but it gave me a hell of a nose bleed.
I was also forced to adapt a vegetarian diet all the time I was staying there (fair enough, if the host was staying with me, I wouldn’t have had a problem, but she was hardly there apart from when I arrived and when i left). But being frog-marched to the nearest grocery store to stock up on vegetables that I was expected to eat was OTT. My ‘treat’ was a small pack of turkey bacon strips and a Hershey’s chocolate bar (which I hated).
I wasn’t even allowed to admire the COLOURS of their junk food without being snapped at (I’m from the UK, and I saw donuts with coloured frosting I didn’t even know was possible). Also, I bought my nephews some Oreo-brand snacks to bring home to them while I was there…oh, if looks could kill.” —solace-in-misery
13. “I used to host Airbnb at my house when I was out of town for business in order to make some money on the side.”
“I had a couple from Asia (Korea I think) stay at my house for two weeks when I was out of town, and apparently where they were from they don’t flush used toilet paper down the toilet, the used toilet paper goes in the garbage beside the toilet. When I got home the couple had left and when I did my usual post stay checkup on the house to see if anything was broken or missing I noticed a horrid smell coming from the bathroom.
Two weeks of shitty toilet paper was still in the garbage can. One of the most horrid smells I have ever experienced. So for the rest of the time I hosted people when I was out of town I made sure to let them know that they could flush their toilet paper.” —DANK_MEME_LORD
14. “My first guest was a middle-aged woman who was attending a Robbie Williams concert in the neighbor city.”
“She was very sweet and kind when I talked to her through Airbnb, so I let her use my cheap apartment (in which I live also). She didn’t ‘check in’ before 3 in the morning, and she was very drunk when she arrived. I had work the following morning, so I really felt like sleeping. When I let her inside she was very noisy. After about 30 minutes she fell asleep.
I was waken up suddenly by her trying to ‘sneak’ in my bed (keep in mind she was drunk af) so it was not very smooth. I asked what she was doing, and told her to use the other room. She refused and wanted to cuddle with me — also saying she was willing to pay more. I told her, quite aggressive, to use the other room or leave. At the point she simply got mad at me. After about 15 minutes she bust the door open and comes in the room trying to sell me some of her organic product called vitamin plus or something. I was furious. She kept going for about 1 hour before the almost fell asleep in the door opening. She gave me 5 stars.” —LarsTheWise
15. “The worst guest we ever had was a very large guy.”
“We will call him Willie. He seemed nice enough but he had a tendency to leave his milk cartons in the sink with the cold tap running instead of using the fridge ‘because he didn’t want to bother us’. This of course led to a flood in his room in his upstairs room but we didn’t realize this until after Willie other problem came to fruition.
Willie had a tendency to take mammoth shits, shits so massive that our plumbing had issues dealing with it. Because he couldn’t use his toilet and didn’t want to trouble us with the overflowing toilet situation, Willie had started going directly in the shower and tried to use the hot stream of water from the shower to melt his mammoth shits down the drain. Lovely.” —ionwesker
16. “When I checked out I got a very angry email from the host saying that I left behind one hair scrunchie (hanging on the closet knob) and an empty beer bottle container.”
“Oh, and I left the bathroom light on. Never mind the fact that we cleaned everything up before leaving. That host was extremely pissed off about the above three things and said she would not give our security deposit back.
Luckily I had taken various photos showing how much of a dump the place was and sent the pictures to her saying that her ad was deceptive. That worked — I got my security deposit back.” —my_final_answer
17. “One of my client’s neighbors rented out their condo on Airbnb for a weekend.”
“The renters were a middle aged couple, and seemed trustworthy enough. Turns out they were renting the place to have a huge orgy, like 25 people. They broke almost everything in the place.
Even the toilet and 2 sinks had to be replaced. And after they broke the toilet, they decided to just shit in the shower and leave it in there for the owners to clean up.” —OccasionallyWelsh
18. “They had a wedding without telling us.”
“The place was trashed. They left a hot iron on the kitchen table and left a burn mark. There was pizza face down and smashed into the carpet of the kids room. Garbage in the pool. Trash all over the yard. Never again.” —mostlyemptyspace
19. “Thought we’d try Airbnb hosting, first guests were crackheads.”
“The chick … would wander around the house laughing/crying hysterically/stare at walls/scream at her partner throughout the day and night. She’d walk into our bedroom at 3 am asking for money. The guy was constantly in and out of the house, found out they were slowly taking our belongings that weren’t immediately obvious and pawning them.
Invited a friend over for a few drinks, guy ended up squatting in the other room and we only found him on the last morning. Lost over a thousand dollars worth of stuff, Airbnb wouldn’t cooperate with the police to identify the people who stayed in our house. (They gave us false names). Never again.” —JasM1nge
20. “We hosted a guy in our spare room who had night terrors.”
“He would thrash and scream bloody murder in the middle of the night, and freak me and partner out so bad. It seriously sounded like he was being assaulted by demons — howling, yelling, thrashing. He stayed with us a few days and would get up and leave for work really early in the morning before us so I never was able to confront him to ask ‘Uh, you know, you were screaming and thrashing last night, are you alright?’
I also didn’t feel it was right to mention it in his review — what good would that have done? Otherwise, he seemed completely normal. Nice guy. I left him a 5-star cause that’s how I roll.” —kadidid