AirBnb has completely changed the way people travel. Hotels are old-fashion and AirBnb's are both more personal and usually more affordable. But they are not worry-free. Whether they're are a host or guest, these poor people never truly knew what they were going to get into before they got there and problems obviously came up. The problems in these stories though, are the extreme. They are the insane and almost indescribable. Lucky for us, the people telling the stories could describe them, because it might just make us all better "AirBnbers." Content has been edited for clarity.
"I rented out my flat in South Bank, London to two American teenagers whose parents did it for them. I had to be there to show them how the alarm worked as their parents didn't trust someone not to break in when they were sleeping, 'And do only god knows what to our girls!'
Skip to two days later and I'm woken up at 2am by a call from one of the girls who's frantic. They were being arrested and didn't know who else to call but couldn't tell me why they were locked up. At this point I was worried because they seemed a little air-headed, but nice enough girls.
I called their parents to let them know what was happening and I was going to the station for them and I'll call them as soon as I know more. When I got there I'm told that these two dummies BROKE INTO THE FLAT ONE FLOOR DOWN FROM MINE and they trashed it. They thought the whole building was more of a hotel than a place where people lived. My neighbors were not AirBnb hosts and they lived in the flat full time, but were out that evening and had to come home to find two 19-year-olds messing up all their stuff. I was so angry.
I called the parents and let them know and they were just weird about it. I don't know if they didn't believe me or what but they soon must of found it was real as they my neighbors pressed charges.
I bailed out of ever doing Airbnb again and offered to pay for damages to the other flat but thankfully my neighbors were nice people and said that they wanted the girls who actually did it do pay for it. Kinda still feel bad for that but can't force it on them."
"My brother owns a really nice house in a popular area of the city he lives in. Since he travels out of town for work every other week, he rented his 3 bedroom house out a pretty good amount. A couple rented out the place for a random weekend he was out of town last fall, nothing too strange at first, just another weekend. He did find it odd that they were from the same city and wanted to rent his place for three days but really didn't pay it too much attention.
When he came home, he noticed a lot of things just seemed off with his house - furniture not exactly in the same place, paintings on the wall were crooked, carpet really dirty for just 2 people, and his back yard was wrecked. A few days later he runs into his next door neighbor who starts asking him about the wedding.
My brother had absolutely no idea what he was talking about and comes to find out the couple who he rented his place out to threw a full on wedding at his house. He looks the girl up on Facebook and sure enough, they had a huge rehearsal dinner the night before, catered wedding, around 40 people in chairs they brought and setup in the backyard, even a minister. It's not like he has a huge back yard either - maybe 25'x40.' It's a really packed in neighborhood. He came home the next day and his house was cleaned out. Apparently someone made a copy of his key and let themselves in the next day and cleaned him out during the day, taking everything through the back door and out the garage leading to the alley. Doesn't rent his place out anymore."
"Just 2 days ago, my friend decided to put the spare bedroom on Airbnb, since her roommate was not coming back for a few days.
A 56 year-old woman showed up that night with two brewskis, immediately drank them both in under a couple of minutes, started yelling at people in the street and finally, started crying.
She explained that she had been laid off earlier this day, and was apparently not taking the news lightly. She then vomited a few times, took three very noisy showers between 2am and 8am and left very early with only a post-it note saying 'Thank you, Mumu'
My friend has no idea who Mumu is."
"This was in Inglewood, California.
I arrived on a Tuesday morning and immediately got a bite on my toe. I brushed it off as it was just a mosquito bite. Then, every time I came back to the AirBnb, I got another bite.
On Friday morning, the host's dog comes to my window at their home and wakes me up in the morning by barking at me around 8am. That night I kill one of the bugs that had been biting me, it can sure jump or fly quickly and is hard to kill. I asked for some sort of resolution on Saturday and I told the host that I believed they had bed bugs. I wasn't asking for a refund, but maybe clean my sheets or at least find out what is biting me.
10 hours later I get a response that was a shock to me. The host, via text, accuses me of bringing in the bed bugs, insulting their home, and roaming around the backyard to find their large black dog. I did no such thing, because their dog came to my room's window.
After killing a total of 3 of these bugs I realized that they were actually fleas and most likely from their dog who they let roam freely.
20 bites later, this has got to be the worst customer service ever. By letting him know before the situation gets out of hand is what I was trying to help him with, but he turned it around.
Don't host if you can't take any criticism. All I wanted was a resolution, but thanks for the insults though!"
"Due to a mishap, I hosted someone on my wedding night!
My husband and I are super low key people and while we tried to cancel at first, the couple who was booking convinced us that they really wanted to stay over. We decided whatever, we were barely going to be there anyway and they seemed nice.
Fast forward to us getting home at around 2am. Everyone is gone, the apartment is trashed but nothing is broken - whatever, we head to bed to talk. We hear them come in, and they're clearly wasted people 'trying to be quiet.' We're not too concerned.
I feel like I should add at this point we are really polite Canadians, so confrontation isn't our jam, and they're not being too disruptive.
Fast forward to sometime around 4-5am. We start to hear a couple people getting busy in our living room, which is right outside of our bedroom. Less okay, but again, better to just leave it and deal with it in the morning. I was not about to walk in on someone banging his girlfriend just to kick them out. Too much potential for problems.
In the morning I get up to go to the bathroom. Not only are there two unclothed people on my couch, but they are not the people we booked! The mess is obviously still there, but they've pushed the table across the room and there are little baggies everywhere. I am pretty mad at this point, so I go pee, then go to wake up my husband. He is cranky, but we beeline to the room they rented. Along the way, the unclothed couple, who are now partially dressed, wished us congrats. When we get to the room, there is a third person in there too.
A total of five people, including three we've never seen before, are in our house, all of them are mostly unclothed. My husband is pretty firm and says they need to clean up and get out. He says it really forcibly at this point, 'It was my wedding night and a lot of action was had in this apartment, but not by me!' I cracked up, the kids (they were around 19-20) freaked out and proceeded to clean the apartment to even nicer than when they arrived. They even left us an apology note, saying how they were 'really messed up' and didn't expect it to happen.
Due to all this drama, we forget the second Airbnb guest that was also there and who was staying more long term. He arrives back later that night, and my husband goes into damage control and started apologizing. That's when the full picture of what actually happened comes to light, as my husband jokes that they 'were even hooking up in the living room,' the dude goes, 'Yeah, I saw! I was going to the bathroom and I saw them. Men, and women, all of them together in a pile on your carpet.'
Yup, they had a full-on swinger party, like something out of the movie 'Eyes Wide Shut' all over my carpet. I ended up posting the note online, and Airbnb got us a new carpet.
Now I literally have no excuse to ever forget my wedding night."
"I rented out my studio in Montreal over a few months one summer.
One fellow visited from Saskatchewan and seemed to really like it there. Great guest, very tidy, no problems.
He called me again MONTHS later, like some time in mid-October asking to stay again. I was a full-time student and actually living in my apartment during the school year, so initially I declined. Plus I was actually fostering a heavily pregnant guinea pig at the time, which didn't really seem like an ideal tenancy situation.
Anyway, he said he'd be happy to look after the guinea pig and I wound up sleeping next door with my neighbor for the weekend, until he phoned me while I was already six drinks deep on Saturday night to tell me that the guinea pig had given birth. I ambled back to my apartment to take a look, and yup. Six greasy little pig babies and goo everywhere, and a flustered man looking at me with this helpless 'what on earth do I do now,' expression. I think that was the point that the insanity of the whole thing hit me and I couldn't stop giggling."
"A lady rented my apartment from me for a few weeks. It was my literal first time using Airbnb as a host. I told her it was my personal apartment and please treat it with respect, etc.... She ensured that she would. On the day I was leaving and she was checking in, she emails me asking if 'we' can move in a few hours earlier than we agreed. I asked who 'we' was because she made it seem as if it was just her. She tells me, 'Oh, I have a 7-year-old daughter, I forgot to mention that, sorry.' I was off put but had already left my apartment and needed the money so whatever.
Fast-forward a week or so I get a text from my property manager asking if the guests at the pool were mine. Apprehensively, I said yes, but I didn't tell him I was using Airbnb. He proceeds to tell me that the TWO older women and 'four or five' kids had been at the pool the past week and had gotten a few noise complaints.
He assumed they were mine because he saw them coming out of my apartment. The reason for the phone call was because today someone had left POOP in and around the pool. I called my tenant and she denied everything. Her move-out date was in a few days and I was on the other side of the country, so I couldn't do much about it.
My property manager eventually sent me video of her and all the kids moving out of my apartment on check-out day. I called Airbnb to try and get her banned and they opened a case, but it ended up getting dismissed. I still have no idea why. I left a terrible review for her. Later, she got angry because she left luggage in my place and I wouldn't contact her back to get it, because I wanted to deal only through Airbnb at that point. When the case got dismissed, I decided to donate the stuff in the luggage to the Red Cross. Petty, I know, but I was so ticked!
I never used Airbnb again after that."
"A friend of mine rents out the in-law unit in the house he and his wife share. It's a pretty sweet space, they're on a hill and an in-law suite is the lowest level, so it's kind of a basement, even though it's above ground. It has a separate entrance and private bathroom and is super quiet and nice. It doesn't have a kitchen, but they've set it up with a microwave, mini-fridge, and coffee maker, complete with a hostess basket of free tea, popcorn, and hot chocolate. It's really like a mini-hotel in a suburb neighborhood and they've had quite a few guests who have been very nice and respectful.
Recently they hosted a Swiss couple who had been backpacking up and down the Pacific coast and rented my friend's Airbnb for their last couple nights before flying home. They were quiet and didn't bother my friend, until the last night they were there. My friend and his wife heard this strange beeping coming from downstairs and the sounds of their guests scrambling around. By the time he got himself awake and his pants on, though, the beeping had stopped. He shrugged and went back to bed.
The next morning the Swiss guests left, no problem. My friend goes down to check out the room, and first off, these people had left random scraps of trash everywhere. Not like junk, like receipts and bits of wrappers and stuff like that. Probably stuff they had accumulated over the course of their trip, but instead of putting it all into the trash can, somehow it wound up all over the room. They also left a couple things that they had obviously bought for their trip and didn't want anymore, ok fine, but the most suspicious things were a cooking pot, recently used (and poorly cleaned), and a portable propane tank, also used. My friend stared at this a moment, then, suspicion rising, he looked around. He saw that the smoke detector for the room was fine, but the carbon monoxide detector had had its batteries removed.
Clearly they had attempted to cook food in the room with equipment you should only use outside. Luckily there wasn't a fire!"
"My boyfriend and I put one of our guest rooms up for people to rent out. We love our house and have space, so why not rent it out and make some extra cash? Well, our second time we book it my brother calls and says him and his girlfriend are in town and are going to stay with us for the night. We have two extra rooms, no problem. My brother and his girlfriend were both newly 21-years-old, so we decided to take them out and give them a few too many drinks.
A couple nights later we are eating dinner and playing Cards Against Humanity with our two guests when we start talking about their experience with Airbnb and what not. They look at each other as if they're keeping a secret, look at the boyfriend and I, and the girl was like, 'Okay, you have to tell them.'
I'm internally freaking out about what they're about to say, trying incredibly hard to keep my cool.
He starts by saying, 'Well, we did have one little incident here.'
Cue the major mental freak out.
'The first night, when your brother and his girlfriend were here, there was a little situation. We're in the room sleeping when all of a sudden I wake up to see him standing at the side of the bed over Jess. He starts messing with his pants and I'm like, 'Dude! Dude! What are you doing?' And there's literally no response from him. I'm freaking out this kid is trying to get a threesome with us! He continues to mess with his pants and I push him away, he mumbles and walks out the door. I'm freaking out and lock the door, and then shortly after he walks out, I hear the toilet flush. He had no idea where he was or what he was doing, but he was VERY close to peeing all over Jess and your bed.'
Through the laughter, I then proceeded apologize and explain how we may have given them one too many drinks, and they normally stay in the Airbnb room.
Thankfully they were super cool about the whole thing!"
"I do have a story from being a guest.
I rented an Airbnb for a few nights in the Midwest, college town area, super last minute because the friend I was supposed to stay with got sick. The woman was super nice and said no problem, I could stay there even though I literally tried to book about 5 hours before my arrival.
I show up at 11 pm and the host is friendly, but the house reeks of cats. My the profile said I loved cats, and I've been to houses that have cats, but this odor was stifling. It turns out her cats like to randomly mark territory throughout the house, particularly on the bathroom floor and downstairs on carpet with their poop. Their litter boxes looked like they hadn't been cleaned in ages and some of the poop was molding. On top of that, the kitchen floor was dirty and sticky.
The house was just generally messy and I couldn't close the door of my bedroom otherwise it smelled really bad. The day before I planned to leave and move to different accommodations, the host tells me that she has to go out of town unexpectedly for a few days and she will be hiring a pet sitter. I offered to pet sit in exchange for free housing for the remainder of my stay because I felt bad for the cats.
It worked out for the both of us. The first thing I did was mop the floor and vacuum the next day because it was frankly giving me the heebie-jeebies walking around.
I also had to play host to two of her Airbnb guests that were staying for a few days each."
"This experience as tenants was quite memorable.
Some backstory: Four of my friends and I decided to go to California. For accommodations, we chose to rent out an Airbnb online.
Upon landing, things got sketchy, quickly. We contacted the host (let's call her 'Veronica') to notify her of our arrival. She told us the address of the apartment, which was different than the one we thought we were renting. We were also told not to contact the front desk of the apartment building for anything, but instead to contact her directly. This raised some red flags, but we were only staying for three nights, so we weren't too concerned.
Now to the eventful night: After having a great time around town, we headed on back to our AirBnb to chill for a bit before going to a club. When we got ready to leave, we went over to the door, but realized the lock was broken. We struggled for 20 minutes trying to get the door open, but to no avail. There also were no screwdrivers around that would allow us to remove the lock. We were essentially stuck inside our room on the 49th floor of this apartment complex so we decided to contact Veronica.
After another 30 minutes of trying to explain things through texts, she says she will call the front desk to help us out. This is when things get really messed up.
40 minutes later, the maintenance man comes to our room (let's call him Hector). The problem is that Hector is trashed and banging on our door. Oh yeah, did I mention Veronica was about to get evicted in a couple of days due to overdue rent? We had no idea either, until Hector told us.
Anyway, Hector tells us he will let us out when we pay our overdue rent whether it takes 4 hours or 4 days. We try to explain what's happened and that we are not the tenants, but he doesn't seem to understand us. He's angrily trying to break down the door to come in. Now, here we are, five guys who aren't from the area and the only exit from the room we are currently stuck in is the door that is being broken down by Hector the trashed maintenance man.
We decided to call 911 since we didn't know whether this guy had a weapon on him or what. While on the line with the operator, Hector somehow managed to get inside and - I kid you not - the door locks behind him and we are all stuck. Again.
Now the five of us are stuck with ticked-off Hector who is looking around and asking about rent. Not knowing whether he is armed, we are quietly on the line with the cops. Hector calms down once he realizes we know nothing about the rent situation. At around the same time, the cops rush to the building and are demanding Hector open the door with his hands up. But the door is stuck, and Hector is trying to open it up with a large kitchen knife, because why not?
After some shouting back and forth, we finally get Hector to drop the knife. Some police officers manage to get out to a neighbors' balcony and ask two of us already standing out there what went down. We describe the situation and they head back to try to get the door open. Eventually, the cops got it open and after further explanation of the situation, everything turned out well for those involved. Except for Veronica.
She was found to be subletting apartment rooms and condos online. She got completely reamed by her landlord and evicted, I heard.
Basically, I accidentally booked an illegal room online."
"My worst guest was someone I had while I was an Airbnb host, but not someone who was officially my guest through Airbnb. We ended up with a spare room for a month, and after trying to sublet through Craigslist with no success, we gave up and decided to Airbnb my bedroom, since it was the only fully furnished room, since we had just moved in, as well as an air mattress in the living room, and an air mattress in another roommates bedroom, until we found a more permanent roommate. The idea was to make up for any money we lost from the spare room. I booked most of the time with Airbnb guests, but got a text from a previous Craigslist ad I had posted. The guy wanted to stay until the following Monday. Perfect! I thought. We didn't have any Airbnb guests coming till then. I asked him to sign up via Airbnb, but he asked if he could stay under a sublease to avoid paying the fees (red flag).
He annoyed the heck out of my roommates the whole week while I was out of town. During this time it became apparent that he didn't fully understand English, and wanted the room through Monday night, not just until Monday night, even though he signed a sublease agreeing to leave. He pushed and pushed and pushed, all the while discussing his experience as a recovering addict that had just gotten out of jail after trying to kill his roommate in 'self-defense' because his roommate 'tried to assault him.' This included him convincing my roommate to drive him out to his old place, and helping quickly move some things out, followed by the guy's old roommate running at the car screaming as my guest was desperately screaming 'GOGOGO!'
This guy basically told my roommates all week about what a good guy he was, while slipping in crazy stuff like this.
My roommates didn't want to tell him no about staying an extra night, so they put it off by telling him it was my decision. I finally came home from a trip (the day he was supposed to be gone), and my roommates left me alone with this ex-convict, ex-addict because they didn't want to deal with him anymore. I work from home, and he spent literally an hour talking about how rude and horrible and inconsiderate I am for not allowing him to stay an extra day. I finally give up and say he can stay on the couch, since all the rooms were full that night and I was already sleeping in the spare room on the floor.
The night comes, and he freaks out on me about it not being fair that I treated all my other guests with their own rooms and pillows and blankets. Long story short, one of my other guests gets freaked out and comes out of his room, and I end up having to ask my other guest to let me take one of his pillows because this tweeker in my apartment is disturbing everyone, and I don't know how else to deal with it. At this point I'm just trying to keep him from flipping out, because I'm a petite girl and he was extremely strong.
At this point I'm done. I yell at him to get his things RIGHT NOW and get OUT of my apartment. He screams about how horrible I am the whole time he's moving his things out, while I prepare my phone with '911,' ready to hit dial, and tighten my shoes so I'm ready to run if I need to.
He moves his junk into the hallway, made me do one of those exchanges where we both hold out what we agreed to give each other and hurriedly swap at the same time, and leaves. Or I thought he did. He lingered for a few days around the neighborhood, somehow. My roommates ran into him around the building a few times and he acted incredibly friendly, telling my roommates how kind they all were to him, except for me; I was the one who wouldn't understand his need to stay a little while longer. Eventually he disappeared.
Let this be a lesson, kid - don't ever let a stranger live with you unless they're verified and well-rated by multiple hosts on Airbnb. Every actual Airbnb guest we have had stay with us has been cool. Some of us travel, so if one of us plans to be gone for a while, we will Airbnb to help pay the rent. We have had about 10 or 15 Airbnb guests now and most of them have been world travelers from Asia or Europe, with really cool stories to tell. We had one guy assume he could use any of our toiletries and stuff, but that was nothing compared to the jerkoff we found on Craigslist."