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I’ve copied a letter sent to the owners of a property where I had booked a reservation (URL edited) based on it meeting the criteria of an “entire place” as defined by Airbnb’s own website. I’d be curious to hear other opinions as to what it takes for a property to be marketed as an entire place given the apparent subjectivity of the definition.
Letter sent to Airbnb and property owners:
The following is a recap of my recent complaint against the Airbnb rental property run by Corey and Kayla. Airbnb representatives have been contacted but have yet to issue a refund or force the owners to stop marketing their unit as an “entire place”.
Upon performing a recent Airbnb search on properties in Scottsdale, AZ and using the “entire place” filter, I completed a booking for the property run by Corey and Kayla which represented that the wing of the house used for the rental was properly partitioned off to provide “total privacy”. When I went to I check in, the owners had run retractable room dividers from the front door to the airbnb rental “suite”. Because the dividers were only about 5 feet high, any access to/from the suite involved having to walk through a hallway which was for all intents and purposes a shared space with the owners. A recent review of their property pointed out the fact that they felt that they were being watched given the odd setup of the space. Despite alerting Airbnb to the situation and pointing out that the space did not meet the definition of an “entire place” based on the standards outlined on their own website, Airbnb has refused to intervene and had allowed the owners to continue to market their property without modification.
Based on the owners profile, they currently have two separate listings for the exact property at different price points. When I pointed this out to Airbnb and offered the theory that Corey and Kayla may have created a new listing after receiving a bad review related to privacy concerns, they refused to intervene.
The owners have a dog on the property which greeted us upon check in. While it was on the other side of the janky divider, anyone with pet allergies would be in for an unexpected surprise since the owners failed to provide this information in the listing.
While the owners can and have argued that they have not misrepresented the information found in their listing, the simple fact is that if they didn’t think that the partition setup was a potential negative to renting the unit they would have included pictures of the dividers in the listing. Instead, in my opinion, they have gone out of their way to present the unit as something that is definitely not. My hope is that Airbnb will reconsider their stance on this and issue a refund and censure the owners for what appear to be fraudulent actions.
Yikes! I’m surprised ABB isn’t stepping in, as they almost always side with guests in cases like this.
While I’m not sure of the technical definition, to me an “entire place” would be something with enclosed walls with private entrances. e.g. no “shared” space. Temporary wall structures don’t count - because where do you draw the line? A baby fence? Curtains?
What did the ABB rep say when you called them with your safety and privacy concerns?
I don’t really know why this tale has been posted here but I had a quick look at the listing and the fact that the owners live there and so on are fully disclosed. As far as I know, guest suites , basement (garden) apartments and so on are classed as ‘entire places’ when the owner lives in the same building?
Also, they don’t have different listings for ‘the exact property at different price points’. They have listings which offer the rooms (not the entire place) when the place isn’t rented as an entire place. I’ve never done that but I’ve seen it plenty of times before - don’t some hosts here do it? I think it’s perfectly legitimate.
I’d leave the dog this off too - anyone who is severely allergic to anything checks before booking.
A nicely decorated and furnished place that sleeps six, with a pool and all its facilities for just over a hundred dollars a night seems like such a bargain.
Are the photographs totally misrepresenting the place? If so I can imagine that Airbnb might have something to say about that but otherwise I can’t see the problem?
That’s funny because guests tend to say that Airbnb sides with hosts
As an experienced host yourselves, did you do what Airbnb suggests and contact the host with your concerns and then Airbnb within 24 hours if you feel the property was misrepresented?
I can see it quite clearly says you are sharing the property owners and that what was private is the guest suite. However whats a little difficult to visualise without photos is your issues of concern regarding access to the suite.
I am a little confused did you wait until your trip was complete to complain and ask for a refund? As is often said you can’t expect to eat the meal and then complain about it afterwards.Therefore to expect a refund in these circumstances would be
One more point that I wanted to mention was did it not raise red flags with you when another guest raised privacy issues in their reviews?
I think as this is a guest complaint something like Airbnb community might be a better forum.
This may have recently changed, but both of their listings are classified as “Private Rooms” - you can see if that in their profile. So, either way it looks like it’s corrected now. ABB should have historical views though of what exactly you booked and if they did in face change it from “Entire Place” to “Private Room” that may be evidence for you to get at least a partial refund.
Thanks for the feedback, I didn’t realize that Corey and Kayla were the moderators on this site.
Just to address a few points that were brought up:
After entering the residence via keypad and realizing that it was not as advertised, I immediately left and cancelled the reservation in an attempt to mitigate damages.
The moderator commented on the price point being reasonable which has nothing to do with the subject of the post. However, after cancelling the reservation and scrambling to book other accommodations, I found a 5 star hotel at the foot of Camelback Mountain for a total of $350 after tax for 3 days. As everyone is aware, after factoring in Airbnb and cleaning fees to the 100 bucks cited by the moderator, the total cost to stay at the Airbnb was $417. It’s currently about 800 degrees in Phoenix and if I wouldn’t have booked their place, there was no chance that they would have had another renter.
inquiring ahead about animals on the premises: I guess because my frame of reference is that an “entire place” isn’t a shared space, I never thought to ask the question. Just like I didn’t ask the hotel rep at the place I subsequently booked if there’d be a dog in my room.
Finally, I’m not sure how to respond to the moderator’s initial observation that this topic wasn’t suitable for this forum. The reason I posted this in the first place was that due to the participation of the many people from different countries on this board, I felt that it would be a perfect spot to ask for points of view that might be different than mine based on cultural differences.
At the end of the day my rule of thumb is that if an owner of a property can reach over the partition meant to qualify their property in a category it’s not and slap me in the head, it shouldn’t be considered an “entire place”. If the distinction weren’t so important to guests then Airbnb wouldn’t include it so prominently in its filters.
I sometimes question “entire place” for my own guest house. While it is a separate building, it is on the property of the house where I live, so the backyard is not totally private, as the pool is in view of the main house where I live. But it’s listed as a ‘Modern Guest House’ and most guests figure it out and those who are concerned ask questions BEFORE they book.
I don’t live far from the 5 star hotel at the base of Camelback Mtn. I can assure you that there are guests who have recently booked my guest house during these dog days of summer, much to my surprise. Less vacationers of late and more people who are here on business or to visit family.
I can’t help but note that your post and subsequent comments do not seem sincere. It comes across (to me) as you wanted to use this Host Forum to point out a listing that frustrated you; and to embarrass hosts by naming them.
I can’t really address how you misinterpreted the listing because I checked it out, since you attached it - NOT something that you should be doing on this forum without permission of the hosts! I have to say that it looks exceptional, and I can see why ABNB is siding with the hosts on this circumstance.