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Guest Trashed my House


#1

Hi there,

I have been an Airbnb full-time host for 5 years. During that time I have had thousands of guests, I have a good rating and I have hardly ever - maybe once a year - had to use the resolution centre.

Recently my husband blocked out a week from the calendar so he could work on the house round the clock, repainting, doing lots of diy to improve the house, getting carpets cleaned and refreshing and renovating the property. We were excited that the next guests would love it.

The next guest was Daniel in a group of 7 people. I felt a bit worried as they were all men and I worried they might be going to throw a party but I had to hope for the best.

The next morning I got two messages from the neighbours complaining bitterly (- they have never had to complain before) that a wild party had been going on at the house ALL night and they had had no sleep - lots of people going in and out and alot of noise through the walls and in the garden.

I sent Daniel a message. He didn’t respond. I tried to phone him but his number was fake - it didn’t exist. I phoned Airbnb several times through the day to ask advice and asking them to try to get in contact with Daniel. No one could.

I phoned my housekeeper and cleaner and they went to the house and knocked on the door. No reply. Peered in the windows and saw a totally trashed house. The furniture was turned over, beer bottles everywhere, things thrown about. They phoned me and I asked them to try to enter. They went in and started working on the house to try to clean it up and rectify it as I had new guests booked for the very next day. There were stains on the carpets, broken glass, food thrown around, blood on the mattress and sheets, stains on the carpet. I told them to take photos and send me invoices for any extra cleaning required.

Later that day I managed to find Daniel on Facebook. I sent him a message saying that he had broken my house rules and could not stay another night but he could come and collect his stuff any time.

He phoned me eventually and was obviously inebriated. He phoned me every couple of hours for the next 2 days, apologising and just rambling about things. I told him to stop phoning and use the Airbnb message thread.

I kept Airbnb in close communication. Took their advice, opened a resolution centre claim and gave the invoices, receipts for repair and stain-removal and all the photographs of the mess and the damage.

An Airbnb representative called Susannah dealt with the case from prior to the resolution centre case even being opened. She phoned me, was rude and aggressive on the phone, wouldn’t let me finish a sentence and was clearly very in favour of my ‘poor guest’. She told me I had ‘been a great host up until now’ and ‘I had lessons to learn from this’ and I ‘should have waited and consulted Airbnb before asking my guests to leave’.

Yet I had waited 12 hours, communicating with Airbnb several times, taking their advice. My neighbours even threatened me with the police if I did not make the guests leave. I could not let Daniel stay and continue to party - I had new guests arriving the next day, the house had to be repaired and he had broken 3 of my house rules and several Airbnb rules.

  • No Parties
  • Don’t Disturb the Neighbours
  • Leave the House as You Found it
  • Don’t bring extra Guests you haven’t paid for without informing me - He had 50 guests in my house!!!

The Airbnb representative decided the case was invalid as a ‘photo had been taken from the internet’. I checked all the numerous photos my staff sent me and all were DEFINITELY of my house and NOT taken from the internet.

So I sent her a complaint that her reason was erroneous as all photos are genuine. She then sent me a catty reply saying she is giving Daniel £280 from my next payout - the WHOLE cost of his stay refunded, though he only lost one night.

So basically I have spent a lot of money repairing and cleaning my house. My staff, neighbours and I have all been massively inconvenienced and spent time and stress dealing with the situation and yet the partying, housewrecking guest is rewarded with a free stay.

I’m so upset. I have to pay £280 to my harassing, house-wrecking, alcholic guest and get not a penny from my security deposit.

What can I do?


#2
  1. Contact Airbnb through their social media (do not direct message) Post on their public accounts and #Airbnb so it gets picked up.

  2. Contact your local media with the photos

Going Forward

It sounds like you host remotely but don’t have CCTV installed to monitor guest activity. If you had, you would have picked up the party much earlier and been able to shut it down before much, if any damage was caused. Look at installing a system.

You don’t mention having a local co-host it’s not fair to ask cleaning staff and housekeepers to deal with these sort of guests. Do have a look at having a local co-host who can manage these sorts of situations for you.


#3

I’m a relatively new host and this scenario both puzzles and frightens me. First, if your documentation, which includes multiple attempts of contacting the guest yourself and through “proper” channels, isn’t enough to file a claim, then what is? Refunding non-compliant guests makes no sense, at any level. Is ABB afraid to lose a customer, that he won’t book through them again—really? What about you, a reliable veteran host who makes ABB profitable for both yourself and the company. I trust you get a satisfying resolution, however, if they’ve refunded him, little chance you’ll get that money back. I look forward to seeing your feedback.


#4

There are many stories of Airbnb not supporting hosts so keep that in mind. Also keep in mind that this is a new unknown member posting a story on the internet. If everything posted is true and as posted then it certainly is outrageous behavior on the part of Airbnb and their customer service. I don’t take everything posted at face value on this forum or anywhere on the internet.


#5

I’d be happy to post the photos and messages here to evidence my experience - but I doubt I’m allowed - am I?


#6

I think a few hours have to go by and you have to make several posts first. You aren’t violating rules by doing so but you might want to remove identifying information. Don’t feel obligated to “prove” anything to us. I’m just advising a new host to not get freaked out by anonymous internet posts.


#7

It’s good you’re already thinking of ways to make sure this never happens again. I would be SURE the neighbors know to contact you RIGHT AWAY if they have problems with your guests. If I am off site I keep my phone handy and make sure the volume is turned way up, especially in the middle of the night. You can’t do anything about it if you don’t know while it is taking place.

And I would probably give the neighbors a bottle of wine or some cookies and a couple of different ways to get ahold of you if it ever happens again. They should have called the cops.


#8

Hello @ Emma1, I am very sorry that you are going through this experience.
I’m hosting for more than two years and I’m increasingly seeing the limited equity of Airbnb especially when those in the resolution center are “Anglo-Saxon”. So lately I’m just contacting supporters from other countries of other languages that I speak too.


#9

Anglo Saxon? Blimey it’s very, very rare to get one of those on the phone and I live in the UK. How strange. Are you sure they’re not from other English speaking countried?


#10

I actually got the impressions that the decision she made was influenced by her being an Airbnb representative from another (non-western) culture - I felt that she was being harsh on me because I am female and the guests are male. She sounded Indian on the phone and she chided me and criticised me inexplicably me as though I as a woman should just take the flack and give men the benefit of the doubt and somehow acqueisce to them because they are male and I am female. The male guests have been in contact with her and Daniel has frequently highlighted his links to the university (Cambridge) in his messages and photos. I didn’t think to mention that I’m a Cambridge MA grad myself because it’s not relevant. However I did get the distinct impression that somehow this was a class + gender related decision on her part.


#11

We had a similar situation last night, still unfolding. Got a call from my co-host neighbor about a party going on and running nightly until 5am. I called Airbnb and they didn’t seem at all concerned about a kegger in my house and possible damage UNTIL I mentioned that the 6 men in question were firing BB guns off my deck. I’m still waiting on the case manager to contact me back. They assured me that we would be covered for damage, if any, but I’m not holdiny breath. I contacted the guests thru the platform and my co-host confronted them.

All silent on the Western Front … For now. From them AND Airbnb.


#12

Oh dear. Sorry this has happened to you so soon after beginning your hosting adventure. I’m sure you’ve seen the posts urging all hosts who don’t live on site to have security cameras. Even on-site hosts should get them. Since I got mine I’ve decided they are one of the best investments I’ve made.

People renting cabins to party in the woods seems to be common enough. @HiddenHaven had something similar with the guys peeing off the deck (which plenty of people think is fine apparently) and firing rifles on the property. She also nearly had an unattened fire pit start a forest fire.

Please keep us updated on how Airbnb handles this.


#13

I never understand why anybody who is a remote host would use AirBnB, seen so many stories like this.


#14

Security cameras (Arlo) have paid for themselves many times over in the past year. This past time they likely saved me $250,000+ when they helped me detect a runaway fire pit fire in the middle of a dry forest (guests went to bed and didn’t respond to my calls or the fireman’s knocking or flashing lights).

Hosting remotely can work but you have to be diligent to protect your assets. This forum (and members who have aided me) have been tremendously helpful. I think, or hope, I’ve gone from being blind and ambitious to a host who enjoys being hospitable.


#15

Another thing that really annoys me is this: The Airbnb representative who dealt with my resolution centre request for my security deposit refunded my guest but it was not her right to choose to refund my guest. The guest was not cancelled by myself or Airbnb. I phoned Airbnb several times on the 19th May to report the guest was partying and had trashed my house. I provided evidence in the form of text messages from neighbours, photographs of my house and contact details for the housekeeper and cleaner. The Airbnb representative who dealt with the case asked the guest to leave and the guest refused to hand back the key. The Airbnb representative confirmed to me that the guest would not be given any refund as he had broken my house rules: No Partying, Do not Disturb the Neighbours, Leave the House as You Found It and also brought extra guests - lots of them. I was told by Airbnb that the guest would not be refunded. The guest did not cancel within my cancellation policy and I did not cancel him. Nor did he submit any request for money or refund. So the Airbnb representative who later dealt with my the host guarantee/security request has no right to refund my guest.


#16

Just a reminder that most remote stays go off without a hitch and, as a consequence, aren’t worth sharing about. Even the OP said 5 years, 1000s of guests and this is the first serious problem.


#17

however - last time I applied for money from my security deposit I didn’t get a penny either. About a year ago a guest took all my towels. ALL of them. I applied for my security deposit under the category of ‘missing items’. I got the stupidest, most annoying decision that apparently, Airbnb does not ‘have to pay for items missing from the inventory’. I didn’t even mention an inventory. I just said the guests took my towels. It was so annoying.


#18

I think security cameras would be a great idea. However I’ve got a few concerns:

  • aren’t they very expensive to buy and install? I’m not very well-off.
  • can I monitor them from abroad? Or pay to have them monitored? - and how much would that cost?
  • if I cannot monitor them are they any use? - it seems Airbnb doesn’t give a fig for other forms of evidence such as photos or the testimony of neighbours or staff, invoices for repairs etc. So would they pay attention to security camera footage?

I’ve asked my neighbours to contact me straightaway if a party starts going on. But then, this particular guest was not even contactable and didn’t respond to messages. I’ve had some guests who lock themselves in the property and don’t respond to a knock or a phone call during their stay.

I’ve even had the house used as a pop-up brothel before - a few years ago. I didn’t get a penny from my security deposit that time either - despite them leaving the house in a disgusting state.


#19

You’ve hosted 5 years and had 1000s of guests. You’ve had your share of issues and Airbnb hasn’t really helped you. That said you must be way ahead. Just consider it the cost of doing business and keep doing what you are doing.

I find your story confusing and I’m not going to invest any more time in trying to understand it.


#20

it’s just very disheartening and is making me question whether it’s worth continuing hosting. I actually unlisted my property today. You see my husband and I are ploughing so much time and money into the house just for maintenance and keeping it in decent condition (guests aren’t respectful like they used to be and treat your home like a hotel, where as when Airbnb started out they would be so respectful and recognise it was someone’s home) and they are increasingly hard on the house. NO ONE ever leaves the house as they found it any more and Airbnb is pressuring hosts to reduce prices - which you have to do any way as their are so many Airbnb properties now. Basically what used to be a lovely experience for both sides is now becoming quite the opposite. You are expected to provide a hotel-like home and then they just mess around and leave it looking a dump. They don’t treat it as they would their own home. Plus Airbnb want more and more guests, but are quite well off for properties now. They are shifting their focus to guest-customer service and increasingly treating their hosts quite badly.


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