Horror Story for your reading pleasure BUT a great ending. THANK YOU AIRBNB

Hello Everyone. We are new hosts since Aug. 2021 and my guest #3 was a nightmare but it ends well thanks to Airbnb. A story for your reading pleasure and to make it known that we are all not alone in this journey.

A potential guest reached out in August explaining she needed a temp house for her family of 4 and 3 pets while they find a permanent home in the area but definitely needed to stay through Christmas. This is all the info I had and agreed to 3 pets vs the two rule I have because I am a pet person myself and understood.

Upon arriving, my lawn service and neighbors noted a U-Haul truck there. No biggie, right? 3 months or temp housing. I was sure they would use the garage for storage etc…No problem still. I always check in shortly after their arrival to be sure all is well. It was reported that all was well. We exchanged cell numbers for “just in case” scenarios. For two weeks, I heard nothing so all is well, right?

Well here is where it gets interesting:
I get an airbnb message from her saying that the dryer is taking longer than it should and they coudn’t get their clothing dry without a lot of effort. My response and solution within 15 min. “No problem. It’s an older dryer and I will order a new one from Lowes to be delivered ASAP”. She was then told that Lowes is delivering the new one and taking the old one out the very next day in the morning between 9-12. She told me that her husband was home all day and they can arrive whenever. The day of the delivery, she was given a 15 min. warning that Lowes gave me.

No problem still. Husband was at the house. After the new dryer was installed, the guest reported that it was working and thanked me for my fast response and solution. She also stated that they are very happy with the house and property and they would let me know if there were any other issues. Keep this last statement in mind for the rest of the story :slight_smile:

Later that evening, the guest realized her daughter’s new school clothes were in the dryer that was hauled away. Uh oh. I called Lowes to try to help her out. I gave her the case number to follow up with and even gave her the installer’s cell number. I personally followed up with Lowes 2x and was finally told that the dryer was taken to a dump.

This guest ERUPTED and demanded that I give her $400 for her daughter’s “stolen” clothes. Ummmmm…I reminded her that she had almost a 24 hour notice and then another 15 min. notice AND her husband was home. I didn’t feel that it was my responsibility as I had also told her the old one was being hauled away. After that, the guest demanded money for her time cleaning when they arrived as the house was dirty (it was professionally cleaned with the invoice forwarded) AND I had an insect infestation! I asked if she could forward pictures of the dirty house/areas and to send me photos of the insects. NO photos or proof provided. My pest company had sprayed two weeks prior also.

I immediately reached out to the pest company and they sent the owner out to inspect. NOTHING was found but they resprayed anyway. I forwarded this information and proof to the guest. Her husband was home during the inspection and spoke with the pest company as well. Note- the property is on almost 3 acres in the country in Florida and backs up to a ranch. We are always careful with keeping the outdoors and the critters outside :slight_smile:

She then started making up stories about not having enough space in the garage for her storage and so much more that was false (easily proven false) As the host and bigger person, I continued to message pertinent info such as using the generator for the upcoming hurricane and more. I was always polite and communicated at all times quickly even though I knew a storm was brewing with her attitude and she was up to something.

I received a request to end their stay shortly after this and to refund their ENTIRE stay due to being miserable in the house. Remember how happy they were and reported all was well two weeks after arriving? Well, shoot…leave! Please! but you aren’t getting a dime back. So the guest leaves and tells me in messaging that they will be reviewing me poorly unless they get their money back. Extortion and THANK you dear guest for writing that on the Airbnb message system for easy proof.

I head to the house the day after they leave and open the house up to a strong pet odor, dog hair everywhere, poop in toilets (really obvious too the the toilets weren’t cleaned for 6 weeks also), a broken door, gauges in my brand new flooring, a broken TV, a door jam that had been obviously shoved in, confetti everywhere, chew marks AND they stole bedding, a blender, my generator and replaced my brand new mattress with an old nasty one. Big sigh…

I go through the proper procedures with Airbnb etc…Guest leaves a horrible review that after numerous phone calls to Airbnb, they finally took down. Guest requests a full refund for her 6 weeks there- ummmm NOPE. I send a request for reimbursement for the stolen items and damage to her also and left a review about her. Guest then texts me to immediately take the review down and that I was a thief because she feels robbed. She texts me telling me she’s taking it to a lawyer (again…ummm…ok) Long story shortened- After a police report, invoices to repair the damage and back and forth with Airbnb, I am finally vindicated and will be reimbursed for most of the issues that happened.

Guest wasn’t happy with the Airbnb decision and took it to the independent insurance company who spoke with me and basically laughed at her request and also denied her. They told me people do this all the time for “free money”.

Lesson learned here- “dot your i’s and cross your t’s and communicate professionally and promptly through the Airbnb messaging system”. Had I not done all of the listed, I would have been screwed out of a lot of money and had a terrible review that was inaccurate to say the least. -Kim


Thank you for sharing this!

I have a few questions:

  1. Did you have video or photographic evidence of the condition of the home before they moved in?
  2. Was it easy or even possible to find receipts for what was taken?
  3. Did Airbnb pay depreciated value? Or more?
  4. Next time (if there is a next time) would you consider a requirement that the property be cleaned every two weeks? [That way you can see how the property is being maintained; might serve as deterrence. Also, they might really have had that insect infestation if they left food out.]
  5. Did you get paid just for the six weeks? They had a reservation for 4-5 months. Did they pay a cancellation fee? If not, does AirCover pay that?
  6. Even though it all worked well for you, to the extent such a nightmare can be said to turn out ‘well,’ any particular advice to us as to what you did that was most valuable? What in addition you might do next time?
  1. Did you have a contractual agreement for someone staying this long
  2. Did you take ID
  3. Did you arrange a mandatory cleaning every x # days…perhaps every 10 days.
  4. Did you require you enter to change HVAC filters once monthly?

It sounds to me as though you are heavliy relying on AirBnb to protect your property and to have your back. I feel that these scenarios don’t always turn out so well, and I encourage you to “step up your game”…increase your personal control over your home, so that you do not have to rely upon AirBnb decisions and their message board. As it is you will ONLY “will be reimbursed for most of the issues…” . In my opinion, you got lucky this time, and if there is a next time…welll things might not play out so very well. Good luck.

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  1. yes
  2. I had purchased most items from Amazon so yes.
  3. I absolutely will require this.
  4. Yes we did.
  5. we did get paid yes. Cancellation fee no since they gave the proper notice to cancel for the next month.
  6. I think communication and documentation is key. I rely on hard facts :slight_smile:
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I really appreciate your response. I agree that I need to step it up. As a newbie, I am still learning so I will research improving my game. To answer your questions-

  1. I didn’t know I could do this.
  2. I relied on Airbnb. Again- I didn’t know I could require this. thank you for this.
  3. I did not but I will in the future. How do I go about doing this? Is this something I need to add to the listing under rules?
  4. Since they were out in 6 weeks, I did not but immediately did upon their departure but something to add to my requirements in the future. THANK YOU
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Welcome to the forum @Artsywitch3 ! I edited your post and cut it up into paragraphs so it is easier to read:)

We look forward to having you around



This is why I do not do direct bookings (arrangements made without AirBnB’s involvement).

For direct booking I would require an application and a thorough background check, just as I would for a long term tenant.

This is so smart… I should do this but I don’t. What I do instead is I video the place for 10 minutes on check-in day, showing things like no bed bugs, no broken windows, no stolen decor items, etc.


Yes, this is a best practice in my opinion.

That way, if something is ‘off’ you’ve invited them to tell you so you can fix it.

Also, it is a written record that Airbnb can see if they later play a game and complain.

I do this too, though I am not so thorough as others here have said that they are. For example, I don’t open the refrigerator to show it’s working and clean, or the oven, or the microwave. I don’t video all the silverware, every drawer in the kitchen (used to do that but got lazy), video every aspect of the toilet, show that it flushes. And on and on.

So I think it’s wise to do as @Artsywitch3 does and ask.

Take the video too.

A belt and suspenders approach,

Really? You video with that level of detail? I didn’t even know that was possible.