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Lessons while being a guest

So, we are and have been in the market for an investment vacation rental. But, it’s a crazy market and we just can’t compete with cash offers. However, we have been traveling in our RV (school bus conversion) which is not complete. We let our lease expire at the end of June and decided we needed an AirBnB for a few weeks where we could work on the RV before we started living in it full time. So, we booked a place for 13 days. Before booking we asked about parking the RV and explained we wanted to be able to work on it (just interior stuff, not engine work) and were happy to find a relatively inexpensive place for $55/night with a place to park on site. The hosts even went out and measured the “extra driveway” a week before our arrival because my husband google earthed it and said the driveway looked way too small and had a tree over hanging. Turns out there were 2 driveways and then the extra “strip/driveway” where we ended up parking the RV/bus (35’ long). Awesome! So grateful they went out and measured and even took pictures for us. Off to a great start!

Too bad it didn’t continue that way.

If you have guests booked for 13 days, perhaps you ought to stock more than 2 rolls of TP and 1/3 roll of paper towels, and a bare smidge of dish soap.
Perhaps your cleaning person should empty the trash can on the patio with a quart of milk in it in the Texas 100 degree heat. But things get missed. Or perhaps when you say you will send someone by to take care of it, you do.
Tp holder was broken. I sent an informational message as we didn’t want to be charged for it but we were happy to not have someone come out and fix it.
Bedroom ceiling fan had only 2 settings. Off and full blast. Full blast made the “wooden” blinds clack together all night and kept me awake. When we figured it out we asked for a new battery, which they provided by dropping it at the door even though we were present. The battery didn’t fix the problem. They also provided a floor fan in case the battery didn’t work. (no central AC, just a room one with the tube that goes out the window) it kept us cool enough and the window blinds didn’t keep me awake. I can deal with all this.
Wanted to extend our stay. They had a 1 night rental which they were able to move and we were able to extend for another week. Yay! Thank you very much. We also booked another 5 days but would have to vacate for 2 or 3 days which they said we could even leave our bus there and work on it. THANK YOU! THAT’S AWESOME. Buuuuut… why when we booked the extra week, even at the new rate, did AirBnB charge us an extra $130? Basically we were paying an extra $10 per night for the extra nights (ok, different week, different rate) but then RETROACTIVELY adjusted our prior 13 nights up $10/night! Tried to explain this to the hosts and they then tried to claim we shouldn’t complain as it was usually $100-$120 per night and our new rate was $65 (up from $55). NO FREAKING WAY was this place a $100/night and no nights I looked at were anywhere close to that rate ALL YEAR LONG.
Ok. still, not so bad all said and done. We actually extended within our first few days there. By the 4th or 5th day we were really noticing some of the “problems.” Couch is really stained. Holes in wall never patched and painted. A hole in the middle of the living room under the area rug. Oh, and that smell? That’s the grungy area rug. And hot water??? Hmmmm… yes in the shower but nowhere else. Not the bathroom sink and not the kitchen sink.
Maybe we were paying for the “area of town.” After all, I had never had a crazy homeless person approach me with a club in his hand, claiming I was someone who ripped him off and talking about how he was going to put “those women in the ground.” Thankfully the police came, eventually, and got him to move off. And I know that’s not in the control of the hosts. But maybe that’s why I didn’t believe the “it’s usually $100-$120/night.” That or any one of the other numerous homeless people inhabiting that section of town. Or perhaps, the drug house down the street and the junkies shooting up next door, in broad daylight, on the street.
But I think I really had my fill when the door latch “broke” and we nearly got locked out of the place and then I got locked in. And even though I reported it and was told someone would be by that day to fix it, no one ever showed up that day or on any of the next 3 days we were there.
We did end up cancelling our “2nd booking” of 5 days after we had to vacate for their 3 day rental.

So, when we buy a place we will try to remember these lessons we learned as guests.

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Yes there definitely is a lot to learn.

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I’m not usually speechless but wow.

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And all of those issues are completely unacceptable!

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$55/night isn’t likely to get you into the Four Seasons. Just saying.

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You booked a budget place that provided free parking for your massive RV so you could keep working on it, and then elected to stay longer, etc.
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The only real takeaway is “what you would do differently as a host”. You got what you paid for, with the RV situation.

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The RV situation was great! But don’t lie to me that it’s a $100-$120/night place. And don’t say you will fix things and never show up. And don’t upcharge me for nights I had already paid in full for!

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After closing down my airbnb since March 2020, I had a friend stay in the place last month and asked her to give me a list of things that were ok. I was surprised to find out things such as the bottom of my shower rod had rusted and that my window shades were broken. Sometimes its a good idea to see with fresh eyes.

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Everyone should stay in their own rental at least once or arrange someone to do so who will give honest feedback. It helps to identify weird sounds, odors, needed repairs, etc. I stayed in one of the rooms that we rent out in our home and never realized how loud the refrigerator was. We found a pad for it to deaden the noise. If you stay, you cannot judge the host’s responsiveness, but you should get an idea of urgent versus minor problems.

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This is the second post recently where hosts argue that places at a certain price point are excused from basic standards. It’s a form of victim blaming: you are to be blamed for finding a reasonably priced place.

Aside from those who argue that it’s okay to skip leaving a review I can’t think of anything posted here that I disagree with more.

Lying to you about the price isn’t a cost that you should bear. No rental at any price should smell. The locks at a rental of any price should work properly and be replaced if they aren’t.

I’m glad that this experience will make you a better host. People with a budget are just as deserving of clean, properly maintained spaces.

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I’m not saying that, but I am suggesting that at that rate the experience is more likely to be less than stellar. I base this on my own experiences with both low cost and higher cost stays. YMMV

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I hear what people are saying about the price per night but different areas have different rates. I still expect basic cleanliness and things to work properly, regardless of price. This was NOT a resort/vacation destination and was not booked around a holiday or large event.

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I’m sorry that has been your experience but I find your statement that a place with a good rate is “more than likely to be less than stellar” a bit offensive. I have a budget-priced private room listing and I can assure you that not only would my guests never experience the issues the OP described, I have gotten nothing but 5* reviews, some of which do indicate that the experience was stellar for my guests.

And there are plenty of other budget-minded listings that also get rave reviews.

I do know what you mean on some level, though. Guests who book the rock bottom cheapest place in town, like a room in a shared house hostel situation, for $12-$15/ night, shouldn’t be complaining that there was only one flat pillow, a threadbare towel, and that there weren’t any good knives in the kitchen.
But the OP’s issues aren’t really acceptable at any price.

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As said, it is my real life experience. Yes, I was offended by the condition of the budget shithole in which I stayed.

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So you based your statement of “more than likely” on one budget listing experience? How were the reviews, or was it a new listing?

I’m well aware there are shithole listings. Some of my guests have told me about some they ended up with. But there are also listings which aren’t cheap that get crappy reviews. Quite honestly, I think it has a lot more to do with the host’s attitude than the price. The simplest of places can get 5* reviews, because while it’s nothing fancy, it’s well maintained, clean and comfortable and the host is personable and attentive. And some places which look upscale from the photos and amenities get bad reviews because those places aren’t cleaned properly, not well maintained, and the host isn’t attentive to guest issues.

Which is why reviews are pegged to a host’s profile, and aren’t transferable if the property gets sold.

No, but decades later I recall the place with the front door which would not close completely. Presumably, because the cops kicked had recently kicked it in. I will say, my travel partner was not impressed.

Sidebar: We ended up being married for 20 years.

Then there was the place outside of Monterey, CA. The room featured a largish window which fronted a busy four lane road.

And the place outside of Shinjuku, JP that shared an entrance with a ripe-smelling gym. Cleanliness issues with the room.

The nightly rates escape me, but all were ‘budget’.

OTOH, I’ve been fortunate (and used boatloads of mileage points) to have stayed in a few nice places, hotels actually, but the concept applies. The rare issues was addressed within minutes.

I agree, the OP’s experience is unacceptable.

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My sister-in-law is ruthless when she stays here. I thank her and fix what needs fixing, and ignore the ones that aren’t really a problem, or are just a difference of opinion.

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So we had another “experience.”

Different location entirely - Maine, for a wedding. This was a “shared home” experience and NOT a budget “friendly” choice.

Our second night (and last thankfully) there we met our host as she was returning from her day out. She has actually met us the previous evening (earlier that morning actually) at 1am since our flight was late arriving. We had warned her we would be coming in late and would be very quiet as we assumed she and any other guests would be asleep when we arrived.

Anyway, our second evening there we came in from the wedding about 9pm and she had just returned from a charity “pub crawl.” To say she was drunk was an understatement but that didn’t bother us. Her “rapt and intense” attention on my husband was just the beginning of the problem. Since we arrived at the same time we ended up spending some time talking. She was drunk. I get it. Had to tell us about her crappy life - 40, single, mother with alzheimers, etc. I get it. We actually felt a bit sorry for her but her intense focus on my husband was a bit much, with or without me standing right there. At first I figured it was just a function of her inebriation but it started making me uncomfortable so I moved closer to my husband. She got the “clue” and we were soon able to make our escape to our room. I later learned my husband was VERY UNCOMFORTABLE by her attention. It wasn’t anything too overt but, yeah, it was obvious that she was paying him too much attention. So that’s ok. But about half an hour later, and for the next hour or so, we had to hear her vomiting every 5-15 minutes. You know that very loud, painful, so drunk vomit? Yeah. That’s what we were treated to.

Maybe we are just old fashioned but I think when you turn your home into a business you should perhaps conduct yourself as if you are IN BUSINESS which would probably mean don’t get so stinking drunk when you have guests that you vomit for an hour or so. And certainly don’t get too friendly with your married guests.

And while we were at a wedding we were not at all inebriated. I had 1 glass of wine and my husband had a couple earlier in the evening but we aren’t big drinkers and we really aren’t that much older than our host was.

I’m wondering if I should leave her a review or not and warn others. All her other reviews are positive and maybe she was just having a really rough day emotionally. I wouldn’t want to trash her rating for one error in judgement but maybe she has done this to others?
Would you rate her and point out the “drunkenness and inappropriate behaviour?”

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Wow that is shocking. I used to travel to Japan every month on business and they are so fastidious. Shinjuku had a great hotel with a killer breakfast buffet. Ah the bidet seat! And so far ahead of us with many nifty amenities.

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If you mention drugs or “drunk” in a review, that can be cause for removal.

This woman was definitely way over the line, but I might be inclined to just rate the stay, i.e. the accommodations and send her private feedback over her behavior that evening. The thing is, she didn’t force you to sit and chat with her, it’s not like she imposed herself on you in your room. And anyone could end up vomiting for some reason, and it be audible in a shared home, unpleasant as it was.

Certainly this is not how a home-share host should behave when she has guests, and if you had a way of knowing this was normal behavior for her, i.e. other guests in the house warned you she was always like this, I might say something in the review, but since as you say she could have just had a stressful day and chose to drown it in drink, I’d let it go as far as the public review.

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