Just got back from an Airbnb in Antwerp, Belgium, where my partner and I had a confrontation with an obviously psycho neighbor, which ended up in ‘cancelling’ our last night and driving back to Paris at midnight.
We had a reservation for 3 nights (from Monday to Thursday).
We self-checked-in. In the check-in instructions, our host told us to be “quiet in the hallway because of the neighbor”. We have a trouble-free stay for the first two nights (no music, no TV, out most of the time, quiet in the stairs, we are respectful and quiet guests).
On Wednesday evening, after a stroll in the city, we decide to head back to our Airbnb to rest a little before dining out.
While we arrive at the building door, a woman exits the building. My partner put his hand on the door to hold it open (it was cold and rainy). The woman then slaps the door, stands in the doorway and we proceed to explain that we are guests at (host name) apartment. She immediately calls someone from her smartphone. Though I don’t speak Dutch I understand she’s speaking to our host’s girlfriend, she explains that she is with a french couple and that my partner prevented her from closing the building door.
The woman screams at us that we should behave better as “I am from Antwerp, this is my house, I am from Antwerp, this is my home”, blabla, and that we won’t get in again anyway. She keeps repeating the same story again and again on the phone. I tried to calmed her down by saying that there’s a misunderstanding, we had not done anything wrong, we we’re just wanting to get it quickly because of the rain, blabla.
As I realised that there was nothing more we could do, we decided to go for a walk and come back later.
A few minutes later I get an Airbnb message from our host saying that he’ll be there in 5 minutes, and to meet him at the corner, not in front of the building. Our host apologizes, saying that he had “an issue” with his neighbor last week, which was not completely solved
After endless phone calls with his girlfriend who herself phoned their neighbor, he tells us that he’s sorry but he cannot let us sleep in his apartment that night because she does not want us to sleep upstairs from her.
Blablabla, as we were still standing in the rain we accept to settle down and checkout if he refunds half the price of our reservation (125€, enough to pay a night in a mid-range hotel). I ask him to confirm this and issue a refund through the Airbnb app, but he says that’s easier if he just withdraws some cash. As I wanted to be kind (and had been waiting in the rain for at least an hour), I agreed.
He proceeds to escort us to the apartment door for my partner and I to pack our stuff, he gives me cash, apologizes again, and we say goodbye.
So my partner and I end up with our luggage under the rain. We missed our reservation for dinner, it’s now 9:30PM in a city where people dine at 6PM and all stores are closed.
After several failed attempts to find a restaurant, we decide we don’t want the additional hassle to find a hotel. We walk to our car (which was parked outside of the city centre) to drive back home. Once we got our luggage in our car we decide to try again to find something to eat and end up eating a falafel in the red-light district. It’s now midnight and a 3.5 hours drive back to Paris.
So … obviously it’s not our host’s responsibility if he has a crazy neighbor. However, I think he was wrong siding with her, and I think it’s not the first time there’s a confrontation with her. Our partner and I are self-sufficient travelers so in the end it was not really a big deal even it’s not exactly the way we like to end a city-break.
But do you think I should mention it in my review ? This could be very problematic, should it happen to a family with young kids, or a traveler from a very different culture.