What to Do If Your Airbnb Is Bad

When you base your decision solely on well-lit furniture photography, booking Airbnb is always a gamble. As for Elliot Advocacy , CEO Michelle Couch-Friedman told the story of one traveler who clearly lost that bet when she booked a rental in Paris – only to find that the ad didn’t live up to promises. “The place was filthy,” she told Elliot. “There were bloody sheets, mold and old food in the kitchen. And all the shelves and cupboards in the whole apartment were stuffed with rubbish. “

In an even more gruesome series of events this week, the couple reportedly spent $ 11,800 on Airbnb in Spain, which didn’t even exist.

What if you find yourself on Airbnb that doesn’t live up to its promises? The Airbnb connection should be on your list, but that’s why it’s just as important to contact your host.

Contact your host first and take photos

If the issue is relatively minor – for example, you cannot find towels or a backup of a toilet – you should first contact the owner and then formally file a complaint. Your host can resolve the issue without Airbnb’s involvement. (Always try to keep in touch with your host through Airbnb’s direct messaging system; in the event that Airbnb must step in to resolve a dispute, they will use your message history to base their opinion.)

If the problem is more than just minor hiccups during your stay, Airbnb still recommends raising the issue with your host, but you also need to understand your rights. According to the Airbnb website , situations that are generally eligible for a full refund fall into three categories: you were unable to access your rental, the ad is misrepresentation of actual property, or the ad is not clean (or insecure). …

Obviously, the last two categories are subjective; The landlord can pretty much object that the property is ‘unclean’ because of your stay, “which is why it is important to document the property and apply for a refund immediately.

Once you discover what exactly makes your stay miserable (and falls into one of these categories), take photos and videos to document the problem. Then, submit your claim within 24 hours through the Airbnb Dispute Resolution Center . (Select your booking and submit a problem report.) You will be asked to provide any photos and videos you have taken that may help or refute your opinion.

Choose whether to stay or find alternative accommodation

From here, Airbnb will most likely decide to stay at the property you booked and receive a refund or ask Airbnb to find you another place to stay, but you should be aware that a full refund is not guaranteed and is ultimately at the discretion of Airbnb. … In the example given by Elliot, problems with bloody sheets were considered “minor”; Another part of the problem was that the guest canceled their reservation and moved to the hotel before letting the host “fix the circumstances.”

In other words, remember to play by Airbnb’s rules and contact your host to inform them of the issue before making any changes to your booking (which is kind of terrible policy, especially if the issue was more serious than a stain). According to Airbnb’s policy, the host is also allowed 30 days to give you a refund, which means you shouldn’t expect an immediate refund either.

From here, you can expect your chances of getting a refund much higher. If all else fails, try tagging Airbnb on social media for an immediate response. And if you want to completely avoid the problem of scam ads, check out our guide so you never have to sleep on soiled sheets.


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