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Airbnb has well and truly disrupted the world of travel accommodation, changing the conversation not just around how people discover and book places to stay, but what they expect when they get there, and what they expect to pay. Today, one of the startups riding that wave is announcing a significant round of funding to fuel its own contribution to the marketplace.

Domio, a startup that designs and then rents out apart-hotels with kitchens and other full-home experiences, has raised $100 million ($50 million in equity and $50 million in debt) to expand its business in the U.S. and globally to 25 markets by next year, up from 12 today. Its target customers are millennials traveling in groups or families swayed by the size and scope of the accommodation — typically five times bigger than the average hotel room — as well as the price, which is on average 25% cheaper than a hotel room.

The Series B, which actually closed in August of this year, was led by GGV Capital, with participation from Eldridge Industries, 3L Capital, Tribeca Venture Partners, SoftBank NY, Tenaya Capital and Upper90. Upper90 also led the debt round, which will be used to lease and set up new properties.

Domio is not disclosing its valuation, but Jay Roberts, the founder and CEO, said in an interview that it’s a “huge upround” and around 50x the valuation it had in its seed round and that the company has tripled its revenues in the last year. Prior to this, Domio had only raised around $17 million, according to data from PitchBook.

For some comparisons, Sonder — another company that rents out serviced apartments to the kind of travelers who have a taste for boutique hotels — earlier this year raised $225 million at a valuation north of $1 billion. Others like Guesty, which are building platforms for others to list and manage their apartments on platforms like Airbnb, recently raised $35 million with a valuation likely in the range of $180 million to $200 million. Airbnb is estimated to be valued around $31 billion.

Domio plays in an interesting corner of the market. For starters, it focuses its accommodations at many of the same demographics as Airbnb. But where Airbnb offers a veritable hodgepodge of rooms and homes — some are people’s homes, some are vacation places, some never had and never will have a private occupant, and across all those the range of quality varies wildly — Domio offers predictability and consistency with its (possibly more anodyne) inventory.

“We are competing with amateur hosts on Airbnb,” said Roberts, who previously worked in real estate investment banking. “This is the next step, a modern brand, the next Marriott but with a more tech-powered brain and operating model.” These are not to be confused with something like Hilton’s Homewood Suites, Roberts stressed to me. He referred to Homewood as “a soulless hotel chain.”

“Domio is the anti-hotel chain,” he added.

Roberts is also quick to describe how Domio is not a real estate company as much as it is a tech-powered business. For starters, it uses quant-style algorithms that it’s built in-house to identify regions where it wants to build out its business, basing it not just on what consumers are searching for, but also weather patterns, economic indicators and other factors. After identifying a city or other location, it works on securing properties.

It typically sets up its accommodations in newer or completely new buildings, where developers — at least up to now — are not usually constructing with short-term rentals in mind. Instead, they are considering an option like Domio as an alternative to selling as condominiums or apartments, something that might come up if they are sensing that there is a softening in the market. “We typically have 75%-78% occupancy,” Roberts said. He added that hotels on average have occupancy rates in the high 60% nationally.

As Domio lengthens its track record — its 12 U.S. markets include Miami, Los Angeles, Philadelphia and Phoenix — Roberts says that they’re getting a more select seat at the table in conversations.

“Investors are starting to go out to buy properties on our behalf and lease them to us,” he said. This gives the startup a much more favorable rate and terms on those deals. “The next step is that Domio will manage these directly.” The most recent property it signed, he noted, includes a Whole Foods at the ground level, and a gym.

Using technology to identify where to grow is not the only area where tech plays a role. Roberts said that the company is now working on an app — yet to be released — that will be the epicenter of how guests interact to book places and manage their experience once there.

“Everything you can do by speaking to a human in a traditional hotel you will be able to do with the Domio app,” he said. That will include ordering room service, getting more towels, booking experiences and getting restaurant recommendations. “You can book your Uber through the Domio app, or sync your Spotify account to play music in the apartment.

And there are plans to extend the retail experience using the app. Roberts says it will be a “shoppable” experience where, if you like a sofa or piece of art in the place where you’re staying, you can order it for your own home. You can even order the same wallpaper that’s been designed to decorate Domio apartments.

Ripe for the booking

Although Airbnb has grown to be nearly as ubiquitous as hotels (and perhaps even more prominent, depending on who you are talking to), the wider travel and accommodation market is still ripe for the taking, estimated to reach $171 billion by 2023 and the highest growth sector in the travel industry.

“Airbnb has taught us that hotels are not the only place to stay,” said Hans Tung, GGV’s managing partner. “Domio is capitalizing on the global shift in short-term travel and the consumer demand for branded experiences. From my travels around the world, there is a large, underserved audience — millennials, families, business teams — who prefer the combined benefits of an apartment and hotel in a single branded experience.”

I mentioned to Roberts that the leasing model reminded me a little of WeWork, which itself does not own the property it curates and turns into office space for its tenants. (The SoftBank investor connection is interesting in that regard.) Roberts was very quick to say that it’s not the same kind of business, even if both are based around leased property re-rented out to tenants.

“One of the things we liked about Domio is that is very capital-efficient,” said Tung, “focusing on the model and payback period. The short-term nature of customer stays and the combination of experience/price required to maintain loyal customers are natural enforcers of efficient unit economics.”

“For GGV, Domio stands out in two ways,” he continued. “First, CEO Jay Roberts and the Domio team’s emphasis on execution is impressive, with expansion into 12 cities in just three years. They have the right combination of vision, speed and agility. Domio’s model can readily tap into the global opportunity as they have ambition to scale to new markets. The global travel and tourism spend is $2.8 trillion with 5 billion annual tourists. Global travelers like having the flexibility and convenience of both an apartment and hotel — with Domio they can have both.”

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Airbnbs CEO said the company must do better after five people were killed at a party in San Francisco

Airbnbs chief executive has said the company will ban party houses following a deadly shooting at a Halloween party held at an Airbnb rental home in California.

In a series of tweets, Brian Chesky said on Saturday that the San Francisco-based company would expand manual screening of high risk reservations and remove guests who fail to comply with policies banning parties at Airbnb rental homes.

He also said the company is forming a rapid response team when complaints of unauthorised parties come in.

We must do better, and we will. This is unacceptable, he tweeted.

Five people died after a Thursday-night shooting that sent some 100 terrified partygoers running for their lives in the San Francisco suburb of Orinda.

Brian Chesky (@bchesky)

Starting today, we are banning party houses and we are redoubling our efforts to combat unauthorized parties and get rid of abusive host and guest conduct, including conduct that leads to the terrible events we saw in Orinda. Here is what we are doing:

November 2, 2019

The four-bedroom home had been rented on Airbnb by a woman who told the owner her dozen family members had asthma and needed to escape smoke from a wildfire, a person with knowledge of the transaction told the Associated Press. A fire burning in Sonoma County about 97km (60 miles) north of Orinda earlier in the week fouled the air over a wide area.

The owner was suspicious of a one-night rental on Halloween and before agreeing reminded the renter that no parties were allowed, said the person with knowledge of the transaction, who was not authorised to publicly disclose the information and spoke on condition of anonymity.

The owner, Michael Wang, said his wife contacted the renter on Thursday night after neighbours alerted them to the party. The renter said there were only a dozen people at the home but Wang said he could see more people on video from his doorbell camera.

We called the police. They were on the way to go there to stop them, but before we got there the neighbour already sent us a message saying there was a shooting, he told the Chronicle.

No arrests have been made and there was no immediate word on a motive for the attack. Two guns were found at the property, authorities said.

Three people, all from the Bay area, died at the scene and a fourth died in hospital, authorities initially said. The Contra Costa County sheriffs office identified them Friday evening as Tiyon Farley, 22, of Antioch; Omar Taylor, 24, of Pittsburg; Ramon Hill Jr, 23; and Javin County, 29. The sheriffs office identified a fifth victim, 19-year-old Oshiana Tompkins of Vallejo and Hercules, late Friday night, saying she died in hospital.

Taylors father, Omar Taylor Sr, said his son was hired to play music at the party.

Wrong place, wrong time, he told the East Bay Times.

Other people were wounded by gunshots or injured in the panic that followed, authorities said.

The party at the four-bedroom house apparently was advertised on social media as an Airbnb mansion party.

Orinda, with a population of about 20,000, requires short-term rental hosts to register with the city annually and pay an occupancy tax. The maximum occupancy is 13 people.

Orinda city documents show officials issued violations in March for exceeding the homes maximum occupancy and illegal parking. City manager Steve Salomon said the homeowner had resolved previous complaints lodged in February over occupancy and noise and in July over overflowing trash.

Airbnb is urgently investigating what happened, spokesman Ben Breit said in an email.

Airbnb has banned the renter from its platform and the home has been removed as a listing, he said.

One attendee said he was enjoying the music and watching people dance when he heard shots and people started running.

The screaming seemed to last forever, said Devan, who asked that his last name not be used because he feared for his safety.

Everybody started running, scrambling, he said. People were just collapsing and friends were helping friends. It was a scary situation and then as everyone is panicking and stuff, there were more shots.

Devan shot a video posted to Instagram that showed a wounded man on the ground and a police officer standing over him and a woman saying she needs to go to the hospital because my hands been blown off.

On Friday, police tape surrounded the block as people came to collect their cars and other belongings. One woman in tears told reporters the father of her child had been killed. She left before giving her name.

Romond Reynolds picked up the car of his son, 24-year-old Armani Reynolds, who he said was left comatose by the shooting.

All I know is that hes a victim and was at the wrong place at the wrong time, Reynolds said.

Neighbour Shahram Saki, 61, said in a phone interview that some fleeing partygoers hid in the bushes in his front yard and others begged to be let into his home.

They were screaming for help. I told them, You gotta get out of here, Saki said. I was scared to death, anything could have happened.

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The Kobalt EC-1: How a Swedish saxophonist built Kobalt, the world’s next music unicorn

My favorite pieces we host on Extra Crunch are our EC-1 series of in-depth profiles and analyses of high-flying, fascinating startups. We launched Extra Crunch with a multi-part series on Patreon, and then we covered augmented reality and Pokémon Go creator Niantic and gaming platform Roblox.

This week, Extra Crunch media columnist Eric Peckham launched the first part of his three-part EC-1 series looking at music “operating system” startup Kobalt. Kobalt is not perhaps a popular household name like Roblox, but it’s influence is heard pretty much every single time you listen to music. Kobalt is upending the traditional infrastructure to track music plays to capture royalties for artists, an industry that today still involves people literally walking into bars and writing down what’s playing. From that base, Kobalt wants to expand into services to empower the next-generation of stars and mid-market talent.

What I loved about this story is that not only is Kobalt completely rebuilding an otherwise stagnant industry, but its founder and CEO is also such a dynamic individual. Willard Ahdritz was a former saxophonist whose band was essentially abandoned by their music label — even while that label wouldn’t give up the economics that would allow the band to continue (some founders may have similar experiences with their venture investors). Ahdritz would eventually start his own music label called Telegram, and a bit later started Kobalt to solve the problems he kept running into on the music publishing side.

It’s been almost two decades, but today, Kobalt offers a suite of technologies and services and has its crosshairs on the big three labels — Universal, Sony, and Warner. It’s also raised a boatload of venture capital and is closing in on a unicorn valuation. Read the full story, learn more about this analytically fascinating business, and get ready for parts two and three coming soon.

Refer a friend to Extra Crunch

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Don’t like the idea of your baby guzzling down liquid candy all day? It may surprise you to find corn syrup is the main ingredient in most infant formulas in the U.S. That’s where Bobbie, a Bay Area-based baby formula delivery startup promising only wholesome ingredients, hopes to fill in.

Just go down the baby food aisle of any supermarket in America and start reading the ingredients and you’ll likely find corn syrup, soy bean oil, glucose syrup, maltodextrin and palm oil at the top. Even “organic” options often add these ingredients.

While it’s high-fructose corn syrup we should be most concerned with when it comes to diabetes (and some doctors might even recommend adding some sort of syrup to your baby’s diet to combat constipation), corn syrup is not something some parents may want their baby drinking all day.

BobbieTouting itself as “European” style, Bobbie’s first product features fresh, grass-fed cows’ milk as the main ingredient. What it does not include, however, is key for the concerned parent. There’s zero corn syrup, maltodextrin or other artificial sugars or unhealthy oils.

Of course, some babies might not be able to stomach the lactose from bovine sources, but grass-fed and corn syrup-free is music to the ears of many parents (me included) who’ve resorted to ordering bulk from Germany just to avoid feeding our kids Snickers in a bottle.

Yes, it seems crazy to order all the way from Europe when there are so many choices here in the U.S. — and there are some formula manufacturers here making an effort to offer better options — but finding something that meets the simple standard of no sugar, corn syrup or processed oils in the baby food is weirdly difficult.

The other nugget Bobbie provides is delivery. Heaven knows every second is precious when you are a new parent. Delivery can be an especially big help in maintaining some semblance of order in those early days. Sure, Amazon delivers many baby things — it even ships the popular, German-based Hipp brand of formula — but it comes at a premium price and will only ship in bulk.

You can also get the European brands delivered straight from sites like Organic Start, Huggable and a number of others easily Googled. But for those wanting something local, slightly less expensive and with presumably less of a carbon footprint than shipping from another continent, Bobbie is here for you (and we’re told will be delivered with a soft knock on the door, in case baby is sleeping).

The company was founded by two San Francisco moms and former Airbnb operation leaders Laura Modi and Sarah Hardy. Both found out how hard it was, after returning from maternity leave, to pump each day while keeping up with the demands of the job. However, neither of them liked the formula options they found at the grocery store for their own little broods.

Modi and Hardy thought it was time to give parents a more local choice in healthy formula. The two founded the company in 2018 and pulled in $2.5 million in funding last year from Bolt Capital, Nextview Ventures, Lakehouse and Precursor while Modi was pregnant, closing the round a week before giving birth to her baby boy.

Bobbie will (appropriately) begin taking orders this Mother’s Day. Unfortunately, Bobbie only delivers to the Bay Area for now. However, those interested can order one 400 g trial box for $27, which should make about 22 bottles at 6 ounces per bottle, according to a company spokesperson. You can also sign up for the subscription package for $23 per box.

Bobbie Baby – Evolving the conversation of parenthood from Laura Modi on Vimeo.

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Have you ever wondered what would you do if you had all of the money in the world and anything was possible? Would you take a lavish trip to the most beautiful private island in the world? Would you buy apartments in the biggest cities around the world with breathtaking views from your windows?

All of these things and more are possible with the right amount of money, but there is one luxurious experience that no amount of money can buy – a night at the Pyramid du Louvre, a delight that nobody has ever experienced. Until now a night at the museum was impossible and certainly priceless. Now Airbnb is opening the doors on this unforgettable opportunity… For free.

Airbnb has partnered with the Musée du Louvre to offer two lucky people the experience of a lifetime

The stay will take place on April 30th, the guests will first be greeted by a historian who will invite them on a tour.

Guests will be offered a private tour around the museum that only presidents and world’s most famous people get to experience

The stay will take place in April 30, the guests will first be greeted by a historian who will invite them on a tour.

After the tour, the museum will offer them an aperitif next to the Mona Lisa painting

Guests will be serenaded by French music on vinyl while relaxing.

After that, they will be invited for a “Dinner with Venus”

According to AirBnB, winners will be invited to “Sit down to dinner with the Venus of Milo. Your personal chef will prepare a colourful menu inspired by love and beauty, in honour of this divine goddess.”

And that’s not the end if you can believe it. There will be a private acoustic concert for the finale of this incredible experience

Napoleon’s incredible chambers is already something many of us wish to see one day in real life, but can you imagine relaxing there while listening to a private concert? Yes, all of this is actually possible now.

To wrap up the evening the guests will slumber inside the glass pyramid and in the morning they will be treated to a Parisian breakfast in bed

Want to try your luck? Visit Airbnb’s website and fill out a form that asks the question – “Why would you be the Mona Lisa’s perfect guest?” Come up with the perfect response and maybe you will be the lucky one to win this incredible experience.

You can learn more about this incredible experience from Airbnb’s video

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As I’m sure everyone reading this knows, female-founded businesses receive just over 2 percent of venture capital on an annual basis. Most of those checks are written to early-stage startups. It’s extremely difficult for female founders to garner late-stage support, let alone cash $100 million checks.

Maybe that’s finally changing. This week, not one but two female-founded and led companies, Glossier and Rent The Runway, raised nine-figure rounds and cemented their status as unicorn companies. According to PitchBook data from 2018, there are only about 15 unicorn startups with female founders. Though I’m sure that number has increased in the last year, you get the point: There are hundreds of privately held billion-dollar companies and shockingly few of those have women founders (even fewer have female CEOs)…

Moving on…

YC Demo Days

I spent a good part of the week at San Francisco’s Pier 48 in a room full of vest-wearing investors. We listened to some 200 YC companies make their 120-second pitch and though it was a bit of a whirlwind, there were definitely some standouts. ICYMI: We wrote about each and every company that pitched on day 1 and day 2. If you’re looking for the inside scoop on the companies that forwent demo day and raised rounds, or were acquired, before hitting the stage, we’ve got that too.

IPO corner

Lyft: This week, Lyft set the terms for its highly-anticipated initial public offering, expected to be completed next week. The company will charge between $62 and $68 per share, raising more than $2 billion at a valuation of ~$23 billion. We previously reported its initial market cap would be around $18.5 billion, but that was before we knew that Lyft’s IPO was already oversubscribed. Here’s a little more background on the Lyft IPO for those interested.

Uber: The global ride-hailing business flew a little more under the radar this week than last week, but still managed to grab a few headlines. The company has decided to sell its stock on the New York Stock Exchange, which is the least surprising IPO development of 2019, considering its key U.S. competitor, Lyft, has been working with the Nasdaq on its IPO. Uber is expected to unveil its S-1 in April.

Ben Silbermann, co-founder and CEO of Pinterest, at TechCrunch Disrupt SF 2017.

Pinterest: Pinterest, the nearly decade-old visual search engine, unveiled its S-1 on Friday, one of the final steps ahead of its NYSE IPO, expected in April. The $12.3 billion company, which will trade under the ticker symbol “PINS,” posted revenue of $755.9 million in the year ending December 31, 2018, up from $472.8 million in 2017. It has roughly doubled its monthly active user count since early 2016, hitting 265 million last year. The company’s net loss, meanwhile, shrank to $62.9 million in 2018 from $130 million in 2017.

Zoom: Not necessarily the buzziest of companies, but its S-1 filing, published Friday, stands out for one important reason: Zoom is profitable! I know, what insanity! Anyway, the startup is going public on the Nasdaq as soon as next month after raising about $150 million in venture capital funding. The full deets are here.

Seed money

General Catalyst, a well-known venture capital firm, is diving more seriously into the business of funding seed-stage business. The firm, which has investments in Warby Parker, Oscar and Stripe, announced earlier this week its plan to invest at least $25 million each year in nascent teams.

Deal of the week

Earlier this week, Opendoor, the SoftBank -backed real estate startup, filed paperwork to raise even more money. According to TechCrunch’s Ingrid Lunden, the business is planning to raise up to $200 million at a valuation of roughly $3.7 billion. It’s possible this is a Series E extension; after all, the company raised its $400 million Series E only six months ago. Backers of OpenDoor include the usual suspects: Andreessen Horowitz, Coatue, General Atlantic, GV, Initialized Capital, Khosla Ventures, NEA and Norwest Venture Partners.

Startup capital

Backstage Capital founder and managing partner Arlan Hamilton, center.


Axios’ Dan Primack and Kia Kokalitcheva published a report this week revealing Backstage Capital hadn’t raised its debut fund in total. Backstage founder Arlan Hamilton was quick to point out that she had been honest about the challenges of fundraising during various speaking engagements, and even on the Gimlet “Startup” podcast, which featured her in its latest season. A Twitter debate ensued and later, Hamilton announced she was stepping down as CEO of Backstage Studio, the operations arm of the venture fund, to focus on raising capital and amplifying founders. TechCrunch’s Megan Rose Dickey has the full story.

Pro rata rights

This week, TechCrunch’s Connie Loizos revisited a long-held debate: Pro rata rights, or the right of an earlier investor in a company to maintain the percentage that he or she (or their venture firm) owns as that company matures and takes on more funding. Here’s why pro rata rights matter (at least, to VCs).


If you enjoy this newsletter, be sure to check out TechCrunch’s venture-focused podcast, Equity. In this week’s episode, available here, Crunchbase News editor-in-chief Alex Wilhelm and I chat about Glossier, Rent The Runway and YC Demo Days. Then, in a special Equity Shot, we unpack the numbers behind the Pinterest and Zoom IPO filings.

Want more TechCrunch newsletters? Sign up here.

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The majority of us have used such services as Uber or Airbnb, which provide a new and easy way of conducting business between people. Many choose to use these services as it’s usually more affordable than the usual taxi or hotel fees. In addition to this, most people choose Airbnb rentals over hotel bookings for the unique experience that living in a local house of a certain destination provides. However, as with most things, there’s a dark side. There’s always a certain feeling of nervousness lingering inside when it comes to dealing with strangers, especially when you let them into your house or on the flip side living at their place. However, for some people, their craziest nightmares became real when they realized whom they were actually dealing with. At times, it’s more funny than scary, but all in all, a negative experience with people can definitely leave a bitter aftertaste. Bored Panda has compiled a list for you of various Airbnb users – both guests as well as hosts – who were unfortunate enough to come across the weirdest of people. This is not to discourage you from using the platform, but rather to work as a cautionary reminder to always read the reviews of the location very diligently and to always prepare a plan B in case things don’t turn out the way you expected them to.


AirBNB in Toronto. Sister and I brought our passports. They demanded we forfeit the passports on arrival. We said absolutely not and after hesitation were shown to our space. The rooms did not match the pictures posted at all. The place reeked of bleach that had been used recently. We took photos of every room, and quietly slipped out when no one was watching. Reported everything to AirBNB and were given a full refund. Their ad was removed and host blocked. Seriously believe we narrowly escaped being trafficked that day.


We arrived at our AirB&B in Austin to find that the master bedroom had been quite literally blocked off by the pool table. We thought ”Eh, no biggie, they were probably cleaning and forgot to scoot it back.”

So we scooted it back to center of the room— right into the four little divots in the carpet from where it had been sitting before.

Trip goes well, we leave— and a day later, I get an email from the property owner demanding payment for a professional balancing service to be performed on the pool table. Five hundred ding-a-lingin’ dollars.

How were we supposed to enter the master bedroom?

Were we expected to crawl over the table?

Does the owner legitimately expect me to believe he had the pool table professionally balanced in the corner of the room, with two of its edges against the wall?

After several days of going back and forth between the property owner and AirB&B Customer Support with these and other questions, my credit card was charged $500. So I called my credit card company, explained the situation and they recorded it as fraud.


My one and only Airbnb stay was at a nice condo in Long Beach, CA right on the beach. Once I got home, the hosts tried to charge me $7000 for damages that were 100% false. They claimed I broke their refrigerator, TV, and Internet, spilled oil on their couch, and stole their bathroom rugs. They also claimed I did drugs in their apartment.

Best part? I never met the host. Their housekeeper is the one that let me in.

When Airbnb requested photos, they didn’t send any. Imagine that


The last and only AirBnB I stayed in pretty much put me off the service for good. It was a nice place in a great location, from the look of the pictures. A friend and I were going to a concert in the area that night and drove in from out of town. After being on the road for hours, we were exhausted and starving. Once we settled in we realized it was very obvious the house hadn’t been cleaned since the last guest. There were small bits of garbage everywhere, dirty dishes in the sink, old food in the fridge. The advertised “second bed” was an air mattress with no sheets and the sheets on the master bed looked… questionable. Then I made it to the master bathroom. There were dark, thick, curly hairs all over the bathroom floor. One of the sinks was clogged with cloudy water. The bathroom mirror was covered in flecks of toothpaste and debris. There was no hot water in the apartment.

I told the property manager that the house was not acceptable and we would be booking a hotel for the night, and asked where to leave the key. I offered to accept a partial refund as I had taken a (freezing cold) shower and used one of their towels. The property owner refused and gave me an awful rating, accusing me of “tampering” with his property and “expecting the experience of the Ritz hotel.” I sent AirBnB photos of the condition of the place. They gave me a full refund.


Here’s my AirBNB customer service experience: I woke up to an email saying that I had booked a $500/night room in NYC. I immediately tried to log into my account, only to discover I was locked out. I called their CS number and told them what had happened. They told me to log into my account and cancel it. I politely reminded then I couldn’t. They said there was nothing they could do. I asked if they could at least lock my account so no further bookings cod occur. Nope. I asked if they could verify me in some other way. Nope. I asked if they could contact the person whose suite had been booked to warn them. Nope. They said all they could do was send it to the investigation team by email, so would respond within the next few days. No amount of my pleading or logic would get me any further. Frustrated, I hung up and immediately notified my credit card company, who were awesome. Then I had an idea: I wondered if the token on my app was still active despite the password change. Sure enough, the app on my phone loaded and logged me in. I immediately contacted the suite owner and told him what happened. He graciously canceled the booking and thanked me for letting him know. I then changed my password, removed my credit card, and reverted all the other info that had been changed. So, a happy ending for me, but the kicker is I never heard back from AirBNB. If I had followed their advice, I would probably have a $10,000 credit card bill by now. Eventually I canceled my AirBNB account completely after tiring of waiting for a response. Caveat emptor!


I had one “tenant” make a porn. I didn’t find out until I was cruising [a Reddit thread] r/unexpectedsex (NSFW). I noticed my living room and kitchen


Rented out my flat in south bank London to two American teenagers whose parents did it for them. I had to be there to show them how the alarm worked as parents didn’t trust someone not to break in when they were sleeping “And do god knows what to our girls!”

Skip to two days later and I’m woken up at 2am by a call from one of the girls frantic, they were being arrested and didn’t know who else to call but couldn’t tell me why. Now at this point I was worried because they seemed a little air-headed but nice enough girls. So I called their parents to let them know what was happening and I was going to the station for them and I’ll call them as soon as I know more. When I got there I’m told that these two [girls] BROKE INTO THE FLAT ONE FLOOR DOWN and were trashing it. They thought the whole [damn] thing was more of a hotel but people lived in the trashed flat full time and were out that evening and had to come home to find two 19 year old [trashing] up all their [stuff].

I was so pissed. I called the parents and let them know and they were just weird about it. I don’t know if they didn’t believe me or what but they soon must of found it real when they got the knowledge that my neighbors were going to press charges.

I noped the [hell] out of ever doing Airbnb again and offered to pay for damages to the other flat but thankfully my neighbors were nice people and said that they wanted the girls who actually did it do pay for it. Kinda still feel bad for that but can’t force it on them.


I’ve had almost entirely great experiences. There was really only one that was so terrible it stands out:

Didn’t respond to my welcome email or welcome Airbnb message telling them about the welcome email. Late in the day of check-in, I get a call on a phone number not on the listing from a guy (not the woman in the profile) asking how to get into my condo (it’s not a condo, it’s a house). After I confirmed they were in the party that made the booking, I gave them access.

Didn’t hear anything from them again until the day after they were supposed to leave. They didn’t leave, and one of them got injured and they weren’t going to leave for yet another day. If I had had other bookings immediately following I would’ve noticed, but sometimes I don’t get to my place until a day or two after the people check out. Fine, though, since I have no one checking in for a bit. I expected they would pay me for the extra days, but I had to go through Airbnb to finally get payment.

The real horror, though, was after they checked out and I went to clean. There were used q-tips smooshed into the carpet. Chewed gum and/or candy smooshed into the carpet. Used tampons smooshed into the carpet. Bloody tissues smooshed into the carpet. Food or blood or poop stains on all the sheets and comforters. They peed on the floor of the bathroom I can only assume constantly because of how much piss there was and how badly it reeked. Multiple unknown stains left in the carpet. They also threw literally hundreds of pennies all over the carpet in all the rooms. My carpets are very similar colored to pennies, so sometimes I wouldn’t see them until they got sucked into the vacuum cleaner. They left all the air conditioners on when they left, despite the rules being very clear about turning them on whenever they leave the house and especially when they leave for check-out. I also later found out from my neighbors that they had well more than the amount of people allowed staying there and had raucous parties every night until late. I asked the neighbors why they didn’t call me to let me know, since I’m on friendly terms with all of them and would’ve been happy to kick out the guests, but the neighbors are super awesome and didn’t want to bother me since I never bother them when they’re loud. I was very clear from then on that they could always please feel free to let me know so I can take care of it.


Guest has a one night booking. She booked approximately one week ago for a Saturday stay. She calls me Saturday morning wanting to cancel. I ask why? She says, it’s raining and doesn’t want to drive in the rain.

I reply that’s not a valid reason to cancel, but I will allow it minus 15% of the base rate. She would be on the hook for any fees. She decides to come anyway. Great.

Fast forward to checkout. She calls two hours past check out in a panic. Someone in her group lost her ticket and birth certificate. Things she needs to get on her cruise. My cleaner is at the apartment turning over the unit, so no biggie. Guest heads over to look for her items.

She makes my cleaner go through FIVE full bags of garbage to find this envelope. Nowhere to be found. She wants to check the other units she’s cleaning, units the guest NEVER entered.

Guest calls again in a panic and says, “I think your cleaner took the birth certificate.”

I tell her, my cleaners save things like random shoe strings, lost socks, pamphlets for conventions, brochures, half used deodorant. Things I wish she’d throw away. There’s no way that she took it. She loves working for me. It allowed her to start her own business and has three people working for her. A year ago, she was schlepping her infant around with her as she cleaned. Now she’s a boss. She’s moving on up to the american middle class.

Guest says, “She doesn’t speak American good and she’s probably illegal or something like that.”

Me: She is a legal resident of the U.S.A. I report her income. She even LLC’ed her own company. She’s not going to jeopardize her job with me over this.

Her: Can you come and search her?

Me: No. I have absolutely no reason to doubt her or anything she says. Perhaps your kid left those documents at home, which seems more likely than my cleaner stealing the documents. Where did your kid see the documents last?

Her: At home, but how do you know she isn’t trying to sell her birth certificate on the black market?

Me: Because she’s not shady like that. She’s an honest, humble, god fearing type of person.

Her: How do you know that?

Me: She won’t even take tips that guests leave for her. She’s had chances to take diamond earrings, jewelry, laptops, ipads, phones you name it. She has never taken a thing.

Honestly, I do not like this line of questioning. I’m not coming by to search her person. I’ve allowed you to search the apartment, and apartments you and your party never set a foot in. You had my cleaner go through five bags of garbage looking for this thing. I feel like we’ve gone above and beyond.

She goes off on me about how I ruined her vacation. I remind her that I didn’t lose her daughter’s boarding documents. Guest even admits that daughter is forgetful and probably left it at home, but my reluctance to strip search my cleaning person is “bad customer service.”


Had a guest rent my apartment for a music festival and my wife and I came by to check on the pace and found that the guests were storing their drugs in my child’s crib. We bought a new crib after we kicked them out.


He didn’t have any concept about the idea of AirBnB being not merely a place to sleep but also to meet locals and learn about local culture. He did not like that I am a woman living alone and asked me many intimate personal questions, how much money I make, my mortgage. He demanded the security code of my place and treated me like his slave – demanded I do his laundry, make phone calls for him, wash his dishes, etc, and when I informed him that I would not do so, he got angry and said, “In my country women do all that, why not you?” and swore at me. He constantly ogled at me and it was extremely uncomfortable. Yes it may have been cultural differences – Middle East vs. North America – but his behavior was NOT acceptable.


The worst was the three Americans I had come into the apartment last summer. They got wasted, came home, and threw a frozen pizza in the oven at the highest temp it could go WITH THE PLASTIC STILL ON IT, which made it melt/burst into flames. They turned the oven off and then threw water on it, and realizing that was a bad idea then used the fire extinguisher I have for guests. They didn’t say [anything] until they left and I had the cleaning lady call me and informed me they ruined my oven. I went to Airbnb and complained, showed pics, etc and they charge their card for a new one (so like 350€) They tried to claim fraud on the their card for the charge and when the company refused as it was a legit thing, they left a really nasty review saying that it was my fault they ruined my oven because I didn’t inform them it was in Celsius and I was discriminating against them for being American, which is bullshit, as I’m American.


Not me, but my dad; stayed in a place that turned out to be a halfway house/boarding house for released criminals.


My first and last time using Airbnb was a complete and utter nightmare. I had just gotten the role I had been pursing in my career for two years. I flew out to Denver to take my drug test and start work that Monday. Everything was solid. I decided to stay at an Airbnb, thinking it would help save money. Little did I know the host has claimed to have been abducted by aliens, is on barbiturates and amphetamines, and was a former meth addict and who knows what else.

She seemed fine in the beginning but her stories got weirder as the days passed. I figured I was okay and I’d be gone soon enough. As for my own idiocy, I accepted a cup of tea from the host. She assured me it wasn’t weed tea or anything else funky; this was since I informed her I was supposed to get tested the next day.

I woke up a little fuzzy thinking it was the Denver altitude sickness. I went confidently and handed over my urine with not a worry in the world. I then woke up the next morning 5:00 AM to the host and her boyfriend beating the heck out of each other, then I was assaulted when trying to stop him from smashing her head into the floor any further. She climbed onto the roof, he ran, and the cops came. Maybe she was looking at aliens again…

Long story short, this was the most psychotic experience of my life. I failed my drug test, lost my job, and am now part of a criminal investigation. Airbnb has done nothing for me nor does it seem they care. I have other job offers and will stay in a homeless shelter until my first check comes in. My entire life has been turned upside down.


The worst guest we ever had was a very large overweight guy. We will call him Willie. He seemed nice enough but he had a tendency to leave his milk cartons in the sink with the cold tap running instead of using the fridge ‘because he didn’t want to bother us’. This of course led to a flood in his room in his upstairs room but we didn’t realize this until after Willie other problem came to fruition. Willie, due to his size, had a tendency to take mammoth [craps], [craps] so massive that our plumbing had issues dealing with it. Because he couldn’t use his toilet and didn’t want to trouble us with the overflowing toilet situation, Willie had started going directly in the shower and tried to use the hot stream of water from the shower to melt his mammoth [craps] down the drain. Lovely.

Anyway, Willie thought he had the problem solved, but all it did was delay the inevitable, the shower drain started flooding soon and this was where the fun part started.

A guest on the ground floor was complaining about the power cutting out to his room, turns out the problem was larger than that, something was tripping the power on that entire half of the bnb, we tracked it down to the bathroom light in the room directly beneath Willie’s. I removed the casing for the bathroom light only to be greeted with a face-full of brown, slightly lumpy water.

This was how Willie wrecked 2 rooms, caused over £10,000 in damages and created electric problems we are still dealing with.


I booked a room for three in Montpelier, France. The listing had great reviews, the photos were beautiful, and the host, Jimmy, seemed really friendly (also the price was good for college backpackers).

I arrived with two friends from college late at night, and we spent an hour in the street trying to contact Jimmy. When he answered his phone, he blamed us for being late, even though we had been waiting outside his apartment complex for an hour. Jimmy was very drunk, and he didn’t look at all like his sweet and unassuming profile picture from Airbnb. He told us to “Be quiet in the hallways” because “the neighbors can’t know you are here.” We walk up 4 flights of stairs and then he tells us to take off our shoes outside. I realize there is a huge pile of shoes stacked in the hallway.

We enter the room we realize there are beds and people everywhere. 15 people to be exact. Jimmy was squeezing 15 guests into his small one bedroom apartment, and he had us remove our shoes because he had placed cots in literally every possible part of the house. It was impossible to walk without stepping on beds, and a lot of these beds were occupied with people trying to sleep.

The bathroom didn’t have door, only a curtain. Our host obviously realized that this was a negative aspect of his house, so he reassured us that, “If a pervert is sleeping here, and he tries to creep on you in the shower, I’ll kick him out.”
One of my friends was a small woman, and this comment definitely freaked her out.

Oh, also, I had to share a bed. The host overbooked, so he put my traveling buddy and I in the same full-sized cot. The sheets smelled of cigarettes, and they obviously had not been washed.

We did our best to book a different hotel room with our phones, but it was after midnight, and every hotel in town was either closed for the night, fully-booked, or expensive (we were college kids traveling on a tight budget). we accepted our fate and decided to leave at the crack of dawn.

I go to brush my teeth, and when I finish I look back at my Cot, and the host is making out with a girl on my bed (I don’t know if the girl was a guest or his girlfriend). I awkwardly clear my throat, the host notices, and without acknowledging me he takes this girl by the hand to the vacant cot nearby and continues to make out. My friends and I put all our valuables in our pockets and do our best to ignore the loud kissing and pillow talk happening six feet away.

We slept for 4 hours, then frantically packed and left.


The guest that stole everything from our house. They used a fake profile and when we got back from vacation everything of value was gone. Still trying to recover damages two months later from AirBNB.


We did a bit and it was ok. Worst wasn’t bad at all, but a bit of a culture clash.

They complained our house, a 100 year-old cottage in the New Forest, southern England, didn’t have a particular type of bedding (only found in America), and didn’t have ‘bug screens’.

We tried to explain that ‘bug screens’ simply don’t exist anywhere in the UK, but they didn’t really get it.

We got a so-so review for having a house missing these so-called ‘basic conveniences’, despite our trying to explain that things are a bit different in the UK to America.

We were their first stop before they headed up to Edinburgh. I hope the rest of their trip didn’t bring them too many surprises, but I have a suspicion they would have spent the whole two weeks [complaining] about how things are different to America.


When I checked out I got a very angry email from the host saying that I left behind one hair scrunchie (hanging on the closet knob) and an empty beer bottle container. Oh, and I left the bathroom light on. Never mind the fact that we cleaned everything up before leaving. That host was extremely pissed off about the above three things and said she would not give our security deposit back. Luckily I had taken various photos showing how much of a dump the place was and sent the pictures to her saying that her ad was deceptive. That worked – I got my security deposit back.


Guy pooped on my rug!


Nothing bad about my guest, but the whole timing was horrible. This Korean Kid (probably 20-22yrs), spoke very little English and his first time in America, he arrives at my house about 8:00pm (Renting just a single bedroom for 4-days. I will add at the time my house was not in the best neighborhood). He arrives and I am not home yet, he lets himself in and probably reads the info sheet I left out… I get back about 9:00pm and the entire area around my house (4-block in all directions) is locked down by the police, they tell me I can’t enter but I explain the scenario about a new International Kid living at my house so they escort me through the alley to my house. I go inside the house and he is in his room kind of scared to come out. At this time the SWAT Team is in front of my house, News crews down the street and I find out the brother of the person across the street just beat his GF with a bat, then ran a couple blocks and broke into his brothers house to hide. He is a Felon with a Warrant and they believe he may be armed. The Korean Kid (Forgot his Name) asked me if this is what America is always like as we watch out the window. Anyways 2hrs later they kick in the door, throw flash-bangs inside and go in, 5-minutes later they carry him out Limp, handcuffed and ankle cuffed and lay him on the street while medics look at him. He was very frightened to do anything the whole time he stayed with me because he thought it is very dangerous to go outside!


Converted a rental house for Airbnb use. Bought furniture from Craig’s List and Ikea, fixed it up, found a property manager for it. Turned on the listing.

Second booking was a 20-something woman with no previous reviews on airbnb. She booked the whole house for just one Saturday night. Our manager warns us “that sounds like she’s planning a party”. We respond that the listing makes it very clear that parties are not allowed. My girlfriend, who runs the business, writes to this woman twice and phones her once to remind her of the “no parties” rule. The woman keeps assuring us “Oh no, I would never do that. It’s just me, my two friends, and my brother coming over for dinner.”

Saturday comes along, we’re staying in the house next door, and around 9:30 we hear music coming from our rental house. We look out the window and disco lights are running in the house. In the kitchen, a group of women are moving huge pots into the kitchen. A little later, we see them emptying ice, fruit juice, and several bottles of liquor into the pots.

My girlfriend decides enough is enough and goes over there to remind them of the “no parties” rule.

“Oh, no, we’re not having a party, just my brother and his wife coming over for dinner.” “Ok, then, where’s the food? Who are all these people?”. My girlfriend turns away about twenty people who show up at the door.

After breaking into tears and telling my girlfriend “You’re ruining my life!”, she agrees to leave, and the party is over. My girlfriend still had to turn away a couple of carloads of would-be partiers.

The night ends with two of the woman’s friends pacing back and forth in front of the house screaming at my girlfriend. “You [pig]! You [damn] [pig]! Give us our deposit back! Come out and fight me, [pig]! [PIG]! [PIG]!”.

Plants in the garden are uprooted. Pots are smashed. Neighbors start to gather. Police are called.

The next morning involves cleaning up, repotting plants, and writing letters of apology to the neighbors.


Circle of Airbnb Hell Level 1: I originally booked an Airbnb apartment in Tokyo in the summer of 2018 for a long-awaited and carefully saved for trip to Japan, which was a graduation present for my son. Two weeks before the trip, Airbnb advised due to changes in Japanese law, I likely wouldn’t be able to occupy the Airbnb. I would have to rent a hotel at the last minute in Tokyo (along with all of the other people who just lost their Airbnb bookings and rushed to book hotels). I ended up paying over 2K for a hotel, over 1.2K more than the Airbnb I booked, fully blowing my budget. Airbnb attempted to compensate for this by giving me a coupon for $900.

Circle of Airbnb Hell Level 2: I used $328 of the coupon on a weekend Airbnb booking in DC. I ended up fully locked out of the unit, never got in, and Airbnb refused to refund the full cost because I didn’t cancel… which makes no sense – I was locked out. They even charged me for the unit cleaning, that I never got into. I spent $186 to stand in the rain outside a locked unit, listening to the host’s answering machine. After this I no longer wanted to do any business with Airbnb, but I had $712 credit left to use, I thought.

Circle of Airbnb Hell Level 3: I attempted to use the $712 on a vacation and guess what? It was a ‘single use coupon’. In the end, it was all a complete waste: out the 1.2K for the extra cost for the Tokyo hotel, out $328 for the unit I was locked out of and finally just out.


I’m an Airbnb hostess.

I was on vacation, and was woken by my phone ringing ringing like mad at 4:45 AM one Sunday morning. I had 6 missed calls. I didn’t recognize the number, so I silenced my phone and went back to sleep. 6 AM, and my phone kept vibrating off and on, so I finally dragged myself out of bed to answer it.

It turned out someone had made a booking at 2 am and expected to check in at 4 am. Our normal check in time is 3 pm. She claimed to be in a taxi looking for my place. My first reaction was guilt at not having woken up to pick her call. If i had thought more rationally I probably would have reminded her of our check in time, but well, I was half asleep. I gave her directions and then called home and woke my family.

And there started our experience with my worst guest ever. She had a little backpack which she handed to my bro in law, asking him to carry it up to her room. She wanted someone to go mop the bathroom floor every time she was done with the shower. She took everybody’s number and kept calling at odd hours with random requests for specific cookware etc. Every time someone took them up to her she would refuse to open the door saying she was busy.

I had to silence my phone when I went to bed because she kept waking me about random stuff. She’d made an initial booking of three days, and wanted to extend it. I ended up blocking my calendar on Airbnb to prevent her from extending her stay. She complained saying she was ill, she knew the house was available, I was doing it on purpose etc etc, but by then we all just wanted her gone.


Only had 1 unpleasant experience with elderly guests. And by no means am I being an ageist.

But they expected me to fix the tiniest problems.

The host should take in the cushions on outdoor chairs at night when it rains (at 3am) so they’re not wet the next day

The host should drive us around because we’re old

The host had only white towels but I needed black towels. WHAT?? WHY??


My husband and I were traveling to NYC for a family emergency; we booked an AirBnb, in an effort to save some money, and ended up finding a nice-looking room in Flushing. My only experiences with AirBnbs up until that point were with larger groups, where we typically had a whole house to ourselves; I was a little nervous about living in a stranger’s guest bedroom. The hostess was very polite over e-mail, and I felt relieved—maybe a room rental was not as bad as I had feared!

We arrived in Flushing at 5 PM on a Saturday. I texted our hostess to let her know that we were on our way to Flushing, and she let us know that she would not be there to meet us, but that her father would be there to meet us.

We stood outside and waited for about 10 minutes, before a man appeared (“the father”, we presumed) asking us in gruff mandarin if we had rented a room. Luckily, we both speak mandarin. We said yes, he started walking several doors down, saying that the room that we had booked was not available, and that he had another room. At this point, we arrive in front of a larger apartment complex. He instructed us to leave the key in the unit when we leave in the morning, then handed us off to a second man.

The second guy brings us up to the fourth floor of the second building.

When we arrive on the fourth floor, he led us into the room, which was not as pictured or described in the listing. More concerning was the wet floor. When we asked why, he said it was just mopped–when there was clearly a leak in the roof and major water damage in the ceiling.

Guy 2 brushes it off, then immediately asks us for $20 in cash to get the key. We explain that we don’t have cash, and he insists “why worry about $20? Just give me the cash, I’ll give it back when you give back the key”. We explain that the first guy told us to leave the key in the unit, and guy 2 just repeats that he needs the cash as a deposit. We asked him how we’d give the key and get our cash back, and asked if the hostess’s number was the number to call. He said it wasn’t the right number, and started giving us another phone number. We interrupt to say that our reservation was with our hostess, and he was confused. He seemed surprised that the first man had a daughter.

At this point, there was waaaaaaaay too much shady business for our liking, and we decided to leave and find other accommodations.


This experience taught me to never rent an Airbnb room ever again. I rented a place in downtown Taipei that’s close to a train station, high rated with a good price. The moment I arrived I was thrilled, everything seemed nice. The room was a bit smelly but since it was cheap I let it go.

After the first night of my stay my nose started to clog. Staying in a smelly room for hours made my breathing a bit difficult. After the second night of my stay, I was officially sick in the morning. I asked the owner if she had another room I could stay in, but she told me all her rooms were rented and there was nothing she could do.

That night I finally got the idea of checking the air conditioner and it was horrible. The surface seemed clean but if you looked inside it was filled with huge spots of black mold. I could not believe I had been breathing the air into my lungs all along.

I contacted the owner and she was trying to confuse me by saying “we started renting the place out for two months only and we never had any complaints”, but after I confronted her about the air conditioner again and again, she finally caved and said it was provided by the landlord and was ancient.

As I asked her to hire a professional to deep clean the air-con the next day, she refused and said she would only send a domestic helper to come clean the surface only. I refused to keep breathing in ancient black mold into my lungs as it could cause long term lung damage, so I then booked a hostel to stay and moved out immediately.


I reserved a non-smoking room through Airbnb for 30 days at the last minute due to a change of plans. Upon arrival, the entire building smelled like an ashtray and the room was even worse. As a non-smoker, I was literally gagging and knew this wouldn’t work.

Upon further inspection, I discovered stains on the cover that looked liked dried blood. I pulled back the cover and saw dirt, a paw print, and hair (presumably from an animal but at this point, it didn’t matter). I notified the hosts who sent around an air freshener and finally some clean sheets.

The hosts refused to issue a refund and wanted to keep the entire fee (over 1,200 CAD) for a few hours’ stay. I was out of there as soon as another place could be found. I went through two case managers, who decided the best solution was to allow these creepy scamming hosts to keep half of the fees.

I pointed out to the case managers that it’s illegal to obtain funds through misrepresentation of goods or services but they evidently weren’t bright enough to grasp basic legal concepts. They gave me their final final decision tonight and basically told me to get over it. That’s not going to happen; I don’t like scammers. At least I will be going down swinging.


Had a guest from Italy for 3 months. I made dinner for her when she arrived and she made a point of telling me she threw it up (I am a good cook and have published a cook book). Two days later, her son arrived without telling me to stay the entire time. She used my address to establish permanent residency in the U.S. and to open financial accounts without telling me. She took a hammer to my quartz counter-top, causing $1000 in damage and then said it was gouged by someone else (no one else was in the house). She hung her underwear on my awnings to dry because she did not like the dryer. I came home to find her building wooden displays in my living room and with cans of black spray ready to paint them in my house. She poisoned my dog deliberately and I had to spend $800 at the vet. She took my carved wooden salad spoons from Africa and used them to stir pasta and ruined them. She said that anything I cooked smelled bad and I should eat out. She threw out pieces of silverware, chef’s knives, and china. She threatened to write horrible reviews about me on Airbnb if I did not drive her where she wanted to go and help her with her errands. I called Airbnb for help and they were useless. They said it was my problem. The night she finally left she poured red wine all over expensive new white linens. I found out I could not collect the deposit or the Host Guarantee because I “did not have proof” even though I sent 20 pages of documents and photos. Airbnb requires a police report and this is impossible to obtain in Florida because any damages caused by a “resident” of a home have to be brought to civil court, not the police. That was the last guest I had on Airbnb.


I was new to AirBNB and my prices was very low. at that time i was 21, and though it was only boys and girls like me, who used it. Signed up pretty much to hang out with people my age, show them the city, have a great time. My first guest was a middle aged woman who was attending a Robbie Williams concert in the neighbor city. She was very sweet and kind when i talked to her through AirBNB, so i let her use my cheap apartment (in which i live also) She didn’t “check in” before 3 in the morning, and she was very drunk when she arrived. I had work the following morning, so i really felt like sleeping. When i let her inside she was very noisy. After about 30 minutes she fell asleep. I was waken up suddenly by her trying to “sneak” in my bed(keep in mind she was drunk af) so it was not very smooth. I asked what she was doing, and told her to use the other room. She refused and wanted to cuddle with me – also saying she was willing to pay more. I told her, quite aggressive, to use the other room or leave. At the point she simply got mad at me. After about 15 minutes she bust the door open and comes in the room trying to sell me some of her organic product called vitamin plus or something. I was furious. She kept going for about 1 hour before the almost fell asleep in the door opening. She gave me 5 stars.

Read more:

Short-term sublets can turn into a nightmare, but a tribunal ruling offers some hope to long-suffering residents

I first realised I was living next door to a weekend sublet two years ago. Late one Saturday night I heard boys yelling and loud music, and the thumping against the walls was so hard one of my picture frames fell off and cracked on the floor. I presumed the neighbours had a teenager who was throwing a cheeky party while their parents were away. When it happened again the following weekend I assumed it was a repeat. However, a few weekends later it was girls yelling, playing what I recognised to be the true hymn of the hen party, You Can Leave Your Hat On. Suddenly it made sense: I was living next door to a sublet playing host to hen parties and stag dos most weekends.

Ive had men wrestling on the floor outside my flat, someone trying to kick in my door, and fights that have left blood smears across the corridor walls. Id refrained from complaining to the building manager or letting agents and tried to deal with the host directly.

I had nothing against someone trying to make a little extra cash over the weekend. It was when it became clear the property was being entirely used for short-term rentals, and after my second phone call to the police, that I started complaining. I complained to the building manager, to my landlord, to the council. So far, nothing has been done.

Weekend sublets such as those offered on Airbnb and have revolutionised holidays. But Im not the only person to have a bad experience. Paul, a teacher with a flat in Edinburgh, noticed people trundling by his apartment with luggage. Then he was kept awake by late-night noise. The irritation was that it was very difficult to get in touch with the owner via the Airbnb website. I had to pretend to be interested in renting it in order to send them a message, he says, and he claims that the problems have left people in negative equity.

If you want to hear a real Airbnb horror story, how about the one involving the riot police who were called to a flat in Brixton, south London, after 150 people arrived for a party that turned into chaos? In that case, reported in the Times in May, residents had apparently called the police on several occasions to break up parties in the flat, which had been let through the website. One complained that a partygoer landed with a crash on to his balcony from above and knocked on his window to get back in.

In the First-Tier Tribunal (Property Chamber), which handles disputes over property and land, the residents alleged that the Airbnb host had breached several terms in his lease agreement, and the tribunal judge agreed, saying the defendant appeared to be using the property as a guesthouse. Its the first known ruling against an Airbnb host by the tribunal but probably wont be the last.

Plenty more alarming tales can be found on, a website dedicated to helping hosts and guests share their stories about the risks and dangers of using Airbnb.

Cal King, shows editor at TV channel Comedy Central, rents a flat in London next door to one that is empty quite a lot of the time, and then each weekend a different group of raucous people turn up and have parties. He is sanguine. In a way, I quite like knowing that even though theres pounding tropical house at 1am, chances are theyll be gone tomorrow.

Katie Gray, a barrister at Tanfield Chambers, says that in the first instance you should see if there can be anything done informally, for example by having a conversation with tenants or the host directly. If this does not work, she suggests you gather as much evidence as possible. Keep a diary of events, record the frequency of the lettings, and the dates and times of the nuisance.

The legal avenues available to resolve disputes will depend on whether the property is leasehold or freehold. Photograph: John Macdougall/AFP/Getty Images

The legal avenues available, should it come to this, will depend on whether the property is leasehold or freehold. For leasehold properties, owners or tenants will have to report the issue to the freeholder of the block, who will be the people able to take action.

In terms of longer nuisance sublets, local authorities may offer protection. For example, in London, stays longer than 90 days require previous planning permission.

If you are selling your property, things become a little tricky. You are required to complete a property information form disclosing any disputes or complaints about the properties or properties nearby. If you have been in a dispute about an Airbnb letting and you do not inform the buyer, you could be liable in court for misrepresentation and potentially be asked to pay damages to the buyer. In an extreme situation the sale will not go through.

Airbnb now has well over 1m properties and is active in 200 countries. One of the key features of the website is the review function: guests can review the properties they have stayed in, and hosts can review their guests. Though neighbours have, until recently, been left out in the cold.

Two weeks after the Brixton case emerged and was widely publicised, Airbnb launched an online tool for neighbours of its hosts who experience problems and want to make a complaint. The site reviews whether your complaint matches up with an active Airbnb listing, then messages the host. If problems persist, the website says it can suspend or remove them from Airbnb entirely. However, it is not clear if anyone has yet been banned. Airbnb says just one in 18,000 UK guest arrivals has prompted a complaint via the tool.

The overwhelming majority of Airbnb hosts and guests are good neighbours and respectful travellers, the company says. We want to do everything we can to help our community members be good neighbours.

In a recent blog, it pledged to treat each case seriously. Hosting is a big responsibility, it said, and those who repeatedly fail to meet our standards and expectations will be subject to suspension or removal from the Airbnb community.

The cities cracking down on Airbnb

The idea of Airbnb and other short-term lets as an alternative to over-priced hotels may soon be over, writes Patrick Collinson. Many cities have begun to introduce new rules, after residents complained about being overwhelmed by weekend visitors banging wheelie bags up stairs, breaching building security rules, and loud parties. Pressure has also come from hotel groups and local politicians who have lost revenue from hotel taxes.

In June, a court upheld Berlins de facto ban on short-term rentals. People who let more than 50% of their apartment on a short-term basis without a permit risk a fine of 100,000 (85,000). City authorities were concerned that the availability of affordable housing was being severely threatened by the rise of short-term letting. Munich and Hamburg have also taken steps to curb
short-term lets.

San Francisco
The city that is home to Airbnbs HQ is also one of its fiercest opponents. Hosts have to register with the authorities; if Airbnb advertises an unregistered property it can be fined $1,000 (755) a day for each listing. An action group in the city has posted wanted flyers. The crime? Airbnbing our community and destroying affordable housing for immigrant, minority, and low income families.

New York
The citys rental laws ban apartments in buildings with three or more units from being rented out for less than 30 days. Landlords who flout the ban can be fined as much as $7,500. But home sharing where the host is present is legal. Critics say that short-term rental companies like Airbnb are flooding the citys housing market, reducing available housing stock citywide by 10%, according to a study released in June.


Barcelona is popular for Airbnb rentals. Photograph: kiko_jimenez/Getty Images/iStockphoto

The Catalan city has been among the most aggressive in fighting Airbnb, slapping a 30,000 fine on the site for hosting illegal tourist lets in 2014. Flat owners have to list their apartments with the citys tourism register, obtain a licence and be responsible for collecting the daily 0.65 tourist tax.

The Spanish capital set a minimum stay of five nights in private homes and apartments which, given the typical three-night stay on Airbnb, ruled out most rentals. But the directive was later overturned in court.

The 1,600 short-term lets in Icelands capital have to operate under strict rules introduced in June. The legislation limits the number of days residents can offer rentals in their properties to 90 days a year before they must pay business tax.

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