Last minute cancellations by the host moments before you are scheduled to pick up the keys. Accommodations that look very different in real life than in the advertised picture. Unidentified objects found in odd places that can't be explained. Dirty floors and appliances you wouldn't dare touch.
Consider yourself lucky if you've never experienced one of these Airbnb horror stories that we discovered happen more often than you would think. Consider yourself even luckier if your AirBnB hasn't burned to the ground during your stay (yeah, apparently that happened).
It turns out, according to a story posted to Twitter, that millions of guests have their stays ruined at the hands of Airbnb every year. The most likely problem is an issue with the host, followed closely by a scam and unsafe conditions. To make matters worse, based on customer reviews, there aren't many options for submitting complaints, recouping your money, or erasing the whole thing from memory.
So, what would you do if the bed hadn't been made and the sheets clearly hadn't been washed? What about if the host failed to mention you would be sharing the space with an animal or your car got sideswiped on the street because you were told you couldn't park in the driveway? Keep reading for jaw-dropping accounts of Airbnb stays gone wrong, all of which will make you consider never leaving your own (clean) home again.
25 Discovery Of A Hidden Camera Makes This The Worst Trip Ever
'Guest finds hidden camera in her bedroom' sounds like the beginning plot of a movie that we are going to grimace through. Unfortunately for one AirBnB guest on a New Year's Eve vacation, it wasn't a movie at all. It was her true-life horror story.
It seems impossible that a host would do this, but the truth about AirBnB is that you don't really know who you are dealing with. That's not a fun fact, but is something to consider. According to the Daily Dot, illegal surveillance in AirBnB's and other properties of that kind are not isolated incidents.
24 We Don't Require Much, But A Bed That Will Support Us Is On The List
It is unlikely that many of us lift up the mattress and box spring to check out the bed frame when we stay someplace new. However, if you find yourself closer to the ground in the morning than where you started the previous night, you might want to inspect a bit more.
One Airbnb guest took to Twitter to share a photo of the bed frame she was sleeping on, which was missing several wooden slats. It doesn't look all that safe and seems likely that she didn't rest all that well.
23 Not Exactly A State Of The Art Shower Head
Even the guys at Grassroots Motorsports, the heavy-hitting sports car magazine, couldn't catch a break on their AirBnB rental (and they weren't looking for much more than a place to lay their heads).
On their company blog, they regaled visitors with a story of an AirBnB in Maryland that didn't have any functioning internal doors (that includes the bathroom) nor air conditioning (despite the ninety-degree summer heat). They noted the real kicker was the shower head: an uncapped water bottle rubber-banded to the pipe.
22 The Floor Had Not Been Swept (Maybe Not Ever)
It can be hard to navigate certain conversations out of fear of coming off rude, ungrateful, or demanding even at times when something really should be said.
Like in the case of the person (that is a saint of sorts) who didn't mention the relative (and yet very obvious) uncleanliness as her Airbnb host was showing her around the place.
Seriously, there was hair and dust all over the floor, rug, and every other surface according to the posted picture on Root of Good.
21 A Host Sending A Message That Spills Are Not Allowed
If you're in the market for stories that are so incredible they have to be true (because nobody could make that stuff up), look no further than Airbnb Hell. The site is dedicated to uncensored, personal accounts of AirBnB stays gone terribly wrong. Some of them are less of a big deal when all things are considered, but even those represent issues that just shouldn't have happened.
For example, one guest shared a picture of an empty paper towel roll. Sure, she could have spent the two dollars or so on another one, but the point is that the host should have put in a tiny bit of extra effort.
20 Being The Victim Of A Hit And Run Overnight Is Not Covered By AirBnB
Some people are very particular about their personal property. We get that. However, those people just probably shouldn't list their personal property on Airbnb.
An Airbnb guest in Austin was puzzled when the homeowner said that he could not park his car in the driveway (even though it wasn't being used) and would instead have to park on the street. Trying to avoid a disagreement, he obliged.
Unfortunately, according to Airbnb Hell, his politeness led to a trip to the auto body shop when his car was struck in a hit and run overnight. Ouch.
19 When A Home Office Is Code For Storage Unit
It is 100% acceptable as a host to tell an Airbnb guest that certain rooms in your home are off-limits. That said, any room that is not off-limits should be fully accessible. This is especially true if you list that particular room as part of the advertisement.
One guest took to Airbnb Hell to rant about an experience involving a home office. The listing noted that a home office was available and, as someone traveling for business, the guest was excited about the prospect of a dedicated space to work out of. Unfortunately, the desk in the office wasn't even visible underneath the host's piles of paper, books, and knick-knacks.
18 Cleaning Supplies That Are Anything But Clean
If you're anything like us, you're a stickler for a clean sponge. It just seems counterproductive to clean your dishes with a dirty sponge, no matter how much soap you use. This could be a whole tangent, so let it suffice to say the sponge needs to be clean. Period.
One rental guest shared a photo to AirBnB Hell of a not-so-clean sponge that was left by her host for her group to wash their dishes. Needless to say, they ordered food in (because if the sponge is dirty who knows what else is).
17 Dirty Linens On An Unmade Bed
If an unmade bed was the only complaint, you could probably justify it by saying that the host was rushed trying to make everything else perfect for the guest and just didn't get to it. However, there is no justification for dirty linens.
An Airbnb guest walked into this scene in the bedroom upon her arrival. After inspecting more closely, she realized that not only were the sheets and blankets thrown on the bed haphazardly, none of it had been cleaned from the previous guests.
Her story earned her a top spot on the site, Airbnb Hell, where it is likely making everyone else shudder at the thought.
16 The Couch Turns Into A Bed...Kind Of
We're not above sleeping on a pull-out couch. In fact we kind of like how it makes us feel like we're kids at a sleepover again that stayed up too late watching movies we weren't supposed to watch and then crashed in the living room.
We might still be young at heart, but our bodies are no longer young. This means that we're sore for three days if our sleeping arrangements aren't comfortable. And, as one AirBnB guest found out, not all sleeping arrangements are comfortable.
According to her post on Airbnb Hell, she was shocked to find out that the "bed" she was to be sleeping on felt as rickety as it looked.
15 Leave Your Shoes On Or Risk Stepping In Dirt
The poor woman from the previous entry was up against more than just a busted bed. It turns out the rug underneath the bed had a few surprises of its own.
Seeing the dirt does give a better idea of how the pull-out couch might have sustained damage. It's possible, in an attempt to not let any body parts touch the dirty rug, previous individuals launched themselves onto the couch, thereby breaking the frame.
Rugs add a nice, cozy touch to otherwise hardwood or tiled floors, but they do require some maintenance. Public service announcement: buy a vacuum (and use it).
14 A Charming Cottage Advertised, But Not Delivered On
By the looks of the picture, we totally see why guests were clamoring to stay in this New England cottage. It could not be more quaint and welcoming and was perfect for a family or group outing. Well, that's what many people thought, anyway, until they realized it was a scam.
When guests checked in, according to Airbnb Hell, they found their accommodations weren't as advertised. Instead of an entire cottage, they were getting just one room in the cottage. In the host's eyes, the picture with the four windows clearly indicated four separate bookings (but we don't see it).
13 It Will Be Hard To Relax In A Nice Bubble Bath
Sometimes after a long day you want to come home, light some candles, pour yourself a glass of something, kick your shoes off, and climb into a nice, warm bubble bath. This sounds especially nice on vacation. That is, of course, if the bathtub has been cleaned recently (like within the past month or so).
A post on Airbnb Hell showed a photo of a dingy bathtub that guests found too dirty to even step foot in. Sponge baths for everyone!
12 Cleaning Ovens Is Everyone's Least Favorite Chore
The invention of self-cleaning ovens has been a blessing. However, not all ovens are fully equipped, which means most people still need to get down on their hands and knees to scrub.
Smelling something burning immediately after putting dinner in the oven for her family, one guest learned that her host had not been among the willing to scrub the oven. The picture she posted to AirBnB Hell showed layers of burnt on food that was going to take more than some elbow grease to clean.
11 The Listing Didn't Mention The Apartment Came With A Furry Creature
One Airbnb customer took to Pinterest to share a story of a less than purrr-fect experience.
According to the post, the individual was getting all settled in for the stay and out of nowhere a black cat hopped onto the bed like he owned the place. It turns out, he did own the place, but the host had not mentioned that there would be any pets present. The situation was made worse by the fact that the guest had a slight allergy to cats.
Left with a choice to either complain, find another place to stay, or tough it out, the guest gave the cat the bed.
10 A Chateau That Is Really Just A Backyard Snow Fort
New Yorkers are an ingenious bunch, always trying to get ahead, make a buck, or be the next big thing. So, when a storm dumped several inches of snow last season, it was really no surprise that someone in Brooklyn tried to capitalize on it.
Listing his backyard igloo on Airbnb, one Brooklynite advertised a "boutique" rental made from "all natural elements". The more alarming thing than the fact that this happened or Airbnb's response (stating it was well constructed before ultimately removing the listing, according to The Verge), is that several people were actually interested in the $200 per night offer.
Oh, New York.
9 A Bed Next To The Stove Certainly Qualifies As A Cozy Living Situation
One guest in New York City found himself in a situation that was far less than what he expected in terms of space and far more than he expected in terms of a lawsuit.
According to AM New York, the one bedroom rental that the guest thought he was getting was actually a bed in a kitchen (illegal, among other things). The host was subsequently sued for his trickery and we're guessing the guest is steering clear of any accommodations that don't have the name "Ritz" in the title.
8 Someone Forgot To Clean Up Before The Guests Arrived
The standards for what is or isn't allowed is not always made clear by hosts or Airbnb itself. However, it is pretty safe to say that cleaning up is important.
One couple booked an Airbnb and were scheduled to stay in the home at the same time as the host. They would have their own living space, but would share a kitchen and dining area with the host. Having spent fifteen months traveling, according to the story in Stuff, they thought they would be up for anything.
However, they couldn't believe it when they walked into the kitchen and found a mess the host had left. Dirty dishes littered the sink and countertop and with no host in sight, they had no choice but to clean so they could use the shared space.
7 Nothing Like Paying To Sleep On The Floor
The ability to cram a bunch of people into one place for much less than the cost of a hotel is often cited as a major benefit of Airbnb. Phrases like "comfortably sleeps six" or "air mattresses available upon request" are beacons of hope for large groups seeking a place to stay on a budget.
Sometimes it is worth it to just pay the extra cash for a hotel so you know what you're getting, as one Airbnb guest wrote on her personal blog. Her Airbnb horror story involved sleeping on the floor because there weren't actually enough beds, couches, or air mattresses for everyone as had been advertised.
6 That Milk Might Be Past Its Expiration Date
We absolutely love it when our Airbnb host leaves us a little something to nibble on after a long day of travel. We do not, however, love it when those snacks are leftover from the last guest.
Perusing personal blogs, we found an account of a woman that found very (very) old food in the kitchen of her Airbnb. The host had stocked the refrigerator months ago and didn't bother to dispose of the remnants after the previous guest left. Needless to say by the look of that milk, everything had to go (and an air freshener had to be used).
5 Clean Dishes Are So Overrated
The same woman that found extremely expired milk and soggy vegetables in the refrigerator in the previous entry also encountered dirty plates in the cupboard. She still wasn't going to complain to AirBnB, vowing to just clean them and enjoy her home-cooked meal, but then she found food dried onto every other dish, pot, pan, and utensil she pulled out.
All bets were off when she realized just how unclean the entire place truly was (though she didn't actually draft a complaint email until she saw a line of ants).
4 Looks Like We're Staying Another Night
Being locked out is bad, but being locked in might be even worse.
Ready to hit the town while enjoying a girls' weekend getaway, a group of ladies found themselves stuck inside their Airbnb when the doorknob came off in one woman's hand.
According to the post on Airbnb Hell, they looked for tools to fix the knob or anything that could be used to open the door, but came up short. They called the host, who casually mentioned that this happens all the time.
Probably something to look into a permanent fix for.
3 A Most Interesting Architectural Design
We were going to give this host the benefit of the doubt for ensuring that his guests still had access to a restroom, albeit in the basement, when the one on the main level went on the fritz right before a confirmed stay. But then we kept reading the Instagram post and definitely changed our minds.
Based on the guest's account, the bathroom was described by the host as "avant-garde". If "avant-garde" means no walls and no door, then sure enough. So much for privacy.
2 The Room Was Spacious, But Probably Only Because It Didn't Have Any Furniture
When asking a host about various things regarding your stay, you might check on things like extra blankets, proximity to bars and restaurants, access to laundry facilities, and check-out time (because you already plan to stay until the last possible moment). However, you might not think to check on the availability of furniture like couches, nightstands, tables, and a bed.
One Airbnb guest was shocked to find that his rental didn't come furnished. He shared a photo on social media of the very spacious, but very empty room.
1 The Things Nightmares Are Made Of
We totally agree that grime is gross and clutter is caustic when it comes to the environment of your AirBnB. However, an even more unpleasant experience would be finding an extremely creepy doll in the closet (made worse if its eyes seem to follow you no matter where you go).
That's what happened to one guest, who immediately took to social media to find out what the odds were that the doll was going to come to life and attack him in the night (the post was humorous, but also super serious).