Airbnb, Vrbo, and vacation rentals have transformed the way we travel, offering unique and affordable lodging options around the world. However, as with any platform that brings strangers together, there can be a few bumps along the way. Here are some tales from the dark side of hosting that serve as a stark reminder of the potential pitfalls.
Although these stories are undeniably surprising, it's crucial to keep in mind that they constitute a minuscule portion of the vacation rental hosting experience.
1. The “Renter From Hell”
Sascha Jovanic, an implant dentistry expert, rented out his Californian mansion's guesthouse on Airbnb two years ago to Elizabeth Hirschhorn who has since become known as the "renter from hell". Elizabeth now refuses to leave the property and is demanding a $100,000 relocation fee. In response to this conflict, an ongoing lawsuit has been filed at the Los Angeles court.
2. The Disrespectful Guests
On a more disgusting note, a host shared their experience of finding used q-tips squashed into the carpet and chewed gum or candy stuck in the furniture after the guests checked out. This lack of respect for the host's property is unfortunately not uncommon.
3. The Bait and Switch
Upon departing for a business trip, a host trusted that her apartment was in capable hands. Unlike typical Airbnb horror tales, the guest maintained regular communication, expressing gratitude for her hospitality and delight in the stay. Upon the host’s return, she was met with a scene of vandalism and the absence of cherished possessions, including cash and priceless heirloom jewelry.
4. Not A Happy New Year
A man in Ohio decided to throw an epic New Year's Eve bash, despite his Airbnb contract clearly forbidding such gatherings. To make matters even more outrageous, he shamelessly promoted the event online, even charging an entry fee of $5 per person. What started as a festive night quickly spiraled into one of Airbnb's wildest tales, attracting a staggering 250 guests. The beleaguered host was left with no choice but to seek refuge in his own room, desperately dialing the police.
5. The Peanut Butter Incident
Upon arriving at their vacation rental, the host noticed the door was unusually sticky, but didn't think much of it. After washing their hands, they discovered peanut butter on the doorknob. This led them to find two jars, one of peanut butter and one of jelly. To their surprise, there was also peanut butter on the floor. Days later, when trying to retrieve a bottle of vodka, they found it was sticky as well, and upon inspection, discovered peanut butter on the bottle cap. This prompted them to check other bottles, and they found the same peanut butter traces.
6. The Unexpected Visitors and Losses
A host shared their experience with guests sneaking in extra people without permission, property being stolen, and a pet bird dying after windows were negligently left open.
While these stories are certainly shocking, it's important to remember that they represent a tiny fraction of the overall Airbnb experiences. Most stays are enjoyable and trouble-free. However, these tales serve as a reminder for hosts and guests alike to exercise caution, respect, and common sense when using the platform. Happy hosting!