Most of us have stayed in a vacation rental of some sort, but how many of us can say we run one? For most of us, the sorts of stories hosts must have never really occur to us... til now.
Reddit user Redscouts asked:
We're not even going to lie to you, some of these are incredibly disgusting, brutal, and illegal. But the "most interesting" story isn't always the worst. Some people's responses were actually kind of adorable and sweet! Not the one about the gang fight, though. That one's pretty solidly in the "brutal, bloody and illegal" category...
The Gift of Art
My wife and I used to rent out our upstairs when AirBnb first hit our region of the country. Back then, all of the guests were amazing. One of our favorites was a German couple and their daughter. The husband and daughter spoke English well enough, but the wife never said a word. They stayed for 3 days or so and were very polite. When they left, the wife left behind a sheet of cardstock for us where she drew a replica of one of our wedding photographs that was hanging on the wall. It was amazing and we framed it and now it hangs on our wall as well.
Not me but a friend. She rented out a 100 year old house that had been renovated but still had its original doorknobs. When the guests moved out it turned out they had taken the door knobs.
Apparently the AirBnB guests were renovating their own house in California and thought that the doorknobs would look really nice in their home. Nine of them. They stole nine door knobs! So then insurance gets involved, my friend refused to settle because she wanted the original door knobs back, insurance offered her $27,000 – that's $3000 per door knob – but she still refused and threatened to file a lawsuit etc. Finally she got her doorknobs back but it was a lot of trouble.
My worst guest left a dirty nappy (diaper) sitting on the couch for me to dispose of. They generally left things in a state. The bedding had all been removed and put on the floor so they could sleep on the floors. Breakfast looked like they had been raptured half way through. I remember thinking it was really odd that a big family breakfast had just been abandoned... toast... coffee.. half full bowls of cereal.
And they just stood up and walked away from that. I wouldn't be able to not tidy that up for my host at least a bit. But to some extent they pay enough money I don't get annoyed when I get in to find a mess. The nappy though, I was not happy about that.
The most annoying thing that guests did was show up early to be honest. I was inevitably cleaning the place from the last guest and didn't want them to see it in a state. And they just wanted to get in and start enjoying their trip. I just found that way more stressful than I would imagine from the other side.
Chicken Murdering Drug Thieves
My in-laws run an Air BnB with a farm and they also do drugs. They let tenants stay for free for long periods of time as long as they help with house work. A particular couple came to stay with them for several months and brought their dog. Their dog killed a couple of the chickens, and the couple stole my FIL's prescribed pain killers and weed, and then they bounced. But my in-laws had copies of their driver's licenses so they were caught.
Dreaming Of A Wine Christmas
My parents have Airbnb Wine Barrel Pods that people can sleep in right smack in the middle of Mexican Wine Country (about 90min south of San Diego). Last Christmas, a British couple that had been traveling around wine country rented out one of the wine barrels. My parents and the rest of my visiting family invited the British couple to experience a real Mexican Christmas in their house and ranch with Piñatas, games, amazing food, and plenty of wine and tequila.
The couple had the best vibes, and my family loved having outsiders experience a traditional, jovial Mexican holiday party and they all ended up having such a wonderful time together. So much so, that they all have stayed in touch since, and are planning on coming to visit again this holiday season. Airbnb has brought my parents so many memorable experiences and positive connections with people from all over, it makes me so happy to see them get so excited over meeting so many different people that enjoy being their guests.
The Paint Job
We have a vacation rental that is mainly families and couples so it's pretty rare the property manager needs to call me for anything. He called me an was like: "Are all the rooms in the house supposed to be white?"
I was like: "Yeah, the previous owners painted all the bedrooms dorm room white to sell it. We've wanted to change it for a while."
He said, "Yeah, well, one of the rooms is definitely changed."
A couple stayed there for 3 weeks and apparently got bored and repainted one of the rooms a nice robin's egg blue with some very pro trimming that went perfectly with the artwork and the comforter. I didn't know whether to be mad or not. Like, it was really really well done color wash that would take a long time to do and was way better than something we would've been willing to pay for.
We told them they want to stay another time and do another room will give you one week for free. 4 more years and we'll have all of the rooms done.
My wife rented out our spare room to earn extra cash and I didn't get involved with it at all. She met me for dinner one night after work and casually mentioned that we had a couple from Germany staying with us.
No big deal, we had dinner then came home. When we got home they were sitting on the couch and I immediately recognized one as my student at the university I teach at. We said an awkward hello and my wife and I went to our bedroom.
We heard the door slam and the guests were gone. They had rented our place to get out of the dorms for the night and thought they were renting the whole apartment, not just one room. I think we may have arrived home just before they started having sex on the couch. We live far enough away from the university that the students assumed they'd be staying with total strangers.
I saw the female student in class the next week and she was pretty embarrassed. It was difficult because I wanted to convey to her that my wife and I didn't care and that is what being young is all about. Instead we just chose to pretend that it never happened.
A guy used our guitar to write a country song, apparently inspired by the view of the city. A few months later, he emailed me the recording he'd made in our apartment, as well as the finished product as it played on the radio. That was pretty cool.
Couldn't Find The Trash Bags
My friend is a host who travels a lot so when he's not in town I help him out by cleaning rooms and setting things up for the next guests. He has a 2 bedroom spot where each room is on opposite sides with the kitchen and living room in the middle. He typically has both rooms rented out by different people at all times.
The worst encounter I've had was when he asked me to go clean and prep a room that he said only had 1-2 guests. I had to go specifically at that time because the new guests were coming in soon to check in.
When I arrived to clean the room I found out that it wasn't just 1-2 guests staying in the room. It was 7-8 college kids who trashed the place and all crashed there. All of them were still there getting ready to leave. They had left an UNGODLY amount of trash. I mean literally boxes and boxes of garbage.
They had finished a 64 pack of coke and several 6 packs of different beers. They left empty pizza boxes, ramen cups, take out leftovers, all the cans/bottles were dispersed around the counters and on the floor. There was decomposing food left everywhere from the bathroom to the bedroom to the living room, kitchen counter, floor, etc.
They had used 7-8 towels which they left around the bathroom floor with water spilled everywhere. They left their shoes on the whole time and the dirt from the shoes mixed with the water on the floor to create mud streaks on the bathroom tile, kitchen tile, living room wood, and carpet in the bedroom. Someone had thrown up in the living room on the floor because there was randomly a dirty stinky mop just right next to an area.
I cannot overstate how nasty the entire place was.
When I arrived I asked if they were going to clean up the place or at least help collect their trash which they just left everywhere. They barely spoke English and one guy (who I'm assuming was the person who booked the room) asked if it was okay if they could just leave all their trash everywhere for me to pick up. I was shocked.
I'm only one college student, not a professional maid service! I didn't even know what to say to that.
The guy's excuse was "We didn't know where the trash bags were to clean our stuff up." That was complete bullsh*t because the bags were underneath the sink right next to the trash can they had overstuffed with maybe 1/16th of their total trash!
I didn't even say anything to him and just took out the trash bags and placed them on the counter next to him. He looked at me worried and told his friends to start cleaning up. I went in to the bathroom and closed the door so I could call my friend and tell him how badly they trashed the place.
When I came out they had all scurried out of the place after only putting a few bottles and cans in a trash bag. They left a f*ckton of trash for me to clean up. It took me so long to clean all of that up, mop the floors they stained with dirt and vomit, wipe the counters (they had left out ramen which spilled on the kitchen counter and had hardened over night), soak up the water spilled in the bathroom floor, scrub the toilet which they blew up (I won't tell you how gross that was), change all the sheets, vacuum the floor, etc. I was fuming. How can people have so little respect and not care at all about the mess they leave?
Lonely, Clingy and Rich
My house was an Air b&b for about a year, and we had all sorts of strange guests but this was probably the oddest. This old guy, I forget his name, started staying with us about 4 days out of the week and did so for 3 months. Very rich guy, had his own plane, estate fancy cars and all, and a young daughter who he missed very much as he worked very far from home during the week.
After a couple weeks he sort of expected us to eat together, sometimes taking us to dinner. Me and my mum didn't mind as he was nice company and shared our taste for food and wine. He started to get a little more clingy around the two month mark, which fell around Christmas time. He offered to take us on rides to his estate on his plane to holiday for Christmas and spend time with his daughter.
We began to feel very uncomfortable, and graciously declined to spend time elsewhere for the holidays. He understood but was disappointed.
When we returned from Christmas and went back to the regular routine of him staying during the week, he basically treated us like he would a house wife and child. He insisted on driving me to class, and would bring back pieces of meat easily worth £200 per hunk after work. My mother and I are both busy and it took two weeks to explain that we wouldn't have time to make such a large supper every day and we weren't used to all this expensive treatment. He eventually got the message about the meat but started buying us gifts, he seemed to be the type to show his affection through material things.
I will remind you that we were just his air b&b hosts, WE GOT FREAKED OUT!!! He bought us huge (sadly not very pretty) glass sculptures and ornaments to fill the house, flowers and new kitchenware... and if he didn't see them out or see anyone using them he'd get upset. At this point we decided to just block the days on Air b&b that he usually booked and said we were booked up.
I think he got the message and after a few tearful calls to the house he backed off.
My partner currently manages about 15 AirBnB's, we occasionally get assorted crazies, but the most recent incident was a doozy. Basically, from what we can work out, it was booked by a gang (about 7-10 of them, apparently) of drug dealers from another major city, who traveled over to distribute product to local dealers.
At some point after lots of coming and going, a rival gang turned up, kicked the front door in and attacked them all, and I can only assume stole the drugs in question.
Blood everywhere, smashed furniture, ambulances and a hell of a lot of police then ensued.
We were left to clean this mess up on our own, so we just re-carpeted the whole place rather than try and salvage what was there.
I had one guy ruin my counter tops. He set a super hot cast iron on them and they burnt into the cheap material. When I was asking him why he did that he said "Well, you didn't have any rules saying not to..."
Aaaaannnnddd THAT was the final person to stay in my place and the last time I did AirBnB.
Not a host but a tenant:
I was on my honeymoon with my husband and we decided to use a bath bomb in our AirBnB (bad idea). All was well until we emptied the tub and it was pitch black from the bath bomb - of course.
We tried cleaning it up as best as we could and had used one of the towels to try to clean up some of the mess but there was still some staining.
I ended up having to pay for them to buy a new shower liner and a new towel. I still feel bad for the guy but we both gave each other a great rating so it all worked out, also I'm never using a bath bomb in an AirBnB again.
This Parting Gift
I hosted my college apartment for 3 months a few summers ago. I had a couple from Spain staying and we ended up talking for a while when they were checking out. Cool people. After they left I went to clean the bedroom and they left a used condom on the nightstand...
My landlord recently listed a unit in our building as an aBnB. One day last month, the weather turned, and I heard tornado sirens outside. My upstairs neighbor came flying down the stairs to the basement and I let her in.
My husband just got home from work, and I thought it was weird his car was just sitting out there - why wasn't he coming inside? There was a tornado coming!
I asked my neighbor, who said, "he's talking to the Air BnB people - they don't speak English, and he's trying to explain what's going on." My husband speaks some Spanish, and he apparently got the point across, as we could hear them in the other side of the basement.
I'm sure that's not what the visiting family were expecting when they booked their stay, but at least the storm passed without incident in our region.
I had a guest contact me in the middle of the night FURIOUS about an insect problem. The house was built in the 20s and despite new windows and improved insulation the occasional bug managed to find its way in. I was deeply apologetic and psyching myself up to murder a spider or something... until I realized that the bugs were moths and and they weren't so much in the house as outside, attracted the the front porch light. The guest was horrified because she wanted to go out to her car but the moths were in the way.
Suggestions to turn off the porch light for a bit (rejected, did not want to "encourage crime") or use the side door (rejected, too far from the car) were rejected. And these weren't giant bat-sized moths, they were no bigger than a quarter and there were maybe a half dozen of them.
This was in Nashville, Tennessee in August. She's lucky she missed the 17 year cicada cycle, she would have probably died.
A Bad Rating
We have a 9.8 overall rating. I'm the reason we don't have a 10. I was home alone and didn't know we had tourists in the other apartment. I had a girl come over and we had some craaaaaaazy wild sex.
We get a 7.5 and the review said "Sounded like a weird sex party was going on."
My parents were not happy.
Bags of Evidence
I had a lady stay for one night. The next day I came to clean the place after she left and she had 3-4 garbage bags that were full sitting in my living room. They were those stretching garbage bags. So when I went to pick them up I saw that every bag was slap full of sex toy boxes, feathers, empty containers for leather items. Seems my condo was abused in all sorts of dirty ways.
Took my time making sure to give everything an extra scrub while wearing thick gloves!
My brother rented his apartment out via air BnB. One of their guests left some kind of bear suite/onesie in his house. He never understood what happened and what it was used for. The group staying were 4 Chinese girls....
Racism is an insidious, and unfortunately prevalent, force in all of our daily lives. Maybe we're on the receiving end of it, being treated differently and losing opportunities because of others' preconceived notions.
Or maybe we're on the other side of things. Even those who aren't actively racist or discriminatory still have to process the world through the filters of the things they've been told about people who are different.