'That's When I Noticed The Electronics Missing.' AirBnB Hosts Share Their Most Memorable Guest Experiences.
When renting out your living space, it's hard to really ever know what you are going to get. Now with AirBnB, it's more and more common for people to host strangers in their homes, which can lead to both great and terrible experiences.
These AirBnB hosts share the most memorable guest expereinces they've ever had.
1/19. 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 they whole 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 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'm never 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.
2/19. I Airbnb'd out my $3k/month high-rise to some basketball player. Nothing special but on a college level he was avg/normal. Anyhow, upon him leaving, he left behind: 10 5ths of Jack, maybe 10gs of just MARIJUANA stems, stains all over my California King and another bed that I didn't want to identify, bathroom liner ripped off, pizza face-down on the carpet, and to top it off, he threw my 2 chairs on the balcony into the pool below. Airbnb charged his card for everything he had and reimbursed me for the whole ordeal.
I stopped offering my spot on there after that.
3/19. We had a guest book our guest home for her birthday weekend. It was just going to be her and her 'brother'. She texted the day before saying it was just going to be her. I thought that no one should have to be alone for their birthday, so we put up a happy birthday banner and bought her some Cupcake wine with a decorative birthday wine glass and a big cupcake. She cried. Turns out the brother was actually a married guy she'd moved across the country for, but big surprise, hadn't/wouldn't leave the wife. They broke up the day before her romantic beach birthday trip.
I hope she's found better people to hang out with.
4/19. I'm not a host, but I will never be an Airbnb guest ever again because I was almost conned into paying for thousands of dollars in repairs and renovations that I had nothing to do with.
I stayed in a rented house in a popular tourist spot. Pretty average house. Nice common area, nice kitchen, bedrooms were a bit small with stiff beds, but overall not a bad rental for the week I was there. We cooked a lot, watched some movies on the nice TV that was there, knocked around town a bit, then left.
I was happy with my first Airbnb stay (story continued on the next page...).
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Then I get a call from the owner, screaming and raving that I trashed his place. He told me I had ripped up the carpet, there were gouges in all the walls, I had poured alcohol all over, that I had ruined the bed, the list went on and on. I asked him to text me pictures of the damage, because it sounded to me like maybe he had another property he rented out the same week and there'd been a mixup. Nope, it was the house we stayed at, and it was obliterated.
I tell him it couldn't have been us, we just left and it was in great shape. He says he's 100% sure it was us and he's going to have Airbnb make us pay for all of it. He hangs up on me.
Now, what he didn't know, is that I was recording video almost the whole time I was on vacation, so that I could cut together a video version to show to a friend who was stuck in the hospital. I did a lot of talking-into-the-camera bits while I did stuff, just walking and aiming the camera at my face and what I was doing. I did these for the arrival and the departure. This particular house had a key dropbox on the front near the mailbox where after the house was locked up, you dropped the keys in and left. I had videoed myself talking about how nice the stay hand been as I locked all the doors, walked to the front, dropped the keys in, and got into my car. I had video proof that I'd left the place spotless.
I slapped it on youtube as an unlisted video, and called up Airbnb, shared the link with them, and never heard anything more about it.
5/19. Well, the thing is, they appeared nice-- charming, in fact. I waited for them so that I could give them the key to the cabin, and we chatted for a while about what to do, places to see, etc.
The next day, though, I came by at noon to see if they needed anything as the closest grocery store was 45 minutes away and my husband and I were going. The woman to whom I had spoken was with a different guy and the one I had met previously was nowhere to be found.
Now, this is mid August in California, so it's pretty hot. After asking how everything is, she slams the door in my face without answering. So, I knock again. The new guy opened the door. Again, I asked how everything was. From inside, the woman screams, "It's too hot! Why didn't you tell us how hot it was? Did you think we'd want to come out here if it were like this?!"
After this, I let myself inside to see if they had issues with the AC... The Air Conditioning unit had been vandalized, the toilet was plugged and smelled horrific, and the bed sheets were strewn about the cabin. What. The. Hell.
So, I started questioning them. First, I gave them the benefit of the doubt, and asked if they had been robbed. The woman shrugged and said, "Nope. This place is terrible, I just wanted to add to it."
Before I could muster up an answer out of my shocked stupor, the man I met the day earlier came in smelling of booze and cigarettes. He stumbled in, cursing out the woman for kicking him out and replacing him, and went immediately to the bathroom... Where the toilet was clogged. He opened up the seat, saw what was there, and immediately started vomiting EVERYWHERE.
Not knowing what else to do, I went outside. Meanwhile, my cabin became an arena for their screaming match. After it seemed to have cooled off, I went inside and snapped pictures of everything so that I could sue them for the damages.
Yeah. What a nightmare.
6/19. I host in Manchester, UK, usually just get people visiting for one night to go and watch the football but recently I've had people staying for a week or so for contract work. I don't mind either and as I share my house I make an effort to actually chat to them. Makes for a less awkward morning encounter!
So this guy comes to stay, in his late 50s, I'm 30F but its no big deal, I talk/listen to people for a living and can usually find some common ground and generic conversation topic. On this occasion we were experiencing a heatwave so being British we started talking about the weather. He'd driven a couple hundred miles and I sympathized as I'd just met up with some family who'd done a similar trip. Turns out they'd travelled from the same place. Turns out he's from the same place as my dad. Turns out he played rugby with my dad when they were 16. I've literally never met another person unrelated to me from that part of the country and here was this guy paying to stay in my spare room.
He was a bloody lovely bloke and gave me a bottle of cava when he left.
7/19. Got a last-minute booking from someone who lived in our same city, which was a little suspicious. However, he (let's call him T) had a few good reviews so we decided to let him stay. The next day around check-out, I called to see if he was out of the apartment so we could come clean it. T responded by booking another night.
On the third day, he called with a long story about getting mugged on the beach, blacking out, and spending the night in the hospital. Pretty shady, but at least we were going to get him out of the unit and move on.
I let him into the apartment, and immediately saw (story continued on the next page...).
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I let him into the apartment, and immediately saw a crack pipe on the counter. Then, things just seemed a little... off. I noticed that the electronics were unplugged and a few were missing. Then, I went into the bedroom, and saw his set up.
T had a television, laptop, and camera set up in front of the bed. He had most of the other electronics in the house sitting in a pile next to the bed. He had one duffel bag full of electronic cables, etc, and a few tools. He had another bag full of 20-25 brand new hats.
He was extremely apologetic and embarrassed, and hurriedly packed up his car and left. Super nice and polite otherwise.
We changed the locks.
Afterward, I saw his profile get updated with a new review saying he left blood and poo smeared all over a bathroom wall. So, uh, we got off pretty easy I guess.
8/19. Rented to 2 well dressed and well spoken art students. At about 4am the neighbor called me asking what the heck is going on. I could hear this crazy music and loud sex in the background. Drove over. They have about 30 people in my one bedroom. Naked. Covered in glitter, paint, wine.
They're all having sex. One dude is sitting in the corner looking at them like he's examining a painting, making suggestions to add to the "art piece". There are naked people everywhere. A TON of alcohol. Red wine, glitter, semen, blood and paint covered EVERYTHING. There was a random feral cat inside. There's a dude screaming randomly in the middle of the road about nonsense.
My apartment was used to film some weird psychedelic art porn.
9/19. I rented out my apartment and the heater broke down in the middle of winter.
My guest calls me to tell me and I immediately call someone to go fix it.
When the guests leave (I didn't meet them since I was out of town) and I come back home, I see that all the windows and doors now have sealant around them and the frames have been caulked so there are fewer drafts. There were also a few other fixes done to the place.
Apparently, my guest spoke the local language better than I do and told the repairman to fix a bunch of other stuff in my apartment while he was there. It didn't cost me anything extra and she still left me a 5 star review.
10/19. Well not a host, but rented a room for over a month and there was an air mattress that was for rent in the living room. This is in Beijing, China by the way. Middle of the night, the man renting the air mattress, knocks on my door with a thing of beer. I'm hurting from eating way too much and open the door to my bedroom. There is a complete language barrier and he motions me to follow him. He just points to the TV and says the word "Funny." He motions me to sit on the couch and we end up watching Top Gear with subtitles. We're both laughing at the same show and can only communicate with thumbs up. It was a good night.
11/19. My girlfriend has been an AirBnB host for 2 months now and has had around 10 guests. Most people have been sweet and considerate. One guy we felt particularly bad for. He came in Friday night saying he was visiting a friend over the weekend and wouldn't be around much. We thought it strange his friend wouldn't put him up but she was getting paid so who cares. He was a rather large guy, soft spoken and awkward but very nice.
First night he came in around 8 and my girlfriend and I had plans so we went out for the night. Came back around midnight and he was watching HBO and said turns out his friend couldn't hang tonight.
Next morning we get up (story continued on the next page...).
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My girlfriend makes breakfast for all of us and we get acquainted. Turns out he was here to visit a college female friend he hasn't seen since he graduated couple months ago. He never says it but we pick up very quickly he is very into this girl and she is giving him the run around. She doesn't respond all afternoon and girlfriend and I are in the midst of renovating her front yard. He, having nothing else to do, helps with the yard work. He hears back from his "friend" and she says she won't be able to see him that night either.
We felt super bad for him cause he was so kind and helpful and just lacked confidence so we go get some good local food for the 3 of us and watch Deadpool cause he hadn't seen it. We hang out, drink beers and talk and had a good time. He was gone when we got up the next morning but I hope his trip wasn't a total waste.
He left a review saying his experience felt like staying with good friends. Which just broke our hearts but hopefully he moved on from the girl. Best of luck to ya Michael, best of luck.
12/19. There was this one 19 year old girl (let's call her Catherine) who stayed over for ~4 nights.
My sister had gone to my grandmother's at the time along with my dad and my brother was at school. So it was just me and my mom. I chose to stay at home because I wanted to be anti social, and Catherine saw that.
Catherine was coming over to my city to see some friends who lived nearby, and she somehow noticed how I stayed at home playing Skyrim the entire day without ever leaving the house, so she invited me to go out with her and her friends. (very nice people) Because of this, we started talking and relating a lot more during her stay here. Heck, she also taught me how to make kick-ass sandwiches for lunch.
The day she left was a sad day, because our friendship had grown so much. Her and I still actively keep in touch, even though she came here over a year ago.
I will never forget her.
13/19. After no response since the day of the booking they showed up 8hrs late and were super pissy that I had left. Called me at 2:30 am that night to say the key was not working. I went over and the key worked first time,
"Oh you turn the key that way!"
Night two, 3:30 am, they called because they are locked out, I go over to find they went to get food, back in an hour. In the mean time I discover they left the key in the lock so the door couldn't be opened. Enter the locksmith.
On the day of the check out, they left before I got there, the front door was wide open as were the windows. Rubbish on the floor and four full condoms on the floor around the bed. Bathroom looked like they stood in the toilet and crapped and pissed on.
14/19. Maybe the situation is memorable and the tenant perfectly normal, but I rented out my studio in Montreal over a few months one summer. One fellow visited from Saskatchewan and seemed to really like it there. Great guest, very tidy, no problems.
He called me again MONTHS later, like some time in mid-October asking to stay again. I was a full-time student actually living in my apartment during the school year so initially I declined, plus was actually fostering a heavily pregnant guinea pig at the time which didn't really seem like an ideal tenancy situation (story continued on the next page...).
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Anyways, he said he'd be happy to look after the guinea pig and I wound up sleeping next door with my neighbour for the weekend.... until he phoned me while I was already six drinks deep on Saturday night to tell me that the guinea pig had given birth. I drunkenly ambled back to my apartment to take a look, and yup. Six greasy little pig babies and goo everywhere, and a flustered man looking at me with this helpless 'what on earth do I do now' expression. I think that was the point that the inanity of the whole thing hit me and I couldn't stop giggling.
15/19. Everything was great until the last night. She called and said the house was very warm and she didn't think she would be able to sleep that way. So I said just turn the AC on. I didn't hear anything back from her until the next morning. She said she could barely get through the night and it was so hot because the AC was broken. So I get home and notice that the AC unit was on and blowing cool air but she had moved the unit close to the bed and detached the exhaust hose so all the warm air was blowing out the back and into the room.
16/19. My in laws used to Airbnb their house while they were travelling. Once, the people staying there left the deck doors and windows open all night (despite the instructions being very clear that this should not be done) a bird got into the house and in its attempt to escape bloodied itself all over the main floor and died in the living room.
The people staying there decided not to mention anything and just left it like that.
Two days later they get back and see the mess. What the heck people!? I mean, I get that it was kind of a crazy situation, but staying quiet and leaving was not the best way to handle it.
17/19. Had a vegan couple stay over for a night so the wife could attend a yoga / spirit-healing / shamanism seminar in town.
All that's fine and they were great guests, but the kicker was when the husband asked if I'd seen the show Portlandia and then described himself and his wife "like Portlandia, except in real life." When he came back from town he offered me a piece of the special organic home-made chocolate they bought from a local shop.
Must be two of the most self-aware people I've ever met!
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18/19. Guest kept poking my rescue dog saying "he won't bite me". He bit him.
19/19. A friend of mine rents out the in-law unit in the house he and his wife share. It's a pretty sweet space, they're on a hill and the in-law unit is the lowest level, so it's kinda a basement even though it's above ground. It has a separate entrance and private bathroom and is super quiet and nice. Doesn't have a kitchen, but they've set it up with a microwave, mini-fridge, and coffee maker, complete with a hostess basket of free tea and popcorn and hot chocolate. It's really like a mini-hotel in a suburb neighborhood and they've had quite a few guests who have been very nice and respectful.
Anyway, recently they hosted a Swiss couple who had been backpacking up and down the Pacific coast and rented my friend's AirBnB for their last couple nights before flying home. They were quiet, didn't bother my friend much, but the last night they were there, my friend and his wife heard this strange beeping coming from downstairs and the sounds of their guests scrambling around. By the time he got himself awake and pants-on, though, the beeping had stopped. He shrugged and went back to bed. The next morning the Swiss left no problem.
So my friend goes down to check out the room, and first off, these people had left random scraps of trash everywhere. Not like junk, like receipts and bits of wrappers, etc. Probably stuff they had accumulated over the course of their trip, but instead of putting it all into the trashcan, somehow it wound up all over the room. They also left a couple things that they had obviously bought for their trip and didn't want anymore, ok fine, but the most suspicious thing was A) a cooking pot, recently used (and poorly cleaned), and 2) a portable propane tank, also used. My friend stared at this a moment, then, suspicion rising, he looked around. He saw that the smoke detector for the room was fine, but the carbon monoxide detector had had its batteries removed.
The carbon monoxide detector.
Whoops. That snip was just a hair too far....
Your first bad haircut probably made you want to die a little when you looked in the mirror. Imagine how the person cutting your hair must have felt. Although, maybe they didn't care at all, as evidenced by the bs excuse they gave you when you finished in the barber chair.