At it's best, Airbnb is a comfortable and more affordable alternative to a hotel. You can cook your own meals while traveling to save on pricy restaurant bills and get more space for your buck. Some people with extra space in their home or those who travel a lot also can use as an additional source of income by renting out their own space.
Most people you speak to who've used Airbnb will tell you their experiences with the rental platform went smoothly. Some might mention that it took longer than expected to get the keys or that the kitchen was smaller than it looked in the pictures. But a select few have experienced true Airbnb nightmares that even got media attention because of just how bad the rental or renting experience went. On both the user's end and on the host's end, people have suddenly found their lives flipped upside-down after something bad went down with their Airbnb.
Image: Facebook / Universul Energiei
Star and Mark King, and their two young children came home after renting out their Airbnb to a group of four that they thought were in town for a wedding to a huge surprise. Their neighbors had tipped the family off that a party bus with around 100 people had rolled up to their home in Sage Hill, Calgary, Canada, and the cops had been called on the partiers a whopping seven times. The $50K in repairs is apparently being covered by Airbnb after the Kings found their toilets clogged with condoms, condiments smeared over the walls, their furniture smashed, and broken bottles of alcohol spread across the property. The people staying at the residence apparently had a "drug-induced orgy," a theory supported by one of the girl's who was leaving the party exclaiming that she'd been on ectacy that night.
Image: Pinterest / Asykar Adiguna
Alavia Khawaja and her sister had been renting out a spare room in their apartment without a hitch using Airbnb when Alavia was suddenly faced with a terrifying Airbnb nightmare. Leonard Jackson had rented the girls' spare room using the platform and although at first it seemed like a run-of-the-mill renting experience, Alavia came home to her bedroom door unlocked, her closet rummaged, and photos of Alavia with male friends thrown away. Not only did Jackson actually demand a refund for his stay from Airbnb, but Alavia realized that he'd stolen $500 from her. After kicking him out and calling the police, he continued to harass her over text message. Read what the host said herself in this Twitter thread.
Image: Pinterest / Splendid Serendipity
Four guests rolled up to a Sydney Airbnb property on Bondi Beach expecting to have nearly two weeks of paradise. Annie Gabillet, her husband, and two friends got in late at night when they realized that this Airbnb in paradise was more like Airbnb in hell. They described the smell of "wet dog" overwhelming them when they walked in, but decided to go to sleep anyways and figure out their plan in the morning. Turns out the wet dog smell was mold covering the walls of the Airbnb. They described the unit being covered in cobwebs and dead bugs; there was no hot water and the water they did have was brown. The renters got their money back from Airbnb and found another place to stay for their trip. Considering how dangerous mold can be, it's a wonder this Airbnb nightmare didn't turn out even worse!
Image: Facebook / Afrofeed
An Airbnb rental in Longboat Key, Florida had over 40 positive reviews when one Indiana couple realized that the two-years-long Airbnb host was a creep. Derek Starnes noticed a strange black dot by the master bedroom's fire alarm and, sure enough, it was a camera. After he and his wife did a bit more snooping, they found another camera in the living room and it didn't seem like the host was planting these to keep an eye on his property. The man was charged with video voyeurism after the Starnes called the cops. It's alarming to think about how many couples the voyeur had been peeping on until he got caught — and what he did with the videos.
Image: Facebook / Tish Natasha
Anyone living with a roommate knows that sometimes people don't see eye-to-eye when it comes to personal tidiness and cleanliness but this Airbnb host called one guest and "Airbnb nightmare" on Facebook after she found the room she'd rented out trashed. There was a used towel in her newborn baby's highchair, a trash bag in the corner, and the woman said she "couldn't add the disgusting toilet pics" to her post because it'd be too much.
Image: Pinterest / Airbnb Expert
A woman named Poonam Sandhu from California rented out the master bedroom in her home for two weeks to a couple back in 2015 to earn some extra cash. When the third week rolled around and Poonam expected them to leave, they asked to pay by cash per day. Since Airbnb takes a fee from the rental price, Poonam said that'd be fine. They'd seemed like respectful tenants up until that point. But this isn't 'Great Airbnb Experiences,' it's 'Airbnb Nightmares' so you had to know something was coming. The renters stopped paying Poonam the rent, could be heard fighting through the walls, and started using her things.
Poonam decided to call the police and asked the couple to leave immediately, but they refused. Ultimately, she had to pay them $1K to leave her home. And since their extended stay wasn't booked through Airbnb and the couple had a separate verbal contract with Poonam, the rental platform isn't even on the hook for this awful experience.
Image: Instagram / airbnbfunky2beds
Part of the danger of being an Airbnb host is that people will stay with you or at your home who don't have the same standards of cleanliness. One particular host was upset when she came home to find milk left out of the fridge, meat juice spread over the cutting board, and dishes overflowing out of the sink. The host described that, "every room had rubbish, half eaten food, even the bathroom!" Some Airbnb renters must think that the "cleaning fee" means they can leave things how they please... but it's a different situation when it could mean attracting pests to the property!
Image: Twitter / @joycevogt
If you thought that those guests had different standards of hygiene than you do, just wait until you hear about this host! Perfect example: take a look at this stained, dirty mattress. We're hoping it's a wine stain but it looks a heck of a lot more like blood. Here's the deal, you can keep your personal mattress in whatever condition you want, but if you're expecting people to pay you to sleep on your mattress, it better be clean! A clean sheet to hide the nastiness just doesn't protect against... whatever that is.
Image: Twitter / @MLErpenbeck
I guess these Airbnb hosts must not have been clear about where to dispose of trash because they came home to find their renters had piled up trash bags on trash bags in the entryway of their home! One of the bags ripped as the owner was taking the trash to the dumpster and actual poop fell to the ground. What? Their cooking pan was left with the trash with food remnants burnt onto it, their hand vacuum was missing, and there was broken glass by the door.
Image: Pinterest / Adrina | Monet
Two anesthesiology residents from Boston decided they wanted to have a romantic getaway and jet-set off to sunny California to relax. Naturally, they booked an Airbnb for the trip and did their due diligence — the owner of the rental was a Superhost, which is a designation given to select hosts who have over ten guests per year, higher than an 80% review average, and respond to potential guests quickly. The superhost even left the couple a bottle of wine for their stay.
In the middle of the night, someone angry began pounding on the door looking for the host. When they called the host for help, he said "life's too short for an explanation" but hoped they'd have a good stay in L.A. The angry man returned the next night — this time, he pushed himself through a glass window in the bedroom and while waiting for police response, the man and the intruder got into a physical altercation. That's when the man realized the intruder was actually the Airbnb superhost. Apparently, he wasn't even legally allowed to be renting the unit out to others since he was renting it himself! What a mess.
Image: Instagram / @davimore420
A family was feeling comfortable in their Airbnb rental in Syndey, Australia up until the point when police troopers stormed through the door. The family was allegedly arrested on the spot due to claims that they were growing marijuana on the residence. Of course, it wasn't their weed but the Airbnb host had been using his property for a dual-function: to rent to people and to grow his mary-j. The family was released and spent their trip on the Gold Coast in a hotel instead.
Image: Pixabay / TesaPhotography
A family vacationing in Dublin, Ireland, rented a three-bedroom unit over a casino. The family was pretty happy with the stay — especially because they said they found lost money on the sidewalk nearly every morning. It got weird though quickly when the family realized the host didn't supply renters with hot water (which, BTW, would be illegal in the States) and one family member found an old, half-eaten birthday cake in the nightstand's drawer. WTF.
Image: Pinterest / Zaphenath Paaneah
A group of friends traveling to Paris in 2016 decided that Airbnb would be the best and most cost-effective option for their trip. A swimming pool and seven bedrooms seemed perfect for the group — until they realized there was a body decomposing in the backyard! They called the cops, who naturally, wanted to question the group. After clearing their names, police reported that they thought the woman had been murdered since she was only 40-years-old and the branches that covered her corpse looked planted. Hopefully it wasn't the Airbnb host who did the crime! The backyard wasn't fenced in, so it really could have been anyone.
Image: StockSnap / Elti Meshau
Two women — sisters — were staying in an Airbnb for one night after booking it online. The host's name was Leslie and the profile picture showed a blonde woman. But once they got there, Leslie turned out to be a man using someone else's photo on his Airbnb profile. Leslie insisted on bringing them to the club that night to show them a good time and when they refused, he showed up after coming home and stood above them in bed watching! The sisters left immediately for the airport and reported the creepy host to Airbnb.
Image: Airbnb (Not the actual unit)
A family vacationing in Belize in 2016 thought they'd found their perfect Airbnb rental. The photos looked great but when they arrived, it seemed that everything in the apartment was made of concrete — including the couch and bed, which just had a foam topper. Who would do that? Apparently, it was an artistic villa. The family reached out to the owner and, after the sixth day of their rental, they checked out early even though the owner still hadn't gotten back to them.
A 19-year-old boy from Massachusetts found himself experiencing an Airbnb nightmare in Madrid, Spain and didn't know what else to do but to call his mom for help — who was back home in the States. On the Fourth of July in 2015, the boy, Jacob Lopez, was locked in a fourth-floor room of an Airbnb rental and said the host was forcing him to perform sexual acts on her. His mother called Airbnb, who told her they couldn't give confidential information to her — his whereabouts. She then tried the police but couldn't get through. It's a genuinely terrifying story of sexual assault and even though he was eventually let go, that kind of trauma doesn't go away easily. The accused assailant, who is transgender, said that they were engaging in consensual sexual acts but Jacob freaked out when he realized she was trans.
Image: Pixabay / Alexas_Fotos
An experienced Airbnb host who often rented out their apartment while away for business hadn't had a terrible experience until a couple stayed for two weeks while he was away. After the couple left, everything seemed normal. But as someone who had rented out their home before, they had to do a thorough check of the unit and realized there was a very, very bad smell coming from the restroom. Turns out the couple who stayed was accustomed to throwing out toilet paper instead of flushing it — since that's the norm in some countries like Greek. But the couple didn't even take out the trash before leaving, letting the host deal with their... bodily fluids.
Image: Pexels / Tatiana
Though the guests seemed totally normal when a host checked them in, but the next morning when the host used the shared bathroom, there were white flecks scattered on the floor. The host cleaned it, thinking it may have been a spill of some powder, so when they saw the flecks turn up again, they asked the guest what was up. Apparently, the guest had severe dermatitis and the white specs on the floor were skin flakes. Though the host asked to make sure the guest cleans up after himself, the guest apparently walked around leaving a trail of flakes where they went and the host said once they left the unit was due for a very deep cleaning.
Image: Pixabay / christels
Sometimes guests get more than they bargained for when they opt to stay in an Airbnb as opposed to a hotel. A particular pair of guests, for example, knew that there would be a cat at the residence while the host was gone and were asked to feed it. What the host didn't tell them is that the cat needed medication three times a day and often used the bathtub as its litter box. The host apparently texted the guests frequently to check on the cat and it felt like they were paying to be cat sitters rather than paying for a place to stay.
Image: Pexels / Tookapic
After renting out a private room in their home to a guest on Airbnb, a couple realized that they maybe should've been more clear about what they were comfortable with in their home. The guest, a woman, apparently spent a lot of her time walking around their place completely named. The person who experienced this odd Airbnb experience described, "This girl just absolutely never had clothes on in the apartment. She just walked around in the nude, sat down on the couch and talked to us nude... as if she wasn't nude. When she first walked out of the bedroom naked, my girlfriend and I sort of looked at each other oddly without saying a word. But just let it go as she just carried on normally and chatted with us about our lives, the city, and her plans for the weekend."
Image: Pexels / Matan Segev
It may be even riskier to rent out a single room than it is to rent a whole apartment! One Ohio man rented a room to Airbnb'rs over new year for $40 per night. The guest advertised that he was hosting a New Year's Eve party in this man's home, charged $5 per person who came, and allegedly fit about 250 people into the single room he was renting. The homeowner found out, locked himself in his bedroom, and called the cops. The man did press charges and got a disorderly conduct arrest.
Image: Pinterest / Olive Press News Spain
One crooked Airbnb host approved to have a couple of British girls stay in their in Costa de Sol, Spain unit, but once the women arrived, they found two other girls were sleeping in their rented bed and the place seemed like there'd been a party there! The host had said they were out of the country but a cousin would come over and check things out. The girls realized that it was probably the cousin who had been partying there, let the girls crash on the bed, and were forced to find new accommodations. When they came back to pick up their stuff, they'd had several items stolen from them while they were looking for a hotel. They called the cops but the girls were throwing things at them and even locked one inside after the other had escaped. The girls said it took way too long for Airbnb to respond to the complaint.
Image: Pexels / VINICIUS COSTA
This Airbnb nightmare shared on Reddit included a lot of damage for the homeowner. Apparently, a woman and her boyfriend purchased property that they rented out to Airbnb'rs for added cash and another woman booked the home for a Saturday night. Though the owners had declared "no parties" on the listing, the guest claimed she would just be with her brother and two friends who would stay for dinner — but that's all. Unfortunately, not so much. The hosts, who lived next door to the rental started to hear music blasting, and strobe lights blaring from their home. There were also people dumping ice, liquor, and fruit juice into barrels. The woman went over to confront the renter about breaking the rules, and the renter claimed she was "ruining her life." When the party was broken up, two friends of the girls stood in front of the owner's home shouting profanities at the woman. How messed up is that. The cops were called and the partiers were booted from Airbnb.
During a business trip, one woman decided that she could earn some cash renting out her home on Airbnb. But when she came back, her stuff had been stolen and the house was completely trashed. But perhaps the oddest part of the debacle was that the guest had been communicating regularly with the host via text and nothing seemed off. The woman found her furniture destroyed and a hole in her closet door so that the guests could take stuff from her, which included a camera, iPod, harddrive, and her grandmother's jewelry. She also thinks that the criminals made copies of her Social Security information and birth certificate, leaving her vulnerable to fraud.
Two women were going on a four-week vacay and thought it'd offset the costs a bit to have their apartment listed on Airbnb for the month they were gone. When they got back to their apartment in Stockholm, Sweden, they found that the police had been there... because the space was being used as a temporary brothel! WHAT! They also found public hair and used condoms in the unit. Airbnb put them up in a nice hotel while the unit was fixed and cleaned, but can you imagine going back to your home after it was used for sex work?!
When a family went on vacation in Rincon, Puerto Rico, for a New Year's holiday, they rented a two-bedroom apartment that included an ocean view and a pool. Doesn't sound too bad, right? It turns out when they arrived and found the bedrooms, the one for the kids had "Danger" signs all over the room. There was an exposed power accumulator in the room that made all kinds of noises and emitted nasty smells. The host assured the parents over and over that the room was safe for sleeping and playing. Because it was a holiday week and nothing else was readily available, they had the kids sleep in the living room, and when another, much safer unit became available, they immediately moved to that one.
When a mother and daughter went to New Orleans, they rented two rooms in a home listed on Airbnb. Online, the place looked wonderful, but when they arrived, they were met with something entirely different than what they had seen on the internet. First, there was an airbed, not a real bed. The bathroom was not private (ew), and the entire home smelled like dog urine and smoke. To top it all off, the host told them they had someone living in their shed in the backyard, which is totally not creepy at all. The owner's dog ended up taking a massive crap on one of the beds they'd rented, and all the host did was hand the guest paper towels to clean it up with. Mom and daughter shared a bed that night and got up bright and early the next morning to get out of there.
When a man booked an Airbnb for a weekend getaway for a little romantic time together, he wanted it with his girlfriend, not the Airbnb host. The man had booked a luxurious space for him and his lady in Hampton Bay, New York. At first, the spot was perfect. That was until the host texted the man in the middle of the night asking if they were interested in a threesome! One of the texts read "The girlfriend, she's cool, right? We do the best we can here." We can think of three words: ew, gross and what the f*ck?
Image: Facebook / 102.7 KIIS FM
With all of this wacky weather these past few years, we've seen quite a few snowstorms, especially 2016's "Snowpocalypse." A Brooklyn man took it upon himself, along with some friends to build a makeshift igloo. Instead of playing around in it themselves, one of the men decided to list the makeshift snow-home on Airbnb. It was listed as, “Dripping with ingenuity and alt-lifestyle aura lays this Snowpocalypse’s most desirable getaway.” While the man assured the rental was big enough for two people, Airbnb ultimately made him take the listing down. We can think of two-hundred better ways to spend $200.
Image: Youtube / Kevin P. Roberson
In 2017, a South African filmmaker named Sibhale Knumbi was assaulted and pushed down a flight of stairs by her Airbnb host for being an hour late checking out. The man also made derogatory and racist remarks toward Knumbi and the friends that she was staying with. Knumbi was in Amsterdam for an art exhibit. A graphic video shows the attack and the host who shoved the filmmaker down the steep flight of stairs was arrested for attempted murder. Sibhale suffered a concussion and some internal injuries.
Image: iStock / Kyryl Gorlov
The thing about Airbnb is that you really do not know who you are renting to — no matter how many five-star ratings a person may have. It also must be a bit stressful when you're renting out rooms in a party town — or one having a music festival. One couple decided to rent their property to someone in town for a music festival and told the person they'd be stopping in to check on them and the unit during their stay. But on one of their check-ins, they found drugs were being stored in their baby's crib! The couple kicked the guest out immediately and bought their baby a new crib.
Image: iStock / saruservice
A woman from Sydney, Australia decided that she would try out Airbnb as a host for the very first time. But since her first time was a certified Airbnb nightmare, we'd guess her first time as an Airbnb host was also her last. Her guest posed as a mother who was looking for a place closer to the hospital because her child was ill. The guest called herself "Michelle," and even her profile picture showed a photo with her son. When the host arrived back at her apartment, the whole place was turned upside down. It appeared as though there was heroin staining her furniture, there was a strange green liquid on some of the walls, and even a pipe was left in a vase in the unit.
Image: iStock / Cherkas
One woman and her boyfriend were excited to rent a great house in Costa Rica. Everything was great ... until they stepped inside the home and found critters like ants and large spiders that were crawling around the home. Making matters worse, their bedroom seemed to be the epicenter of the critter problem. There had even been a frog in the bathtub during one of their showers! Their Airbnb host cooked the couple a traditional Costa Rican breakfast, but when the couple went to put their dishes away, bugs were found crawling around in the rice and beans.
Image: iStock / TankGoodnessPhoto
A woman named Lisa was the Airbnb host to a man who claimed he was getting married the next day. What he didn't tell her is that the wedding would be at her house. She woke up the next morning to see a gazebo, caterers, and wedding guests on her property. It was probably pretty awkward having to ask everyone to leave. We're just venturing a guess here, but her guest probably did not get married that day, after all.
Image: iStock / Phoenixns
A man rented out a private room to a young woman in his house hoping to earn some extra cash. But then woman, who was super drunk, stormed into his room while he was sleeping and tried to hop into bed with him! He told her to get into the bed she'd rented and at first, she obliged. Fifteen minutes later, she came back with a sales pitch for a MLM scheme she's a part of.
Image: iStock / Nastco
If you thought the unexpected wedding story was bad, can you imagine an unexpected child-birth? Well, unexpected for the Airbnb host! A woman who was nine-months pregnant decided to rent a room in someone's house in order to have her baby there and guarantee the child United States citizenship. Apparently, there have been a few hosts who have experienced this and it's 100% legal.
Image: iStock / Ishkabibbel
Mike Silverman was a seasoned Airbnb guest who traveled all over the U.S. and the world and used the website for his accommodations with no issues. But during one instance, he booked a home that said "no pets," to find the host had a Rottweiler. When he went to pet the dog, the Rottweiler bit his hand and left a six-inch gash that needed stitched. Mike had to pay for it himself. PSA: If your dog isn't friendly, you probably shouldn't be an Airbnb host!
Image: iStock / SeventyFour
Despite having a 'no parties' rule, one Canadian Airbnb host found that there was a rager at his house while he was away. Neighbors reported that the house was packed to capacity with people, and even had kids as young as thirteen in attendance. Everything got so out of control that there were teenagers climbing out the windows onto the roof. The Airbnb host found holes were punched into walls, windows broken, and glass on the floor. But the absolute worst part was that a teenaged boy got stabbed in the leg during the party. Police responded and broke up the party and got the boy immediate medical attention.
Image: Facebook / Arty Pie
Two roommates who listed their apartment for rent on Airbnb owned a Banksy original called "Leopard and Barcode." The print was estimated to be worth around $11K until it was stolen by an Airbnb guest. The thieves left behind a nitrous oxide tank (which people use as 'laughing gas' for a five-minute high), roaches from their joints, and condom wrappers. Very nice.
Image: iStock / Brankospejs
A New York woman believed that she was renting her Midtown Manhattan apartment to a woman in the military, after the person online claimed that she was just looking for a little rest and relaxation. Then the woman got an unexpected phone call! The police phoned her after the woman who was staying in her apartment, who was a sex worker, got attacked by one of her clients who slashed her. Airbnb paid for professional cleaning services to come and put the apartment back together after the incident, but the host was completely shocked.
Image: Twitter / Dion Lim
When a property manager rented out a five million dollar home in San Fransisco to a guest, they expected it to be respected by the guests. But, as we've seen throughout this horror-filled adventure, that never really seems to happen. When the renter left the property, they left behind all kinds of nasty stuff. Over 150 needles were found, and the person staying there had defecated and urinated all over the home with no care for anything. The property manager couldn't even begin to assess how much damage was done to the property and a private cleaning company was called in to clean up the massive mess — a job that took hours!
Do you use AirBNB? Have you had any weird experiences? Share them in the comments below!