You're just one person away from being part of the “this only happens to others” group.
I finished writing a 30+ pages documentation to make my case to Airbnb against the host of an apartment in Palma de Mallorca last night.
For the past 14 days, I've been messaging back and forth with the host and with Airbnb support: one of the rooms was moldy and we couldn't use it. The apartment was in bad shape and hat partly severe water marks on walls and furniture, and rust on the appliances.
We did everything by the book – we immediately contacted the host directly, Airbnb support in parallel. The host promised fixes, and started by sending someone with a paint can. We were flabbergasted but, after four days, accepted that we shouldn't have trusted the photos, the assertions of the host or that Airbnb valued the guests more than the hosts.
Then came the day before our departure: heavy rain turned the terrace above the apartment into a sea. Water leaked into the apartment everywhere. We left, now understanding how the water marks came to be, and fearing to be electrocuted by the wet electrical appliances.
We reported this to the host and Airbnb. The host ended up filing a damage refund request of half the rent, accusing us to have clogged a drain with soda cans. (We had already paid a few thousand bucks for the horrible stay so far)
Now I'm hoping for the mercy of Airbnb, the self-proclaimed “neutral arbitrator to achieve an amicable solution”.
If I'm ever to use Airbnb again (I won't if I not absolutely have to) or if you plan on doing so:
- Check the cancellation policy of a listing: if it's not cancelable until x days of the arrival, stay away from it
- If the host has anything but stellar reviews, stay away from them
- Document every. single. detail. of anything wrong with the place and let the host know. Show today's newspaper and a clock on each photo. Make videos commenting what you see.
- Check water drains for soda cans.
- Don't forget your own soda cans on the terrace.