Airbnb exploded into the travel world offering travelers a new way to stay that was cheaper than hotels, a great way to visit new places and the chance to stay in unique accommodations. Used by over 17 million people in the word spread over 190 countries the company aims to create safe and affordable housing for travelers and provide security to home owners. Unfortunately not all Airbnb experiences are perfect and in some cases they are downright horrifying. Over the past few years the company has prided itself in improving the screening of guests and hosts but still a few untrustworthy candidates sneak by.
In some cities it is actually illegal to rent out your apartment or house and guests and owners can actually be kicked out, or even worse you can find yourself being duped and actually renting from someone who doesn’t own the place. What if the police called you because your renters were actually operating a brothel or involved in a crime? It’s not just guests that make these experiences terrifying; sometimes the owners are to blame. Who would want to be sleeping and suddenly awake to their host coming in drunk and trying to have his way with you? From meth pipes to coming home to a panty raid party these are ten horrifying stories that will have you never wanting to rent to strangers again.
10. The Trashed Penthouse
An NYC East Village penthouse was once a beautiful apartment belonging to Rachel Bassini who rented it to an unassuming family looking gentleman named Jeffery. Turns out Jeffery wasn’t the family guy he so portrayed in his pictures. Rachel returned home to find her apartment trashed with condoms and feces covering her furniture and bathroom. Jeffery was dumb enough to even post Instagram photos of the party. Luckily in this case Airbnb paid for the damages and clean up and Rachel was able to return home. We doubt she ever rented her place out again though.
9. The Panty Freak Fest
When NYC comedian Ari Teman rented his apartment out to a man named David who had a great rating on the site he wasn’t expecting he would walk in on a full out sex party and an apartment littered with broken furniture, condoms and oversized panties. Thankfully Teman had forgotten a bag and returned home to stop the panty raid party in mid track. With a reported $67,000 in damages and a full out lawsuit between Teman and David; things got ugly quickly. Later reports said that Teman got evicted from this family friendly Manhattan apartment building.
8. The Fraud
Imagine being in a strange country while enjoying your great Airbnb rental when all of a sudden a large Russian man is pounding on your door demanding answers as to why you are in his house. That exact scenario happened to this renter who found out the hard way that he was renting from a fraud. The owner of the Berlin apartment even had the paperwork to prove that he owned the place. Luckily he let the renter remain there for his time but this could have gone horribly wrong and sounds like something right out of a movie.
7. The Long Term Tennant
This renter loved her Airbnb rental so much she actually refused to leave! The owner of the apartment rented out her California apartment for a month and when it came time to move back in; the renter refused to move out; quoting the tenancy act. The guest even went so far as to sue the owner. Unfortunately this was no happy ending for the owner as she has nowhere to live and had to hire a lawyer to go through the entire eviction process due to the laws in the state of California. We are betting this is one place no longer on the rental market.
6. The Drunk
Sometimes the guests aren’t to blame and it’s actually the owners of the property who make it a terrifying experience. Such is this case; where a Business Insider employee took his girlfriend on a weekend getaway to the Hampton’s. Unbeknownst to him was the fact that the owner was quite a drunk and not exactly the ‘perfect host’. Hours after letting the couple in, the owner returned drunk and tried to initiate something with the couple. When that didn’t go over well he tried to take their keys and wallet; failing at that too. Needless to say the couple packed their bags and left.
5. The Rip-Off
There are many horror stories about hosts ripping guests off in terms of raising the price after the guest has paid the 50% down payment. In Austin Texas a woman found a reasonable rental during an event weekend and quickly secured it by putting 50% down. Weeks later she heard from the host that the rate was actually triple the price because it was a busy weekend and that she would either have to pay the full amount or negotiate her way out of staying. This is not an uncommon theme and unfortunately Airbnb doesn’t seem to have a resolution for this; thus leaving many renters in terrible situations.
4. The Brothel
Coming home to a full out ‘sex party’ in your apartment is one thing but getting a phone call from the police to let you know that your house was just raided is something else. Two women from Sweden handed their keys over and unbeknownst to them their apartment was turned into a pop-up brothel. The police raided the place and called the owners to let them know that not just one but two working girls had been caught in the act. Needless to say, these women were furious and thought twice about handing over their keys to a stranger again.
3. The Meth Addict
Troy Dayton from Oakland California came home to quite a mess after renting his home to a young female. Turns out she wasn’t quite the nice girl he thought she was; instead was a major meth user and shoplifter. Gone was a birth certificate and computer among other valuables. Not only had she taken things but she had left an array of meth pipes scattered through his house along with the destruction that cost thousands in damages. Dayton took things public and demanded that Airbnb replace the birth certificate and pay for damages but this was one case that wasn’t dealt with by the company.
2. The Thief
Back in 2011 EJ thought she was simply renting out her home for a week to make a little extra cash. Unfortunately instead of making money she actually lost a lot of it. When she returned home she came face to face with her locked closet with a gaping hole in it. Gone was her passport, wallet, cash, jewelry, iPod, camera and laptop. To top things off her bathroom sink was covered in a disgusting crusty yellow substance that had an awful smell. If there was one lesson we can all take from this incident that is to invest in a heavy duty safe if you are going to leave your valuables at home with strangers.
1. The Crime Scene
Sometimes the best can be duped, this was the case for Jessica Penzari who thought she was renting out her midtown Manhattan apartment to a woman who claimed to be in the military looking for some R&R. Turns out the whole thing was a scam and Penzari was shocked to receive a phone call from the police telling her that her house was now a crime scene involved in a slashing. The woman in the military was actually a prostitute and was slashed by her John in a fight over the cost of services. Thankfully Airbnb put Penzari up in a hotel and sent a cleaning company over to clean up the blood.