Using Airbnb can be a great way to earn some extra cash…but it’s not without its risks. Leaving our properties and valuables in the hands of strangers could mean never seeing them the same way again—or at all. These hosts have faced all the horror that humanity has to offer and more. Here are their stories, in all their horrific glory:
1. Get In, Get Off, Go Home
I helped my boss manage her Airbnb which she was running under the table. In the city I live in, a lot of apartment buildings don’t allow short-term rental sites. Anyway, one this girl rented it out for a week in December last year. My boss was out of the country and she got a call that her fob had been deactivated due to damage to the property.
But it gets way worse—apparently, a freaking bawdyhouse was being run out of her apartment. This woman and her friend were inviting random dudes in. One guy got mad, punched a picture in the foyer (which was caught on camera), then left. I got a call to be on standby, but law enforcement went in and did their thing.
The place was a mess and I didn’t even want to know what residues they left behind. My boss got a hefty fine for the damage and for the fact she was using Airbnb to rent out her condo.
2. Party At Her Place!
Last week, a woman who was fully vetted by Airbnb rented my house out for what turned out to be a Halloween party. She lied about her intentions, even when I spoke to her over the phone. In just a few hours, they did the unspeakable—they caused over $3,000 in damage, and law enforcement evicted 150 people for my 1200 sq ft home.
The party was only broken up because there was an actual shooting that landed somebody in the hospital. All this happened in a quiet residential neighborhood that is part of a golf resort; in a city that is not especially known for misdemeanors. I’m sure the damage would have been far worse if law enforcement hadn’t come because of the shots.
Thank God everyone survived.
3. Welcome To The Complaints Department
I have an Airbnb rental in a small ski town. One of our first guests was a single guy who brought his Shih-Tzu. He stayed for one night and left a 1-star review saying there was no silverware in the house (even though there’s literally like 40 of everything). He also said the power went out across half the mountain due to an ice storm, and he was bored.
Finally, he was disappointed that the fridge wasn’t stocked (though it clearly says on our listing that food and drink are not provided). Here’s the kicker—the next guests that came in went to clean some “mud” they thought they tracked into the house. It ended up being dog doo-doo from the jerk’s Shih-Tzu…
4. Too Many Cooks
I rent out a rustic cabin on my property. The setting is really nice and serene as it’s beside a creek and there’s a cedar sauna on the property as well. But the cabin is small—there’s a queen bed in the loft, a double futon on the main floor, and their dimensions are roughly 12′ by 10′, so I tell people the max is four people per night.
Well, this young guy messaged me and asked if they could have seven, promising that they’d be respectful and clean. Turned out, I worked with someone the guy knew, so I caved. They left the place kind of clean, but here’s what really made my blood boil—they burned a hole in the hardwood floor by leaving the sliding door open in the middle of winter.
With that many people cooking and existing there, the humidity in winter caused some moisture condensation on the track, which subsequently froze. Instead of just leaving it and letting me know, he forced the door closed, breaking the handle in the process. Not an easy feat. He hurt his hand as well and was sure to let me know, in code, not to take his damage deposit or he’d sue me.”
You can bet I never let more than four in there now.
5. Like A Bull In A Wedding Venue
I work in event planning. There were customers who would rent our equipment and treat it as if it were their own, then there were people who straight-up destroyed our stuff. The worst experience that comes to mind had to do with a caterer who had consistently rented from us. He was hired for a wedding reception on a ship and asked us for cocktail glasses, plates, linens, and the like.
After that weekend, we were shocked at the state of our belongings. we received less than half of our stuff back, and what he did return was all broken. The cocktail glasses were thrown into the box they were delivered in and most of them were destroyed. The same went for the plates. Thankfully, we managed to recover most of the linens, but not all.
My boss told the caterer he was going to be charged for the broken glasses and plates and he immediately assumed no fault. Well dude, don’t call us frauds when you sign a contract clearly stating that you agree to reimburse us for damages. He tried disputing it with his credit card company, but we won out.
These ladies got locked out because all three didn’t bring any of the spare keys. I had to leave a meeting since they demanded I let them inside. Since I left them all spares and my original, had to climb up two stories by building a makeshift Marv from Home Alone style stack of boxes and break in my own apartment to open the door from the inside for them. They gave me my only negative rating out of about 20.
7. “Garden” In The Attic
My mother rents out her big, beautiful house and her tenants had a grow-op in the attic. They ruined the attic, broke open the meter (which is outlawed over here), got caught, and had a long talk with her. But my poor mom didn’t know any better—she decided to give them another chance out of the goodness of her heart, but they ended up doing it again.
The second time, they got caught and the city almost closed her house for six months. That would have meant no rent and my mom subsequently going broke, living in a tiny house on welfare by herself. They trashed the property and disappeared completely. Parts of the house that were beautiful and well kept were completely ruined.
She had to put in tons of work cleaning all of it up and she paid enormous bills for repairs to get it back in a semi-decent state.
8. Young, Dumb, And Fertile
My mother-in-law has a couple of rental properties. We have a lot of bad tenants and a lot of good ones. The tenants that stand out most, though, were this young teenage couple that got pregnant in the middle of high school. Their family disowned them, and they had dropped out of school, working minimum wage jobs with a baby on the way.
My mother-in-law rented to them because she was a new landlady and she didn’t know the risks. She also felt pity for them, and their grandma was their guarantor. So, expectedly, they never paid bills on time. We always had to bug the grandma for unpaid rent. They only paid bills when the hydro company threatened to cut off their water and electricity.
Then they had another baby while still not getting their lives together. But the thing that REALLY got me upset was when they didn’t pay their rent for a full three months (even with eviction in progress), and out of nowhere, the grandma left a voicemail stating hysterically, “The rats have gotten into the stove AGAIN.”
She complained, “They made a nest and ate their way into the fridge. The living conditions are unacceptable for children to live in, and we have no choice to report the landlord to the tenant board and to law enforcement.” First off, we didn’t know why she said “AGAIN” when that was the first time we’d ever heard of a rat problem.
Then they tried to blame us for being negligent landlords for not fixing a problem that we were not made aware of. However, my biggest issue with the whole thing was regarding the well-being of those two children…how could these idiot teenagers with a grandma who enables their awful immature behavior even be allowed to parent?!
I wanted to report them to CPS so bad! I can only imagine how long they were eating rat-contaminated food! They can’t afford $600/month rent for a semi-detach…it’s cheaper than government-subsidized housing in that area! My mother-in-law really screwed that one up. It took six months to kick them out plus had to buy a new fridge and stove.
9. Renters From Hell
I rented out a newly remodeled home after getting married. I used Renters Warehouse as a property manager. They found tenants immediately and the move-in was painless. Two weeks later, things started to go south. First, a toilet broke, then another toilet broke, then a pipe disconnected. The rate of failures was occurring so fast.
Even my $65 home warranty trade calls were quite exceeding my income from the property. One month later, my pool guy sent me a text: “Something doesn’t look right at your house, there’s no power.” I contacted the property manager to verify that rent was paid. It was not. I requested a 24-hour inspection to view the property.
When I arrived, it was worse than I could imagine. There were holes in the interior and exterior walls. Someone walked around the house with a can of paint and put a postcard-sized amount of paint on every single wall. They took off with the basketball hoop. They marked every drawer and closet. They gouged the door frames. Irrigation lines were cut. Almost every plant outside was dead.
In the end, everything worked out. Although there was almost $10,000 in damage and unpaid rent, I was able to find renters on my own that agreed to paint and repair the property in exchange for one month’s rent and 50% off all deposits. They post everything on Facebook, and it looks fantastic.
10. Who Are You?
My girlfriend and I rented out an Airbnb on our road trip through California. We opted for a cheap option with a new host who had no reviews because, well, money was tight. It also happened to be a private room in a shared house. We were in contact with the host and let her know that we would be there at the agreed check-in time.
We were told there would be a key under the mat and that she would be there to greet us, show us our room, and so forth. We showed up there at the agreed time, and we had our first red flag—there was no key under the mat like she said there would be. But there was a woman directly inside, presumably the host, so we knocked.
The woman inside just froze for about 30 seconds and then let us in. We asked her about the Airbnb and where we should go, and the only words we can make out in English were something along the lines of: “I stay in here,” as she pointed to a sheet hanging over the living room doorway. So it seemed like she was clearly not our host.
She walked behind her sheet and disappeared, not to be seen again. My girlfriend and I were dumbfounded and just decided to try and contact the host again. We went to see a movie while we waited and during the show, the host responded to our messages, saying she was sorry. She had to leave briefly but promised she’d be there this time when we got there. Okay, cool.
We headed back there and there was a key under the mat this time, but the host was still nowhere to be found. Again, it was only the same elderly Asian woman who had no idea why we’re there. Now there was a loud dog barking in the back of the house and some guy was screaming bloody murder for the dog to shut up. We had no idea what was going on or where we were supposed to stay.
We decided to leave and just give up on it. We spent an hour on the phone with Airbnb, got our $50 back, then spent another hour searching for last-minute motels at 9 pm, all at $300 or above. That was a terrible intro to California.
11. The Curse Of The College House
My landlord in college had a big house and three townhouses. We rented one of the townhouses and it was right behind the house. The guys who lived in the main house seemed chill and they always let us know when they were having a party. They’d invite us over and tell us to just walk in if they were having people over for drinks.
I never did because they seemed a little sketch and into some heavier partying than I was (which is saying something since I was into keggers and huge house parties myself). The first time we realized that those dudes were bad news was when there were like four patrol cars one Sunday morning outside the house. There had been a party the night before.
We weren’t home so didn’t hear or see anything, but apparently, someone was bottled in the face and law enforcement followed up. The second time was much worse. I came home at 3 am with my friend who was staying with me that weekend, and there were, no joke, 17 law enforcement vehicles in the parking lot and the street. We stopped to count them because we couldn’t believe it.
The next morning, I was taking out the trash and I saw one of the guys who lived in the house. He was chill and started chatting with me like nothing happened the night before. I brought up the patrol cars and asked how crazy their party was. He laughed it off and said they got robbed because his roommates are dealers.
I was just stunned at how he didn’t see it as a big deal. He said that someone called law enforcement because they saw a pistol and while they were on the way, the dealer guy got all their substances and laptops in a bag and bolted. The accomplice to the pistol-owner jumped out a window and broke his ankle when law enforcement got there, and the main culprit got away.
I talked to the guy again at the end of the year and said, “Man, I can’t even keep straight who lives with you, ha-ha, seems like I see a new guy every day!” He replied, “Yeah, man, we are getting evicted next month so we decided, screw it; let’s have 17 people living here right now.” When these guys moved out, the entire house had to be completely renovated.
The basement was permanently screwed up because it flooded, and they didn’t even tell the landlord. They just left it for a month and didn’t even care. The next people who lived there were better, but not by much. They were chill dudes in a heavy metal band. In the end, they also got evicted because one guy didn’t pay his rent and they had so many noise complaints filed against them.
I remember that one time, they were practicing, and after a couple of noise complaints from the neighborhood, law enforcement had to force entry into the house because the band couldn’t hear the doorbell over the sounds of their music.
12. She Has Mania, Mania, For Sure
I had an Airbnb guest who had a manic episode while staying with our family in our house. She cleaned the basement laundry room one night while we were in bed. It really was clean, but it got to the point where it was really uncomfortable. That room was not part of her rental space and she was basically really invading our space.
The next morning, she yelled at our two-year-old for making noise and then at the neighbor’s kids over the fence, saying that she was going to call law enforcement if they kept screaming. She had also been getting into our drinks cabinet in the kitchen without asking, which probably further contributed to her bizarre behavior.
She started really getting manic and saying things like, “How can I relax in this house when it is dirty like this!” and other complaints. Our house is not spotless, but we have had dozens of guests and it is definitely not intolerably messy. We decided that we needed to ask her to leave because her behavior became so erratic that we were afraid that she would set the house on fire accidentally or something.
Airbnb was almost no help in the situation, but finally, they did agree to find her a new place after many, many calls. When she finally left at midnight, the poor Uber guy had to wait like 15 minutes while she loaded the abnormally large amount of stuff she had with her. Later on, we did some digging into her history—what we found made everything make sense.
Turns out that she was from the SAME city and her boyfriend of 10 years had thrown her out of her apartment. She was basically on the fringe of being homeless. Airbnb only counted it as a regular dispute, and we refunded half her stay cost even though she was a day longer. I get that it was a contractual thing, but under the circumstances, I would have been a little more impressed had they eaten the cost on that one since it was totally beyond our control.
When we went through the box of “garbage” she hauled outside, there were things in there like the kids’ shoes and our house phone. I have since become much more careful about who we rent the room to.
13. Party Rocking In Someone Else’s House Tonight
I have a small home near a nice beach in Australia. In the early days of Airbnb. I planned to meet guests in person, both to welcome them in but also to make sure the house wasn’t going to get used as a massive party house (we made it clear in the terms that there was a limit of seven guests as our neighbors didn’t want big crowds making lots of noise).
For the very first booking, I met what seemed like two pleasant young Indian women who promised it was only going to be the two of them and four other friends staying. But during their stay, things got way out of hand—all of Mumbai ended up in my house, specifically the jacuzzi, with lots of tipsy karaoke until 4 am.
Law enforcement was called twice. One of the neighbors went over to see what the heck was going on. He got chatting to one of the people in the house who informed him that the girls had sublet the beds, lounges, and space on the ground for sleeping bags to everyone. They made a whole packet of information.
14. Bath And Body Works
I have a ski condo that I rent out on Airbnb. It’s a 2-bedroom, 2-bathroom, split-level condo with a separately owned studio apartment below my unit. By and large, it’s been fine, but I’ve had a few minor issues; usually small enough to be covered by the damage deposit. Last year, I had the place rented over Thanksgiving to a group of international grad students.
I get a call from the property manager at 6:00 am on Friday morning after a late night. I was hungover, and not AT ALL happy to be answering the phone. I was informed of the events that occurred the night prior, and it made me absolutely livid. Turns out that at 2 am, one of the guys (a Japanese fellow with poor English) decided he was going to take a bath.
He plugged the tub (in the top-floor bedroom), started the water, then went to lay down on the bed—and fell asleep. For the next four hours, the water was overflowing the tub, flooding the master bath, the master bedroom, the kitchen and dining room, and the entire studio apartment below my unit. In the end, the Japanese kid did make good and put his insurance company in touch with my insurance company.
Everyone got paid and no money came out of my pocket. It did, however, cost me a bunch of my time and caused quite a bit of heartburn.
15. Where’s My Money?
My parents were renting out a house through a fake real estate agent. They were definitely not licensed because all they did was take our money and provide little service in return. One day, Dad noticed the rent wasn’t in his account. In fact, there had been no rent in his account for about six weeks. Dad called the REA and they agreed something was wrong.
Turns out, the renters didn’t have any money and had simply stopped paying. Why we needed an REA to establish this incredible revelation I am not sure. Dad told them to boot the renters out if the money was not paid in a month. Suddenly, the renters did have the money and caught up on their rent. But then, a few months later, it happened again.
Again, the REA did nothing until requested and this time, the story was that the family had moved elsewhere, leaving the teenage son living in the house…on his own. He had decided that there was one leak in the roof and that was why he wasn’t paying rent. Dad booted out the tenants and also booted the real estate agent.
He drove up to the property about nine to 10 hours away with some tools to fix the roof and whatever else. What he found shook him to his core— the house had a few bonus holes in the walls and windows, and squatters living underneath it, but luckily not in it. Whilst he was there, several squatters walked up to the house, saw him, and silently turned and walked away. The mailbox had turned into a community mailbox crammed full of every dodgy dirtbag’s mail.
On another note, before he had even finished fixing the house, it was sort-of-compulsorily-acquired for a road-widening project. The house was picked up and moved elsewhere and hopefully has nicer people in it now.
16. When Egos Collide
I work for a company that manages short-term vacation rentals. We’ve got apartments, homes, MIL units, and more spread around my city. Some are really nice, and some are really not. This one homeowner signed on with our program over the summer and had planned to rent his whole home while he was out of the country along with a MIL unit he had attached. When he moved back in after his trip, he would continue renting the MIL with us.
The location of this home was pretty bad and the home itself hadn’t really been updated since the ’70s, but it had this amazing backyard that overlooked a lake. It also had a basketball court, a pool table, an amazing barbeque setup, and outdoor TV, and more. That was the highlight of this home so naturally, it rented pretty well despite the location.
The problem with this house (aside from the location) was that the next-door neighbor was not a fan of the homeowner renting it out to short-term renters. He would call our 24-hour customer service line every time there was a guest to complain about “noise.” It’s 8 pm at night and three people are sitting around talking at a normal level and drinking a few drinks? Unacceptable.
We’d get the call and then be forced to send security to tell the guest to take it indoors. It got to the point that we had to pre-arrange security visits four times a night each time there were guests, put signage all over the inside and outside of the home stating no one is allowed to be on the patio after 10 pm, etc. He made our lives a living nightmare every single weekend this summer.
Finally, the homeowner got fed up with the complaints, which finally reached the city. It was then discovered that his MIL unit wasn’t so on the books. The owner decided to offboard from our program completely. He came back from his vacation early, but he had one last reservation in the main home, so he decided to stay in the MIL until the last guest checked out. Huge mistake.
The first night of the reservation, the owner called our 1-800 number and said that the guest was having a bachelor party with lots of people being obnoxious. Unfortunately, he made the mistake of contacting the guests and letting them know he was staying on property—this is important to note for later. So, I sent security down immediately and they confirm the presence of about 15 people.
The max occupancy for this place is only eight, so I called the guest to tell him he needed to get seven people out of the home within 15 minutes or get evicted. The guy was trashed and super upset, but ultimately obliged. Security confirmed that they all left. They did multiple rounds throughout the night and the rest of the weekend, noting that it was very quiet.
Awesome. That was easy, right? Wrong. Oh, so very wrong. The guests checked out Sunday and the owner immediately went into the home. They had egged the entire interior, stuffed bananas in his record player and toaster, smeared it on walls and blew up eggs in the microwave. They even unplugged the washing machine which wasn’t discovered until the housekeeper went to do a load of laundry and flooded the laundry room.
It took a team of cleaners 12 hours to clean that place up completely. It was awful. But this owner, who is well known for being a bit of an egotistical big shot and was a nightmare to work with, should never have contacted the guests as I’m sure it was his behavior that ticked them off and caused them to wreck the house. The kicker though? A week later as we are wrapping up the offboarding process we got a call from him.
They had upper decked both toilets in the home and he had just discovered it.
My dad rented his house out while he was working out of state to one of his employees and their family, which consisted of a dad, a mom, and two kids. They completely destroyed it. Like, not even a hyperbole. The inside went from beautiful to squatter house quality in the span of six months. Every door in the house was broken in and had at one point been kicked open.
The bottoms of all the doors had been eaten by their dogs, who also tore the carpet up all over the house and left urine stains everywhere. The walls had been seemingly gutted. Holes were punched everywhere, and one room had a ton of bargain-bin witchcraft stuff scrawled on all the walls. The bathrooms had dried tampons hanging off the walls, dirty toilet paper piled up behind the toilets, broken sinks, and shattered mirrors.
But it didn’t end there—they also took off with all the appliances that they didn’t break, so the microwave, dishwasher, and oven, but they left the fridge whose door was smashed until it couldn’t close. The backyard, which I’d kept up for years, was a jungle. Grass up to my belly button. The side of the house, about 35 feet by 8 feet, was PILED with trash the whole way down about four feet deep.
There was more than an entire dumpster’s worth of trash inside the house. It was horrifying, as that was the house I grew up in and the only house my family had ever been together in, and they destroyed it so thoroughly that we could not afford to repair it and wound up selling it off for, obviously, a fraction of what it would have been worth.
The employee only left the house because he got an offer from another company. We found out what they’d done to the house right after he left; when we came to check in on it before renting it again. Pretty much everyone in that industry that knows my dad, which is almost everyone that matters, knows about this guy and what he did.
18. Bad Gas
My wife and I found an Airbnb for our in-laws. We had her family from China—her dad, mom, late-teen sister, and early-20s sister, stay with us. They were from a city in China I hadn’t heard of. One day we got home and there was a STRONG smell of gas. I checked everything and it was normal. I opened the window and messaged the Chinese family asking if they smelled gas.
No response. I went down and knocked on the door. The dad answered smiling and the mom and sister were laying on the couch about to take a nap. I had to step back from the wave of gas smell from the in-law suite. I asked them if they could smell the gas. They just smiled. When I pushed my way through to check the stove, I was shocked.
They did not fully turn off a burner. Gas was pouring out. They thought nothing of it. I tried to inform them that they could have suffocated and would have blown up the building in the process. All I got were smiles.
19. We’re Up All Night To Get Lucky
I rented out my living room out for the summer in NYC. I had a girl check-in for two nights. The first night, I heard the loudest private-time moans coming from the room. I thought she was just getting it on by herself since I didn’t hear anyone else come in. The next morning, I discovered the disgusting truth—turned out that she had turned my living room into a lesbian threesome spot for herself and two other girls.
I had to put headphones on in my own home since they were SO LOUD during the night. They also left the A/C on with the door open, the front door to the apartment unlocked, all hair appliances plugged in, their makeup everywhere, and they didn’t even say anything about the extra people. They ended up not staying the extra night and wanted their money back.
I obliged and then deleted my Airbnb profile. Never. Again.
20. What A Bloody Mess
Back when my sister and I lived together, she went away for a summer, so I rented her room out on Airbnb. The girl requested to book through her dad’s account which was weird, but nothing too concerning. She ended up being who she said she was and not some weird old man, which was great. HOWEVER, she kept wanting to hang out with me.
This was something I would do from time to time with my Airbnb guests, so it wasn’t too much trouble to go out for food and whatnot. But it was almost as if she had researched every place in the city that ONLY accepted cash as she conveniently had NO cash or card. I ended up having to pay for every meal—meaning I not only wasted time with this girl but also my money. I did not profit of off having her stay with me at all.
As if that wasn’t bad enough, her “time of the month” rolled around while she was staying with me. No biggie. I’m a female, it happens. She came into my bedroom after her shower and asked for a tampon. I hand her one and she left the room. I looked down and to my absolute horror, there was period blood all over my bedroom floor. I was humiliated on her behalf so didn’t say anything.
She left the following day at 4 am or something like that and I woke up a couple of hours later. When a guest leaves, I check the room as soon as I can to make sure everything is kosher. This girl had bled ALL over the duvet cover, the duvet, the sheets, and through to my mattress. No attempt at cleaning up, no money left, no note, nothing.
She later messaged me on her dad’s Airbnb account lightly apologizing for the “small mess” she had made to which I flipped out at her and told her she needed to be more respectful of people and their things.
21. Yap, Yap, Yap
I hosted for a few years (as a “super host”), and frankly, I had lovely guests—very cool, intelligent, well-traveled, interesting people from all over the world. They were all tidy and considerate, too. There was one annoying thing, though—people who talked way too much. Normally, people would exchange pleasantries and we’d chit-chat for a bit, which is totally fine & welcome. But, every once in a while, I’d get a guest who talked nonstop from the time they got in until they went to bed.
22. Love Your Neighbor
A relative of mine has an Airbnb—when the tenant decided they didn’t like the place for some reason, they decided to express it. They took a can of emergency bear mace and sprayed it all over the Airbnb before leaving. My relative had to clean the place, eyes stinging the whole time before a new Airbnb tenant was to show up the next day.
23. It’s Raining Trash!
My sister was visiting her boyfriend who lived in France at the time. She figured it was a good idea to put her apartment on Airbnb. There were two guys who ended up renting it for nine days of the three-ish weeks she would be gone. On the second day, she got complaints from neighbors about garbage being thrown out the window. She lives on the 5th floor.
She tried getting them to stop. When that didn’t work, she tried getting them to leave. That didn’t work either, of course. She ended up calling our parents to get them to help with calling law enforcement as she was still in another country. When the officer showed up, they did the unimaginable—they spit in his face and tried punching him.
He got reinforcements and got them removed. I don’t know what happened to them afterward, sadly.
24. Over Before It Began
Our first time was my last time. We rented our place to a young lady and her five-year-old son. It was supposed to only be an overnight visit, and then after she would return in a week for a second night. We met the lady and her son, showed her around, and she told us she would likely be gone by noon at the latest.
The wife and I showed up at the house around 1:30 pm to clean up. Her car was still in the driveway. We knocked on the door and the little boy answered. What he uttered next made my heart drop. He told us his mommy won’t wake up. We found her lying on the floor next to the bed. Apparently, she had a heart attack at night and tried to get to her cell phone.
Law enforcement contacted her family and came for the little boy. Lots of tears and emotion. The wife and I decided that we didn’t want that ever again. So, we took it off the site.
25. Who Forgot To Let The Dogs Out?
I had a family that put up their second place as Airbnb. They were pretty remote, so they catered mainly to families and groups. They recently stopped doing bachelor and bachelorette parties as they’ve noticed they get too wild, and they always leave the place a mess for check out. One time, a woman brought their tiny dog to a bachelorette party, which was fine—they’re dog friendly.
But it ended up being a costly mistake—the owner had passed out early and no one let the dog out, so it just relieved itself all over the hardwood and no one cleaned it up before leaving. They got charged extra, but the thing is with Airbnb is, this isn’t a hotel where staff doesn’t care personally and one mess out of 100 rooms isn’t necessarily a significant deal. This is someone’s house.
26. Something Fishy
I had a guest from NYC stay in our VRBO apartment for a week. She was a bit snooty and bragged that she was coming to sell high-end seafood to high-end restaurants. She asked me to make sure and accept a large package of frozen seafood that was being overnighted to the house prior to her arrival. I did and put it in her apartment.
She arrived and we didn’t see her until the day she left. She told me all went well and she got several new clients. Then, she presented us with a HUGE fillet of salmon as a gift. Once she left, we went into the unit to start cleaning and prepping for new guests arriving a few days later. Entering the unit, our jaws dropped. The place was FILTHY!
She threw her trash on the floor rather than in the trash cans. All of the washcloths were missing from the linen closet, but none were in the laundry pile. I found three bloody wash clothes under a paper towel in the bathroom trash. It was the only thing in it. There was also this bad smell, and we couldn’t figure out where it was coming from.
After a thorough search, we found it. She had been broiling seafood in the oven. That new oven was disgusting! The inside was caked in grease, fish scales and God knows what else. It took me one entire afternoon to get it clean.
27. Too Much Fun
My sister rents out a unit that’s attached to two other units. She told me about a guy who was a first-time renter on the app. He seemed nice enough, but she would soon live to regret trusting him. She got complaints from the neighbors about partying and loud music late at night. She spoke to him the next day, he was super chill about it, but when he left, she found a mess.
He left empty cans and food everywhere, and on top of that he spilled juice all over the mattress, so she had to get a new one. She charged him for it and wasn’t sure if he was going to pay up, but he did. It wasn’t super bad, but it was incredibly stressful for her.
28. The Haunting
We rent apartments in our house while we live upstairs. It’s a pretty big house so there isn’t any privacy issue. But one night, my mom and I fell asleep watching the TV; nothing unusual. At 6 am, I was woken up to a big scare— a 20-year-old male guest just standing in the middle of the living room. I was completely freaked out. I just yelled “MOM!” and she turned around, also completely shook.
The dude was just standing there, staring. Finally, he told us their taxi never showed up and they are late for the bus station. My mom told him to go back to the apartment and she’d drive them in five minutes. So, it was quite innocent, but jeez, man, how do you even think of coming into someone’s house like that? From then on, we made sure to double-check every night if all the doors are locked.
29. No Butts
I had a friend who used to Airbnb her one-bedroom apartment. One day, when she returned, the place was a mess like there had been a rager. There were a bunch of full garbage bags left so she peaked inside one to see what kind of party there had been. What she found totally threw her off-guard. She found a Costco-sized box of enemas all used. She never used Airbnb again. Her poor cat was a witness to the whole scene.
30. Overstayed Welcome
A friend of mine rented out his condo to a family for three months solid. When the rental period was up, they refused to leave, and he had to call law enforcement out to get them to go. Then he found out they had ruined the flooring in the kitchen by keeping a dog water bowl on the floor and letting water just get trapped under it until it soaked in day after day, week after week.
He said the kitchen looked like they’d been running a commercial restaurant because there was no way that a normal family’s meals could have accounted for the amount of grease and curry staining the walls. They’d also left rotting food on the counters that had maggots crawling on it. But the cherry on top of this nightmare was he filed a complaint with Airbnb demanding a full refund of his three months’ rent because he wasn’t happy with the rental.
31. How To Lose Friends And Alienate People
I help my mom out with Airbnb occasionally. We had these guests who had rented it for two nights over the weekend, I had to greet them as I was the first one home, and my mom wasn’t going to be around for a few more hours. They arrived and started unpacking their stuff. I gave them a few minutes to do so and headed out to say hello.
I kind of groaned inside as I saw them properly because they were very obviously the typical party types. Two guys and two girls, the sort you’d expect to see at a music festival. I noticed that they’d been in for about 30 seconds and for some reason, they threw all the cushions of the sofas on the floor? No idea what that was about, but meh, they could do what they wanted with them, and cushions on the floor weren’t the end of the world.
About an hour later, I got a knock on the front door of our house: one of the girls was standing there and just asked, “Desarko, do you drive?” I said I didn’t, even though I did. Inside, I was going, “What the heck?” She explained that they need to get to their festival and they couldn’t drive because they’d be drinking there. Fair enough.
I just told them I could get them a number for a taxi service, and they could call one. She explained that that wouldn’t work as there wasn’t enough room for all of them. That was confusing as most taxis can fit four people. I suspected they were planning on bringing someone home with them, which was a big no-no. Anyway, I just gave them the taxi number and they disappeared back to their place.
And then the weird stuff started…about an hour in, I saw a taxi pull up and leave after a few minutes. I assumed they were gone, but then a few minutes later, I saw the two girls walking down the street. Where we live is basically a small collection of houses in a suburb with jack all around. There is nowhere for them to go on foot. They stopped down the hill from where I could still see them and they just started sitting on the grass, later crawling around on all fours, poking their heads into the hedges.
I watched this happen and had absolutely no intention of interacting with them. Later, my mom came home and immediately asked me what was going on with them. She said that when she passed them, one of the girls looked really distraught. We still didn’t do anything. Eventually, another taxi pulled up after about an hour and a half of them waiting and they all disappeared for the night.
Fantastic. They came home later that night screaming like crazy as they headed indoors, causing an absolute ruckus. To be honest, we didn’t mind about that; but we were worried that we’d anger our neighbors. The next day, my mom went out to them to ask them how things were and politely told them to stop being so loud.
She also reiterated that we have a strict policy on bringing new guests besides themselves to the place. They agreed and said they won’t be doing that. They spent most of that day sleeping, then headed off at night again and were gone for most of it, which was great for us. They came back later that night and were generally quiet. All good.
The next day was check-out day, and check-out was at 12 PM. At around 11:30, they were still inside the house and hadn’t so much as stepped outside. My mom had kinda caught on to their act, so she went up to the door and knocked on it until someone answered. Mom immediately stepped in as she told them to check out was in 30 minutes. Besides the guy who answered the door, they were not even up out of bed…
My mom just started cleaning stuff up, opening the curtains, and telling them that we had another guest coming soon and she needed to prepare for them. It’s safe to say the place was a freaking mess. Cans everywhere on the floor, sink full of dirty plates, it was disgusting. They got up and did some half-assed attempt at cleaning up to try to save face for a whole 30 seconds.
As they were leaving my mom notices that they brought a girl back from wherever they were, despite promising to not do that exact thing. They all finally left, and we never heard from them again. Upon inspection of the rooms, we found one of the beds had what was essentially a thick outline of a person but in fake tan. Lovely.
All in all, terrible guests; -14/10. We would rather have hosted four wild raccoons.
31. The Den
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 of dealers, about seven to 10 of them, apparently, 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 took the substances in question. There was blood everywhere, smashed furniture, ambulances and a heck of a lot of law enforcement involvement ensued. Even though law enforcement through the place and searched it, we still ended up with some free stuff, so it wasn’t all bad.
32. Single White Tenant
I can’t get into specifics, but my job had to step out of a file where we had booked an Airbnb for someone. This lady went from the usual terrible behavior—trashing the property, letting her animals and kids run the place into ruin—to full-on Single White Female. What she did was unbelievable—she started impersonating the owner to install new security equipment, file renovations with the city, basically trying to get everything involving this property under her name.
Last I heard, before we cut our ties, she was inviting her entire family to move in so someone would be there at all times to chase the owner off every time they came by to talk or assess things. I feel so bad for that owner, and I hope she finally took action to get her life back.
My parents used to own a regular B&B in the mountains where they rented out all kinds of equipment like snowmobiles, skis, fly-fishing poles, and the like to guests. One winter, a large group of guests took out all six of the snowmobiles. After the majority of the group had driven off, one guy realized he needed to use the bathroom or something, so he ran inside, leaving the machine running idle in the yard.
Now, snowmobiles aren’t supposed to just sit there running because they use the freezing outside air to cool the engine. You can probably guess what happened next. The snowmobile’s engine melted into an unusable pile of scrap! My parents were understandably upset and asked the guest, who had signed releases and other papers, to pay for a new machine.
The guest flatly refused and forced my family to take him to court to get the money. He proceeded to write bad reviews about the B&B on every website he could find. It was a mess.
34. The Neighbors Can Hear!
Our next-door neighbor Airbnb’s their place on weekends while they’re out in the countryside. Fortunately, I’m a deep sleeper so only my partner heard all the drama. Apparently, there was a male and female arguing with each other very loudly and there was some door slamming out in the hallway and balcony. Mind you, this went from 3 am right through to sunrise.
We texted the neighbors to let them know. Four days later, we found a disturbing situation—a whole bunch of stuff was stolen, there was white cleaning powder all over the apartment, and that the male who Airbnb’d the place had brought a “lady of the night” in, which we assume was the female voice. They called law enforcement, we didn’t have to give a statement and don’t really know what the result of it was.
35. A Cartoon Solution
I work for a vacation rental agency that works closely with Airbnb. I had a sweet old homeowner call in and explain how her house was dirtier than normal but thought it was just due to the younger guests. Nothing crazy, and she was so nice about the whole thing. Then she mentioned that after further inspection, she realized that they had moved a large painting above one of the beds, which she thought was a little quirky.
The truth behind that painting is haunting. Turns out there was a person-sized hole hidden behind that painting. They had fallen through and tried to cover it up in the most comical way possible.
36. Phallic Imagery
So, I’m an officer in Denmark and this is a story from one of my colleagues. He and his partner were sent to a burglary in an apartment building. A couple had come back from vacation and had found their place vandalized. Nothing was stolen, but there were clear signs of bawdyhouse activity and a giant sports bag filled with…miscellaneous goods.
There were no signs of forced entry, but the “secret” key that they kept outside the door in one of the shoes in the shoe rack was missing. Inside the apartment, they also found a document with Airbnb and a rental agreement. The only problem was that it was for the apartment below theirs. Then, it clicked—in the document, it was described how the key could be found in a shoe on the shoe rack!
So apparently, the person had legally rented an Airbnb but somehow went to the wrong floor. However, they thought everything was fine because he found the key as described in the Airbnb document. The person never returned for their items and as far as I know, it wasn’t possible to trace the document to anyone.
My colleagues told me that today, that was the weirdest evidence report that he has ever written. Moral of the story: Don’t keep your spare key in the same spot as the other residents in your apartment complex.
I visited another country and had fallen ill on my way to the Airbnb. When I got there, they said I would have to get cleared before staying. This is why: A previous person had come with their sibling from another country. They were both doctors who worked with viruses. One of them fell terribly ill. No one knew until he had to be taken into emergency care and had left coughed up blood all over the room.
They had to kick everyone out and quarantine the place. Clean it like a hospital. They lost thousands of dollars over this. So when I showed up with a cold, they were understandably paranoid.
38. Who Does This?
This is on me because I didn’t set a time limit on when, after booking, a guest could check-in. But I had three midterms in university that morning and an essay due, so when I was done at about 2 pm, I totally passed out. At that point, no one had booked yet. But around 7 pm, my roommate knocks on my door and tells me that people are here for the Airbnb.
I ask them to give me like 5 minutes to change the sheets and whatever. The rest of the room was clean. The guys started getting naked in the time between me taking off the sheets of the bed and going to the closet around the corner to get new sheets. So, I left their new sheets in the room and let them be. They didn’t even close the door for this, by the way.
Well, I wasn’t prepared for what was to come next—turns out, the girl was on her period and I guess they have a blood proclivity or something because it was smeared on the walls a bit and the bed. The floor was also covered in ash, though we had a designated area outside (and an ashtray in the room, just in case).
They had hotboxed the room and dashed their stuff directly on the wooden floor. Then they ordered food around 1 am and had a fight over what to get. And finally, they took the room key they were provided. And then after all that, they claimed to Airbnb that this newly trashed room was the way they found it and were given a full refund, so yeah.
Then I had to change all my locks, and once I thought I saw them hanging around my house. Oh yeah, forgot to mention, but they only requested to stay there around 6:50 pm. They showed up before the booking was even set in stone
39. Lions And Tigers
I had a renter that booked my place on a big holiday during the festival season in my city, so the rate was much higher than usual. Instead of canceling, the renter called Airbnb and said they didn’t feel safe because when they got to the house, there was fighting in my front yard. This is very unusual, so I checked the cameras, and not only was that not the case, but the renter also never even showed up!
I let Airbnb know and they said sometimes people do this because they want a refund and missed the cancelation window and if I didn’t give a refund they would likely leave me a bad review. I end up refunding the money and lost the whole weekend’s worth of income, which was 3x the normal rate.
40. Parking Problems
I had a guest demand that I pay a parking ticket they got from parking on the street during street sweeping. I even had in my house manual what the street sweeping days and times were and had given them a parking pass for the street but advised them of the times. They weren’t paying attention, got a ticket, and threw a tantrum demanding I pay it.
I kicked them out instead and refunded their remaining nights.
41. The Sting
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. It was a pretty average house, but overall, not a bad rental for the week I was there. We cooked a lot.
We watched some movies on the nice TV that was there, knocked around town a bit, then left. I was happy with my first Airbnb to stay. 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 liquids all over, 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 mix-up. Nope, it was the house we stayed at, and it was obliterated. I tell him it couldn’t have been us, because we had just left, and it was in great shape. He said he was 100% sure it was us and he’d have Airbnb make us pay for all of it. He then hung up on me. This is where it gets interesting.
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 this for the arrival and the departure.
I had filmed myself talking about how nice the stay hand had 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 that footage onto YouTube as an unlisted video. I called up Airbnb, shared the link with them, and never heard anything more about it.
42. Too Freaky To Function
I rented to two well-dressed and well-spoken art students. At about 4 am, the neighbor called me asking what was going on. I could hear this crazy music and loud moans in the background. I drove over and I was shocked at the sight—they had about 30 people in my bedroom. Naked. Covered in glitter, paint, liquor. They were all banging. One dude was sitting in the corner looking at them like he was examining a painting, making suggestions to add to the “art piece.”
There are naked people everywhere. A TON of booze. There was also a random feral cat inside. My apartment was used to film some weird psychedelic art.
43. Bird Is The Word
My in-laws used to Airbnb their house while they were traveling. 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, and a bird got into the house. In its stupid attempt to escape it bloodied itself all over the main floor and collapsed 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.
44. Thicker Than Water
I never hosted anyone on Airbnb, but I’ve had guests at my house…mainly family. Actually, only family. And they are always such a freaking nightmare: a bunch of inbred, white-trash, wife-beater-wearing uneducated idiots. I once walked in on my sister and my cousin (also a girl) making out on the couch.
45. Cats? Cats.
My friend has three cats. It’s mentioned on her Airbnb profile. When she rents, she rents the ground floor, and her cats always stay down the basement even when there aren’t renters. Anyway, this family came to rent and they threw a major curveball—they complained that there were cats and that the father is allergic, so they need a refund. She said no way. She mentioned that there were cats in her profile and if they chose to pick her house despite that, that’s their problem.
They threatened to sue her. Nothing came of it. I just can’t understand: if they had someone so allergic, why they wouldn’t look out for pets?
46. Locked Out
Once my guests were asked and reminded on the day to put the keys in the letterbox when leaving. Instead, they kicked the only set of keys under the door after locking it. Now homeless, I called Airbnb’s emergency line with my suitcase in hand, they returned my call … the next afternoon. Helpful.
47. Good At What I Do
I have been a host for over a year, have received the super host banner designation and have nearly covered all my costs and should actually profit. My worst guests were a couple guys from Turkey. They stayed for nearly a month, drank my stuff, and put all weekly garbage on the balcony. Interesting that I need to indicate the garbage situation in the manual. It’s on my to-do list.
48. Looking For Something?
My friends were live-in hosts renting out the main part of their home. They rented to a girl who was convinced that there were cameras hidden all around the unit. So she proceeded to try and prove her theory—dismantled the lighting fixtures, picture frames, medicine cabinets, remote controls, etc. She also de-potted plants, removed smoke detectors, hid all of the refrigerator magnets, and destroyed her cell phone.
49. Behind Closed Doors
When I used to work for Airbnb, my job was to meet hosts and talk to them in person about their experiences. One guy told me how some dude locked himself in the room he was renting and wouldn’t come out for days. The host eventually called law enforcement to have the guy removed because he overstayed his visit and wasn’t opening the door.
When he finally was removed, the host was left with a traumatizing surprise. There were feathers everywhere. He couldn’t figure out where they were coming from until he opened the closet door and saw blood and more feathers smeared all over the wall. The dude had been practicing voodoo or Santeria or something in the closet, sacrificing chickens.
50. The Scene Of The Crime
I live next door to an older couple that has a duplex and they leased the downstairs area to an Asian guy visiting through Airbnb. I had just finished cooking dinner at around 9 pm and was washing up with my music on when I heard a faint scream. I turned the music off and thought nothing of it since it didn’t seem like an emergency at the time.
A few minutes later, I heard another scream. This one was one of the most piercing, horrified screams I’ve ever heard. I opened my windows as I heard voices coming from next door. What I heard them say sent chills up my spine. People were asking, “Where did he go? What was he wearing?” It was law enforcement.
Apparently, the Airbnb guest invited a woman over (not sure if they knew each other) but he ended up impaling her and smashing her head with a hammer.
The second scream was from the couple who leased their home discovering the attack. Law enforcement tried to track down the guy who attacked the lady the next day. I got interviewed by the news in the morning and provided my recall of events. I went to work the next day and kept checking the news—they eventually found the guy at around 3 pm.
They found him eating toast in the same house where he attacked the lady. I came home and the reporters were still there, so I asked them how he managed to get back in the house. They said he never left. They went to get a shot of the scene and as they approached, they found the guy inside, eating toast, as if nothing had happened.
Law enforcement came and handcuffed him in the house, all the while filming his undoing.