AirBNB terrorville

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Sep 22, 2018
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I had 1 week to coordinate a last-minute 2-month trip with the military. As I've been expecting to separate and not be ordered to leave my house, I had no plans in place for my 2 dogs (my only family) and this was a huge shock for such short notice. I get really lonely while traveling and I wanted nothing more than to keep my family together while I had to put my entire life on hold. I was ordered to Las Vegas, a place of obvious high expense. My lodging budget is just under $3500 for the entire 58 days. I had few options, and went with the only person who could actually communicate more than 1 idea in a response. The host was very responsive and the reviews were great.

Then upon arriving, the area looked shady. Pulling up to the property, it is surrounded by a chainlink fence, the front and back doors have security doors, and all windows except the bathroom have burglar rails--these were excluded from all pictures on the listing. The self check-in the listing instructions said I'd have was nonexistent and I actually ended up being stalked around the neighborhood by the host's friend, then having to wait over 30 minutes after arrival for the host to show up. I went to work the morning after check-in, and everyone who found out where I was staying had strongly negative reactions and told me I needed to find somewhere else. More than one person referred to it as "Stabbersville." Sure enough, on crime maps there's multiple incidents on every surrounding block basically every day. This morning 3 cop vehicles zoomed by in an obvious intentional hurry to somewhere.

I returned from work to a strong sewage gas smell. I wondered if this is why there are so many air fresheners in the house. During the investigation, I also looked further to find the range hood fan had no exhaust vent in violation of building codes. I spoke with AirBNB. They said they would apply the cancellation policy despite the rental being inhabitable especially as I hadn't spoken with the host yet.

I finally informed the host of the issues with the sewage gas and the vent being absent. She informed me that there wasn't gas in the house, it was all electric. I explained to her what sewage gas was. She said the range fan is all that's required and not an actual exhaust (I checked Nevada law, this is not true. Chapter 15, M1503 of building codes). She and her friend (who had been over pounding on the door and then hurling insults at me while I was packing my stuff into my car while I was waiting for the host to arrive) both came and smelled the bathroom. They denied any sewage smell. Her friend asked me what the real reason was I wanted to leave and continued to insult and be incredibly sarcastic with me me ("Are you a plumber now?") and hamper communication between my host and myself. She eventually left after I was insistent that I wasn't going to speak with the host if she stayed. They had attempted to blame what I smelled coming directly from the bathroom on nearby construction work and then on my dogs who haven't even been in the bathroom and certainly smell nothing like sewage. The host kept saying she'd change the sink pipes for me to make me feel better despite me telling her it wouldn't really as I didn't believe it would fix the issue with there was as much rust and gunk in the covered pipes as was in the visible pipe. Finally I asked her if we could smell again. I went to the sink and could still smell it though it wasn't as strong as it had been both in prior afternoon/evening and this morning. She still denied smelling anything. She told me a smell wouldn't come and go if there was a problem, which again is untrue.

I haven't taken a shower in 3 days now. The host kept insisting that she'd change the sink pipes for me and I kept asking about what the next step would be if I kept smelling it after she changed the pipes but she wouldn't answer this question. She finally said she needed to get a pair of pliers and would be back in 10 minutes. Nearly an hour later, she returned and informed me she spoke with the next door neighbor (this is a duplex). She stated the neighbor's toilet ring was broken and the bathroom floor was damaged already as a result. She said she turned off the neighbor's toilet tank water and would have the ring fixed while I was at work on Monday. She then applied a glue, she said, to the rusting sink pipe.

I'm still feeling incredibly unsafe here and am terrified to leave my dogs here. I'm worried that even if someone breaks in, they may bite them and then my dog(s) will be quarantined and I will be charged. Without an exhaust vent, it's not healthy for me to cook and the build-up of pollutants can trigger my migraines--btw, the host states the vent is only required for gas ranges due to the fire though that's not nearly all the pollutants that happen during cooking. The 2 room A/Cs in the living area are required to be on to keep the room below 80*F but are so loud and noisy that I can't talk on the phone if they're on. I can't imagine what I'll do when I get a migraine when I feel more hot than normal yet would have to listen to these things.

I want my reservation cancelled so that I have money to stay somewhere else. The current cancellation policy will cause me to be out going on 3 nights that I've stayed here which is OK enough, but basically 30 days (about $1900). I have just under $3500 for my entire 58 days. All other places I can find with such little notice is $3500 for the room not including pet fees, which makes cancelling and going somewhere else not affordable. I'm getting no vehicle gas reimbursement for this trip and everywhere is at least 15-20 miles from work one way. I wouldn't mind a cancellation fee of 1 week, but a full 30 days is not just and fair for how I've been treated by the friend, by both of them denying my experience with the sewage, the misrepresentation of this rental property that it allows me to cook without detriment to my health, and the lack of candor about the unsafe neighborhood. I feel scammed. AirBNB says they won't support me as they have to be fair to the host and that I agreed to the terms and conditions, though the host misrepresented their property and now continues to claims it's safe as a male recently stayed here for 5.5 months without issues. AirBNB of course refuses to acknowledge that the host has violated the terms and conditions/contract. I'm scared to leave me girls alone, I'm scared to go to the store, I'm running out of food that I brought with us and clearly can't afford delivery of anything. I feel trapped.

I'm supposed to meet with someone tomorrow morning to see her place. It will be the $3500 plus unknown charge for pet fees, and I can't afford it without the hope of getting some of the $1900 cancellation fee refunded. Is there any hope without the host's cooperation?
 
Jun 30, 2017
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Maui Hawaii
#2
Unless you strictly adhere to all the AirBnB requirements for a cancellation you will not get anything back. You need to work with AirBnB and they need to work it out with the host. Otherwise, you will be without a place to stay and no refund.
 
Likes: Warren

Dwayne Coward

Administrator
Staff Member
Director
Apr 13, 2016
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St. Louis
#3
You need to work this out within the Airbnb resolution center and if the host is not able to resolve the individual situations to their satisfaction, AirBnB may offer to relocate you. As for the location, that is really on you to investigate prior to accepting the rental, so AirBnB is probably not going to be able to help out on that. If the booking is non-refundable, you will have a difficult time getting a refund, especially if they are able to resolve the issues with the property.

Are you there TDY? If so, I hope you realize that per the JTR Airbnb or other vacation rental sites are not to be used for official travel, so you may not get reimbursement. This may be your biggest problem!
 
Likes: Neil Maley
Aug 29, 2015
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#4
Check and see if the host has a STR license. Las Vegas has a bunch of laws restricting Short a Term Rentals, and if the host doesn’t have a STR license, you should be able to cancel the AirBNB and get a refund that way. You’ll need to call the city to find out about the license
 
Likes: Warren

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
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New York
www.promalvacations.com
#5
Check and see if the host has a STR license. Las Vegas has a bunch of laws restricting Short a Term Rentals, and if the host doesn’t have a STR license, you should be able to cancel the AirBNB and get a refund that way. You’ll need to call the city to find out about the license
The writer cannot just cancel the Airbnb rental even if they don’t have the license. The writer MUST use the Airbnb resolution center . It would be better to be able to tell Airbnb the rental is illegal but they can’t just pick up and leave.
 
Likes: Warren
Sep 22, 2018
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#6
I contacted the host like AirBNB said. They're still refusing to decrease the cancellation fee. The host refuses to acknowledge the building code violation. This is I guess case-in-point for your second topic...

I told my RMO manager that I was renting an AirBNB. He said OK. I can't believe he didn't tell me. Actually, I can. Well, I'm trying to cancel with the host and get a reservation at the Inn. Fingers crossed for me. Thanks for the intel before it got much longer.
 
Jul 13, 2016
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#7
Check and see if the host has a STR license. Las Vegas has a bunch of laws restricting Short a Term Rentals, and if the host doesn’t have a STR license, you should be able to cancel the AirBNB and get a refund that way. You’ll need to call the city to find out about the license
This may qualify as a long term rental. According to Airbnb, any single stay longer than 28 is a long term rental, and has different cancelation policies than short term rentals. The states' definition of long term may be different.
 
Likes: Neil Maley

Dwayne Coward

Administrator
Staff Member
Director
Apr 13, 2016
432
546
93
St. Louis
#8
I contacted the host like AirBNB said. They're still refusing to decrease the cancellation fee. The host refuses to acknowledge the building code violation. This is I guess case-in-point for your second topic...

I told my RMO manager that I was renting an AirBNB. He said OK. I can't believe he didn't tell me. Actually, I can. Well, I'm trying to cancel with the host and get a reservation at the Inn. Fingers crossed for me. Thanks for the intel before it got much longer.
Contact the billeting office at Nellis, they should be able to give you some properties that fall within the Per Diem rates in the area. There are several extended stay hotels in the Las Vegas area that accept pets that should offer the government rate at or near the Per Diem rates (though they may charge extra for pets).

As for the AirBnB, any refund is going to be dependent on getting approval from them prior to leaving the property. In almost all the cases we have handled here, obtaining approval for a refund afterwards normally doesn't happen. Be sure to get it in writing.
 
Aug 29, 2015
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#9
This may qualify as a long term rental. According to Airbnb, any single stay longer than 28 is a long term rental, and has different cancelation policies than short term rentals. The states' definition of long term may be different.
The question is not if AirBNB considers it short term, but rather if the host secured a license from the city to rent short term. If not, the letter writer may be able to cancel due to the lack of license. They would need to get that info from the city and provide it to AirBNB. It all depends on how their account is set up.
 
Sep 19, 2015
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#10
The question is not if AirBNB considers it short term, but rather if the host secured a license from the city to rent short term. If not, the letter writer may be able to cancel due to the lack of license. They would need to get that info from the city and provide it to AirBNB. It all depends on how their account is set up.
Las Vegas law defines a short term rental as 30 days or less. As this rental was for longer the entire short term rental issue is not relevant.
 
Sep 19, 2015
2,704
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#11
I contacted the host like AirBNB said. They're still refusing to decrease the cancellation fee. The host refuses to acknowledge the building code violation. This is I guess case-in-point for your second topic...

I told my RMO manager that I was renting an AirBNB. He said OK. I can't believe he didn't tell me. Actually, I can. Well, I'm trying to cancel with the host and get a reservation at the Inn. Fingers crossed for me. Thanks for the intel before it got much longer.
I am not certain that an electric range needs to have an exterior vent as many of them have ductless hoods.

Did you notice the exception part of the law you quoted:

Exception: Where installed in accordance with the manufacturer's installation instructions, and where mechanical or natural ventilation is otherwise provided, listed and labeled ductless range hoods shall not be required to discharge to the outdoors.

Do you know if the range has a ductless hood?
Are you sure this is a building code violation?

I live in NYC two blocks off Park Avenue. We have window guards or what you are calling robber bars.
We also have window air conditioners and yes they are noisier than central air but they work.

And we have police activity. In my neighborhood so far this year there has been 1 murder 11 rapes 108 robberies 106 felonious assaults 2 shooting incidents and the list goes on.

I live in a good neighborhood. A new person moved onto my floor and paid $615,000 for a 750 sq ft one bedroom apartment.

If I moved to a gentrifying neighborhood ie 30 blocks north the crime would be worse but the cost would be lower.

Are you sure that your expectations are not too high? You have made a determination that there is a building code violation, complain about the noise of window air conditioners, and complained about security bars. If one has a rental property that is often vacant security bars are important to prevent squatters as legally evicting squatters is an expensive and long ordeal. The sewer smell I cannot comment on.

If a dog bites someone who breaks into a home in Las Vegas the dog is allowed a home quarantine if there is proof of a rabies vaccine.

You need to work with air bnb and the host as none of what you have written sounds extreme.