What to do if you find yourself in a filthy Airbnb vacation rental

No one wants to stay in a filthy Airbnb, but if you find yourself in one, you must take specific steps if you hope to qualify for a refund. Here’s what you need to do if you show up and your vacation rental is not inhabitable.

  • Alert the owner/host:
    During the pandemic, we’ve seen an increase in traveler complaints about unclean hotels and vacation rentals. Whether this is due to the reduction in employees available or consumers being more aware and sensitive to the cleanliness of a property, it’s imperative that travelers alert the host of any issues at check-in. This protocol is a required step in the Airbnb resolution process. Airbnb allows the host a reasonable time to correct the problem before it is considered an unsolvable issue.
  • Take photos/videos:
    If you find your next vacation rental in a filthy state, make sure to take photos and document the property’s condition. If the host does nothing to swiftly correct the problem, you will need those photos to support your request for a refund. Remember, if you have no photographic evidence, Airbnb will side with the host who likely has provided many sparkly photos of the property.
  • Use the Airbnb resolution center to escalate your complaint:
    If the host is unresponsive to your request, your next step is to sign in to your Airbnb account and file a complaint. An agent will ask you to upload your photographic evidence and your correspondence with the host. At that time, the Airbnb agent may approve your move to a new location.
  • Confirm what Airbnb will cover if you reject a filthy Airbnb:
    If Airbnb agrees that the conditions at the property make it unacceptable, you’ll be offered a refund, OR the agent may attempt to rehouse you. If you accept the new accommodation, you may end up at an upgraded property. Review the offers very carefully before you commit to the new location. If you decide to go on your own, confirm with Airbnb what replacement costs will be covered.
  • Keep it reasonable:
    It’s essential to keep your new accommodation in line with the cost of your original Airbnb selection. If you’ve always wanted to stay at the Four Seasons — now isn’t the time to do it if you’re hoping for reimbursement from Airbnb. That won’t happen. Make sure to keep the cost of your new hotel or rental reasonable.