Airbnb, the hotel-alternative service that lets you rent rooms or apartments when you're traveling, is normally a very good time. I, personally, have stayed in Airbnbs from Italy to Japan and have had an amazing time at each and every location. However, as with any large business, there are sometimes problems that can arise.
Enter the Reddit thread on the most memorable Airbnb guests of all time. Hosts some terrific (and some terrifying) stories of what it's like when you open your doors to a wide-swath of humanity. Obviously, it goes well the vast majority of the time, but when it doesn't? Well, the stories make for some good reading.
1. Guests who don't know how normal appliances work:
Everything was great until the last night. She called and said the house was very warm and she didn't think she would be able to sleep that way. So I said just turn the AC on.
I didn't hear anything back from her until the next morning. She said she could barely get through the night and it was so hot because the AC was broken. So I get home and notice that the AC unit was on and blowing cool air but she had moved the unit close to the bed and detached the exhaust hose so all the warm air was blowing out the back and into the room.
2. Nudist guests:
My roommate was away for the weekend and he had rented his room out to this Swedish chick while my girlfriend was staying over. This girl just absolutely never had clothes on in the apartment. She just walked around in the nude, sat down on the couch and talked to us nude....as if she wasn't nude. When she first walked out of the bedroom naked, my girlfriend and I sort of looked at each other oddly without saying a word. But just let it go as she just carried on normally and chatted with us about our lives, the city, and her plans for the weekend.
3. Party animal guests:
We got $2,000 cash from a dude who threw a party at one of our units.. People actually puked in the AC vents...like the old school come up from the floor vents... Done.
4. Guests who are hard on toilets:
I rent my furnished basement suite on airbnb. This one guest stayed for a week. He was a very pleasant guy: he hung out with my wife and me on the patio and chatted, he was in IT so we had a lot to talk about, he actually made ME lunch (burgers and a salad) one day (I WFH), but then toward the end of his stay it unraveled. He clogged the toilet downstairs (no big deal), but as water was rising over the toilet seat onto the floor, he began using our nice WHITE towels to mop it up.. I heard some commotion downstairs so I asked if he needed any help. When I learned of the problem I ran a plunger down there to him. As I was walking back upstairs I heard a loud crash! He accidentally knocked the toilet tank lid off the toilet and it crashed into 50 pieces on the floor! To make matters worse, on the day he was leaving town, he took our key and we had a guest coming in the next day.
5. Guests who take stuff accidentally:
Not the worst thing that could happen but the guests took the keys with them when they left. Unfortunately for them they left the country. They had to pay to have the keys overnighted to another country. I'm sure that cost them quite a bit. Before you say "just make another copy" there are three levels of security to get in... keypad, key fob, and actual key. They took the fob and key.
6. And this final complicated (and honestly, pretty sad) story:
K-- was smelly and not kind and I got some money from airbnb insurance. Pretty sure the airbnb dude on the phone was either laughing or holding in his puke when I told the story to him.
We had a guy name K-- come over. Looked a little older than our usual guests but what the hell, I don't judge people on age alone. Come time for him to stay over I get a call that he's outside, I walk out to a taxi, door open, guy slowly walking out of the cab. He puts his feet on the floor and then the cab driver pulls out a walker from the trunk. K-- waves at me and scoots over slowly to the front door as I grab his heavy heavy bags and boxes of luggage (his stay was for about 5-weeks, but he had a lot of stuff).
First problem: as he approaches the stoop to the front door he realizes he can't raise his feet up high enough to use the steps. I tell him to just walk up the side where the grass is. He does, steps right into a glop of mud as I help pull him up and and inside the house. Tracked mud all over the floor.
So our room is upstairs normally but we happened to have a bed available downstairs. He never told me about his disability but it was obvious he needed to stay downstairs. I help him move his stuff in, setup his printer, and pull his plastic sheet over the mattress... Days go by and as I walk by his room everyday a sharp smell starts to build and build. One day when he's in the bathroom and his door has been left open and I take a peak. IT SMELLS TERRIBLE. I then notice adult diapers under the bed and a portable urinal set on the shelf. At this point I'm thinking "what have I gotten myself into..".
Second problem: I get back home one day, it's K--'s 2 week-ish mark and one of my roommates confronts me about having to clean up the bathroom. He said there was excrement everywhere. I apologize and think he's just exaggerating. A couple days later I get home first and and goto the bathroom. There's a couple drops of blood on the floor near the toilet and fecal matter sprayed all over the toilet. After stepping out for a minute I suit up and scrub that mess clean.
I eventually confronted him about it, it went something like: "Hey K--, could you please clean up after yourself a little better in the bathroom? It was very messy last time you used it, I had to clean it up". He responds along the lines of "Really?! I swear I cleaned up after myself, I can clean it up if you.." blah blah blah.
Time goes on, his groceries are still arriving via courier. Things smell bad as ever, I've bought several glade timed sprayer things and hung them all over...
Third problem: I get home, open the door, and as I goto close it I realize it's a little sticky. I don't really think anything of it at this point. I walk over to the sink and wash my hands and as I grab the knob I realize it's covered in peanut butter. I turn around looking for additional clues and find two jars: peanut butter, jelly, each covered in their respective contents. Yes, there is some peanut butter all over the floor. I didn't clean the jars.
At the 2 or 3 weekish point I had ed airbnb about kicking this guy out but hadn't heard back. I'm getting a little desperate at this point. At the 4-weekish mark I finally get a call from airbnb. I tell them the whole story. The guy had to put me on hold for a while. Eventually he tells me they can get him a hotel or whatever for the duration of his stay. But I've put up with him for 4-weeks and he had 1-week left, so I tell the airbnb guy that I may as well just keep him there since they got back to me so late.
About a day after he leaves I grab a bottle of vodka from our little wetbar area. Sticky. I look at the bottlecap. Peanut butter. I look around at the other bottles, lift up the near empty cognac bottle and look at the neck of the bottle. Peanut butter. At this point I nearly laughed out loud because I felt like I was in a Scooby Doo cartoon putting together clues to find the culprit. After raging for a moment I call him up and ask "Hey, K-- did you happen to drink my liquor without telling me?". To which he defensively replies, "HOW DARE YOU ACCUSE ME OF STEALING..." etc etc. Normally I would have had a sliver of doubt about accusing someone of stealing from me but this time I was confident.
In the end, I filed a claim with airbnb, accounting the story, attaching pictures of PB covered jars and bottles and toilet areas. I think I got the most that you could without filling out additional paperwork or something (around $400?).
Anyway, that's my most memorable airbnb guest.
And one bonus awesome guest so we all don't get too depressed about humanity:
I had popped my bike's front tire, and I didn't have time to take it to the bike shop for a couple days. Since I use my bike to get to work, it was a serious pain. My guest split the tires and re-inflated them, patching the hole with spare rubber. He also told me to call him if I broke my bike again. He wasn't a bike mechanic, just a cycling enthusiast. Amazing guy.