Approximately one million people stayed in Airbnb accommodations last night. The same will happen tonight, and tomorrow, and the next night …. and it’s more than likely that every single one of those people had or will have a great stay with no problems.
As an Airbnb guest, the chances of you having a less-that-satisfactory stay are remote. This is especially the case if you have read the listing details thoroughly and have communicated well with you host.
However, more and more people are now deciding to ‘have a go’ at being an Airbnb host and their lack of experience means that they might not have prepared your accommodation exactly to your standards. If that’s the case, then here’s what to do.
IF YOUR ACCOMMODATION HAS MINOR PROBLEMS
I don’t know about you but I can’t count the number of times I’ve been in a hotel room and had to call housekeeping because there have been no towels or the wastebasket is full or whatever. It happens. And it can happen in your Airbnb rental too.
So the first thing to do is to contact your host. Let him or her know and the chances are that they will rectify the problem at once. Maybe a lightbulb has blown or something equally minor that your host can fix in no time.
CONTACT YOUR HOST VIA THE AIRBNB MESSAGING SYSTEM
You have your host’s phone number but it’s always wise to contact them via the platform. This gives both you and the host the virtual equivalent of a papertrail, just in case. If your host doesn’t respond, then call or text them and say ‘I’ve just left a message for you because there are no towels available.’ or whatever your issue may be.
Do bear in mind though that for hosts to remain sane, they are unlikely to respond at two in the morning. 🙂 But please be understanding enough to give your host a reasonable amount of time to rectify the problem. In our lightbulb example, for instance, he or she might have to drive to the store for replacements.
IF MATTERS ARE MORE SERIOUS
In any industry or with any company, there are sometimes people who are not good at their jobs. In very rare cases, this can apply to Airbnb accommodation too. If you have problems of a more serious nature (a water leak, a stopped-up toilet, no electricity and so on) then once again, leave a message for your host on the platform itself.
But if the problems aren’t resolved in a timely manner, then contact Airbnb itself. Don’t email them, call. If there are problems that can be photographed (dirt, bedbugs, broken window etc.) then be sure to do so, preferably with a time stamp. If the accommodation is genuinely substandard then Airbnb will re-house you. REMEMBER THAT SERIOUS PROBLEMS ARE VERY RARE.
REMEMBER TO CHECK THE LISTING
Be sure that your complaint isn’t something that was disclosed in the listing. For example, in some areas it’s common for guests to take their own sheets. I have heard of guests being upset when they have discovered that they have to share a bathroom. If these ‘issues’ are disclosed in the listing, then the host or Airbnb can’t help.
In some areas, hosts have to make a photocopy of the guests’ ID; in others guests have to pay occupancy taxes in cash on arrival. You can’t object to these if it’s mentioned on the Airbnb page.
Be sure that you’ve communicated any concerns you may have before you book, on the Airbnb platform. For example, if you are seriously allergic to cats, confirm with your host that there are no cats on the premises. (And if you find one lazing on your bed when you arrive, and your host has assured you that there are no felines within ten miles, then call Airbnb to be re-housed.
OTHER WAYS TO ENSURE THAT THE PLACE IS RIGHT FOR YOU
I always say to people that we all – guests and hosts – have to be beginners at some time. But if you’re a first time guest, then look for hosts who have plenty of good reviews. If they have the Super Host badge, this helps too – although there are some great hosts who never achieve this for one reason or another.
You won’t be given your host’s exact address until you book your accommodation but nevertheless, the map on the listing gives you a good idea of where the rental is located. Look it up on Google maps. Check out the neighbourhood to me sure that it’s right for you.
- Report any issues to your host as soon as they arise
- Give the host a reasonable amount of time to address them
- Keep all messages between you and the host on the Airbnb message system
- Photograph any problems
- If issues are not resolved call Airbnb
JJ is originally from the UK and has lived in South Florida since 1994. She is the founder and editor of JAQUO Magazine. You can connect with her using the social media icons below.