It’s easy to find horror stories about terrible Airbnb guests. It’s a bit like news articles on plane crashes – although not common, they’re noteworthy, and always get a lot of attention.
It seems somewhat more difficult to find horror stories about terrible Airbnb hosts. I suppose that could be a good thing – ostensibly it means that not very many bad hosts exist on Airbnb.
However, even if bad hosts are rare, they do exist.
I had an experience with a bad host a few months ago.
The host herself was actually fine. But her husband had issue with anger and alcoholism, and we were awoken early in the morning by the sounds of him drunkenly yelling at her and punching walls.
At first, we were just going to leave and let them deal with their issues on their own. But when she started screaming, our plans quickly changed. Michael rushed in to make sure she was ok, her husband stormed off, and we stayed for several hours to help calm her down.
Eventually, we even decided to call the police and file a report.
So we ended up having to stay even longer while they took our statements.
It was, in a way, an illustration of both the worst and best of what can happen in Airbnb. Our experience as travelers was certainly less than ideal. However, for the host, having neutral outsiders around who could interfere and calm the situation down was probably the best thing that could have happened.
Many people love traveling with Airbnb because of the opportunity it affords them to meet new people from all over the world. I understand that perspective well, as I myself am one of those people.
But it’s important to remember that it isn’t all sunshine and roses.
Staying in strangers’ homes, especially when they also live there, is by definition inviting yourself into the messiness of their lives.
I want to be clear: having to call the police on your hosts is an extremely unusual occurrence. Most of the time you will have a great experience with great hosts. But things like this can happen. So if you’re thinking about stepping into the world of Airbnb, make sure that you do so with your eyes open!