Black and Blue Mondays - The Air BnB Thing

"You threw the likes of a frat party at the house"

5 Jun 2017

Airbnb

Words and Photo By Paul Robinson

I've used Air BnB once. Just the once. The following is a discussion with Brooke the host of our apartment in Austin, Texas. Hopefully we shall be back again soon.

Hi Brooke,

I simply cannot pay extra when I do not agree with what you are saying. I too do not want an argument but there are many things wrong with what you are saying. We did not have a party, I informed you of 8 guys staying and that was all that stayed and all that hung out on the evening. If you are going to have a house that sleeps 8 then expect 8 people to be chatting outside till late unless a curfew is in place. The house was not trashed as you said, I guess we will have to agree to disagree on that one.

Sorry about the plant, I guess that was an accident from walking at night pissed drunk.

Please contact AirBnB as I do not want to continue going round in circles. I will also be giving the property a great review since we had a very nice time and feel we respected it as we would with a hotel. The only problem here was that we did not remove the trash and dirty plates. I assumed the butler would take care of it but he was obviously on holiday.

Thanks,

Paul

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Hi Paul,

If I was the owner and had just put up with a night like that, I’d want to know how many people had stayed there too. I don’t at all wish to argue with you, but I do expect some accountability here.

To reiterate, here are the issues with your reservation:

1) You represented your reservation as a small group of guys getting together for a quiet weekend of relaxation, yoga and bike riding (a great fit for this property), instead you threw the likes of a frat party at the house (a terrible fit for any AirBnb property, but *especially* this property).

2) Cleaning up after your group was not just about picking up trash (which took hours in and of itself), but every single surface, both inside and outside, was covered in beer, grease, grime. The house was absolutely filthy and the whole thing had to be scrubbed down - it literally took a professional cleaner an entire extra day. Washing dishes before you depart is required, per the rental agreement you signed.

3) In all my time hosting guests on AirBnb, I’ve never, not once, had someone assume they could trash a house to a ridiculous extent and be picked up after for a small cleaning fee. That fee is intended to help prepare a respectfully maintained, relatively clean property for the next guest. On that note, I’ve actually never had someone trash a house to a ridiculous extent, before your reservation.

4) You had dogs. Which were not approved. This is not allowed, per the rental agreement you signed.

5) You did damage property, you crushed plants in the owner’s garden.

6) Our noise policy is not just about loud music, it’s about noise. You are all well aware that your party was a not a “sit outside and chat together over a glass of wine” kind of party. Parties are not allowed, per the rental agreement you signed.

7) This is someone’s home. I clearly state in the listing that this is someone’s home. I clearly state what the rules and expectations are for the rental. You violated and/or disregarded many of those rules and expectations. This should not have happened.

Best case scenario, this troublesome situation extended from a lack of attention to pretty much all of the details of the reservation, which we are very open and clear about. It also demonstrates a serious lack of understanding, on your part, of the purpose of AirBnb rentals in general.

Regardless of the “why”, you’re still responsible for what happened, and the correct thing to do would be to take responsibility so we can all move on.

I don’t file a claim lightly. I’ve happily hosted hundreds and hundreds of guests, and would not be picky over some small inconvenience. This was waaay more than that, and we should not have the absorb the financial cost of your behavior.

If you’re unwilling to take responsibility, then I don’t wish to go round and round with you any further. Fortunately I still have recourse and will opt to involve AirBnb if you’re unwilling to sort it out on your own.

Best,

Brooke

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Hi Brooke,

I am not saying that this is an acceptable way to leave someone’s property. I’m actually saying it’s an acceptable way to leave a rented apartment that you stayed in on holiday and paid a fee for cleaning which I did. If I didn’t pay that fee, and if I didn’t get a message from your rental firm saying that the cleaning agency would be coming at 11 am I would have spent more time getting a few bin bags and taking the empty cans out to the bins. I would have also attended to the dirty plates. Like I said before, I assumed this was the job of a cleaning firm. They got my £60, they can clean a few plates.

As for the dogs, I am sorry but they were not barking all night. I am not a heavy sleeper and I did not hear them, I think I heard the dirty plates in the sink yearning to be sanitary again. I also know the dogs very well and they are very quiet. If anything they can be too quiet, which begs the question “what do they know and what are they keeping from us”?

As for the guests, I said in our messages that we had 5 names but others might be staying and you were fine with that. The total we had was 8 and I find it pretty creepy that we were being watched by the owner – If he wants to secretly watch a group of young men then he can pay extra like everyone else. If he/she had counted properly they would have counted 10. The 8 who stayed in the property overnight and the 2 friends who called round in the morning to meet us before going riding our bikes and erm, yoga. There were the 4 other Mexican chaps but they mainly stayed under the bed whispering, “we are citizens of the United States, we will not leave”.

I honestly think this is a simple misunderstanding of the way I view renting a property with cleaning arrangements that mirror that of a hotel. Honestly, I’m sorry you felt so strongly about the state of how the property was left but like I said, we didn’t damage anything, stain, break or dismantle anything. It's just empty bottles, bits of packaging and some dirty plates, isn’t it? My advice would be to set aside some time in the day where you can reflect on the importance of this situation and then find the time to walk a dog, calculate your grocery budget or possibly throw a small stone into a lake.

Kind Regards,

Paul

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The article above is from Issue 1 of Black & Blue. A 72 page zine featuring images and articles from the road. Issue 2 out June 2017.

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