Caveat emptor

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Old Dec 29, 18, 10:21 am
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Caveat emptor

Have now had two airbnbs with problems by condo association / building management.

1) Rented in London at new building by the new American Embassy. Great pictures including pool and gym and sauna. When I arrived, met by "friend of owner" and told "previous renter lost building key" and then she pushed call button and said we were friends of the owner. A day later an inspection team from management came by. As I had no outer key, I had to wait until someone coming or going to get in and could not access the pool, gym or sauna. Turns out "guest did not lose the key" - Just no key for AIRBNB as they were not allowed. Must admit that AIRBNB refunded the entire week's rent.

2) Rented at Lake Tahoe in Constillation/Ritz time share. Same as above although did not get refund and property manager realized it was not our fault and "took care of us" Just got no daily housekeeping (or TP replacement) but maid in hallway cool; and could not use owner's lounge.

The one in London turned out to be owned by a real estate company who owned about ten of the apts in the building complex. They rented them out while waiting to sell. In fact the room we were supposed to have was cancelled 10 min before arrival due to "a water leak" and they moved us across the street. Turned out the first had sold.

I have rented 5 AIRBNB in past 2 years. Two in Paris with great experience, One in Nice terrible as was the one in London. The one in Lake Tahoe was ok. Turns out the one in Nice and London were both owned by real estate companies and not the owner which is not how airbnb was founded. In reading negative reviews it also appears that many are from those rented by firms not owners.
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Old Dec 29, 18, 10:27 am
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At least you weren't disturbed by real estate agents bringing potential buyers through to see the apartment (err, I mean flat) in London.

For Tahoe, was daily housekeeping part of the listing? I wouldn't expect it in most rental apartments, even those that are fully furnished and rental on a per-night basis.
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Old Dec 29, 18, 12:22 pm
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it was "all amenities"
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Old Dec 29, 18, 12:52 pm
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Originally Posted by Zurick View Post
The one in London turned out to be owned by a real estate company who owned about ten of the apts in the building complex. They rented them out while waiting to sell.
Nice strategy. :P

More and more these days, I find us booking owner-occupied places using Airbnb (as opposed to owner-absent "entire apartments"). We've found some real gems this way. When pursuing these, we always target private bedrooms with a private bathroom. This does wonders for avoiding hosts who are simply out to make a buck and those who are operating in violation of bylaws and local ordinances. When looking at listings for "entire apartments", I always try to remember to check out the profile of the host - to see how many listings they have.

With that being said, I don't necessarily exclude from consideration those hosts who are managing multiple listings. We’ve stayed at amenity-rich, individualized, owner-occupied Airbnbs in the past – frequently to great satisfaction. We’ve also stayed at spartan, impersonal, owner-off-premise Airbnbs – and they’ve been fine, too. Either can make for a good stay. What I find important to know is which Airbnb is which at the time I’m booking it. If I book an Airbnb knowing that it is little more than a source of income for the host, I know what to expect and adjust accordingly. If the host was up-front that they are renting out units pending sale, I might be fine with that. But, lying - yeah, not cool.

There are many, many more things I look out for when deciding whether or not to book any particular place on Airbnb. For those interested, my how-to on finding, choosing, and booking Airbnbs.

Regardless, thank you for posting. Very helpful.
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Old Dec 29, 18, 3:11 pm
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Mike nice blog. One point to add. Recently airbnb changed their policy such that both parties write "blind" to the others. This is a big plus as in the past if you wrote a negative, they could kill you for furture rentals by their omments to you
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Old Dec 30, 18, 1:42 pm
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Originally Posted by Zurick View Post
Mike nice blog. One point to add. Recently airbnb changed their policy such that both parties write "blind" to the others. This is a big plus as in the past if you wrote a negative, they could kill you for furture rentals by their omments to you
I’m not sure why you think this is a “recent change.” I’ve been hosting since 2012 and this has always been the policy: both host and guest have two weeks to write their reviews, and in that time one can’t see the other’s review until both of them have been submitted.
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Old Jan 4, 19, 2:04 am
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Originally Posted by Zurick View Post
I have rented 5 AIRBNB in past 2 years. Two in Paris with great experience, One in Nice terrible as was the one in London. The one in Lake Tahoe was ok. Turns out the one in Nice and London were both owned by real estate companies and not the owner which is not how airbnb was founded. In reading negative reviews it also appears that many are from those rented by firms not owners.
Nowadays, some owners are part of the firm group. So, it become even more tricky that you had to carefully check each superhost profile to ensure whether they have co-host, and who is their co-host.

Recently when I rent an Airbnb in Sheffield, and I didn't know about the existence of co-host by firm group. What I end up is the host will never reply to my message.... I think this is the part that piss me off. Fortunate the firm group follow up the message a day or so before my trip.

Definitely the host also never leave any review, maybe he said I left a 4 stars instead of 5 stars, since no communication.
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