Take photos of your Airbnb before you go

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More and more, it seems that booking a rental through Airbnb is a risky proposition. There was the story of the “superhost” crash through the bedroom window in the middle of the night, or the less dramatic (but also alarming) stories of locations found to contain hidden cameras in all of clocks fake motion sensors (and a family who discovered a live broadcast camera film their every move). Now thanks to a traveler’s story, we know to watch out for rental owners who claim you caused damage to their property, damage that could result in thousands of dollars costs.

After leaving an Airbnb in Madrid, Spain, travel writer Lee abbamonte returned home to find an angry email from a supposed apartment owner.

“At first I didn’t think this was meant for me, nor did I know who this woman was,” Abbamonte wrote. “I had dealt with very nice people from a management company before and during my trip to Madrid. Then the woman started sending me pictures of the apartment, claiming that we had done all this “damage” to her apartment. “

According to the email, Abbamonte and his guests had, among other things, left garbage on the floor of a room and ruined furniture, including a chair worth 4,000 euros. But Abbamonte he insists did no such thing. “The chair, which was crap, was already ripped when we arrived,” he wrote. “We literally sat in it a couple of times and saw feathers come out. We got them back and that’s it. It didn’t even occur to us that this was a problem or that we needed to report it or whatever.

And after a return and with an Airbnb representative, Airbnb ultimately ruled in favor of the host. Abbamonte was ultimately not charged, but he was still held responsible (his account was “rated for future discipline if something else happens ”).

Take photos of your Airbnb when you arrive and before you leave

Perhaps the easiest way to protect yourself from this type of scenario is to take pictures of each room as soon as you arrive and just before you leave. By taking photos of the Airbnb on the day you arrive, you can ensure that you are not responsible for any existing damage (similar to how you might photograph a rental car before using it). Taking photos on the day of your departure will also ensure that you don’t leave the apartment in a state of utter chaos.

Having time-stamped proof of your departure time and date is also crucial. If you find anything badly damaged on your arrival, you must immediately notify your host by person, or if not, send a photo as close as possible to your arrival time. When leaving, try taking a photo with a dated newspaper or video of the apartment with a time-stamped email as proof (or even send a thank you message to your host through Airbnb when you check out and use it as proof. ).

Read the reviews carefully

Of course, always check your Airbnb reviews before booking travel. If the apartment has little or no reviews, check if your host has other listings with reviews or even their own guest reviews. Also, check if they’re verified through Airbnb (which requires information like Facebook profiles, email addresses, and government-issued IDs). And as a Redditor u /cr1zzl advised, communication is the key. If they aren’t as responsive or don’t avoid questions, it might be best to reconsider your stay.

Communicate via Airbnb

Finally, be sure to verify anyone who contacts you through any means other than Airbnb’s direct messaging system. While management companies may operate on behalf of certain hosts, you should still contact Airbnb to make sure they are the owner. (In other words, don’t immediately trust emails from supposed owners.) It’s a fairly common practice now for hosts to send emails to their guests with registration information or information. directions on the map. Still, you shouldn’t be so quick to accept from someone unverified.

Hosts must often provide documents like photos and damage claim receipts too, so being armed with proof that you left a rental in good condition will protect you from any issues down the line.

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