Woman says renting Airbnb was “like a dungeon”

Many travelers stay in an Airbnb rental to save money and stay somewhere unique that isn’t a cookie-cutter roadside hotel. But a woman said she ended up in a damp basement.

Noel Short needed a room in St. Louis as part of his college internship.

She booked a room in a house she found on Airbnb, and the property description said it was a place to “kick back and relax”.

“There was nothing that really described the room itself,” she said. “He only really described the house and said there is a room for you. “

When she arrived for her two-month summer stay, Short found a small basement room with no window or door to the outside. It was anything but a place to relax.

“It doesn’t have windows; it doesn’t even have a vent,” Short said. “You couldn’t tell from the single photo provided. “

Short said the listing said nothing about the rental being a lower-level room with no exit, window, and A / C ventilation, leaving the room stuffy and humid.

When she told her parents, they begged her to move out as a relative had recently had a fire in a house that could have trapped someone in the basement if anyone was sleeping there.

Short decided to move out after a few nights, but the host will not give him back his money for the unused days.

“She said she had a cancellation policy and if I had to cancel I would have to pay for the next 30 days,” Short said.

So Short paid several hundred dollars, even though she moved, for what she describes as a “windowless dungeon.”

What are the rules?

Airbnb has no rules for basement rooms, only that rooms must have a smoke detector.

Many single rental rooms are converted basement rooms, based on listings, but Airbnb specifically lists all rooms must follow local fire and building codes.

Almost all municipalities in the United States require a basement bedroom to have a door to the outside or an exit window 24 inches high to allow the escape of a fire.

We contacted Airbnb and asked them to investigate and refund Short’s money if the room violated local fire codes.

Remember to research your accommodation carefully, read reviews, and inspect all photos of the property so you don’t waste your money.

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