10 Awful Airbnb Horror Stories

You know, hotels are still a thing.

K Thor Jensenby K Thor Jensen

The “sharing economy” is changing the way we do a lot of things. Taxi services are dying out, replaced by Uber, Lyft and the like. The same disruption is happening with hotels, as travelers instead opt for the less corporate, more personal experience of staying in somebody’s house they put on Airbnb. The room-renting service does have some drawbacks, though, as these stories will illustrate. Here are ten tales of truly horrifying Airbnb stays.

Party Bus Trashes Home

Toronto natives Mark and Star King had rented out their Sage Hill home on Airbnb on several occasions, and didn’t expect anything out of the ordinary when a man booked it for a weekend in April. They left him with the keys and the house rules and headed out of town, but just hours after they left a party bus with 100 people pulled up to the door and kicked off a two-day rager that had the police called seven times. A concerned neighbor eventually called the Kings, who cut their vacation short and returned to find their home trashed, with broken glass on the floor, mayonnaise on the ceiling and an overpowering weed smell in every room. (Photo Credit: Alan Cleaver via Flickr CC)

Methheads With Axes


Airbnb’s review system is supposed to let you screen out undesirables, but every so often someone slips through. For an Oakland man named Troy Dayton, the end result of that was a meth-fueled rampage through his home with an ax. The man who rented Dayton’s place did so using a fake identity, and while they were there they ransacked the place, stealing a computer and some cash that they found in drawers. When that wasn’t enough, they battered down his closet doors with an axe, opened all of his food in the fridge and mixed it together, and disassembled all of his electronics. Dayton returned home to find his house ruined and dozens of meth pipes all over the floor. Oh, and they stole his birth certificate, just to really put a cherry on top of the sundae. (Photo Credit: Dennis Herrera via Flickr CC)

Craigslist Orgy


New York is the kind of city where anything can happen, so when Ari Teman rented out his Chinatown apartment on Airbnb, he should have seen this coming. When he made an unexpected return to his place to grab some keys, he discovered that his tenant had advertised his place for an all-out sex party titled “Turn Up Part 2: The Pantie Raid.” Lots of large and lovely ladies in various states of undress were spilling out of his front door, chased by male admirers. Teman managed to break up the party, but was later evicted from his apartment by his none-too-happy landlord. (Photo Credit: Travis via Flickr CC)

Pop-Up Whorehouse


If sex is the world’s oldest profession, being a landlord might be the second oldest. Those two things collided in Stockholm when an unwitting Airbnb owner discovered that her flat was being used by a group of prostitutes. The owners were out of town for a month and signed it over as a long-term rental, but when they returned they found a note from the police informing them that they had to kick in the door and raid the place, catching two hookers and their johns in flagrante delicto. The place wasn’t too badly damaged, but the owners did discover a huge bag of condoms the ladies neglected to take with them. (Photo Credit: Gizmodo)

Penthouse Party


It should be a given that, if you rent an Airbnb, it’s not for throwing parties. But every once in a while, a truly ballsy guest pulls the old high school “my parents are out of town” gambit and throws a wild rager in a home that’s not their own. In February of 2014, a New York woman named Rachel Bassini rented her penthouse apartment to a dude who said he was traveling with his wife and daughter. He even sent pictures of his family! When Bassini went to check on the apartment after he left, however, it painted a very different picture. The dude had obviously thrown the party to end all parties – there was poop on the floor, used condoms everywhere and chewing gum on the walls. She then discovered pictures of the shindig on Instagram. (Photo Credit: Kim Architekten via Flickr CC)

Drunk Couple Fights


When you get mad at your significant other at home, you think twice before throwing that soap dish. But if you’re in someone else’s house, it doesn’t belong to you, so throw away. In 2014, a man named David Cook got a twofer of Airbnb nightmares, as he rented his cabin near Lake Arrowhead to squabbling couples who got drunk and tore up the spot while they fought. One couple ripped the bedpost off of a solid mahogany bed, snapped the soap dish off of the shower wall, and broke the banister. The second took an antique nightstand, ripped a leg off, and used it to batter walls and windows. Sounds like some pretty serious stuff is happening out there at Lake Arrowhead. (Photo Credit: via Facebook)

Squatter Moves In


When you rent out your house, you’re putting yourself at the mercy of the often convoluted real estate laws in your area. This painful lesson was learned by a Palm Springs, California woman named Cory Tschogl, who Airbnb’d her condo for 44 days to a Russian guy named Maksym. After a few days, he complained and asked for a refund, which she provided. Only one problem: he didn’t vacate the premises. Once a tenant occupies a property for 30 days, they’re considered renters, which meant that Tschogl needed to lawyer up and pursue eviction in the court. A month later, she finally got her home back. (Photo Credit: Cory Tschogl)

22 Beds In One Apartment


Here’s an Airbnb horror story from the other side of the table: you won’t believe what a New York apartment had been transformed into by its owners. In 2014, the site had listed a Midtown East two-bedroom that had been transformed into a Sharing Economy flophouse. Each bedroom was outfitted with four bunkbeds, and three more bunkbeds in the hallways. That makes 22 guests at a time, each of them paying $35 for the privilege. You also had to bring your own sheets, blankets and pillows, and can’t ever bring a guest in. That last one kind of makes sense, because with 21 other people there, where would they sit? Airbnb thankfully removed the place from their listings pretty quickly. (Photo Credit: Youtube)

Completely Destroyed Apartment


One of the first black eyes Airbnb suffered came relatively soon in the life of the service, when a woman named EJ rented out her apartment in 2011 for a week, only to have the tenants make it virtually uninhabitable. When EJ returned to her place after they left, she was greeted by an overwhelming smell of feces and trash before she even walked in the door. The place was ruined – powdered bleach covered the kitchen, much of her clothing had been burned in the fireplace, and the sink was covered in mysterious yellow slime. The most bizarre part? All throughout his stay, the tenant had been sending EJ totally normal, cheerful emails that didn’t betray a hint of what he was actually doing. (Photo Credit: Fer Photography via Flickr CC)

The Assmaster


How could we not close with the Assmaster? A woman named Nicole in Washington DC had rented her place out to a pair of men before, but on their second visit she got suspicious because they had no luggage, just a pair of fannypacks. Nicole and her boyfriend thought they were drug dealers, so they Googled the cell phone number that one had given her. The truth, as always, was much weirder. The duo were offering “male-on-male nude massage” out of Nicole’s apartment, featuring a wide menu of offerings including one called “The Assmaster.” Clients could even get a discount if they agreed to be videotaped. Needless to say, Nicole called Airbnb and had the duo booted. (Photo Credit: Neil Girling via Flickr CC)