Host refuses to return deposit even though I did not stay at the apartment

in
South Orange, NJ
Level 2
189 Views

Hello,

 

Airbnb is only as good as the quality of its hosts, so I hope those reading this will understand that hosts and guests have a relationship in which trust and good will is essential.   My family and I (party of 6) booked one night in London prior to our flight the next day.  After changing my reservation to a different location the last minute,  the host ("Mo") insisted on a large security deposit (more than the cost of the night's stay), which I sent (although I felt uncomfortable doing so).  When we arrived, there were a number of problems with the apartment (panel loose on bath tub, water damage, furniture damaged, no key to the back door (a fire hazard), a strong mold odor, etc.).   In part, because I feared that the host could easily blame any of these problems on me and keep my deposit, I decided not to stay there and booked two hotel rooms for my family.   I've been messaging the host for almost a week, indicating that since we did not stay at the apartment, there is no reason to hold my deposit.  The host keeps avoiding the issue stating there is some sort of Airbnb process to go through, so I still have not received my money back.  I've contacted Airbnb and am waiting to hear back, but just want to know if anyone has any suggestions.  All hosts with a conscience should be concerned about such behavior, as it hurts the Airbnb image.   There's more to the story, but I'll keep it short.  Thanks.

12 Replies

Betreff: Host refuses to return deposit even though I did not stay at the apartment

in
Stuttgart, Germany
Host Advisory Board Member

So sorry to hear that, @Peter3129 .

However I’m a little bit confused about the deposit, as at Airbnb it works totally different, see https://www.airbnb.com/help/article/140/how-does-airbnb-handle-security-deposits

 

That help file also says clearly

 

Note: All payments, including security deposits, should always be made through Airbnb. Don’t ever exchange money outside of the Airbnb website.

 

As far as I know, also the Airbnb system during the booking process is giving this strict advice.

 

So, before blaming Airbnb, why did you send money to the host?

Betreff: Host refuses to return deposit even though I did not stay at the apartment

in
South Orange, NJ
Level 2

Hi,

 

Thanks so much for the reply.  I did send the deposit through Airbnb's site/app.

 

By the way, I'm attaching photos of the place to show you what it was like.  

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4e9d260f-e128-4d52-8560-9b7b4e63125e.png

 

 

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Best,

Peter

Betreff: Host refuses to return deposit even though I did not stay at the apartment

in
Stuttgart, Germany
Host Advisory Board Member

Looks really awful, @Peter3129  😞

 


@Peter3129  schrieb:

Thanks so much for the reply.  I did send the deposit through Airbnb's site/app.


Did you use the Airbnb mediation centre, to send a deposit?

Betreff: Host refuses to return deposit even though I did not stay at the apartment

in
South Orange, NJ
Level 2

I used it to get my money back for the night that I didn't stay at the apartment.  Interestingly, the host "canceled" the stay yesterday, so while I got refunded the cost of the night, my review with photos won't appear.  He knows what he's doing, he realizes my review would be bad for his business, so he "canceled" the stay (5 days later).  I feel strongly I should be able to post a review in order to protect other potential guests (victims of this greedy host).  Do you know if that is possible?  As far as getting the deposit back, I'm working with Airbnb support.  Thanks so much for your interest.  

Re: Host refuses to return deposit even though I did not stay at the apartment

in
Arkansas, United States
Level 10

@Peter3129 

 

Airbnb will eventually process your refund including the security deposit. You might have to keep complaining until they do.

 

 The host doesn’t have to agree to it.

Re: Host refuses to return deposit even though I did not stay at the apartment

in
South Orange, NJ
Level 2

Thanks, Brian.  That makes me feel better.  This whole incident really ruined an otherwise great trip.  

Re: Host refuses to return deposit even though I did not stay at the apartment

in
Arkansas, United States
Level 10

@Peter3129 

 

The whole episode is most unfortunate and I would like to apologize on behalf of the many excellent hosts on Airbnb.

 

 I don’t think your “host” really does know what he’s doing. By canceling your stay ex post facto he has admitted fault and will be penalized by Airbnb.

 

 I am under the impression that because you did arrive at the property, even though you didn’t stay there, you would be offered the opportunity to write a review.

 

Airbnb should have sent you a message with a link to the review page.

Re: Host refuses to return deposit even though I did not stay at the apartment

in
South Orange, NJ
Level 2

Thanks, Brian.  I appreciate it.  I did submit a review but it is not showing up.  I'm assuming it's because Mo Khan (the host) canceled the reservation.   I really do want to protect others from this guy, so if you know how I can post a review, that would be great.   Airbnb hosts should have the power to keep a guy like this from operating.   From what I can tell he operates a number of places.  Another tidbit, when I told him we might be arriving later than anticipated, he said he wouldn't charge me the usual late fee...have you ever heard of anything so ridiculous?  

 

P.S.  I also had to pay $70 in cab fare to get to the hotel we stayed at instead.  It was a miserable night.   That's in addition to the over $600 deposit he has of mine.   I just felt so badly that my family had to deal with this.  

Re: Host refuses to return deposit even though I did not stay at the apartment

in
England, United Kingdom
Level 10

@Peter3129 your review will not show until the earlier of 14 days or when the host reviews you.

I fear there was a red flag when the host changed out the location last minute and also when they demanded a big deposit (especially if it wasn't mentioned in the listing).

Re: Host refuses to return deposit even though I did not stay at the apartment

in
Arkansas, United States
Level 10

@Peter3129 

 

The hosts don't have the power to discipline this person, but Airbnb does. And they probably will, judging from the complaints I have read from hosts who have been suspended or banned for minor complaints lodged by vindictive guests.

 

Many guests do not understand that negative reviews can have a devastating effect on hosts. In this case it sounds like it would be well-deserved.

 

I never heard of anyone charging a "late fee." If he doesn't mention it in his listing he shouldn't be doing it. He could refuse outright to allow late check-in, but then Airbnb would probably refund the guest if they had a good reason, such as a flight delay.

Re: Host refuses to return deposit even though I did not stay at the apartment

in
South Orange, NJ
Level 2

Thanks, Brian.  He was sneaky, as he used WhatsApp to communicate this.   Because I was his "buddy" he didn't charge me.

 

 

See attached.

 

**[Private conversation removed in line with Community Center Guidelines]

Re: Host refuses to return deposit even though I did not stay at the apartment

in
South Orange, NJ
Level 2

Update.  It looks like I am getting my security refunded, as well as the money I spent to pay for the cab to the hotel.  Thanks, all, for your support.  I really appreciate it!   That being said, I do want to make other potential guests aware of this very shady host.   Any suggestions on how best to do so are welcome. 

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