Air bnb nightmares

by take-a-break |
Updated on

Fancy a relaxing mini break? Spare a thought for the poor guests - and hosts – whose holiday rental plans turned into disasters

Holiday from hell

Ruff Break

Londoners Ian and Denise Feltham splashed out a fortune on a luxurious holiday in the Spanish sun with their beloved doggies.

In fact, the couple spent an eye watering  £9,610 for a two week stay at a flashy Ibiza flat in a lavish development, courtesy of Airbnb.

The penthouse property boasted a hot tub, super-king bed, Turkish bath, private lift and a marble-decked private terrace.

The luxury Airbnb listing had 37 reviews and averaged a four out of five star rating. All looked good.

The complex on Instagram

Then the Felthams arrived at the development.

The block of apartments was there... but there was no lush penthouse, no Airbnb and no booking under their name.

‘When we turned up, the receptionist said, 'There isn’t such a thing as the VIP penthouse in Las Boas,’ Ian said. ‘A gentleman who lived in the building said they get tourists turning up all the time and that it’s a very big problem.’

The couple, who were on holiday with their Yorkshire terriers Ross and Honey, were forced to retire to the nearest dog-friendly hotel 40 minutes away.

After initially declining the couple a refund, a spokesperson from Airbnb said, ‘Our handling of this issue fell below our usual high standards and we have reached out to the guest to apologise and refund them in full. We have suspended the listing while we investigate and are continuing to work with the guest to make things right.’

Holiday from hell

Countdown to Chaos

Justine Smith and Francisco Peres had two things to celebrate. Not only was it New Year’s Eve but it was also their wedding day.

However the couple got an unexpected wedding gift.

Having forgotten to turn off automatic booking for the room in their flat they rented through Airbnb, they received a reservation from a young couple for that very night.

Justine called the couple to ask if they could rearrange but they begged her to reconsider. She relented.

How bad could it be?

After celebrating their wedding day, the couple returned home at 2.30 am on New Year’s day to find their home a mess. The pair they’d rented the room to were getting busy – in the living room!

Not wanting any trouble, Justine and Francisco shuffled off to bed.

Holiday from hell

The rug had to be thrown out

Next morning, Justine went into her front room to find two naked strangers on her sofa. One wished her a happy new year and asked her who she was!

Shocked, she confronted the young couple, who had a third stranger in bed with them.

‘I’m sorry,’ the woman said. ‘Things just got out of hand!’

To make up for their antics, the five naked strangers sprang into action, cleaning the apartment in Montreal from top to bottom. Sadly, however, a rug where most of the action had taken place could not be saved – probably for the best.

By 11 am the renters had scarpered leaving a note saying: Sorry for being such bad guests. We have no excuses for our behaviour. Congratulations on your wedding!

Justine sees the funny side but won’t be renting out the room for New Year’s Eve again.

holiday from hell

Business or pleasure?

Ryan Dougherty and Neil Cook seemed to enjoy getting away from it all in Swansea. The pair regularly booked Airbnb’s in the Welsh city.

Only it turned out their trips weren’t for relaxation.

This was all work.

Police eventually caught up with the men in a covert operation in a Swansea suburb where they were seen meeting up with some other people and passing over a package.

When the cops moved in and arrested the group of five, the package was found to contain half-a-kilo of heroin, worth around £49,000, wrapped in a tea towel.

Turned out, the men belonged to an organised crime ring based out of Liverpool and had been using a series of Airbnbs to run class A drugs.

They were involved in getting the drugs into the city in a drugs line nicknamed ‘Flakey’.

Though it was in court where Flakey crumbled like an old Welsh cake.

holiday rental disasters

Neil Cook

holiday rental disasters

Ryan Dougherty

When they appeared at Swansea Crown Court, Judge Geraint Walters told the defendants that heroin was an ‘evil trade’ that ruined communities and brought misery to users.

Dougherty and Cook were both found guilty of conspiracy to supply heroin.

And at least their convictions came along with a free break this time at Her Majesty’s Pleasure.

Cook was handed five years in prison while Dougherty got six.

Three other accomplices involved in the police sting were also jailed for between 16 months and five years.

Holiday rental disasters

They trashed the place


Returning to the flat she owned in Battlefield, Glasgow, one host couldn’t believe what she saw.

The unnamed female property owner said, ‘It was like a horror movie. I’d never seen anything like it.’

She’d left the flat perfectly presented for her Airbnb guests the night before.

The couple, who told the host they planned a ‘quiet drink’, had paid £68 plus a cleaning fee for a night’s stay.

But when the host returned the next morning she found the flat completely trashed.

Bondage gear was hanging from the bed frame, a large mirror had been torn from the wall and the living room telly had been smashed in the bath and covered in shower gel.

Airbnb disaster

The TV was in the bath

Her guests had even used a hacksaw to cut away at the flat’s fittings!

‘I thought we were going to walk in and find someone murdered,’ the host said.

She continued, ‘The people who did this are a disgrace.

‘It’s clearly not a party gone wrong. They’ve come here with the purpose of causing as much damage as possible.’

Airbnb agreed to pay £500 towards a cleaner and £70 for a locksmith.

However, the property owner said she faced a further £3,500 bill for new carpets, fresh paint, a new telly and other replacement furniture.

‘We’ll never book it out as an Airbnb again after this,’ she said.

A spokesperson from Airbnb said, ‘We have zero tolerance for bad behaviour. We have removed the guest from our platform and are providing the host with our full support.’

Holiday rental disasters

Guests were being spied on

Bubble Trouble

Ever felt like you were being watched?

Well, for those unlucky enough to book into an Airbnb owned by Tony Mark Greathead, they’d have been right.

The host, a former prison officer had a strange set of rules.

For example, he would allow guests to use the shower, but only at certain times.

What his unsuspecting guests didn’t know was that he’d placed hidden cameras in shampoo bottles around the bathroom.

Using a remote control to turn the devices on, pervy Greathead would film his female guests naked and washing themselves.

holiday rental nightmares

He’d then retrieve the hidden cameras, upload the footage to a hard drive and post them to the porn website ‘bathroomvoyeur’.

Greathead even encouraged users of the site to comment on the videos, drawing ridicule to the unwilling subjects of some of the clips.

One of the videos had more than 7,000 views, many were shared internationally.

In all, he’d filmed up to 219 recordings of 34 female guests by the time he was caught.

When arrested, Greathead claimed his crime hadn’t been sexual but was done ‘for the thrill and risk of being caught.’

But his explanations didn’t wash.

He admitted 76 charges at Hastings District Court in New Zealand including making an intimate visual recording and knowingly disturbing an objectionable publication.

Police told the how Greathead’s victims were ‘shocked, ashamed, angered and degraded,’ by the news they’d been secretly filmed.

The 39-year-old was sentenced to four years and four months in prison.

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