Ankkit Aggarwal loves Airbnb. He’s a web developer who owns several luxury condos in Toronto and rents them out via Airbnb, Roomorama, HouseTrip and through his own website,
Since 2012, Airbnb has sent him more than $US160,000 worth of bookings, according to his Airbnb account.
But Aggarwal was booted from Airbnb when he submitted claims after one of his guests severely damaged an Italian bed in a luxury condo worth $US2.5 million that will cost over $US6,000 to replace, he said.
In response, the room-renting company decided he had broken their rules, cut him off, blocked his account and cancelled over $US25,000 worth of upcoming bookings, he says, and then told those guests that it was him, not Airbnb, that cancelled the rooms.
Airbnb promises hosts that it will cover them for up to $US1 million worth of damage, as part of the Airbnb’s Host Guarantee. While it won’t cover everything (like missing cash or rare art), generally, Airbnb has a great reputation when it comes to protecting hosts against nightmare guests.
Airbnb tells Business Insider it cancelled his host’s account because they’d received too many complaints about him. They say he was collecting money outside the Airbnb system and before booting him, tried to work with him.
Airbnb spokesperson Kim Rubey explained:
In 2012 there were 3 million total guests who stayed on Airbnb, yet there were only 400 situations resolved under the Host Guarantee program. Only a tiny percentage of guests on Airbnb result in a Host Guarantee situation, and we take each one very seriously, including this host’s claim of damaged furniture. Unfortunately, this host consistently provided very poor experiences to guests — he violated Airbnb’s Terms of Service multiple times and we’ve received numerous complaints from guests about bad experiences.
Aggarwal denies much of this. It’s a he-said, she-said story, for sure. But the tale is also about what can go wrong when Airbnb believes a host is breaking its rules.
Here is how it happened.