Airbnb West Village apartment – New York

This is the little apartment we rented through Airbnb for the second part of our New York trip. Lovely yes, but illegal. It is illegal to put your apartment on Airbnb in New York, you can still rent out a room in your apartment, but the entire apartment is illegal.

So why was this apartment still on Airbnb, we are still waiting for an answer to that question.

I did smell a rat when “Heidi/Christina ” asked that if we ran into her neighbours we’d say we were old friends visiting from Australia.

We have had very happy experiences with Airbnb, but this apartment became a lesson in how airbnb deals with complaints.

Another smelly rat or something nastier was when “Heidi/Christina “said oh ” please keep the lid of the toilet down when flushing, it is so powerful it floods the bathroom!!”

But the thing that tipped us over the edge. We had some friends come for dinner one night, but the stove wouldn’t work, our friend said oh its probably turned off at the main. We turned it on, cooked dinner and then were all almost overcome with gas…because even tho the stove was turned off the the gas still leaked. So dangerous.

When you complain to Airbnb, it is by rote, via email and modular they leave no room for personal contact they don’t want to talk to you.

Nor did Airbnb respond to our concern that the apartment was incredibly dangerous.

This seems to be the same issues that people have when complaining to Uber. They have a system that only responds with automated responses.

The images on the site also said ‘”Verified” but were very misleading….a very small apartment was made to look like a loft..


“Heidi/Christina’s response to our concerns and complaints was to offer us a very small refund in return for a positive review. Undermining the very element -“TRUST”- that Airbnb relies on!

We spent a great deal of time trying to inform Airbnb about the real dangers of this apartment but their response ,in the end, was just a proforma email!

I’d love to know if anyone else has had an issue trying to get through to a human on Airbnb?

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Comments 3

  1. Lorrie I had a completely different experience. No need to go into the apartment details (in Sydney), but it was a complete disaster in many ways…..including fake address….
    I spoke to a friend of mine who uses airbandb to rent out a room in her apartment and she gave me a complaints phone number to ring, which I did.
    Immediate response …I then emailed detailed list of grievances plus all the photos of same I had taken while I was in the apartment. Complete refund in less than 2 weeks and “host” had some kind of repercussions.
    I’ll contact my friend and see if I can get that number for you.

    1. Post

      Thanks Ruth, to be honest this is the first time we have had an issue wiht an airbnb. Maybe the whole illegal situation has muddied the water in New York.

  2. The shame about this is that it was a great apartment in a great area, but our ‘host’ was not being candid in her dealings with us. The listing failed to note that the apartment was up three incredibly steep stairs (very difficult for someone with knees as bad as mine), and there was an additional problem that the TV would not work.

    But by far the biggest issue is airbnb. It has proved impossible to penetrate their robot system – quaintly named “Mary” – despite multiple emails and laying out al of the issues. They have at no time acknowledged the danger of leaking gas.

    Such a shame – we have had great experiences, but we will probably now look at alternatives i our future travels.

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