Pool balls in rack with handwritten note that reads 'Pool is £5 per day - you can pay via PayPal or leave the cash in the lockbox.' (l) Woman with caption 'Host charges me £740 extra fees for this' (c) television with handwritten note that reads 'To use the TV pay extra £5 a day and I will send you the access code' (r)


‘You used the pool table twice’: Airbnb customer says host charged $924 extra for using things like TV, Wi-Fi

'This is exactly why I'm fine with paying hotels.'


Rachel Kiley


Posted on May 9, 2024   Updated on May 9, 2024, 11:21 am CDT

Airbnb was a neat idea for a brief moment in time. But as the service grew, so did the myriad of issues people were having, both as guests and as hosts. One of the most frequent complaints among guests seems to be the combination of exorbitant fees and high expectations of hosts—no one wants to deal with having to do all their detail-oriented cleaning at the end of vacation and get charged a hefty cleaning fee anyway.

But one alleged Airbnb horror story going viral on TikTok shows just how far some hosts can take things.

“So I’m here at this nice Airbnb, but it’s not so nice, because there’s notes everywhere,” Joanna Anderson says in a video posted to @getlostwebsite. The travel TikTok account appears to repost videos from other creators.

Handwritten note that reads 'Do NOT use this toilet for Number 2. If you block this toilet you will be charged a mandatory £1000 fee.'

Taking her camera around the Airbnb, she showed a mixture of laminated and handwritten notes. 

“WiFi is free on the first day of your stay but will be charged at £10.00 per day per device thereafter,” reads one. “Contact me for the password.”

Handwritten note that reads 'WiFi is free on the first day of your stay but will be charged at £10.00 per day per device thereafter. Contact me for the password.'

“DO NOT sit in this chair, it was my deceased husband’s favourite one,” says another.

A couple of the host’s alleged requests could be construed as reasonable, such as asking guests not to use a specific toilet for “number 2” (along with the threat of a £1000 fee for causing a blockage) and maybe even the one saying guests would be charged £5 per load if they used the washing machine.

Handwritten note that reads 'The washing machine will be charged at £5.00 per wash. No exceptions.'

But too many of them made it seem as though the host was trying to wring every penny possible out of their guests, while others flat-out suggested their home was not suitable for renting to strangers in the first place.

One sign said the TV required an access code and would cost £5 per day. Something tacked to the microwave warned that no meat or animal products were allowed, echoing a note on the fridge that read, “This is a vegan household, respect that!”

Guests weren’t allowed to shower or bathe after 8pm, according to another note, and there was a demand to send PayPal or leave cash in a lockbox if anyone used the pool table, at a rate of £5 per day.

Sign that reads 'NO MEAT or ANIMAL PRODUCTS ALLOWED!' taped to microwave

After Anderson checked out of the Airbnb, she received an email from the host requesting an additional £740—or roughly $924.90 USD—for things she used around the home. Part of her TikTok features her calling the host to ask about these charges, only to be left with even more questions.

“You used the pool table twice, and there’s a charge on the pool table,” the host claims, prompting Anderson to ask how she would even know that to be true (while pointedly not acknowledging whether it was). The response was that things weren’t put back in the right place—which, even if true, still wouldn’t explain how the host would know the pool table was used twice.

Although Anderson was told by the woman that all the extra fees were listed when she signed an agreement to rent the Airbnb, she claimed they were not. Anderson said she would bring up the charges with Airbnb.

Sign that reads 'Please DO NOT take shower or bath after 8pm, we're saving water.'

Commenters on the video were not impressed with the host’s approach to hosting and encouraged Anderson to escalate the situation with Airbnb rather than pay the charges.

“Airbnb should refund you the totality and delist that property from their app forever,” one commenter suggested.

“Tell her to PROVE the charges to Airbnb & you!” wrote another. “PROVE you used them.”

“As soon as I saw those signs all around my Airbnb, I would’ve contacted Airbnb demanded my money back and left,” a further user admitted, while another said, “This is exactly why I’m fine with paying hotels, airbnb has gone to [poop emoji].”

@getlostwebsite £10 a day for wifi?! #airbnbhost #hostfromhell #airbnbexperience #badhost #airbnbhosttips ♬ Suspenseful and tense orchestra(1318015) – SoLaTiDo

One commenter claimed to have dealt with a similar situation where they were initially charged over $1,000 in additional fees by their host. They said Airbnb ultimately “settled it” because the host hadn’t disclosed that there were cameras set up throughout the home prior to booking.

A few people pointed out that the host’s attempt to charge extra fees may actually go against Airbnb’s rules. The company’s website says guests can only be charged additional fees after paying under very specific circumstances, such as if there’s damage to the property or a change to the reservation.

“For the most part, Hosts can’t collect any additional fees or charges outside our platform unless expressly authorized by us,” another page adds, encouraging any such requests be reported directly to Airbnb.

In an email to the Daily Dot, Airbnb pointed to a few commenters speculating that Anderson’s video was a skit. The Dot has reached out to @getlostwebsite via email for more information.

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*First Published: May 9, 2024, 12:00 pm CDT