Did you book an Airbnb but fail to read the reviews of guests complaining about bed bug bites? This might bug you as a guest, but a bed bug infestation is the worst nightmare for the hosts of Airbnbs as well. What should you do if you get to the property and your Airbnb rental has a bedbug infestation or other types of bugs crawling all over? This is a common problem and something to be aware of. We have the solutions.

Hosts and Guests: What to Do if Airbnb Rental Has Bugs?

What hosts and guests should do

Hosts need to take certain steps when faced with blurry and teary-eyed, bite-ridden guests. There are also steps for guests to take.

Airbnb Hosts

In our modern world of social media, bad news travels much faster and further than ever before. Contrary to archaic belief, bad publicity is not better than no publicity. The only thing you want going viral is a five-star rating. You also want to avoid guests talking to future guests about the bugs over breakfast. Even if you are in doubt, take immediate action.

Apologize & Refund

The first thing a host should do upon being confronted by a guest with complaints about bed bugs or other insects is to apologize and give a full refund for the room. If viable, offer the guest a new room that will be deep cleaned during the day and furnished with a brand new mattress. If they agree, act fast.

Report the Incident

The next step is to report the incident and contact Airbnb. Remember that guests can communicate directly with the Airbnb customer service team and probably will, possibly even before they report the bug problem to you. It is better to have Airbnb hear it from you first rather than from the guest. Be sure to mention what you have done to remediate the situation and include the guest’s response.

Airbnb will ask for an estimation of how long it will take to rid your Airbnb of bugs and they will also insist on proof of work carried out by a professional exterminator. Should that not be forthcoming timeously, Airbnb will not hesitate to refund the guest for any remaining nights and will relocate them to another nearby Airbnb.

Airbnb takes guest complaints very seriously. As a result, Airbnb will suspend your listing until the issue has been fixed. To ensure a bed bug problem has been solved, Airbnb also requires proof of a professional exterminator before you are able to rent out your property again.

Inspect, Clean, Replace

Next, inspect, steam clean, or replace the mattresses in every room. It is also prudent to have the professional exterminator investigate and sign off all the bedrooms, common areas, and kitchen.

Check out: Prevent Termites & Pests in a Rental Property for more information.

Airbnb Guests

File A Complaint

The first thing to do is communicate with the Airbnb host onsite or online and register a complaint. When doing so, request an insect refund. It is recommended that online communication is conducted via official Airbnb platforms. This will alert Airbnb to the problem and they in turn will be in touch with the host as well.

No matter how gracious, apologetic, and cooperative a host may be, it takes time to remove bed bugs. Therefore, there is very little they can do on the spot to solve the issue other than to refund the room, and offer you a different room with a guarantee of cleanliness. If they have no other rooms, you should expect them to assist you as much as possible to find another nearby Airbnb and help you get there. Any further nights you have already paid for should be refunded to you without a fuss.

Photograph Evidence

Please be sure to photograph any evidence in support of your claim. Take a photo of the actual bugs if possible, bite marks, and any mattress stains, as these will give an indication of any bug infestation and the overall state of the mattress as well. When alerting Airbnb to the situation, attach the photos in support of your claim.

Can you sue Airbnb for bed bugs?

Yes, Airbnb guests can sue Airbnb for bed bugs that cause injury. However, Airbnb will only be held responsible if they negligently allowed the Airbnb host to rent out a property that they knew had a bed bug infestation problem. If you have had a problem with bed bugs at an Airbnb rental, read prior reviews to see if any other guests have reported the issue prior to your stay.

Periodic Checks Checklist (to supervise the cleaning service)

On the official Airbnb site, hosts are encouraged to inform guests of their cleaning protocols, primarily to address COVID 19 concerns. The hosts are advised to provide extra cleaning materials, paper towels, and sanitizer so that guests can clean as they go. The site does specify that hosts cannot claim that their establishments are COVID-free or quarantine-friendly. However, there is no mention of mattress-care protocols and protection.

Be Proactive

The best thing that guests can do is inspect the mattress and other parts of the room for signs of bugs upon arrival. Then, if you do unfortunately experience bed bugs, make sure to tell Airbnb for the benefit of the next guest.

Additional Reading:

Airbnb Hosts – Bed Bug Prevention Tips

Airbnb Guests – Canceling during your stay – Airbnb

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