News, Culture & Society

Family’s Byron Bay Airbnb home was a building site, leaving them stranded

A family of 15 were left stranded on the side of the road after rocking up to what they thought was a stunning Airbnb, only to find it in the midst of a major renovation.

Four families had booked the home together in Suffolk Park, in Byron Bay, northern NSW, but when they arrived last Wednesday they found a ‘shell’ of a home.

A skip bin was seen near the front door, while the living room was completely empty and had no floorboards, with brooms and a ladder set up inside.

The kitchen consisted of a stove and two cupboards that weren’t connected to anything. 

A dirty sheet was seen draped across the cupboards, and there was no paint on the walls.

Four families had booked the home together in Suffolk Park, in Byron Bay, northern NSW, but when they arrived last Wednesday they found a ‘shell’ of a home

The sister of the woman who booked the home, Renee, said the house had been booked for a week for 12 adults and three toddlers.

‘My family turned up to this today. A completely vacant home, in the middle of a massive renovation,’ Renee wrote along with a video of the house shared to TikTok.

‘No warning, and when they rang you for help you (Airbnb) accused them of lying, wouldn’t help find somewhere else to stay and wouldn’t provide them a refund.

‘You left 12 people and 3 kids under 3 literally standing on the side of the road.’

Photos of the listing on Airbnb show a completely renovated home along with a pool and outdoor sitting area, but in reality it was worlds apart.

A skip bin was seen near the front door, while the living room was completely empty, had no floorboards and brooms and a ladder were seen set up inside

A skip bin was seen near the front door, while the living room was completely empty, had no floorboards and brooms and a ladder were seen set up inside

After initially hearing nothing from the booking platform, the families were eventually told they’d receive a 30 per cent refund for three nights of their booking – which was $816, meaning the house cost then $6343 in total.

The family managed to find a last minute place to stay but have had to fork out nearly double what they originally paid. 

‘Makes absolutely no sense. Family had to spend nearly double the original booking to get a last minute booking at one of the only vacant places left,’ Renee said.

The family found out on Monday, nearly a week after arriving, that they would be given a full refund, but the delayed response from Airbnb and lack of communication at all from the owner has put a major dampener on their trip.

‘We will never book through them again. We understand mistakes happen but their response has been awful and lacking any compassion,’ Renee said.

Renee says while the owners were at fault, the response from the online platform was disappointing, and they didn’t assist in finding alternative accommodation.

The booking had been made six months ago, and not once did the owners didn’t tell the family renovations had been made, Renee said.

Renee told Daily Mail Australia they have since been offered reimbursement for the cost of their replacement accommodation. 

A spokesperson for Airbnb said: ‘We were disappointed to learn about this experience, and have fully refunded the guest and provided rebooking assistance.

Photos of the listing on Airbnb show a completely renovated home along with a pool and outdoor sitting area, but in reality it was worlds apart

Photos of the listing on Airbnb show a completely renovated home along with a pool and outdoor sitting area, but in reality it was worlds apart 

‘We have taken appropriate action on the Host while we investigate further, and reached out to the guest to provide further support. In the rare event something isn’t as expected on arrival for a stay, our Community Support team is on hand 24/7 to help.

‘Our team is very much focused on ensuring each stay is a positive experience for guests, Hosts and the wider community. 

‘That’s why this year we introduced AirCover for guests, the most comprehensive protection in travel, included for free with every stay. AirCover is designed directly into the Airbnb app and website, allowing guests to contact an agent and raise issues for our team to investigate.’

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Read more at DailyMail.co.uk