I understand that it must be disappointing when accommodations do not meet expectations. However, I must respond by saying that based on all 80 guest reviews that I have received from managing Airbnb, the overwhelming majority of guests have enjoyed their stay in this very same apartment. Most guests recognize that this is clearly an old building, and it shows in some parts (i.e., scratches in the tub, cracks in the walls). In the entire year that I have been doing this, I have NEVER received a 1 out of 5 star rating on cleanliness (in fact, 95% of guests provided a 4- or 5-star cleanliness rating, with the other 5% providing a 3-star rating). I think these reviews underscores the discrepancy between expectations and standards that I mentioned in our correspondence.
All a host can do in situations like this is try to 1) prevent problems by being as accurate and as clean as possible on the front-end, and 2) try to address any problems that arise once guests bring them to the host’s attention. In addressing this, I tried to ameliorate this situation by giving you a partial refund, and omitting the cleaning fee (since that is the major point of contention). I offered to have my cleaner come to clean more, which you declined. At the end of the day, this is a centrally-located (walk score of 96), two-bedroom apartment in downtown Ottawa for $105 a night, which most people would agree is a good deal.
Thank you so much for providing me your full list of grievances. Now I can properly address each one:
- Vacuuming. I do not look after the carpets on the stairs leading up to the apartment as I would the carpets in the living room because everyone going up the stairs to the apartment would be wearing their shoes, so we treat those stairs like we would treat any lobby entrance (only occasional cleaned). So I agree that those stairs could be cleaner.
- Garbage not empty and correspondence regarding cleaning. In my correspondence with you, I only addressed the areas you highlighted as problematic (floors, garbage, linen closet, bedsheets). But yes, of course my cleaner took care of the bathroom and garbage. When you say the garbage was not empty, I think you are referring to the few pieces of paper towel, Lysol wipes, and a rubber glove that were in the kitchen garbage (from my cleaner’s cleaning). Yes, you are correct that the garbage was not empty, but my cleaner was certainly not going to replace an entire large black garbage bag because it was only 1/20th full. I am very sorry, if that led you to believe that the rest of garbage bags in the house were not replaced (as I assure you they were).
- Stain under the fridge. I am unaware of the stain you speak of under the fridge. I must admit I do not regularly check underneath the fridge, and neither does my cleaner. Had he known about it, I’m sure he would have cleaned it up, rather than let it be. I apologize that we were not more thorough when it came to this aspect of cleaning.
General maintenance and upkeep:
- Cracks in the walls. I believe I was told that this building is at least over 70 years old, and it shows in some parts. We’ve been slowly making renovations to some parts of the house (i.e., replacing some dry wall, repainting, re-doing carpets), but there are still many parts that are evidently aged.
- The bath is rusty coloured and greyish. Again, this house is old. It is true that there are some scratches in the tub, resulting in the look of rust at the bottom of the tub. I have tried to have this replaced by speaking to the landlord, but he is in no hurry to replace it.
- Couch has big old stains. I really don’t know which big stains you are referring to, but I agree that these are definitely not new couches. We are three students living in this house, and so some of our furnishings definitely reflect that.
- Linen closet. Yes, we keep our linens and towels in this closet, as well as cleaning supplies. Even though our guests are definitely able to open this closet to grab anything extra they may need, the linen closet is behind a closed door and was not intended for guests to regularly access, as we provide fresh linens and towels to all guests upon arrival. As such, we do not always keep it as tidy as we do other areas of the house that guests regularly access.
Issues that could have been addressed prior to or during your stay:
- Thinness of the curtains. It is indeed unfortunate that your rest was disturbed by the lights outside the windows. However, I believe that light was coming in through the bedroom curtains even in the photos I posted of my listing, and so I do not believe that I misrepresented the curtain situation. I have never advertised that I provide black-out curtains (even though they would be nice to have). If I had known in advance about light sensitivities, I could have arranged for my cleaner to take some of the throws that I have and put them up to help block out some light for you.
- Kitchen sponges. I wish I had the opportunity to tell you that we had a good number of new kitchen sponges and scrubbers available should anybody require it. However, I didn’t hear about this issue until now, and so was unable to address this.
- Cleanliness of the items in the linen closet. Had you asked me about the cleanliness of the items in the linen closet specifically, I would have told you that everything in there is clean, no matter the state of tidiness in there.
Again, I apologize that this was such a disappointing first-time Airbnb experience for you. I really hope you will consider Airbnb again for your next travel, as when things fit well, it can be a very positive experience for guests and hosts alike.