Last Friday I moved to a temporary rental I found on Airbnb. The price was reasonable and I could have Maxi and JerryBrown stay with me. There were pictures of the rental. The owner promoted himself as living in New York City. Throughout all of our email communications he was very pleasant. When I finally made the reservation all the data sent to me was from Buenos Aires. OK.
On the day of my move, he informed me that I would not be able to enter the apartment at 3:00 pm as planned. I would have to wait until 5:00 pm. At 5:00 pm he told me I would have to wait until 8:00. At 8:00 I arrived with my things to find out the cleaning lady had the keys and was still in the apartment.
The building is amazing. It is one of the those high rise luxury towers. I was not prepared for this. It has a super beautiful swimming pool, tennis courts, child's play area, a great gym, and a nice meeting room with a barbecue. I was bedazzled ... at first.
I finally gained entrance to the apartment at 8:30 pm. You have to wonder, what would a person who might have been traveling from the USA or Europe or Asia have done? After a long flight, the last thing you want to do is wait a significant amount of time to enter the apartment you rented. There is no place for luggage, so you would be stuck.
I am not sure what this cleaning lady did. The apartment was not filthy, but it was not clean, either. There is only 1 change of sheets and a threadbare towel. I wonder what couples do who stay here? Share a towel? Oh, and there was no toilet paper or soap. I was tired after a long day. Maxi was with Juan, and JerryBrown and I started to settle in.
I let the owner know that the apartment was not clean. The stove was yucky with grease. The cabinets too. All in all I liked being in this building. I figure I could make it work. I asked the owner if I could stay a month longer. He told me he wanted to charge me $600 USD more!! Plus he wanted the money direct, circumventing Airbnb. "No thank you." I said to him.
A couple of days later, there was water all over the bathroom floor. Someone had stuck two rags behind a leaking toilet. Now that they were saturated the water was on the floor. I alerted the host. His response: "Plumbers are hard to find in Buenos Aires. If you know one, I can try to get you the money somehow." This from the same guy who wants to charge me $600 more for his rental.
The next day, this lovely owner tells me that someone is interested in the apartment and he wants to show it to them. (I am here until Dec 22). I told him no way and what about the toilet. He told me to talk to the building maintenance. Excuse me? Isn't this your apartment? Why do I have to make arrangements to get it fixed?
I went onto Airbnb and found that the apartment is still listed at the price I previously paid. I reserved it. He declined it with a note - I want to charge you $1100, I want the money directly, and I don't want to pay Airbnb's fees. Oh, and did you fix the toilet?
Is this guy a fool or what? I sent him a long email asking what is going on. His response was to tell me that he is not going to rent to me, and that if I want he will send his cleaning lady back at his expense.. now that I have been here a week. I promptly sent the information to Airbnb. They don't like owners who circumvent their system. I would never rent directly from this guy. He is a snake. As Airbnb stated: I never have to pay directly. Vamos a ver que pasa.