Airbnb has been a game changer in the hospitality industry due to their substantial offering of accommodations, which include hotel rooms, cabins, shared rooms, and month-by-month rentals. When you arrive at an Airbnb listing, you expect that the property is clean and free of dangerous conditions. However, many people wake up one morning to find dozens of red, itchy marks, which are the classic signs of a bed bug infestation.
Clearly, it’s essential to treat your injuries and take the necessary actions to protect your belongings (especially your clothes and luggage). Furthermore, you will need to vacate the premises as quickly as possible and ask for a refund of your booking fee. This should be a straightforward process according to Airbnb’s terms of service, but there are plenty of users who struggle to obtain the funds they are owed.
What are my Rights if there is a Bed Bug Infestation at an Airbnb?
If you discover bed bug bites on your body or other signs of an infestation, you have the right to a refund, as your Airbnb rental is not safe or habitable. According to Airbnb, they take all bed bug complaints seriously and will suspend a listing until the owner supplies proof that the premises are free of bed bugs. One would seriously hope so, but we know from experience that Airbnb does not always cooperate when it comes to reimbursing their customers. Representation from an experienced lawyer can help you succeed in a bed bug refund claim against Airbnb. Give us a call and schedule a free consultation to learn about your legal options.
What do I do if I need to ask for a Refund?
It’s essential to take the proper steps if you are the victim of a bed bug infestation at an Airbnb. There are, of course, the red, itchy marks, which appear in a cluster or a straight line. But you should also check the premises thoroughly to see if there are indications of a bed bug problem. As these are nocturnal creatures, bed bugs come at night to feed on their victims. During the daytime, you may not see the bugs at all. However, you will probably notice tiny white eggs and black dots or streaks, which are all signs of a bed bug infestation. You will likely find these signs in the following places:
- Beneath couch cushions
- Underneath carpets / rugs
- Between the mattress and bed frame or box spring
- Behind picture frames and wall decorations
- In dresser drawers or linen closets
- Behind electrical outlets
As soon as you suspect a bed bug infestation, notify your Airbnb host right away and ask for a refund. Airbnb hosts have the power to do this, though your refund may only be for the number of nights that are remaining on your reservation. Whether the host agrees to refund you or not, make sure to contact Airbnb’s customer service. First, if the host will not refund you directly, Airbnb should take the necessary steps to compensate you. But even if you do get your money back, Airbnb should follow up with the host to make sure they’ve gotten rid of the bed bugs. That way, the listing can be temporarily suspended and no one else will book a stay and end up with the same issues you had. The company should also help you find a new place to stay if that’s something you’re interested in.
Document Your Evidence
Airbnb will ask for proof of the infestation, so make sure to take pictures of your bites, your ruined belongings, and any other signs that there are bed bugs on the property. Additionally, seek medical treatment for the bites and keep all related records in a safe place. While some people only have minor reactions to bed bugs, others develop serious allergies and infections. Seeing a medical professional right away is the best way to protect yourself from these conditions. Additionally, these records can be used for an injury claim, which will compensate you for medical expenses, lost income, and the pain and suffering associated with your injuries. You should also save any correspondence between you and Airbnb, such as emails, texts, and DMs.
Unfortunately, Airbnb can make it very difficult for you to obtain a refund, even if you have a clear case of negligence by the host. Typically, they will argue that the host must be given the opportunity to resolve the bed bug situation before they can issue a refund. However, this doesn’t help the guest, who now has to stay at a bed bug infested property or pay extra money to stay somewhere else. At the very least, the company should offer to find you another place to stay, so that you don’t waste any more money. But there are plenty of stories from Airbnb users, who were ignored or lied to when they asked for help from Airbnb’s customer service.
Don’t be discouraged if your refund request is denied, as there are ways to get justice for the harm you’ve suffered. A bed bug lawsuit attorney is here to advise you of your legal rights, so please contact us as soon as possible.
Average Case Value of an Airbnb Bed Bug Lawsuit
Each bed bug case has its own set of financial, physical, and emotional damages, which is why we can’t offer an average value for these cases. Aside from reimbursement for your booking fee, a lawsuit may help you recover the following:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages from missed time at work
- Pain and suffering
- Property damage
- Legal fees
The combined value of these damages may be around $25,000 to $50,000 on the lower end. But cases with extensive bite marks, health complications, and emotional trauma can bring in anywhere from $75,000 to over $300,000. To get a sense of your own case value, contact a bed bug injury attorney at our law firm.
Length of Time to Settle a Bed Bug Case against Airbnb
The goal for us is to settle your case within 6 to 8 months, though many factors that we can’t predict ahead of time will play a role in your case timeline. Sometimes, a case may be resolved in just 30 days to a few months, while others will take around a year before a fair settlement is negotiated. If negotiating privately with the responsible parties is not feasible, we may have to proceed with a lawsuit. Based on the actions that are necessary – for example, if we need to go to trial – the case resolution process can take 2 or more years.
How long do I have to File a Lawsuit?
As a general rule, there is a two-year statute of limitations on lawsuits against Airbnb that are filed in California. Usually, the time limit is effective starting from the date you discover a bed bug infestation or your bed-bug related injuries. It’s very rare that the courts make an exception to the statute of limitations. Thus, if you don’t take action on a claim right away, you may permanently lose the chance to sue Airbnb. With help from our lawyers, you can be sure that your claim is filed in a timely manner.
Contact a Lawyer Experienced in Airbnb’s Refund Policy
Our legal experts are ready for the challenge of recovering your damages if you were exposed to a bed bug infestation at an Airbnb listing. We have recovered refunds, as well as personal injury compensation for many victims just like you, so don’t hesitate to contact us if you’re getting the runaround from Airbnb.
If you have an active lawsuit against Airbnb, we are happy to provide a second opinion on your case. If you have questions about your rights or your attorneys’ advice, we can review your case and offer an honest assessment based on our many years of experience. Regardless of where you are with your case, you will never pay upfront to retain our services. We get paid by Airbnb, and that’s only if we win your case. If we lose, you owe us nothing as a promise under the Zero fee guarantee. An initial consultation or second opinion is completely free, so there’s nothing to lose by taking some to speak with us. Contact Bed Bug Legal Group and schedule a free case evaluation.