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A couple looking to buy a home in a new area walked out of their Airbnb after just 45 minutes in the property and have slammed it for being a "grubby and grimy little flat."
Forbes Coleman, 36, and his girlfriend, 37, paid £145 for three nights at an apartment in Stirchley, Birmingham.
The couple claim there were hairs in the bed and shower, grime in the kitchen and a stain on the bedroom carpet, as well as out of date milk and stale bread in the fridge.
After just 45 minutes in the flat, the pair made the decision to leave, Birmingham Live reports, and spent the next two weeks battling Airbnb for a refund.
The couple said they booked the Airbnb as the sale fell through on a house they had tried to purchase, forcing them to make an emergency visit to the area before they lost their buyers.
Mr Forbes booked the one-bedroom flat in Stirchley for three nights from August 21 to 24 and dumper their bags at the property before heading out for their first viewing.
But as soon as the prospective homeowners came back, they realised how "disgustingly filthy" the place was.
He told Birmingham Live: "We weren't coming up for a holiday, we just wanted somewhere to stay for a couple of days while we looked at houses.
"We got to the flat, thought it was clean and simple, dumped our bags and headed out for our first viewing.
"It was only when we came back and sat down that we noticed the place was actually disgustingly filthy.
"When we pulled back the duvet in the bedroom there were a couple of hairs and a chewing gum stain on the carpet."
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Mr Forbes added: "In the kitchen there was grime on the hob and in the fridge we found a half-eaten loaf of bread and an opened carton of milk that was out of date.
"We went in the bathroom and there were hairs in the shower tray, and there was damp and mould in places.
"It was just a grimy grubby little flat."
Forbes said it didn't take long for the couple to decide they couldn't sleep there, and went to stay with one of their friends who was fortunately away on holiday and let them house-sit.
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They immediately contacted Airbnb and told them about the state of the flat and asked for a refund – but claimed they were initially blamed for the mess.
He said: "They accused me of putting hairs in the bed – I'm bald! – and of planting out of date milk, but we're vegan!
"Somehow they also claimed that the damp and mould in the property is my fault, when it was a years-old problem that needs proper building work to fix.
"They refused to refund me and the host has convinced them that I made the mess in his disgusting flat despite 22 photos of evidence.
"We were reluctant to travel during a pandemic to a city which was on the watch list for a local lockdown. And then we turn up to a dangerously uncleaned apartment, we couldn't believe it."
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He said it was only after Birmingham Live contacted the company that they agreed to a full refund.
"They have now issued a full refund, which I 100% attribute to Birmingham Live's contact with the press department.
"My partner went to university in Birmingham and was really keen to live in the Cotteridge and Stirchley area as she has fond memories from her time as a student there.
"We are sick of Brighton and were looking forward to a new start in Birmingham. We've managed to find a lovely house in Stirchley now, with a big enough garden for me to build a recording studio in, so hopefully will be moving up here very soon."
A spokesman for Airbnb said they had now refunded Mr Coleman in full and had taken "appropriate action" with the owner of the flat.
"We were disappointed to learn about this experience, have reached out to the guest to help make things right and the listing has been suspended from the platform," a spokesman said.
"With more than 750 million guest arrivals on Airbnb to date, isolated issues are rare and in the event they do happen, we advise guests to contact the host and give them a chance to address the concern.
"Our global community support team is on hand 24/7. Our Guest Guarantee means that if a guest checks into a listing that does not meet our accuracy or quality standards, we will rebook them or offer 100% of their money back."
- In the News
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