First of all, this post is not a dig at Airbnb. I think it is a terrific organisation that I will use on numerous opportunities, I mention the positives in this article. But problems do happen. Hence this little episode I am going to share with you about my own Airbnb experience I had in Seoul, South Korea.

In a recent trip toSouth Korea, we booked our accommodation through Airbnb. A lovely lofted apartment that was perfect for a family of four and in an ideal part of Seoul. Everything went well, the booking, the owners were helpful upon checking in and the apartment was clean. Great location, close to shopping, restaurants and subway stations, all you can ask for a holiday.

  • So what went wrong?

A few days into our stay, my wife, who is Korean, went out to catch up with friends. I was in the apartment with my two boys. There was a knock on the door, this should go well, I thought since I can’t speak a word of Korean, but I opened the door anyway. (I do love a challenge)

On the other side of the door were three policemen. Interesting. They proceeded to ask me, with the only English speaking police officer present, if the apartment was rented through Airbnb? I answered yes. They proceeded to enter the apartment with my permission and began taking photos.

All you can do at this time is try to find my Korean speaking wife. I couldn’t. Next they wanted me to write a statement, saying that I rented this apartment through Airbnb, where the officer explained to me that this is an illegal apartment due to being unregistered. Well I was furious, not at the police but at the owners who I paid very good money to for the apartment.

They proceeded to give me the paperwork for a statement, it was in Korean writing. I refused to write the statement because it wasn’t in English, even though the officer offered too translate. That’s nice but no. Don’t ever fill out a statement you can’t understand. A golden rule in life.

The police told me that they would return when my wife got home. Before they left I gave them the details to the owners through the booking report and they left the apartment reassuring me that I was not in trouble and that our stay would continue.

All’s well, end’s well. The police never returned to the apartment as they said they would. But I do know the owners were in the police department no more than two hours later. Now I was not privy to all the information, or I would have given you a good conclusion at what happened in my own Airbnb experience, but it is safe to say the owners probably got a good old fine.

A decent whack I suppose for not being honest.




airbnb experience

Plenty of Airbnb apartments available in Seoul.

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