SALISBURY, N.C. — Joseph Lee said an Airbnb rental ruined his vacation to Florida this summer.
"It was a nightmare because everyday it was something else," Lee said.
Lee took pictures of mold he told Channel 9 he found in the bedroom, a dirty kitchen, a flat mattress, and knives and alcohol in an advertised kid play area.
"We were held hostage," he said. "We already paid the money."
The family cut their vacation short because Lee said Airbnb nor the host would address their concerns.
Lee said when they got home to Salisbury feeling unsatisfied with their $2,000 vacation, he called the North Carolina attorney general. The office sent several letters to Airbnb, which has yet to respond to the state or Channel 9's questions about Lee's complaints.
Airbnb announced plans to make changes after a deadly Airbnb party in California last week.
The online company has banned parties and is promising to verify all 7 million listings to better protect guests like Lee.
This summer, an Airbnb party in uptown Charlotte led to one death.
The new verification process includes reviewing photos, addresses, cleanliness, safety and basic amenities for all its rental homes.
The listings that make the cut will be marked as verified online.
Lee doesn't believe it will help his situation.
"Think it’s a little bit too late, you know? They should have thought about this," he said.
A new report shows the number of Airbnb listings is growing faster in Charlotte, than any other city.
Eryn Feeney is the spokesperson for Rabbu, which manages 50 short-term rental Airbnb properties in Charlotte.
Feeney said they want Airbnb to crack down on fake listings.
"I do hope that Airbnb continues to take the responsibility of protecting guests and hosts seriously," Feeney said.
Rabbu has its own verification process. Feeney said they want to catch guests who may be planning secret parties, so they require government IDs.
They also have a team that works to detect suspicious messages.
You can find more information on Rabbu here.
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