I am staying at a place booked via Airbnb. Something happened and there is no electricity from Friday! The house-owner has provided a super noisy generator, which is inconsistent, meaning that it "randomly" supplies power to some parts of the house, so you cannot rely on it.

Is there any rule/law in SF, CA, USA to describe the compensation one should get from such kind a situation?

The owner owns the whole building. On the ground floor there is a restaurant. On the 1st floor there are the apartments. Something happened in the restaurant, which made the electricity go off, but she didn't give more details, she said "there was an emergency and the power went off".

  • 1
    I updated @pnuts!
    – gsamaras
    Sep 15, 2016 at 16:42
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    I suspect either the restaurant has lost its license or has not paid its utility bill. Besides demanding a refund from AirBnB, I suggest you contact the power utility (PG&E) to find out what the situation is. Sep 15, 2016 at 18:15
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    @AndrewLazarus the restaurant is closed, with a sign "We have technical difficulties, we will re-open as soon as possible...".
    – gsamaras
    Sep 15, 2016 at 18:31
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    Restaurants don't make money when closed (and often not when open). I would call the utility; if power to an apartment house is shut off for nonpayment there may be special provisions. And if there really is something dangerous in the restaurant, a crew should investigate it. Number for utility is 1 (800) 743-5000. Sep 15, 2016 at 18:53
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    If the electricity has been out for nearly a week and the owners actually cared about the problem, they'd have professional licensed electricians on site, not the father of the owner "trying" to fix it. It seems evident that they don't care, and you should contact AirBnB to find a new place to stay and get compensation. Out of curiosity, how long were you renting the AirBnB for (more than 30 days or less)? Sep 15, 2016 at 21:44

1 Answer 1


Contact AirBnB support directly, do not wait.

Ask them to help you move to another apartment. Also ask for compensation.

Anecdotal: There was a major water problem at an apartment my parents rented near Paris, with AirBnb. They contacted support and were lucky to be moved to another apartment nearby, and they got some compensation.

  • 3
    @gsamaras another avenue could be to contact the San Francisco Office of Short-Term Rental’s; the unit has to be on the Registry and, if there are problems, you might have leverage for compensation [email protected]
    – Giorgio
    Sep 15, 2016 at 19:21
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    @gsamaras; here's another link to pursue vis a vis warrant of habitability (sftu.org/repairs)
    – Giorgio
    Sep 15, 2016 at 21:58
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    Your best bet is AirBnB, not contacting the city. You're AirBnB's customer. Sep 16, 2016 at 0:29
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    There's a lot of tension between AirBnB and the city of San Francisco. If AirBnB don't sort it out, I imagine that the city council will be a solid ally. Sep 16, 2016 at 11:35
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    @ZachLipton With that said, I've found that in the case of guest disputes, they are generally efficient (sometimes unfairly so towards the owner) in issuing refunds.
    – JBentley
    Sep 16, 2016 at 12:26

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