I moved back to Hamburg after a terrible experience renting in Berlin. A massively traumatic start, considering how easy and fair HousingAnywhere's policies seemed... How wrong I was. I was charged the platform fee and a month's rent straight off, having done all the right things to mitigate the worst circumstances, I thought everything was going to be all right.
I communicated on the platform, I spoke to several staff who were fast (but curt) and then, just as they had taken my money, all the communication stopped. I had to chase and chase for any sort of answer. I wanted to cancel, due to a change of personal circumstances and moreover, having visited the building and finding it "not as described" (something which is very much in the T&Cs as a golden rule). I've tried to explain to them over the phone (apparently there is no dispute team you can reach over the phone) and this has resulted in a long email thread of accusatory messaging where they've said that as I can't provide evidence (I'm being ghosted by Katherine Hübner, the owner) I'm not entitled to a refund. They've got my messages that I've deliberately kept on the platform rather than moving any communication over email, and that still doesn't seem to be enough. I did the right thing in every instance; was fair, transparent and obliging, offering ways for them to help support my claim. These were all refused.
And it was bad as it looks in the pictures: a converted office was being put up in one of the rougher areas of Hamburg, and frankly shouldn't have been let anywhere near the site anyway. There's no vetting process, like other platforms (ie. Spotahome) and there's no adequate customer service (like Airbnb, where it's a straight up, no frills "customer is always right" experience). They've taken my money and run, simply put.
I've lost nearly 1000 Euros to this sham of a site, with its T&Cs which they seem to interpret as they please. I'm in the process of seeking legal help and have issued a chargeback but it feels unlikely that I'll ever get my money back. I don't want others to fall prey to this and want people to know that there's solidarity in this absolutely horrific experience which I've been trying to appeal for over a month now.