Stop worrying about potential mishaps during your next vacation. Here’s what you need to know about AirBnB liability before booking your trip.
AirBnBs have revolutionized the way people travel and the accessibility of excursions on trips. Don’t like staying in hotels? Simply rent out someone’s house for the duration of your trip. AirBnBs can be a great way to get additional accommodations for your money, especially during the busy season. Given all the positives that come with AirBnBs, they do have some pitfalls: AirBnBs don’t function the same way as a hotel in terms of liability. In the event that there is a problem or serious injury, the process may differ.
It’s important to understand your rights and responsibilities before staying at an AirBnB. Doing so can empower you in the event that something unforeseen happens. Knowing what your options are, who to contact, and how to go about securing compensation in the event you are injured can help you and your loved ones feel more comfortable staying in an AirBnB.
Who is Responsible For My Injuries?
No one expects to suffer an injury on vacation, but if you suffer an injury at an AirBnB, you need to know what to do and who is responsible for paying for your injuries before you leave the area or file a claim. Even though the homeowner shares some liability for injuries that happen on their property, the situation can be complex. Certain elements must be proven, and certain stipulations must be met before the owner of the home can be held legally and financially liable for your injuries.
AirBnB offers host liability insurance called AirCover for all live listings on the site. Through this program, AirBnB claims are handled through a third-party insurance company. On the AirBnB website, they state the host liability insurance covers bodily injury to a guest, damage to or theft of property belonging to a guest, and damage caused by a guest to common areas. It also clearly states host liability insurance doesn’t cover: damage or injury resulting from something done intentionally, damage to your place or belonging caused by a guest and notes other exclusions.
Injury or Property Claim
In the event AirCover doesn’t cover the claim, you may be able to bring the claim against the property owner. The injury that you suffer has to have occurred on the property; in many places, the law defines property as being within the bounds of the rented area of the property or on the property itself. Secondly, the injury or loss must have been caused by an act of negligence by the homeowner. In other words, the homeowner must have knowingly left out information or details about a possible hazard, and that unknown hazard caused the injury. This also means that if you are injured as a result of something that you were warned about, such as a broken staircase or some other deficiency in the property that the owner documented and warned potential renters about, then the fault does not lie with the owner as they took all reasonable steps to prevent the accident.
However, if you can prove that the homeowner either knew about the issue that caused your injury or simply failed to warn renters about it, then you may have a claim for compensation.
Preventing Injuries and Property Damage at an AirBnB
While knowing what to do if an accident occurs at an AirBnB is helpful, mitigating your chances of suffering an injury or damage to your property is ideal!
Start with the initial listing. A good AirBnB owner will provide plenty of photos and a vivid description of the property so that you know what to expect prior to booking. Even if there is a potential danger on the property that they intend to repair but can’t before it is rented, the good AirBnB hosts will mark it in some way as a hazard so that potential renters are aware of the issue ahead of time.
A good AirBnB owner will take things a step further. Responsible property owners will physically mark off dangerous areas on the property if there is a potential hazard such as a sinkhole or unreliable stairs. They can use caution tape or other means to warn potential renters once they arrive on the property.
A quick way to ruin a vacation is by showing up at your AirBnB to find that it doesn’t match what you booked. As a renter, you can conduct research on the owner and the property yourself. Ensure the AirBnB host has a good history on the platform, good ratings, and good reviews. Read through reviews and photos to ensure there are no glaring problems with either the person handling the rental property or the property itself. Good reviews can help inform you what kind of owners are operating the property, and if this information isn’t present or they have bad reviews, then it’s best to keep looking for a place to stay before your next trip.
Making sure the owners have posted reliable information and proper contact information in the event that you find a problem that wasn’t listed is another important part of keeping yourself safe from injury while renting an AirBnB property. These steps may not prevent everything that can possibly happen on a trip, but they can go a long way towards keeping you safe and out of the emergency room.
Now that you know the basics of AirBnB liability, you can make sure to plan your trip with care. Research the property and owner before booking, look for warnings about potential hazards on-site, and ensure that contact information for any questions or problems is readily available. If something does happen while you’re staying at an AirBnB, knowing your rights ahead of time will save you a lot of headaches in the long run. Taking these steps can help prevent injuries from occurring in the first place and make your next vacation as stress-free as possible! Bon voyage!