John Price Law Blog

Liabilities for Homeowners Hosting an Airbnb

Note: This was featured as part of our Wednesday segment on Charleston’s 105.5 The Bridge with Box in the Morning. You can catch us every Wednesday morning at 8:50 am ET for the latest law tips and legal news. You can listen to the segment below:

Airbnb is an online resource and application that allows users to find unique accommodations in cities and towns all over the world. Homeowners and renters can post listings on the site for private rooms or entire houses and apartments. Many homeowners and renters use Airbnb as a source of extra income while out of town or to help with the rent.

Here are a few things homeowners should know when renting out a space through Airbnb:

The first thing to do is check with your city or county regarding any license requirements for renting out a space. Using Airbnb is not like having a cousin or college friends come stay with you for a night or two. You become more of an innkeeper for your Airbnb guests.

From a personal injury standpoint, you should check with your homeowner’s insurance or tenant’s insurance coverage agency to make sure you’re covered and that your policy is up to date. You need to make sure that the premises of your house or apartment is safe, meaning free from any potential hazards so that guests are not injured on your property.

It is up to you to make a thorough inspection of your property and make sure that any issues are fixed before renting out your space. If a court finds that you were unaware of an issue due to lack of reasonable inspection, the law would not be on your side. The same issue applies if you were aware of a hazard, but were not willing to pay the costs for repair.

If you are unable to repair an issue or your property has a potentially hazardous quirk, it is extremely important to warn your guests ahead of their stay. For example, if you have a loose floorboard in a bedroom, let your guests know about the issue so they can avoid a potential injury. Guests need to be aware of seemingly little things like this, both for their safety and for your protection against a personal injury suit. Keeping a record of these exchanges is also recommended in case an injury were to occur on your property.

If you have any further questions about homeowner’s liability and personal injury, contact the John Price Law Firm online or at (843) 552-6011.