Airbnb and Premises Liability

Airbnb is a popular app that allows homeowners as well as landlords to rent out real estate for short periods of time. When someone has multiple homes, it is enticing to use this app to earn extra money instead of letting the property sit vacant. If you do not own multiple properties, perhaps you have used Airbnb - or considered using the app - instead of renting a traditional hotel room when you travel. The majority of guests and homeowners that use Airbnb do so without issue. That being said, sometimes bad things happen and people get injured. Before deciding to stay at an Airbnb property, or before deciding to put your property up for rent on Airbnb, it is important that you understand who can be held liable if something happens on the premises.

Premises Liability Explained

All property owners as well as non-owner residents owe a legal duty to maintain a reasonably safe environment for those who come onto the property. This is known as premises liability. Under this area of the law, property owners and residents can be held responsible for accidents and injuries that occur on their property. Examples of injuries include trip and falls, slip and falls, and other accidents. Generally, liability is determined depending on the legal status of the injured person, the condition of the property when the accident happened and the actions of both the owner/resident and injured visitor, whether or not the injured visitor is a child or trespasser, and if the injured visitor is partially at fault for the accident.

Airbnb and Premises Liability

When someone agrees to stay at an Airbnb, he or she must agree to sign a Terms of Agreement. This contract states that, in the event of an accident, the disputing parties must resolve their issues through negotiation or arbitration. In other words, most of these cases are not resolved with the need of court intervention. Often, these agreements include both parties waiving their right to a jury trial. If a lawsuit is filed, often the contract requires the case be filed in a certain court. This practice is not unique to Airbnb. Many companies and corporations that offer services to the public. Essentially, if a person does not agree to the terms of the agreement, he or she does not have to sign nor use the services offered.

That being said, Airbnb has host protection services. This means that guests who are harmed while staying at an Airbnb may be able to recover monetary compensation for losses through this insurance. In fact, Airbnb host protection insurance generally has one million dollars in coverage for property damage and bodily injury regarding third party claims. The general types of accidents these policies cover include, but are not limited to loss of earnings, fungi, bacteria, pollution, product liability, communicable diseases, Chinese drywall, acts of terrorism, exposure to asbestos/silica/lead, among others.

Personal Injury Airbnb Help

Airbnb can be an affordable and adventurous alternative to a traditional hotel stay when you are on vacation. These properties, however, do not come without risk. If you or someone you know has been harmed while staying at an Airbnb, contact the experienced personal injury attorneys at Parry & Pfau. These skilled lawyers have represented the injured for years and can help you recover the monetary compensation to which you are entitled.

(image courtesy of Sylwia Pietruszka)