Airbnb seems to be all the rage in the hospitality sector, especially among those looking to travel on a budget. Although it hasn’t been in business very long, it already has a huge network, with rentals available in thousands of cities and nearly 200 countries. Airbnb has been a big boon for homeowners who have extra rooms that are unused and who need to pick up a little cash for renting them out to travelers. However, Airbnb hosts open themselves up for liability when they agree to rent you a room, so if you are hurt, become sick or have property damaged while staying at an Airbnb property, you have a strong case for a premises liability claim.
In California, people who open their homes up to others are strictly liable for the reasonable safety of those who they invite to enter their homes. So while who you would address your claim to might be a little tricky, you definitely have the right to assume your safety was taken into account when you rent an Airbnb room, home, apartment, or other lodgings. Much like Uber or Lyft claims, however, Airbnb claims can be complex, depending on who owns the home.
Staying in an Airbnb rental is different than staying in a hotel, and not just because it is usually far cheaper. When you stay in a hotel, if you become injured, then the hotel is generally liable for your injuries. It is not so clear-cut when it comes to Airbnb rentals, however. You may end up with a claim against the party who rented you the room. Another possibility is that the person who rents you the room is also a renter of the property themselves; in this case, liability may be assigned to the owner of the property and perhaps partially to the person with whom you had the Airbnb agreement.
If your Airbnb agreement is with the actual homeowner, then it is likely that the person has a homeowner’s policy that covers liability up to a particular set limit. However, some homeowner’s policies specifically prohibit injuries that result when the home is used for profit, and if they don’t have additional insurance to cover it, then they may be held personally liable for your injuries.
As of now, Airbnb itself states in its official TOS that it is not liable for injured guests and that anyone using its service assumes liability. This can make it a bit hard to recoup compensation from the company itself. Airbnb is relatively new, though, and it remains to be seen if it may be forced to assume a greater level of liability or to carry coverage for injured guests.
Compass Law Group has been handling premises liability claims and personal injury claims for injured clients for years. If you have been injured in an Airbnb property, we urge you to reach out to us for a consultation with our Los Angeles premises liability attorney to discuss your case and find out if you may be able to collect compensation for your injuries.