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Putting your home on Airbnb? Then read this first

airbnb

Following the news that a single property owner in London managed to make almost £12 million from Airbnb rentals in the course of a single year, it is hardly surprising that you might be tempted to cash in by letting a spare room in your home – or even the whole house – to an Airbnb guest.

The extraordinary earnings of that particular landlord – who, admittedly owned no fewer than 881 properties – was reported in a post on our website dated the 17th of November 2017.

But if you are tempted to try and chase anything like this income by putting your home on Airbnb, read this first. 

The big money

The exceptional earnings quoted in the article in our knowledge base come from a particularly glaring example of the landlord who makes use of Airbnb lettings to find tenants on a relatively long-term basis.

Not only does this approach to letting fly in the face of Airbnb’s principle of offering affordable accommodation to holidaymakers and other travellers looking for somewhere to stay for just a few nights, but it has also attracted criticism from long-term residents of some areas.

A story by the BBC on the 19th of January 2018, for instance, highlighted the increasing number of complaints from residents in cities popular with Airbnb landlords – such as London, Birmingham and Liverpool.

Local councillors In Liverpool, have complained about the mayhem caused in some parts of the city from all-night parties, noise and revelling from Airbnb guests who have taken over local properties for use as hotels, which lack the normal support and backup of on hand management and security.

To prevent Airbnb being abused by landlords, some local authorities have called for curbs on the letting of such property for up to a maximum of 90 days. 

The privacy and security of ordinary, longer-term residents is being compromised by Airbnb landlords in some areas, opined the Guardian newspaper on the 12th of February 2018, average rents in affected areas are being driven up, and regulation is now long-overdue.

Property damage

Before putting your home on Airbnb, you also need to be aware that things may go seriously wrong, if guests turn out to be less than responsible, treat your property appallingly and generally trash the place, causing many thousands of pounds worth of damage.

In the past, the media has been full of such stories and a post dated the 16th of April 2018, on the website AirbnbHell, emphasises yet again the limitations of Airbnb’s own “host guarantee” when it comes to claiming for damage caused by your guests.

The contributor to AirbnbHell revealed potential difficulties in securing security deposits from guests under Airbnb’s rules, even given the existence of the host guarantee offered by Airbnb itself.

The guarantee does not cover loss or damage to your property through wear and tear, for example – which makes it difficult to recover the costs of many cleaning bills – and loss or damage to your property is also severely limited. Your works of art, collectibles, jewellery, cash and securities are not covered, and neither is the loss of or injury to your pets. The host guarantee makes no provision for your liabilities as an Airbnb host in the event of an injury to one of your guests or damage to their property.

These are just some of the reasons why we have strongly argued – and reiterated in a post dated the 25th of January 2018 – for anyone considering letting part or all of their home through Airbnb to arrange specialist Airbnb insurance.

Further reading: Download our free Guide to Airbnb insurance here.