Airbnb is an online community marketplace that connects people to a list of unique accommodations around the world. There are two drivers of Airbnb – hosts and travellers. Hosts list and rent out their unused spaces, whereas travelers search for spaces and book appropriate ones.
While Airbnb may seem like a fast route to earn some extra dollars, it does not emancipate the process off the perils related to it. With questions doing rounds of the substantial reliability of Airbnb, whether to rent houses to strangers or not is a primary concern. Here are some of the risks associated with Airbnbing your house:
Damage that potential travellers can cause to your property is the biggest risk associated with Airbnbing your house. Of late, discussions on the damages caused to properties by travelers have dominated the Airbnb related news. The most recent one being the house trash amid “a drug-induced orgy” in Calgary. The family based in Calgary, rented their house unknowingly to hard-partying renters and on returning found that the house was inhabitable due to biohazard concerns. It was later assessed that the damage caused to the property would cost its owners around $75,000. Besides this, several incidents of theft and vandalism have also been reported.
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Before renting out your house to Airbnb members, it is necessary to ensure that the insurance covers damages caused during the process. Every company has a different way of dealing with such damages. But generally, there are specific coverage options for properties that are rented out. These policies that typically protect a person’s primary residence, however, differ in terms of assumptions. If your insurance doesn’t extend to renting, any damaged caused during the period of renting is excluded from insurance.
As per recent developments, provinces are going to charge hosts the same percentage of tax as registered hoteliers. For hosts who are primarily renting their house to earn some extra bucks, this is a disadvantage. Not only are they prone to the risks of damage but are also obligated to pay taxes on their profit.
Taxes are only one form of liability. Besides that, hosts are also liable to an injury faced by its renters. As per terms and conditions of Airbnb, it is not responsible for any damage or injury caused to renters. This means that, if the renter faces any kind of injury during his stay in the property, he can sue the host for it, especially if the injury was due to modifications that don’t comply with construction codes.
Airbnb, when it started out, was a platform where thrifty tourists found cheap accommodation. However, today, Airbnb is a place where people find suitable accommodations for both unique professional and traveling experiences. Although there are risks associated with using systems like Airbnb, they can be mitigated through preventive measures.