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Travel is expensive. Why spend money on a hotel if you're going to spend most of your time sightseeing? Airbnb has become a cheaper and more attractive option for many travelers.
However, what happens in the case of an injury? You slip and fall in a hotel, you sue the hotel. If you slip in fall in an Airbnb rental, who do you sue? Can you even sue?
Under the principle of premises liability, homeowners, landowners, landlords, Airbnb hosts, are responsible for maintaining a relatively safe environment on their property. For premises owners to be held liable for injuries, you, the plaintiff, must show that the owner created, knew, or should have known about an unsafe condition and negligently failed to correct it, causing your injury.
Airbnb guests would usually be considered invitees, people invited onto property for business reasons. As such, the property owners owe guests the highest degree of care and a duty to take reasonable steps to cure any hazards.
If you're injured at an Airbnb, you can sue the homeowner or renter, the landlord, or possibly Airbnb. Many times, who gets sued depends on who the plaintiff thinks will actually have money to cover the damages.
Previously, Airbnb disclaimed all liability for injuries occurring at host properties and stated this in their terms of service. So, you would have to seek recovery from your host or his landlord. But some renters who list their rented property may not even have renters insurance. This is why many people would try and sue the landlord.
Generally, a landlord has a duty to make his property reasonably safe, even if it's occupied by a tenant. However, if the renter/Airbnb host is violating his lease by renting it out through Airbnb, the landlord would most likely be off the hook. In addition, depending on the terms, many homeowners and renters insurance policies may not even cover injuries to paying guests.
However, Airbnb's new Host Protection Insurance may provide an additional source of coverage for injury claims. According to the company's website, starting January 15, 2015, Airbnb's new host protection insurance program may cover a guest's injury at a listing during a stay, provided certain conditions are met. The coverage is for up to $1 million per occurrence, but only kicks in after other available insurance is used. So if the host and landlord do not have insurance to cover the cost of your injury, Airbnb's host protection insurance may cover your claim.
If you've been injured in an Airbnb rental or any other property, and need help making a claim, consult with an experienced personal injury attorney.
Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.
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