Airbnb gives anyone with a bit of extra space the ability to rent their spare room, bed or sofa out for some extra cash. Many seasoned hosts understand the processes and requirements involved, but there are still important considerations to be made of the protections in place for hosts using Airbnb, and whether potential breaches to terms and conditions of insurance cover and mortgage agreements could cost you more further down the line.
At consumeradvice.scot, we have put together a brief guide on ensuring you get the most out of the experience of being an Airbnb host, whilst ensuring you are meeting requirements to keep everyone safe.
Home Insurance Cover
Home insurance is an important consideration, in as far as the policy may be invalidated by the fact that the additional space is being rented out as a short-term let. Advice should be sought when considering listing on Airbnb, as increasing the level of insurance cover may be required.
Mortgage Lender terms & conditions
Mortgage Lender terms & conditions should also be considered, in as far as that there can be stipulations in the mortgage agreement prohibiting or requiring the lenders’ written permission to allow others to stay in the property. Always be a step ahead and check with your lender before listing your property.
So, what happens when there is a situation in which a property has been damaged by the guest? What is the recourse for the host in reclaiming any money owed to them? There is cover available through Airbnb, however the amount is limited. For major damages, home insurance could be claimed, but as previously discussed, some home insurance policies don’t cover third parties letting from you in the short-term.
Some bookings on Airbnb require a pre-authorised deposit to be paid, which is transacted two days prior to the booking taking place. This does not take the amount from the guests’ bank account but makes the amount unavailable until the hold on the funds is released 14 days after the completion of the stay. Any deposits amounts requested will be set by Airbnb and payments made via their official channels. You, as the host can also request a deposit, which will not be pre-authorised, but later deducted should there be a requirement for this. Proof will be required for this, so ensure that any damage or missing items are documented.
Health & Safety
Certain safety issues must be considered when listing a property on Airbnb, and the platform recommend hosts take precautions in terms of fire and carbon-monoxide safety. Airbnb display information on fire safety on the listing, when this information is supplied by the host and care should be taken to ensure that you communicate this information, as decisions to book could be swayed by this information.
consumeradvice.scot top tips for ensuring your Airbnb experience as a host goes as smoothly as possible
- Ensure your listings are up-to-date and accurate
- Check with your insurance provider that you are covered to rent any part of your property through Airbnb
- Check with your mortgage lender to ensure you are not breaching any of their terms and conditions
- Ensure you carry out Fire Safety checks on your property
If you would like more advice on travel, contracts, or any other consumer issue, you can contact consumeradvice.scot on 0808 164 6000. We are open 9am-5pm, Monday-Friday. You can follow us on social media – Twitter: @advicedotscot and Facebook at www.facebook.com/advice.scot, Instagram: @advice.scot, or get ahead by visiting our knowledge centre at www.consumeradvice.scot.