Ways To Keep Property Safe When Using Airbnb
Whether you have a gap between long-term renters or want to test the short-term rental market, Airbnb is a convenient way to earn income from rental properties. The average host earns $924 per month. If you are considering using Airbnb, explore the risks to your property and how to protect your investment, below.
What Are the Risks of Airbnb Damage to Property From Guests?
No Airbnb guest is as well-vetted as a screened tenant.
Airbnb hosts can screen guests by reviews — accepting only guests who have positive reviews. Hosts can also prevent anyone who has not been verified by Airbnb (through a photo identification) from booking. This can increase peace of mind if, say, you’re renting out one apartment in a multi-unit building and want to protect your long-term renters from strangers.
Taking these extra steps decreases the likelihood that a guest will use your home for nefarious purposes. It also reduces your risk to property damage, whether intentional or accidental. Property damage could be as simple as a guest spilling a glass of red wine on your white carpet or accidentally breaking a framed piece of art. Or, a guest could throw a party in your home, causing significant damage to the premises.
How Airbnb Handles Property Damage Claims
Airbnb requests that hosts first try to solve property damage incidents with guests using its on-site messaging system. If a guest damages your carpet, you could send him or her a receipt for cleaning the carpet and request he or she pays it. While an honest guest may do this, you can’t count on a guest’s goodwill.
The Airbnb Resolution Center is the next step in escalating property damage. Resolution Center cases are handled by Airbnb security specialists who review claims submitted by both parties. You will need to gather evidence, such as videos or photos, provide a receipt that shows the value of the damaged property, and obtain an estimate on letterhead to repair or replace the item.
The Airbnb team member will attempt to determine whether the guest was liable. Hosts cannot rely on the team member believing their side of the story, unfortunately.
Airbnb offers a Host Guarantee that will cover up to $1 million in damages to your property. However, this guarantee does not cover collectibles, artwork, jewelry, pets or cash. The Host Guarantee is subject to exclusions or wear and tear. Since Airbnb team members have the authority to decide how much (if any) of the damages to cover, this is not guaranteed to protect you.
To increase peace of mind and reduce your risks, lock up valuables not covered by the Airbnb Host Guarantee. Then install smart home systems. Smart keys allow you to control access at multiple rental properties and reduce the risk of break-ins. Security cameras may deter bad behavior from guests or serve as proof if you need to initiate a damage claim with Airbnb. Check that your home insurance policy covers short-term rentals or purchase a separate policy to protect your interests in cases that Airbnb is not responsive.