Renting through VRBO and AirBnB

In today’s episode Chuck talks about the dangers and liabilities when renting through VRBO or AirBnB.

Renting through VRBO and AirBnB Video Transcript

Hi Folks. We’re starting to get into that time of the year where everybody’s planning their vacations; and it may be in Southern California or Hawaii or Tahiti or Costa Rica, or wherever it happens to go. Or, you want to go and even in Europe. And the new trend is instead of staying in hotels is to find a place to stay with a host through let’s say, VRBO, AIRBNB, or one of probably hundreds of these companies that advertise these places to, let’s say, rent a room or the entire structure of the home or a condo on the ocean for a set period of time with X amount of dollars. And you would think when you get there and something happens where you or a family member ends up falling through stairs that had deteriorated, that you would have recourse against whoever this broker was. Like AIRBNB or VRBO or something along those lines. In reality that’s not the case.

Your claim would be against the actual homeowner or owner of the condo. That being said, they would have typically had homeowner’s insurance to protect them; but there is typically again, an exclusion in a homeowner’s policy that says, “if you rent this place in a commercial setting… in other words, you lease out a room, then the homeowner’s liability portion does not apply.” So, if you’re tenants the host, you’re the person like renting the room if something happens to you, you may not have a pocket to reach into. And I have seen and read where some of these hosts, let’s say I’m renting my house and a bedroom or my house for a week to some people coming here from California. My homeowner’s insurance would not cover any losses by these people that are coming into the house; but I as a host, could go ahead and pick up an insurance policy of a million dollars through VRBO. That would be beneficial to me because I’m covering my rear-end in case something happens; and it would be beneficial to you in case something happens to you renting my property.

A lot of these hosts do not do that so you really need to check and make sure that if you rent a place, maybe it’s Costa Rica, maybe it’s Florida, maybe it’s Southern California, that there is a liability insurance policy on that that will cover your losses if something, God forbid, happens to you while you’re on that property. Just a tip… word of warning, if you will that otherwise… because you think you’re renting through these Brokers. And, I’ll call them Brokers that’s a better term actually that you would have recourse with them. In reality, you don’t. They’re just the middle men. They’re the people that are getting you set up with the host… with the Landlord and that’s probably not a good term either, because this is not residential landlord, tenant, stuff typically. It’s more like a hotel situation. But, in any event, just because it’s this huge company with billions of dollars of sales every year, that you’re going to be able to reach in their pocket if something happens to you. That’s not the case. So, keep that in mind. And ask! It doesn’t hurt to ask hey, does the host have insurance that would cover any losses to you or your family, your relatives, your friends, whatever, at the time that you were renting that property for a week, a month, whatever it happens to be. Thank you.

This posted video is in no way specific legal advice on any subject. It is intended to provide general information for the public. If you need specific legal advice, call Chuck at 480-545-0700.