Short-Term Rental Property Basics
Florida law defines a vacation rental as “any unit or group of units in a condominium or cooperative or any individually or collectively owned single-family, two-family, or four-family house or dwelling unit that is also a transient public lodging establishment but that is not a timeshare project.” By this definition, Airbnb locations and other short-term vacation rentals, such as HomeAway or VRBO, fall under this category.
That is where we step in. Our experienced team has what it takes to ensure that you get a fair outcome. Whether you are a landlord or a tenant, we can help. We have helped many people throughout Miami and all of Florida, and we are ready to help you too.
Who Is Liable If I am Injured While Staying at an Airbnb or VRBO in Florida?
Injuries sustained at a Florida Airbnb property would fall under the legal concept of premises liability. An owner or location host has a legal responsibility to ensure that the rental space is properly maintained and safe for visitors. In order to prove liability, however, the following two conditions must be present. Firstly, an individual would need to prove that there was a dangerous condition. Then an individual must prove that the owner of the property, or the person in control of the property, knew or should have known of that dangerous condition. The accident can then be said to have occurred due to the location host’s negligence.
I Was Injured During My Florida Airbnb Stay. Can I Sue the Airbnb Owner If I am Injured on Their Property?
Airbnb accidents are subject to Florida premises liability law. According to Airbnb’s Terms of Service, a guest may sue the host of the property if they sustained an injury during their stay, there was property damage at the location, or if they experienced a refund issue. The Terms explicitly state that the company (Airbnb) may not be held liable by an individual who has stayed at an Airbnb host’s property.
Airbnb AirCover & Airbnb Host Guarantee
When a property owner agrees to list their site as a short-term vacation rental on Airbnb, they are automatically agreeing to be enrolled in Airbnb’s free “AirCover” policy, formerly known as “Host Protection Insurance”. The newly expanded policy covers claims up to $1 million in the event of bodily injury or property damage, and is available in fifteen countries. Additional coverage includes: pet damage protection, deep cleaning protection, income loss protection, a 14-day filing window, and quick reimbursements.
AirCover does not cover every incident, and Airbnb lists several exclusions including: sickness resulting from asbestos or Chinese drywall, and intentional acts or injuries resulting from assault and battery. Further, communicable diseases, bacteria, and product liability claims are not covered underAirCover. For a full list, a property owner should visit www.airbnb.com/aircover.
Airbnb Host Guarantee
Property owners listing on Airbnb are automatically enrolled in two free services, AirCover and Airbnb Host Guarantee. In contrast to AirCover, the Airbnb Host Guarantee protects property owners against damage caused by their guests. Under the policy, a property owner may recuperate up to $1 million in damages to their property if a guest does not pay them back for damages caused by guests during their stay. The Host Guarantee applies to all Airbnb hosts around the world except for those in Mainland China and Japan, and hosts who offer accommodations through Airbnb Travel, LLC.
Airbnb’s Host Guarantee may include reimbursement for the following:
- Damage to a host’s property caused by guests
- Damage to a host’s belongings caused by guests
- Damage caused to a host’s property or belongings caused by a service animal (not a pet)
Since the Guarantee works more like a promise than an actual policy, Airbnb reserves the right to change the language of their Guarantee at any time, and the company can choose to deny coverage, or only pay part of the damages claimed.
Examples of what Airbnb’s Host Guarantee does not cover includes money, land, animals, watercrafts, vehicles, fine art, excessive utility use, damage caused after the booking period, damage due to illegal activity, and damage caused by guests’ pets. A property owner should read the full list of exclusions and limitations before listing their site at www.airbnb.com/help/article/2869/host-damage-protection-terms.
Other Insurance Coverage & What To Do
Am I Covered by My Airbnb Host’s Florida Homeowner’s Insurance Policy?
Most homeowners’ insurance will not cover Airbnb rentals. If an individual tries to file a property damage or bodily injury claim through their Florida’s Homeowner’s Insurance, the claim will most likely be denied, and in some cases, the policy may be canceled altogether. Since renting out a home is considered a business transaction, a host must acquire business insurance to provide additional coverage for themselves, their property, and their guests.
What Should I Do If I’m Hurt While Staying at an Airbnb?
If an individual is injured while staying at an Airbnb short-term rental, they should immediately seek medical attention. Then, they should check Airbnb’s website to see what is covered under the company’s AirCover (host protection insurance).
Property owners have a responsibility to ensure that their property is maintained and provides a safe environment for guests. If there is reason to believe that a property owner knew of a dangerous condition present in their home and failed to remedy it before renting the property, a guest could have a valid premises liability claim.
Individuals harmed at a short-term rental property should contact an experienced premises liability attorney as soon as possible. An attorney can help to determine if an individual is eligible to make a claim for compensation for injuries sustained on the property.
Hire an Experienced Vacation Rental Lawyer Today!
If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of a property owner’s negligence, you may be entitled to recover damages from a premises liability case. At Panter, Panter & Sampedro can help you understand your options and seek compensation to cover medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages. Call us today at 305-662-6178 for a .