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Landlords who are using or thinking about using a short term letting platform, such as Airbnb, need to be properly insured. Landlords have been given a stark warning to cover themselves and their property.
A few weeks ago four people were seriously injured when a balcony collapsed at an Airbnb short term let. The accident investigator’s findings so far have exonerated the landlord of any fault however, experts within the industry are warning landlords that third party sub-letting could invalidate their insurance policies.
Experienced landlords, if they wish to choose the option of a third party let, will not have their property properly insured for commercial use. However, landlords new to the market may not realise the importance of notifying their insurers.
If an injury occurs within the sub-let then the duty is on the landlord or the sub-letter and they may be held legally liable; Airbnb and other platforms will be held unaccountable. A landlord or sub-letter will only be responsible if they fail to repair any potential hazard and had not warned the tenant about a problem.
If you are thinking of sub-letting your property or apartment on Airbnb or any other types of short-term lets, it is very important to make sure your mortgage provider allows it (commercial letting) and that your insurance policy covers you to do so. You should leave clear instructions as to what those using it can and cannot do within the property. It would be prudent to undertake a risk assessment to demonstrate that you have discharged your obligation to ensure the premises are safe.
If you require any further assistance or if you wish to discuss the matter further then please do not hesitate to contact Shazia Aslam or the Schofield Sweeney Dispute Resolution Team on 01274 306 000.