Airbnb and its various competitors have completely revolutionised the travel accommodation market in recent years, making it increasingly affordable for people to travel to new destinations. Equally, these home hosting platforms have opened up a whole new market for people looking to make some cash from their spare room. Yet despite its popularity, the use of this service does come with its risks, with some people finding out the hard way that not everybody can be taken at face value.
The problem of nightmare guests
One such case involves a Putney based flat which was trashed, leaving the owners with a repair bill that topped £3000, after being renting out via Airbnb for a 21st birthday party. Illegal drugs were smoke inside the property, a TV was wrenched from its wall mounted bracket and to add insult to injury the homeowner was punched in the stomach as they tried to remove the 100 strong crowd from their property.
In a similar case in the city of London, two friends decided to rent out their £1million flat in Islington to raise some spare cash while they were on holiday. The man they rented the flat to claimed he was treating his fiancé to a weekend away in London but upon their return, the property owners found the remnants of a wild party. The house was a mess, strewn with condom wrappers and hippy crack canisters, as well as a missing Banksy print that had a value of around £8000.
What you can do to prevent similar problems
Although these stories are obviously uncommon and have made the news for exactly this reason, unfortunately there are some unscrupulous people in the world who will look to take advantage of, and cause damage to, your home. That is why it is so important to take a few steps to minimise the chances of this happening at your property.
Secure all personal belongings
It may seem obvious but one of the first steps to take when looking to rent out your home is to ensure that you have not left anything of any value or importance in a location where your guests can access them. This could mean either taking these things with you if you will not be remaining at the property during the stay or investing in a fixed, lockable safe to secure these items within your home. Remember that this could include items such as birth certificates and passports as well as expensive jewellery, since identity fraud can have more severe and far-reaching consequences than traditional burglary.
Be selective with your guests
Although the aim of the game is to make yourself some spare cash, it must be remembered that this is your home that you are inviting people in to. For this reason, it is vital that you only accept bookings from people that you feel comfortable about sharing a building with. One good tip is to try and avoid bookings from those with previous negative reviews – the last thing you want to do is invite in a guest who is going to be a nightmare. This is why some people choose to not accept guests unless they have sufficient previous reviews to form an opinion. However, the flipside of taking this route is that you may miss out on some great guests who are simply new to the platform.
Make sure you’re covered
An absolutely vital step to take when considering using providers such as Airbnb is to make sure that you have suitable home hosting insurance in place. Many standard insurers are not able to facilitate this home sharing platform under their policies, meaning cover could be invalidated through this action. Equally, some providers may permit you to rent your home in this way but provide no cover for the repercussions that this may cause. By purchasing a specialist home hosting policy, you will be expanding your cover to include any damage that is caused by guests at your property or that arises from your home hosting activity.
1 Month Ago, Monday, October 16, 2017, 09:50:58