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Home-sharing sites Airbnb and Vrbo have become popular alternatives to hotels in the last several years. Guests often prefer staying in a home rather than a small hotel room, and the homes can be more budget-friendly and convenient for families. Most visits to these locations go off without a hitch, but what happens when something goes wrong?
According to Business Insider, Airbnb spends about $50 million every year to “make things right” for guests and hosts who’ve had bad experiences. Unfortunately, many guests have been injured, assaulted, or experienced a violation of their privacy during their stay at an Airbnb or Vrbo location. Airbnb and Vrbo have a responsibility to keep their guests safe and secure. If you’ve been injured at an Airbnb or Vrbo location, you may be able to file a lawsuit.
What are Airbnb and Vrbo insurance coverage policies?
Airbnb and Vrbo provide hosts $1 million in insurance coverage in the event a guest is injured or has property damaged during their stay. These policies only apply when the host is declared legally responsible, or liable, for the damages or injuries. They cover:
- Bodily injury of a guest
- Damage or theft of a guest’s property
- Damage caused by a guest to common areas like lobbies or other properties
These policies don’t cover any injury or damage done intentionally or any damage of a host’s property caused by a guest. For more specific information on Airbnb’s and Vrbo’s policies, visit their websites.
Can I sue Airbnb and Vrbo if I was injured?
Many injuries that occur at an Airbnb or Vrbo location can be traced back to the host’s negligence. Often, when hosts are liable for an injury, Airbnb’s and Vrbo’s insurance kicks in to protect the host. These policies provide up to $1 million in damages. However, to get compensation for injuries or damages from an Airbnb or Vrbo location, the guest must prove that:
- the injury was closely related to the property
- the host either knew or should have known about the issue.
Slip and Fall
Slip and fall accidents are a very common cause of injury at Airbnb or Vrbo locations. However, a guest must be able to prove that their injury was caused by a defect in the property. Simply slipping on a wet bathroom floor or tripping over a rug may not satisfy this requirement. Here are some examples of property issues that could cause slip and falls:
- Broken stairs or floors
- Torn carpets or rugs
- Leaky appliances
- Potholes in a yard
- Large cracks in the sidewalk
You wouldn’t expect a hotel to allow bed bugs, and you shouldn’t expect your Airbnb or Vrbo locations to allow them either. These little bugs can cause both physical and financial harm, as they are known to travel from place to place, and getting rid of them can be expensive. Your Airbnb or Vrbo host and the company may owe you compensation if you can prove that the company knew or should have known about the bed bugs. For example, if there are bad reviews or complaints of bed bugs, the company will likely be held liable for the damages.
Electrocution and Burns
Like slip and fall accidents, Airbnb or Vrbo should be held liable for injuries that resulted from electrocution and burns. An electrocution or burn injury caused by a faulty piece of equipment on the property should be covered under Airbnb’s and Vrbo’s $1 million insurance policies. If you’re burned or electrocuted by unsafe electrical equipment at an Airbnb or Vrbo, you should be able to file a lawsuit against the company and receive compensation for your injuries.
Physical and Sexual Assault
Generally speaking, Airbnb and Vrbo may be liable for your injuries if you were the victim of rape, molestation, harassment, illegal touching or any other physical attack. In a majority of these cases, the company failed to provide a safe environment for guests by neglecting to implement safety measures.
What is sexual assault?
Sexual assault is any non-consensual act as defined by federal, state or tribal law. This includes acts in which one of the parties is unconscious. A sexual assault can include the following:
- Inappropriate touching
- Sexual abuse
- Verbal assault
Can I sue Airbnb and Vrbo if I was assaulted?
Yes, if you were assaulted during your stay at an Airbnb or Vrbo location, you will be able to file a lawsuit against the company. Additionally, you may be able to sue the host and other parties who were involved. Home-sharing companies like Airbnb and Vrbo are obligated to provide safe environments for guests.
If you are a victim of physical or sexual assault, you deserve compensation for your injuries. Our caring and compassionate legal teams can guide you through every step of the process. Take a step to get the justice you deserve by contacting our firm and setting up a free consultation.
In recent years, several Airbnb and Vrbo guests have filed lawsuits alleging that they were recorded without their permission. Cameras were hidden in bedrooms where guests were sleeping, and the videos contained images of guests in various states of undress. Needless to say, recording people in private areas without their permission is a violation of privacy.
Do Airbnb and Vrbo allow hosts to have cameras?
Airbnb allows hosts to place security cameras both inside and outside of the property. However, there are regulations on where they can put the cameras. Airbnb hosts can only place cameras in “common areas,” or public spaces such as the front door or driveway. Cameras may not be placed in private spaces like bathrooms or any sleeping areas (including living rooms with couches). Additionally, the host must make sure all cameras are clearly visible and be sure to notify potential guests of them in the listing description.
Vrbo’s rules about recording devices are very similar to Airbnb’s, but the main difference is that Vrbo does not allow hosts to place cameras inside the property. For security, Vrbo hosts may put cameras outside of the property. Vrbo also requires that any recorded data be deleted once it is no longer needed. In addition, potential Vrbo guests must also be notified of any cameras in the listing description.
Can I sue Airbnb or Vrbo if I’m recorded without knowing?
The policies of both companies clearly state that cameras are not allowed in private areas such as bedrooms, bathrooms, or other places you would reasonably expect privacy. Airbnb and Vrbo guests have a right to privacy while they rent homes, and hosts have a responsibility to notify guests of any recording devices.
If you are recorded in a private area at an Airbnb or Vrbo location without your knowledge, you will likely be able to press charges against the host for violation of privacy. Depending on the circumstances of your case, you may also be able to sue Airbnb and Vrbo. These companies have an obligation to provide a safe environment for guests during their stay at their properties.
The Carlson Law Firm Can Help
Guests of Airbnb and Vrbo should be able to feel safe when they rent a location through these organizations. These companies and the hosts have a responsibility to protect guests from harm by keeping up the property, providing security, and maintaining privacy. If you were injured or violated during a stay at an Airbnb or Vrbo location, you may be entitled to compensation from the host and the company.
The Carlson Law Firm has caring and compassionate attorneys ready to help you get the justice you deserve. Call us today to schedule a free consultation. We care, and we can help.