The unique hospitality services offered by Airbnb are very popular for both guests seeking temporary housing in Las Vegas and property owners wanting to make additional income. While most guests have a good experience, it can sometimes go wrong. If you suffer an injury, become ill, or your property is damaged while staying in someone else’s home, it is important to know the laws concerning the company’s and property owner’s liability.
Most claims for injury accidents that take place on another person’s property in Las Vegas fall under premises liability law. Of course, a property owner cannot be responsible for all injuries that occur in their home. Still, if they either create or knowingly allow a dangerous situation to exist without resolving it, they can be liable in a premises liability lawsuit.
Airbnb hosts have a high legal obligation to provide a rental property that is reasonably safe from preventable harm. The company suggests that hosts provide house rules and a guest manual that includes anything that guests should be aware of while visiting. For example, whether certain areas are off-limits or any known hazards.
All short-term rental hosts in Las Vegas are required to have their property inspected by the City as part of the Conditional Use Verification (CUV) Permit approval process. The inspector should confirm that any safety requirements are met, such as fire extinguishers, smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, pool access barriers, and more. The complete list can be found here.
The city also requires hosts to provide proof of liability insurance coverage with a $500,000 minimum amount.
If you or a loved one gets hurt, becomes ill, or has property damaged while staying at an Airbnb, you may have multiple options for coverage.
Airbnb previously only acted as a broker between hosts and willing guests and could rarely be held liable for guest injuries unless they allowed a dangerous host to still post their property, for example. As of November 2021, Airbnb rolled out AirCover, which provides hosts with $1 million in liability coverage for free. As long as you can prove your injury occurred due to the property owner’s negligence and the property owner is legally responsible, this host liability policy provides coverage for:
This insurance policy will not cover:
If for some reason, your injury accident is not covered under Airbnb’s host liability insurance, you may be able to file a claim against the property owner’s homeowner’s insurance. However, all homeowner’s policies carry a “business pursuit’s exclusion.” In other words, their insurer may deny claims involving a guest if the injury occurred as part of a business activity.
Short-term residential rental owners must obtain a business license in Las Vegas. As a result, they may also carry business liability insurance. If that is the case, you may be able to file a claim against this policy to cover your injury and other losses.
If you have exhausted all other options, you may be able to hold the host personally responsible for your injury. It is important to note, though, that the property owner would most likely need to have significant assets for it to be worth pursuing a personal injury lawsuit against them.
Because of the complexity surrounding Airbnb injury claims, it is critical to speak to a Las Vegas personal injury lawyer who can help you sort out liability and ensure you recover the compensation you deserve.