Whether you’re considering listing or renting a San Jose home on the popular space-sharing site Airbnb, it’s important to understand your rights and responsibilities according to state and local laws. Sites such as Airbnb are relatively young, with the company and its users still figuring out issues relating to property accidents and liabilities. Protect yourself from legal trouble by learning the rules and regulations your Airbnb stay could involve.
Airbnb involves potential risks whether you’re the individual listing your space or finding a place to stay in San Jose. As the owner of the property, you need to understand the citywide laws that may apply to listing your residence. For example, San Jose Municipal Code dictates the number of guests you can host at once, the records you must keep, and the maximum amount of time you can rent out your home without being present (180 days). As a host, you must accept the legal risks and responsibilities of this position.
As a guest at an Airbnb in San Jose, you could face possible personal injury risks. Airbnb does not guarantee the safety of the properties on its site. Instead, it places liability for property-related accidents with the property owner or landlord. When you stay at an Airbnb, therefore, you are under the care of the person who owns the property. Whether this person adheres to his or her duties or not is up for debate. You could be at risk of slip and fall accidents, animal attacks, accidental poisoning, fires, floods, collapsing structures, sharp objects, unsafe appliances, and other common property hazards.
If you do suffer an injury while vacationing at an Airbnb in San Jose, protect your rights by reporting the incident to the host through the Airbnb website or app right away. Airbnb offers free liability insurance to protect hosts for up to $1 million in damages. You may need to file a claim through your host’s insurance policy. Host Protection Insurance provides primary coverage for hosts so that they can pay for guests’ medical expenses and other damages in the event of an accident. Otherwise, the host’s may pay for your injuries.
According to California premises liability laws, property owners are the parties responsible for repairing and maintaining their homes to ensure the safety of the premises. It is a property owner’s legal duty to repair obvious property hazards, search for non-obvious ones, and post signs warning of hidden hazards before welcoming Airbnb guests to the property. Otherwise the property owner has not fulfilled his or her duties as a landowner or controller and may be liable for resultant accidents and injuries.
If an accident should occur during a guest’s stay, the property owner or host will generally be liable for damages. This is the case only if a property defect caused or contributed to the injuries. If a third party, such as a product manufacturer, caused the injuries, that party may be liable instead of or as well as the Airbnb host. To recover compensation under the state’s premises liability laws, an Airbnb guest would have to prove that the host failed to fulfill his or her duties of care, and that this failure caused the injuries.
The insurance policy does not cover property damage from sources other than guests, such as mold; intentional property damage or personal injury; and loss of wages relating to the claim.
Contact Airbnb to report your accident with the company. Then, call (408) 533-1075 to talk to one of our San Jose personal injury attorneys about filing a personal injury or premises liability claim in San Jose.
You can file your personal injury claim either in the county where the Airbnb is or in your home county. Talk to a qualified lawyer for more information about how, when, and where to file your lawsuit.