Airbnb is a popular website that allows people to, essentially, convert their homes into hotels. Hosts can list their property on Airbnb, decide on a nightly rate, and begin allowing tourists and renters to stay in their residence for a temporary period. The business has provided an alternative to the traditional hotel model for people who are interested in more affordable and flexible stays. Whereas Airbnb is advantageous for some in the areas of cost and convenience, it does lack in something the hotel industry has: Safety regulations.
Airbnb operates in a way that is similar to Uber, Rover, and similar smartphone-based services. Individuals who provide the service operate independently, while the supervising company provides a platform for customers to be easily reached. This business model opens a debate surrounding liability — if a customer is injured while staying in an Airbnb, who is responsible? Does the victim initially assume some risk when choosing the service?
Injuries that occur in an Airbnb would fall under the realm of premises liability law. Premises liability laws protect people who are guests on private or commercial property, and sustain an injury caused by the negligence of the property owner. A stay in an Airbnb can potentially result in incidents such as slip and fall accidents caused by uneven stairs, sickness caused by unhygienic conditions, burns caused by defective kitchen appliances, or any number of injuries that can happen in a home. When an injury does occur, the Airbnb host could be at fault. As a property owner, it is their legal responsibility to maintain a safe environment — especially when they are expecting guests as an Airbnb host.
Individuals who are harmed as a result of a property owner’s negligence could receive compensation for their medical expenses and suffering. If you have a premises liability case, contact Goodman Acker P.C. for a free consultation.
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