The Risks of Airbnb
What to do when letting your house
According to Buzzfeed News, more than a third of the flats and homes Airbnb lists in London – more than 7,000 properties – are let via hosts with two or more listings. This suggests that many are professional landlords.
If you’re renting out a property on Airbnb, you need to comply with local and national rules, but also with any restrictions that your bank or insurer may impose.
• Check the fine print of your mortgage agreement. Many providers do not permit subletting, meaning you risk invalidating the terms. In some cases, borrowers who sublet without permission could face a fine or higher mortgage rate, or as a worst-case scenario, be required to repay their whole mortgage immediately.
• Airbnb’s “Host Guarantee” provides protection for up to $1m worth of damages to your property in the event of damage that exceeds the security deposit. Airbnb’s “Host Protection” insurance provides $1m in cover in the event that an Airbnb guest injures themselves and claims against you, or damages other people’s property (such as flooding the flat below). But neither are designed to replace your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance.
• Be aware that hosting paying guests at the property may invalidate your buildings and contents insurance. So you should inform your insurer before letting your property out via Airbnb. You may see your insurance premiums increase to reflect this.
• If you are in greater London and your property is used for short-term rentals for more than 90 days in a year, you may require planning permission.
• You must continue to pay the council tax on your property yourself, even when the property is being rented out.