Injured due to a property owner's negligence
while staying at an Airbnb? We can help.
Airbnbs and other vacation rentals are enticing to tourists because they offer more flexible accommodations than the average hotel. Each year, scores of visitors who visit Plantation choose to stay at private vacation rentals. Those who are hesitant to stay at a private vacation rental property may feel at ease knowing there is legal recourse for Airbnb guests in the event of an accident. Plantation Airbnbs are required to carry insurance, and injured Airbnb accident victims may file claims against hosts to receive compensation in a civil court.
Types of Airbnb accidents
There are several different ways an accident can arise at an Airbnb rental. If the accident is caused by the host's negligence, the accident victim may be legally entitled to compensation. A guest who slips and falls on an improperly maintained floor may file a claim with the host's insurance company. Airbnb guests who become victims of crime on the property may be entitled to compensation if the host did not make a reasonable effort to maintain the necessary security measures. Vacation rental hosts may also be liable if a guest is injured while using one of the property's amenities.
Airbnbs and premises liability
Florida's premises liability laws recognize three categories of visitors: invitees, licensees, and trespassers. As people who travel to an Airbnb property as part of a business transaction, Airbnb guests are invitees. Therefore hosts are obligated by the highest level of duty to keep the premises safe for their guests. Examples of hazards for which Airbnb hosts may be liable include:
- overlooked maintenance issues
- inadequate lighting
- missing safety equipment
- exposure to toxins
Airbnb hosts are legally responsible for keeping up with property maintenance to avoid potential safety hazards. At minimum, hosts should ensure the following areas of maintenance are always up to date at their properties:
- inspect plumbing and repair leaks
- ensure floor is free of damage and is safe for walking
- smoke detectors are in working order
- carbon monoxide detector is in working order
- HVAC has been inspected and is in safe working order
- roof is free of damage
- gas appliances are free of leaks
- electrical system is in safe working condition with no loose wires or damaged outlets
Because guest turnover is high at vacation rentals, inspection and maintenance are even more important. An Airbnb host may be liable even if a previous guest caused wear and tear that creates a hazard for a future guest.
Slips and falls
Slips and falls are possible at Airbnbs. A leaking pipe or a loose floor board may cause a slipping hazard. Dim lighting in walkways can cloak existing habits and create additional ones. For example, if a walkway has been missing a light bulb for weeks, the host will likely be liable if a guest stumbles down the stairs in the dim walkway. Installing lighting in walkways and parking areas on the exterior of the home, and checking the interior and exterior lighting after each guest helps guests avoid falling hazards due to dim lighting. If these practices are not followed, and injury occurs, compensation could be pursued in civil court.
Missing safety equipment
Like permanent residences, vacation rentals require certain safety equipment. The home should be equipped with a smoke alarm, carbon monoxide detector and fire extinguisher. Hosts need to inform their guests of the location of the fire extinguisher. Vacation rentals should also be secured with locks on all windows and doors.
Exposure to toxins
Airbnb hosts are legally responsible if their guests are exposed to toxins while staying at a vacation rental property. Gas appliances may leak potentially deadly toxic gas if the appliances are not working properly. If the host is aware of a potential mold infestation, the host will likely be liable if the guest becomes ill as a result of mold exposure. A plumbing maintenance issue may leak sewage and potentially expose a guest. If an Airbnb guest informs a host of a potential hazard, the host is required to have the problem checked out and repaired, or by taking reasonable measures to make the property safe for guest use.
Liability for criminal activity
An Airbnb host may be legally responsible if a guest is injured by a criminal act on the property. If the host does not make a reasonable effort to secure the home and repair or replace defective locks, the guest who is injured during a home invasion may receive compensation for his or her injuries.
Injuries caused by Airbnb amenities
Some Airbnb hosts make special amenities available to guests. Hosts are responsible for making reasonable efforts to ensure the amenities are in safe, working order. An Airbnb host who makes a bicycle available to guests may be liable if the guest is injured as a result of the bike being improperly maintained. Airbnb hosts who make pools, saunas and hot tubs available to guests must follow state safety laws and ensure the amenities are in working order. Pools and hot tubs are required to have proper safety barriers that meet the requirements set forth by Florida's pool safety laws to prevent unauthorized use, as well as drowning accidents.
Reach out to a Plantation accident lawyer
Airbnb guests who are injured at a vacation rental can seek legal recourse. Let The Ellsley Law Firm represent you and take on the insurance companies on your behalf. Contact our Firm now for a free case evaluation. Our personal injury lawyer will devise a legal strategy to help you get the compensation you deserve.