Short-term rentals allow residents of Miami, Hollywood, and other South Florida communities to rent out part or all of their property. Visitors to South Florida can stay in a condo, vacation home, room in a house, or even on a boat, booking through platforms such as Airbnb and VRBO.
When things go wrong with a short-term rental, however, determining liability can be difficult and securing fair compensation can be challenging. Many short-term rental guests and hosts turn to Miami premises liability claims attorneys to sort out their situations.
Types of Short-Term Rental Claims in Miami
While hotels and commercial tourist accommodations are subject to safety and fire regulations, short-term rentals do not always meet commercial accommodation requirements. These accommodations are also sometimes operated by homeowners who do not understand safety regulations. As a result, several types of injuries can happen:
- A guest is seriously injured in a short-term rental
- A neighbor claims they have been injured or have had property damaged by a guest or host
- A guest injures the host or damages the rental property
- The property is not as advertised and the guest feels they have been defrauded
- Theft occurs on the property
- An assault occurs, either perpetuated by the guest against the host or perpetrated by the host against the guest
Injuries range from pool injuries from unsecured pool areas, slip and fall injuries caused by poorly maintained or dimly-lit areas, and other injuries. In some cases, short-term rentals have also been used by guests for large parties or illegal activities, resulting in serious property damage and liability claims against the host.
Pursuing a Short-Term Rental Claim
Hotels are required to carry commercial liability insurance policies and are subject to strict regulations as well as health inspections. Short-term rentals, existing in a somewhat grey area, are often able to avoid these requirements.
When an injury happens, this can complicate claims. A homeowner’s policy may cover guest damage or guest injuries, but in many cases an insurance company will claim they do not cover commercial property. In some cases, homeowners renting a property do not tell their insurance company about their at-home business and do not buy commercial insurance.
While platforms like Airbnb and VRBO offer some protections, it is often not enough in the case of serious injury. In fact, in legal claims platforms have defended themselves against liability by claiming that their only role is to connect hosts and guests.
If you have been injured, you may be able to seek some compensation from any travel insurance you have, from the host, and from the platform. Finding all liable parties and pursuing the insurance companies involved is complex, however. You will want to work with an experienced Miami premises liability attorney so you do not have to pay for your property damage and injuries out of pocket.
If you have been injured or have suffered property damage as a result of a short-term rental, contact Flaxman Law Group at 1-866-352-9626 (1-866-FLAXMAN) for a free consultation with a Miami premises liability claims attorney. Flaxman Law Group works with plaintiffs across South Florida and has three convenient office locations—in Miami, Hollywood, and Homestead—to serve you.