Short-term rentals through sites such as Airbnb are popular in Coral Springs, Miami, and other cities in South Florida. Some travelers like them because they offer less-expensive stays when compared with hotels. Others like the unique properties and home amenities, such as kitchens, available through short-term rentals.
However, there is a trade-off. While hotels and official accommodations are legally obligated to maintain certain standards of safety and cleanliness, short-term rentals are under no such official obligation. Studies and investigative reports have shown that a significant portion of short-term rentals lack safety basics such as first aid kits, smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, and carbon monoxide detectors.
Injuries at Short-Term Rentals
Since that’s the case, it’s not surprising there have been many accidents and serious injuries at short-term rentals, including falls from balconies, assault and sexual assault, theft, fractures, head trauma, soft tissue injuries, and other injuries. There have been instances of hosts assaulting guests, property of guests being damaged or stolen, and even cases where hosts secretly filmed guests.
Preventing Short-Term Rental Injury in Coral Springs
One way to prevent injury is to consider staying at accommodations that are established and run by professional organizations. You may also want to ask about safety precautions, the presence of smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, and other essentials. Hosts can and should answer questions about liability insurance, including any exclusions. When you travel and plan to stay in a short-term rental, always have a back-up plan in case the location seems unsafe.
When you do arrive at your accommodations, look around. Is the space as advertised? Does it seem safe? If it seems unsafe, contact the platform where you booked and ask for a refund, then go to your back-up destination. Document any unsafe areas you see and get immediate medical help if you sustain any injuries. If any areas are closed or off-limits, avoid trying to gain access.
Premises Liability and Coral Springs Short-Term Rentals
Companies offering short-term rentals advertise robust insurance policies, but when guests suffer serious injury, these companies often point to the exclusions in their policies. Airbnb, for example, has a host policy which excludes liability for intentional acts, including assault, battery, sexual assault, loss of earnings, personal injury, advertising injury, product liability, and many other categories.
When guests have been injured, companies offering short-term rentals have alleged there are not liable because they have no way of confirming the safety of any sites offered for rent on their web platforms. Homeowner’s policies often have a “limited use” exclusion, which means insurers are not liable for commercial use of the property—use such as short-term rentals.
Injured at a Coral Gables Short-Term Rental?
Due to the lack of regulations and liability insurance, guests who are injured at Airbnbs, VRBOs, and other short-term rentals often face challenges getting fair compensation for lost wages, medical bills, theft, property damage, and other losses. Traveler’s insurance is one option but you may also want to contact a Coral Gables Airbnb injury claims attorney to discuss your case.
If you have been injured at any type of guest or tourist accommodation in the Coral Gables area, contact Flaxman Law Group at 1-866-352-9626 (1-866-FLAXMAN) for a free consultation with an attorney. Our legal team has more than 60 years of experience and we have worked with many plaintiffs who have been injured in hotels, guest accommodations, and other commercial property.