Hosting or renting out your property is a great opportunity to maximise income, but it comes with a wide range of responsibilities. When hiring out your home to short or long term guests, it’s important to understand your legal obligations to keep them safe. The laws and regulations which apply may differ in your city or country, and there might be separate rules in your building if your home is in a shared building.
Many laws will apply as an Airbnb host and it can become complicated making sure you are compliant. Here are some general factors to consider to improve safety, but you should always get legal advice if you’re not sure about your responsibilities as a landlord.
Safety should be your number one priority, and a full fire risk assessment should be carried out. There are different fire safety rules and regulations in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales so make sure you do some research. Make sure you reduce the risk of fire and prevent fires by removing fire hazards. Make sure you have working smoke alarms fitted throughout the property, and inform guests about the escape plan should a fire occur. Smoking can be a fire risk if guests are not careful – have you thought about whether you will permit smoking?
It is also a good idea to install carbon monoxide detectors, especially if the property has a solid fuel heating system, gas appliances or an open log fire or stove.
Take steps to minimise hazards throughout the property, to reduce the chance of an accident or a fall. You could welcome a range of guests into your home, and some may have access requirements or won’t be aware of the potential hazards. Eliminate electrical wires, install handles or railings near stairs and give warnings for any low ceilings and uneven flooring.
You should provide a well-stocked first aid kit in case guests have any medical emergencies while staying in your property. You should also include phone numbers of emergency services and local health centres in the welcome pack, for your visitors to use if required.
You should check the current rules in your building regarding pets before allowing guests to bring pets into the property. They may also disturb your neighbours, so consider speaking to them about your plans. If you decide to have a pet-friendly property then include local information which applies, such as keeping dogs on leads, cleaning up after them and where to find pet supplies.
Whether you are renting out your home for a few nights a year or on a permanent basis, the safety of your guests is paramount. If you need help managing your property, our experts are here to make the process straightforward!