Airbnb UK Host Guide 2018 Everything you need to get started as a successful home host

Home hosting or home-sharing, has exploded since the launch of Airbnb in 2008. A growing number of people are looking at the potential of earning extra income from hosting guests. This is either through the renting out of a spare room, multiple rooms or even the property as a whole.

We take an in-depth look at how you start using a service such as Airbnb

If you are looking to make a successful launch into the home hosting market using Airbnb, there will be lots to think about. Don’t worry, we’ve covered off the keys areas to look that will help you achieve a rewarding hosting experience with long-term income.

How to get set up and started as a host

Getting signed up to host is a very straightforward process, firstly you need to create an account with Airbnb. You’ll be asked to read and agree with the ‘host commitment’ to treat all Airbnb guests with respect. Click to sign up to Airbnb

The signup steps 

  1. Your details including name and email
  2. Create your profile – add a profile image
  3. Add and confirm your phone number
  4. Confirm your email address

Your account is now ready to go!

 

Responsible hosting

  1. Keep your calendar availability up to date. Whilst you have an active listing you should always expect someone to make a booking. Your calendar should 100% reflect the availability of the property/room for guests reservation.
  2. Keep communication timely, respond to questions. Potential and actual guests will expect a prompt response to communications. Long delays or insufficient information in reply will only serve to upset/annoy guests and lower your host score.
  3. Avoid cancelling bookings. Airbnb takes this very seriously, there can be financial penalties for improper cancellation of bookings so reading the cancellation terms is essential. Don’t take booking lightly is the key message.
  4. Straightforward check-in, guests are asked as part of the reviewing process to evaluate the check-in procedure. Be ready to accept the guests in person or via clear instructions to the guest.
  5. Don’t mislead the guest. Making sure what is described in your listing from location to the facilities is accurate and honest. Again, a poor or misleading description will only lead to poor reviews and less booking in the long run.

 

 

How to achieve Airbnb Superhost status

There are four clear criteria you need to meet in order to qualify for superhost status;

  1. Hosted on a minimum of 10 occasions
  2. Maintained a 90% response rate or higher
  3. Each confirmed reservation is completed without cancellation
  4. A minimum of 50% of your guests leave a review, and of those reviews, 80% are 5 stars.

As a Superhost, you are able to claim a superhost badge to use on your website. Naturally, this provides excellent social proof that you are a trusted and reliable host. This can lead to an increase in potential rentals to actual take-up rates.

Learn more about becoming a superhost here

 

Airbnb how to become a superhost

 

Can I only rent out a room?

No, so you can set up a rental offer for airbeds, bedrooms, entire houses, a room in a bed & breakfast There are even the more weird and wonderful listings like converted sheds

Host Airbnb Insurance Enhanced protection for home hosting

Airbnb management companies

Whilst it is easier than ever to set up your home for home hosting guests, there are still those who want a dedicated professional to look after all matters regarding hosting. There are a large number of companies int he UK that cater for Airbnb hosting management. Some are nationwide and some more regionally specific. Costs do vary so it does pay to shop around for the best price in line with the amount of support you want from the 3rd party. A dedicated management company will help to optimise your listing, pricing, and occupancy to maximise income from hosting. Whilst services offered vary, you can expect the company to take care of key exchange, cleaning, laundry, and general maintenance.

For example, the following companies help with various aspects of hosting management;

Linen services – Airlinen

Key exchange – Keycafe

Cleaning – Hello Guest

AIrbnb management companies UK

 


Making sure you and your property is correctly insured

Insuring your property correctly is essential for those wanting long-term success. It provides the reassurance if something went wrong then there is somewhere to turn and rely on to fix the situation.

Our Home Hosting Insurance™ offer just that (UK Only) for just £49.95 per year, that’s less than 14p per night.

Enhanced cover from our dedicated Home Hosting Insurance™

  • Up to £800,000 buildings cover
  • Up to £75,000 contents cover
  • Theft or attempted theft
  • Accidental, malicious damage or vandalism
  • Abuse of utilities and services
  • Lost key and lock replacement
  • Alternative accommodation for hosts (including host dogs/cats), and guests
  • Bodily injury or death of a guest up to £2million
  • Bodily injury or death of domestic staff up to £2million
  • £250 standard excess
  • No minimum claim limit
  • Annual cover only £49.95 

Plus we’ve included legal assistance in our insurance as standard that covers;

  • Assistance in the eviction of persons/over-stayers
  • Legal assistance to defend civil claim against host
  • Removing defamatory comments on social media
  • Help if as a host you suffer identity theft via guest

Learn more about our dedicated host cover here 

Host Insurance Cover

Understanding the Airbnb ‘Host Guarantee’ and ‘Host Protection Insurance’.

Airbnb: Host Guarantee

The Host Guarantee provides protection for up to £600,000 in damages. Payments are subject to certain conditions, limitations, and exclusions. For more details, read the Host Guarantee terms. Hosts seeking payment under the Host Guarantee agree to cooperate with Airbnb and its insurers. This includes providing documentation of the claimed loss and agreeing to inspection in the rare cases when it may be necessary.

  • No coverage for damage to communal areas e.g. entrance halls, walkways, bike stores.
  • Cash, valuables or pets not covered.

Learn more about the Airbnb Guarantee

Airbnb: Host Protection Insurance

The Host Protection Insurance program provides primary liability coverage for up to $1 million per occurrence in the event of third-party claims of bodily injury or property damage. This coverage is also subject to a $1 million cap per listing location and certain conditions, limitations, and exclusions may apply. The Host Protection Insurance program covers landlords and homeowners associations in many cases when claims are brought against them because a guest suffers injury during a stay

  • This cover does not extend to slander or libel, any issues with the property, collisions involving vehicles or anything intentional.

Learn more about Airbnb Host Protection Insurance here

 

Home Hosting Insurance


How much could you earn?

Click here to find out how much your rental could potentially be worth to you per month.

 

Airbnb UK tax implications

The government’s recently updated ‘Rent-a-Room scheme’ has proved highly lucrative to those looking to earn a little extra money by letting a room through Airbnb. This scheme allows homeowners to earn £7,500 worth of income a year through this method, completely tax-free.

However, this scheme only applies to furnished rooms within your main residence that you let to paying guests. If you let the entire property out, for example, while you are away on holiday, then you will not be eligible for this tax exemption.

 

Airbnb how to become a superhost

 

If you do let out your whole property then there is an alternative tax scheme available to you. When calculating the tax you are due to pay your can deduct any expenses that have been incurred in relation to your rental income. Expenses will be classed as things such as insurance, repairs, maintenance, a portion of utility bills and accountants fees. This means that you only have to pay tax on the actual profit you have made rather than the gross figure.

If you earn less than £2,500 a year through renting out your property in some way, you need to contact HMRC. Being employed in some other capacity will mean you will most lightly adjust your PAYE code to automatically collect the tax that you owe. Earning more than £2,500 through rental income a year means you will need to complete a self-assessment tax return (minus the applicable expenses).

 


100 tips to turn your property into a 5-star hosting venue

 

Airbnb UK Your Property

 

1) Comfy bed

One of the biggest causes of complaint in hotels, B&Bs, and guest lodges is ‘the bed was too hard’, the “mattress was too lumpy”. It’s worth investing in a good quality mattress and mattress protector; both of which can be bought relatively cheaply.

2) Mirror

A top tip is to have good sizes mirrors in strategic places across the property. People will expect a mirror in the bathroom, bedside table and potentially a full length one.

3) Microwave

Convenience is king so make it easy for your guests. A microwave can be used for so many cooking purposes so it’s always good to have one, cleaned and complete with instructions.

4) Porch lighting

Help your guests find their way in, especially if you have a heavily planted front garden, with lighting by your front door. More info on porch lighting.

5) Remove personal pictures from the wall

Guests may start to feel uncomfortable, especially when they have let the whole property if they see family photos of your loved ones around the home. Plus you it’s a good idea to keep them tucked away to keep them safe.

6) Blackout curtains

People can be very particular about their sleeping arrangements. Help your guest get the best nights sleep by providing a blackout curtain/blind and provide the choice. Your guests will love you for it.

7) Lock on toilet door

It may seem obvious but a lock on the toilet door, in general, is a must. This lock should also be high enough out of the reach of small children to prevent any accidental lock-ins.

8) Outside seating

Make the most of any outdoor space you offer by giving your guests the option to relax or even eat outside.

 

Airbnb Uk outdoor area

9) Maintained lawn/plants

As with point 8, making the most of an outside area will give your guests options. A well looked after outside area goes a long way to securing positive reviews and returning custom.

10) Air freshener plugin

Make sure your property is ready and pleasing to all the senses. The last thing any guest will want is to come into a home with a peculiar smell. With a range of options readily available, it’s easy to install a plugin freshener on a timer to maintain a welcoming aroma – especially if you have pets. More info on air fresheners.

11) Washing machine & powder

If you have guests for a long stay, generally over 3 days, then offering the facility to be able to wash and dry clothes can be a huge boost to positive reviews.

12) Dishwasher

Not only will this save your guests time and be highly appreciated, it will also eliminate the risk of dirty bowls and plates being left to pile up in the sink causing an unappealing mess.

13) Hairdryer

As one of life’s essential mod-cons, many guests have now come to expect hair dryers to be available, no matter the length of their stay. If you don’t have one in the guest room, there should be one available on request.

14) General Lighting

People will expect things like bedside table lighting. Make sure all the bulbs in the property work and it’s obvious how to turn them off and on.

15) Cutlery

Make sure you have enough knives, forks, and spoons for the number of guests your property can host. It can also be useful to double up so that there is enough to go around when the first set is in the dishwasher.

 

Airbnb Insurance guests contents

 

16) Glasses and mugs

As with cutlery, ensure that you have enough glasses and mugs for all of your guests, as well as checking them regularly and throwing out any that are chipped or cracked.

17) An Iron + Ironing board

You may be hosting guests ahead of work meetings, or special occasions such as weddings. Having an iron available for their use will make the whole stay smoother and less stressful.

18) Smoke alarm/Carbon monoxide alarm

A vital addition to your home to ensure your guest’s safety, these should be checked on a regular basis. You should diary yourself to change the batteries at least a few times a year. More info on smoke alarms.

 

Airbnb UK Child Friendly

19) Cater for any children – colouring book etc 

If you know you will be having children to stay, providing some age-appropriate toys or games is going to keep them entertained, in turn making their parent’s stay far more enjoyable.

20) Child locks on doors

Providing child locks on your doors will give visiting parents peace of mind that their children cannot accidentally wander off and get themselves into trouble.

21) Baby gate

A baby gate is another vital if you are going to be hosting small children, to eliminate the risk of accidents happening on stairs and steps.

22) Remove sharp edges

Buying corner guards for any sharp edges will reduce the chances of an accident. You can also try to pick child-friendly furniture that isn’t easily tippable or able to be run into.

 

Airbnb UK Children Entertainment

23) Looks on cupboards

Make sure cupboards are fitted with baby locks to avoid trapped fingers and make sure that any cleaning materials are kept in childproof cupboards, preferably far out of reach.

24) Highchair

Parents will appreciate having a safe chair in which to feed their child during their stay. You don’t need to spend a fortune as you can either utilise an old chair of your own or pick one up cheaply at a car boot or charity shop.

25) Cot

You may not want a permanent cot if you sometimes host guests without children, but being able to offer the use of a travel cot means one thing less for parents to pack in what is likely to already be an overflowing car.

26) Baby monitor

Providing a monitor will allow parents to relax out in the garden or down in the living room without worrying. Make sure that the monitor is working correctly, with fully charged batteries, and provide any necessary instruction manuals. More info on baby monitors.

27) Baby bottle warmer

If you will be hosting parents with babies at your home, then a bottle warmer will make their lives a lot easier at feeding time. If you have it, a steriliser for cleaning bottles after a feed would also be a nice touch.

Airbnb UK Entertainment

28) Wifi 

Modern guests will expect to have a working Wifi connection during their stay with you, so ensure you have a strong connection with a reputable provider. Leaving the password with your welcome pack is usually much appreciated.

29) Games console

If you have a spare console, leaving this for your guests in a readily available position with a selection of games will be a big hit. Make sure all of the necessary controllers are left out and no disks are scratched.

30) Spare chargers

This is one item that is so easy to forget to pack, but such a nightmare if you do. Providing a selection of different chargers for your guests means that whatever item they are missing the cable for, help is at hand.

31) Films, books, music

Although you don’t need to provide a massive library of entertainment, a few well-selected books and DVDs can be a nice touch. You can always change your selection depending on the guests you have staying.

32) Radio/Bluetooth speaker & Tv Streamer

If you are hosting a group of guests, the ability to play their music communally will go down well. Be sure to set ground rules about what time music is allowed to be played until. More info on Bluetooth speakers.

 

Airbnb Uk Entertainment for guests

33) Watersports equipment – kayak, bodyboard 

This obviously doesn’t apply unless you live near the coast, but if you do then a selection of water sports equipment will be sure to enhance your guests’ stay.

34) Windbreak, bucket & spades

Another nice touch if you live in a coastal area, particularly if you will be hosting families. Be sure to check these regularly to make sure items remain in a good condition.

35) Board Games

Many people will enjoy an old-fashioned evening of board games while they are away on holiday, so providing a good, age-appropriate range can be a real hit with guests.

36) Bikes

Obviously the cost of this means it is not worth going out and buying new bikes specifically, but if you already have some lying around your garage then offering these to your guests means they can easily get out and about exploring the area.

37) Pens/pencils/crayons/paper 

Providing writing material makes it easier for guests to jot down any notes that they need, as well as providing a means of entertainment for children, who will be able to draw and colour.

AIrbnb Guest Safety

38) Provide emergency contacts

Tell your guests clearly who to call depending on what the emergency or situation is. If it is a utility-related, do they know where the switch off valves or stopcock is? Make them aware what to do, who to call and when.

39) Door locks

Why not look at installing a new smart lock option where you can provide a new code for each new guest arrival. This way you can also be confident that your house keys won’t go missing or cloned for later use. More info on smart door locks. 

40) House alarm

Provide your guests with the reassurance you take security seriously with house alarm. If you have a code operated option, this could be changed with each new guest.

41) Toolkit

You never know what may need tightening or hammering back into place, for either your own or your guests’ items.

Host Airbnb Insurance Enhanced protection for home hosting

42) Torch

Make sure that the charge is kept up in-between bookings, make sure the guests know where the torch is stored and the rules around if it can be taken out of the property.

43) Heating instructions

Having these written up and printed clearly can help guests if there isn’t an automation function. Different guests will like a room set at different temperatures, so as a caring host it is good practice to offer the ability for the guest to change the temperature.

44) Instruction manuals for appliances

Unless absolutely obvious it is good practice to leave either the manufacturers’ instructions or at least a simplified version written up with the main functions. What is easy for you to work out and use may not be so easy for others.

 

Airbnb Insurance Safe lock

 

45) Safe

Provide your guests with the reassurance their valuables are safe and locked away when they leave the premises.

46) First aid kit

A requirement as part of your hosting, but still good practice to keep a well-stocked first aid kit on standby in the premises. More information on home first aid kits.

47) Fire extinguishers/blankets

Again a requirement for hosting, make sure they are in excellent condition and the guest knows where to find and how to operate them

Airbnb UK Extra Touches

48) Butter, milk, and bread

Having a good supply of each of these for when your guests arrive and for the duration of their stay will ensure it is a comfortable one. For an extra homely touch, bake the bread fresh so they are greeted by its delicious smell.

49) Plenty of towels 

Always ensure each guest has their own clean towel on arrival and offer a fresh one each day if you will be hosting people for more than one night.

 

Airbnb Insurance Towels

 

50) Shower cap 

People may wish to shower without washing their hair – providing an easy way to do this is sure to be appreciated by those staying with you.

51) Binbags & Bins

Make sure there is a bin in every room with a suitable liner (including the bathroom) and be sure to empty and replace these every day (or however frequently is necessary).

52) Dustpan and brush/vacuum

If guests make a mess, providing them with the ability to clean up after themselves will make your life easier and avoid any embarrassment on their behalf if they do not want to have to ask you.

53) Soaps and shampoos

Although providing shampoo will not be vital, many top hotels choose to do this and it can add an extra touch to your room offering. Make sure bottles are always clean and full for each new guest.

54) Toilet roll and tissues

Be sure to leave enough spare rolls as there is nothing worse than being caught short with not enough paper. Restock this regularly and ensure that tissue boxes remain full.

55) Bottled water in the fridge

Particularly important if you host guests from abroad who are not used to drinking tap water, providing chilled bottles is a nice touch. Plus, guests can take them out and about with them if they go out for the day.

56) Spare bed sheets 

If guests will be staying for a number of nights, it is nice to give them to option to freshen up their sheets and swap them for new ones. Always ensure that sheets are changed and cleaned thoroughly between guests.

 

Airbnb insurance guest facilities

57) Hangers for the wardrobe 

If you are going to offer wardrobe space, make sure you offer enough hangers for guests to utilise this space. These should preferably all be the same to give a streamlined finish.

58) Extra heavy blanket

This doesn’t need to be on the bed but should be stored in a cupboard or wardrobe. Guests will all require different sleeping temperatures so you should cater for those who may feel cold.

59) Spare pillows

As above, some guests may prefer to sleep with plenty of pillows so providing a supply of spares means that you can keep everyone happy.

60) Cooking utensils

If you are going to offer guests the option to use your kitchen then make sure that you provide plenty of utensils for their use that are clean and in good condition.

61) Tea/coffee/sugar/sweetener 

Having tea making facilities in their room is something that most guests will appreciate. Try and provide a decent selection of tea, herbal teas, and coffee and replenish these stocks daily.

62) Tea towels

If your guests will be using your kitchen, always provide them with clean, dry tea towels and replace these regularly with fresh ones.

63) Wine glasses

Proving wine glasses will add a touch of class and saves your guests from drinking their wine from tumblers! Make sure you supply enough wine glasses for all of your guests.

64) Bottle opener

Having a bottle of wine that you are unable to drink due to a lack of bottle opener is incredibly annoying so make sure to provide one for your guest’s use during their stay.

65) Toothpicks

A small pot of toothpicks is incredibly inexpensive to provide but will come in handy for guests. Be sure to check carefully for any discarded picks when tidying rooms between stays.

66) Umbrella

Another nice touch is to leave an umbrella close to your door for your guest’s use. In the event of bad weather, this will be much appreciated!

67) Sewing kit

In the event of any last minute repairs to an outfit, supplying a small sewing kit with needles, thread and scissors will come in handy! You don’t need to go overboard – enough equipment to sew on a button is sufficient.

68) Bath mat

Avoid slips in the bathroom and unnecessary water spills by providing a bath mat in your bathrooms. Make sure to change and wash this between guests to ensure your bathroom remains fresh and hygienic.

 

Airbnb UK Alarm clock

 

69) Alarm clock 

Providing an alarm clock for your guests means that they can get a peaceful nights sleep, knowing they will be awake in time for that big occasion. For a personal touch, you could even offer a wake-up call or knock on the door.

70) Mouthwash 

Another essential that guests are likely to have forgotten, or been unable to fit into their bag. Leave a miniature bottle of mouthwash out for their use and always make sure to provide a fresh supply for each new visitor.

 

Airbnb insurance guest facilities

 

71) Basic Toiletries 

Try leaving a small vanity kit out for your guests, including items such as cotton buds, make-up remover, a small tube of moisturiser and a pair of tweezers.

72) Extension lead

These days world travellers come with a lot of gadgets that require a lot of chargers. Supply an extension lead so that they can charge all of their items at the same time and you will be sure to please your guests.

73) Apron

If people will be cooking in your home then supplying an apron to protect their clothes is a good tip. It is the sort of thing that plenty of people use at home but nobody would think to take away with them.

Airbnb UK Entertainment

74) Guide to local walks

Particularly if you live in a beautiful area of countryside, being able to advise people on the best routes to take and where the best views can be seen will really enhance a guest’s stay.

75) Upcoming events

If there is a big local event taking place that guests are likely to want to stay with you for, then having plenty of information on timings, costs, traveling there and places to eat will be really helpful.

76) Points of interest – the ‘must-dos’

Living close to any big attraction is a big selling point for your property, so make sure you have plenty of information on this available for your guests.

77) Guide to local pubs, bars restaurants

Either vocally recommending great places to eat and drink, or producing a written guide, will help guests to have an authentic experience and avoid their stay being ruined by a disastrous dinner. More info from The Good Pub Guide.

 

Airbnb Insurance restaurant

78) Sample menus

Having a copy of some of these popular restaurant’s menus will mean that guests can have an idea of where they would like to eat before they even leave your house to go for dinner.

79) Guide to local entertainment

Compile a list of local things to do so your guests have an idea of what they can see and do – you could even have a separate wet and dry weather guide, to cater for all eventualities.

80) Discounts with local firms 

If you have a good relationship with some local companies then you may be able to arrange a discount for your guests with them e.g. a local taxi firm that offers your guests 10% off.

81) Music playing on arrival

Some gentle background music as your guests arrive will provide a nice ambience and give a great first impression.

82) Fresh flowers on arrival

The same as background music, fresh flowers will ensure that your home is smelling fresh and inviting and also add a nice visual appeal. Place the flowers in living spaces as well as guest bedrooms.

83) BBQ – gas /charcoal

During the summer months, if you are offering BBQ facilities make sure it is well stocked with enough coal or gas for a couple of uses per stay.

84) A local delicacy 

If there is a particular food, drink or product that your area is well known for, then leaving a small gift for your guests when they arrive is a nice touch. Try buying these in bulk or making a deal with a supplier to cut your costs.

Airbnb Uk Pets

85) Pet treats

Leaving treats for your animal guests is a nice touch. For extra wow factor try leaving homemade treats along with your welcome pack, or ones from a small local company.

86) Blankets 

If you have spare dog beds and blankets then leaving them for your guest’s use will help to enhance their stay. Wash these before each new guest and be sure to put them away if you ever host non-dog owners.

 87) Bowl 

Leaving a couple of bowls for the use of your 4 legged guests will stop people having to use human bowls for their pets, plus it means that won’t have to pack quite as much to bring with them

88) Toliet bags

Nappy bags can be bought very cheaply in all of the big supermarkets and make great dog waste bags. This will be of great use to your guests and will ensure that they are able to be responsible dog owners.

89) Spare towels

When wet and muddy dogs return from a walk their owners will be grateful for some spare old towels to dry them off with. Providing them especially for this purpose will prevent your home and furniture getting dirty too.

Airbnb Uk Host Managing

90) Reviews 

The absolute pinnacle when it comes to successful hosting, make sure you shout from the rooftops about any brilliant 5-star reviews that you receive, displaying them on your online listings and in any advertising that you undertake.

91) FAQ 

It can be very useful to produce an FAQ document for guests and make this available to them both before and during their stay. That way they won’t need to bother you with mundane queries – a big positive for both parties.

92) House rules 

Make sure your guests are aware from the outset of where they are and are not allowed to be and any behaviours that will be unacceptable. This will make it easier to enforce these rules during their stay.

93) Where to park

If possible, try to provide this information for your guest before they arrive, to ensure the process will be as smooth as possible for them.

 

Airbnb insurance parking

94) Guestbook

By leaving a good quality guest book out, you can gather your guest’s positive thoughts in one place – plus it makes a nice feature for future guests to read through in their spare time.

95) Questionnaire – and learn from it

Asking your guests to fill out a short questionnaire after their stay will provide valuable feedback for you, with any issues guests may have experienced still fresh in their minds. Most importantly – make sure that you take action on the points that are raised.

96) Flexible check in, check out 

If you are able to be around to welcome guests at unusual times this will help to make your place even more popular. If you are unable to, for example, due to work commitments, then it could be worth employing a professional company to help you offer your guests complete flexibility.

97) Welcome email

Sending a short welcome email to your guests the day before their stay adds a personal touch to the experience and means you can start to develop a rapport before they even step through the door.

98) Welcome pack on arrival 

When your guests arrive, make sure they have a welcome pack that includes all of the information that they are likely to need during their stay. Leaving a small gift, such as chocolate or wine, alongside this is sure to be well received.

99) Remove valuables

Whether you will be renting your whole house or just a room, make sure that your valuables are out of sight and safely secured in a lockable safe – no matter how lovely your guests, you are better safe than sorry.

100) Insurance

Often overlooked but essential if you are going to take home hosting seriously. it is essential to make sure your current home insurance allows such an activity within the insured property. CoverBuilder offers such cover through a new and dedicated Home Hosting™ cover.

 


Health and safety:

One of the most important health and safety regulations as a host is that of gas compliance. Everyone who rents out a property for profit, be that just letting one spare room or an entire building, must have a valid gas safety certificate. This is obtained annually by having a registered engineer inspect their property and confirm that it meets the required standard.

If you are renting out the property as a whole then you must make this certificate available for the occupiers to confirm that the property is safe. If it is just a room being rented, or it is for a short-term tenancy of less than a month then the certificate needs to be displayed in a prominent place where everyone is able to see it. The hallway is a common choice of location.

There are also a number of other safety regulations that you need to comply with as a home host, including those on furniture. One way that you can confirm your electrical appliances are safe is to have them regularly tested under the PAT (portable appliance testing) system. This can be done by a number of different companies with many of them offering their services at reasonable prices. More information on electricity regulations and requirements can be found here.

Host Airbnb Insurance Enhanced protection for home hosting

Your contract

The agreement that has been made between the two parties (host and guest) is something that all sides have to agree to abide by. Failure to comply with any obligations set out in an agreement will be a breach of this contract. Therefore care should be taken when buying an ‘off the shelf’ agreement to make sure it suits the particular agreement that you require.

Checking your lease to ensure it allows renting out

A recent court ruling set a precedent for thousands of flat owners who rent out their homes on websites like Airbnb. It essentially declared that by doing so they are probably breaking the law. If you own your home on a lease, many of these agreements state that the property must be used exclusively as a private residence. This would include the prohibition of renting out your home on a short-term basis. This is estimated to affect around 4 million leaseholders in the UK. If you are considering using a site such as Airbnb and own a leasehold property, then checking for this particular ‘private residence only’ clause before proceeding any further. More info on understanding your lease.

 

Housing Health and Safety Rating System Survey

It is worth bearing in mind when considering health and safety that Local Authorities have the right to carry out a ‘Housing Health and Safety Rating System survey’ on all properties (not just properties that are being let). If they find that the property is not meeting the required standard and has a ‘category one or two hazard’, they have the power to insist on changes being implemented to bring the property up to scratch. Usually, this will be done by serving an improvement notice on the owner. Failure to comply with on of these notices can result in prosecution by the Magistrates Court.

Beware, London has a 90 limit on rentals

If you live in London you need to be aware of legislation that prevents you letting your property for more than 90 days in a year without first obtaining a licence. The scheme was designed to stop landlords from turning badly needed housing into unofficial hotels. With a quarter of the London homes that were listed on Airbnb last year being let for more than these 90 days it is likely that the government will soon be cracking down on those seen flouting this law. It is certainly something that anyone considering Airbnb needs to make themselves aware of.

Keep neighbours happy

It is important to bear in mind the feelings of your neighbours if you choose to host at your home or let it on a temporary basis. One recent case saw a council issue a legal notice to the occupant of flat due to a series of complaints from neighbours regarding the guests at their property. Try to be considerate of neighbours feelings and make sure that guests are aware of their expected conduct, for example keeping communal areas tidy and minimising noise after 11pm. More info on neighbour disputes. 

Protect you and your home from unruly guests

There are a number of steps that can be taken to try and minimise your chances of hosting the guests from hell. Before accepting a booking, start by confirming why they are travelling and what it was that attracted them to your property. You can set your Airbnb profile to ask for your approval before bookings can be made. This gives you much more control over who stays at your home. You can read previous reviews and check out their profile before coming to your decision.

You should only accept bookings directly from the guest themselves and not from friends and family on their behalf. Make sure you receive confirmation that they accept your house rules. After they arrive at your home, set their expectations by explaining what is and isn’t acceptable, so they can’t make excuses.

 

Host Airbnb Insurance Enhanced protection for home hosting


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