Is Airbnb safe? Check out these security tips before you list your home on this vacation sharing site.
Airbnb is the latest and greatest way to visit California for an affordable cost. Travelers love that they can find unique rooms and homes in cities like San Francisco, Los Angeles or San Diego that are immersed in the local neighborhoods; or escape to the peaceful outdoors of places like Big Sur and Guerneville. The best part is, most of these Airbnb rental options are significantly less expensive than booking a room at a hotel.
The demand for Airbnb continues to rise, which might make it appealing for you to become an Airbnb host. If you are thinking of renting your home or room to Airbnb guests, you’ll want to make safety and security a top priority.
Establish House Rules and Publish a House Manual
Airbnb recommends that this is the first step you take when listing your home on the site. You can list any rules that you want, allowing you to inform guests of your expectations and guidelines before they book with you. For example, you might decide that your home is no-smoking zone, or you may request that guests stay out of a particular room within the house. In addition, you can create a manual and emergency plan that provides your visitors with additional information about smoke detectors, fire extinguishers and other security features that are available in the house.
Invest in a Home Security System
With a home security system, you will be able to better monitor the activity that occurs at your property. In addition, Airbnb guests may be more likely to book with you because this is an extra level of security that may not be found at other rental properties they are considering. Consider investing in a home security system that offers home automation. This allows you to control your home security system at all times from the comfort and convenience of your preferred mobile device. Home automation features not only include the ability to arm or disarm your property, but also turn on lights, lock the doors or control your thermostat.
Communicate with All Guests Who Book Your Property
You should begin communicating with your guests as soon as they book your room. This will help you to gain insight and knowledge into the people that will be staying at your home or apartment, and can give you the peace of mind you need to entrust your space to them. Airbnb provides hosts with a messaging system that allows you to keep track of all communications with guests. This is a good way to store all interactions in one place, and to have them logged in the event of an unforeseen circumstance. You can also require that guests complete verifications like Verified ID before booking.
Require a Security Deposit
As part of your policy, request that your guests pay a security deposit for booking a room at your place. If there are any damages that occur during their stay, you can opt to keep the security deposit in order to cover the expenses. Make it clear what your expectations are prior to the arrival of your guests.
Purchase Additional Insurance
Airbnb actually offers a Host Protection Insurance program that provides liability coverage for hosts who are using the platform in order to rent their home to travelers. Under this program, hosts can receive up to $1 million in the event that someone is injured during their stay or a guest damages the property of the Airbnb host. While this is a generous insurance program, it’s important for hosts to work with their own insurance providers in order to explore options for additional policies that may offer extra protection and coverage.
Trust Your Instincts
Airbnb recognizes that hosts have specific needs when it comes to safety and security, and the company does try to provide hosts with proper support. But keep your guard up anyway, and remember to trust your instincts. You are not obligated to accept all reservations that come your way. If something feels off, you have the right to decline.
And remember: in an emergency situation, or if your personal safety is threatened, contact local police or emergency services immediately.
These useful tips will help you stay safe, maintain your property, and protect your assets, while giving you the confidence to rent your house or your room to interested travelers from across the globe.
Want to learn more tips for keeping your home safe? Download our free ebook 20 Facts Every Californian Should Know About Home Security.
Thinking about switching roles and becoming an Airbnb renter? Read our companion post Is Airbnb Safe for Renters? Security Tips for Your Next Vacation.