Can I Sue an Airbnb Host in Texas?
Airbnb hosts are usually the property’s owners. Even if they are not present when you are staying at their property, they still owe you certain duties to keep you safe. When an Airbnb is unsafe and you suffer injuries because of it, you may be able to file a lawsuit.
Most injury lawsuits for property-related injuries at an Airbnb should be directed at the Airbnb host. This is the person on record as being in charge of the property, so they are the one who typically has to keep it safe for you. In some cases, they might not be the actual owner of the property, and there may be other parties to hold responsible as well. Typically, however, Airbnb itself would not be one of those responsible parties.
For help with an injury lawsuit against an Airbnb host, call The Queenan Law Firm. Our Dallas premises liability injury lawyers offer free case reviews. Our number is (817) 476-1797.
Do You Sue Airbnb or the Host for Injuries in Texas?
In most cases when you are injured because of dangerous conditions on a property, you sue the property owner or operator. In many Airbnb rental situations, that owner is the Airbnb host. Airbnb might seem like they are responsible for some injuries, but their actual involvement with property management is often minimal, and they cannot be sued in most cases.
Technically speaking, the Airbnb host is the one who offers the property for rent and holds it out to be a safe place for you to sleep and spend your days. That means that when there are problems with safety on the property, it often falls to them to make repairs and clean up dangers. They are also typically the ones to hold liable when those dangers lead to injuries. That means that you can – and in most cases should – sue the Airbnb host for injuries.
You may think that because the property is rented through Airbnb, you should be able to sue Airbnb for the injuries instead. In most cases, Airbnb merely sets up the rental and payment, but the host is actually the one renting out the property to you on Airbnb. Because Airbnb does not take an active role in managing the property, it is unlikely that they actually did anything to contribute to your injuries.
Suing Property Owners and Airbnb Hosts for Injuries in Texas
In most cases, the host of an Airbnb is going to be the property owner. For someone to list an Airbnb for rent on the website or app, they typically have to have control over the property and the authority to rent it out. In some cases, Airbnb does not inspect their ownership of the property, and some Airbnbs are essentially let out as subleases by someone who only rents the property.
Airbnbs as Subleases
When someone rents a property and lets it out as a sublease, they essentially step into the role of landlord. That makes them responsible for making sure that it is reasonably safe to hand over the property to the Airbnb renter. That means that, even though the Airbnb host might not own the property, they should still be warning you about potential dangers and making sure that the place is safe for your stay. This is typically the duty owed to paying customers and renters, so the Airbnb host would usually be liable for any violation of this duty in the same way that a hotel or motel would.
Airbnb Rentals Inside Apartment Buildings
If the host is not actually the property owner, then it’s possible the unit you are renting on Airbnb could be inside a larger building. For example, an apartment rented on Airbnb might be inside an apartment complex, and you might have to pass through a lobby, use an elevator, or walk up a staircase to get to the unit. Those common areas are typically not under the direct control of the Airbnb host but rather the owner of the apartment complex.
In cases where the Airbnb host is, in fact, the owner of the building, then that same person or property management company would be responsible for injuries outside the unit in the common areas. However, if the Airbnb host is a renter or only owns the specific unit, then the common areas may be under the control of another party (i.e., the owner of the rest of the building). For injuries in those areas, you may be better off suing the property owner instead of the Airbnb host – or your Houston premises liability lawyers might recommend suing both parties.
In some cases, a renter’s lease will say that they cannot sublet or rent out their unit. This could mean they are in violation of their lease if they rent the unit on Airbnb. This can create complex situations where a building owner might deny liability because of the violation, and your attorney will need to help you find out which parties to sue and hold responsible.
Lawsuits vs. Insurance Claims for Airbnb Injuries in Texas
In most cases, the Airbnb host will have some kind of homeowners or renters insurance that can pay for injuries on their property. Sometimes, renters insurance and homeowners insurance refuse to cover Airbnb rentals, and the host might need additional insurance. This can often come through Airbnb’s “AirCover” insurance or come under the name “host protection insurance” or “host liability insurance.”
If you are injured and the Airbnb host has insurance – whether through AirCover’s $1 million policy or another policy – you might be able to file an insurance claim for your injuries. However, you should always consult with a Texas personal injury lawyer before accepting any money. The money offered might be far too low to cover your needs, and you may need to fight your case in court to get what you truly deserve in damages.
Call Our Texas Premises Liability Injury Attorneys Today
If you were hurt in an Airbnb rental, call our Fort Worth premises liability injury lawyers today to discuss your case. At The Queenan Law Firm, we fight to help injury victims get the compensation they need. Call us at (817) 476-1797 for a free case evaluation.