Content provided by Alison Barrett and Jillian Barrett, Maurice Blackburn
For many triathletes, Airbnb is often the go-to place when planning where to stay for an event, with accommodation usually needed for both the participant and for their support team/family. But with stories circulating about hosts secretly videoing guests and balconies collapsing under guests’ feet what should Triathlon Queensland members know before booking accommodation through sharing accommodation sites such as Airbnb?
There are many rules and regulations in place for traditional accommodation providers that are enforced by councils and governments. With Airbnb much of that responsibility lies on the shoulders of owners and guests.
Before booking any accommodation TQ members should first ask:
- How old is the property? Are the photos and reviews current? Ensuring it has things like disability and emergency access and meets fire safety requirements could save your life.
- Does the host have permission to lease their property to you? Like this Sydney apartment owner who discovered her tenant was illegally sub-letting her apartment on Airbnb - if the host is breaching their lease agreement or their body corporate’s by-laws you could find yourself out on the street.
- What insurance does the host have? You can take preventative steps before travelling, by taking out adequate travel insurance but that still might not provide total cover.
So what happens if you’re hurt at an Airbnb property?
Airbnb hosts may be held liable if you or someone you’re travelling with is injured during the course of your stay at their property. If you’re hurt during your stay, you should:
- Seek medical treatment immediately and tell your doctor you were injured
- Keep medical records and receipts of all medical expenses and the dates of all medical consultations
- Keep records of any wages you have lost as a result of your injury
- Take photos of your injuries, where possible
- Take photos of where you were injured, where possible
- Keep a copy of all correspondence between you and the Airbnb host
- Seek legal advice early as time limits apply.
It didn’t look like that in the pictures!
We’ve all heard stories of people arriving at a property only to discover that it isn’t what they expected, was missing something, or worst case having serious concerns for their safety. For emergency situations, members should contact local police or emergency services immediately on Triple Zero (000). For all other issues, TQ members should:
- Contact the host giving them the chance to fix the problem
- Request a refund via Airbnb in the event the host cannot be contacted, subject to the guest refund policy. Time limits also apply.
Maurice Blackburn are the preferred legal supplier for Triathlon Queensland. For more information on how Maurice Blackburn can get you back on track, call 1800 810 812 or visit mauriceblackburn.com.au