Business & compliance advice
5 Health & safety rules you need to know before renting on Airbnb
Written by Phoenix Health & Safety
11th January 2022
With over 40 million Airbnb users across Europe and the US, and approximately 250,000 listings in the UK alone, the short-term accommodation rental market has seen extraordinary growth over the last 5 years.
Currently, the average Airbnb host earns around £7,245 ($9,600) annually, making it a profitable venture for investors or casual landlords who want to make extra cash as a host.
However, health & safety concerns are rising in the short-term rental market, highlighting where processes are yet to be put in place by hosts. A recent study of 127,183 Airbnb guests found that 16.5% of people complained online they had to call the police due to serious safety issues at the property.
We shed light on the key things you need to know as an Airbnb host to avoid financial and legal risks within the market.
CEO, Nick Higginson says; “Most health & safety legislation applies to the workplace, however, there is legislation called the Occupiers’ Liability Act 1957 under which the owner/host would come under the definition of being the ‘occupier’ and the guest under the definition of ‘lawful visitor’. Failure on any of the key points we have outlined below may be classified as a breach of this legislation and could result in legal consequences and compensation claims.”
5 things you need to consider about your Airbnb
Although it is not a legal requirement to have carbon monoxide detectors (CMD) in an Airbnb-style property, many guests prefer them as it makes people feel safer.
3. Furniture must be fire retardant
Your furniture might not be something you consider an issue when hosting a property, however, there are health & safety rules you need to check.
4. Annual gas safety checks are required
“Even if you are renting a room out in the property you occupy, you must be prepared to pay for Gas Safe certification,” says Nick.
If you supply gas on the premises an annual gas safety check must be carried out every 12 months by a Gas Safe Registered engineer. If you fail to prove certification of the last 2 years in the appropriate checks, you can face legal prosecution for being negligible to your guests and putting lives at risk.
5. Electrical safety
7.5% of Airbnb travellers in 2021 complained about unsafe amenities in their Airbnb, including things such as electricals/ fire hazards3. Whilst hosts are not bound by law to commit regular electrical safety checks, if ignored and an electrical accident with a guest occurs it could open up a negligence case.
“Electrical systems should be safe to use, and it is the host’s responsibility to make sure the required checks are made regularly. Things such as wiring, cooking appliances, sockets and light fittings should be checked tri-annually to ensure they are working correctly. There should also be safety checks on appliances supplied such as cookers and kettles.”
The Future of Airbnb hosting
“Over the coming years, we predict more processes and legislation will come into place to protect guests staying in Airbnb style accommodation to ensure that a similar health & safety standard is upheld to that of which you would expect in a registered hotel or hospitality accommodation,” says Nick.
“Whilst landlords/hosts are expected to create a safe environment with reliable reviews, it is a relatively untouched market for legislation. Hosts may consider health and safety training to ensure they are fully equipped,” says Nick.