The popularity of Airbnb in Lexington and other cities across Kentucky has surpassed all expectations. The ever-increasing number of tourists and residents prefer to stay in short-term rentals for three reasons — convenience, cost-efficiency, and simplicity. However, there is one problem overlooked by many Airbnb renters. Can Airbnb be held liable in the event of a guest’s injury in a rental? It is becoming more challenging to give a definitive answer, while the Lexington council is looking to expand regulations for Airbnb and short-term rentals in the city. As of 2020, Airbnb boasts more than 7 million listings in 220+ countries and regions around the globe.

Lexington Plans to Crack Down on Airbnb and Short-Term Rentals

In March, the Lexington council will vote on new regulations that could help crackdown on Airbnb hosts and operators of other short-term rental housing who are not paying hotel and business taxes, according to the Herald-Leader. Under the proposed regulations, operators of Airbnb and other short-term rentals in Lexington would be required to register with the city. Besides, the legislation would require short-term rental hosts to:

  • Pay a $300 annual registration fee;
  • Get an occupational license; and
  • Report monthly on the number of guest stays.
  • Hosts that rent exclusively through Airbnb would not be required to report monthly. The city of Lexington signed an agreement with Airbnb to collect state taxes in addition to Fayette County hotel taxes. After registering with the city, hosts of short-term rental hosts would get their local registration number that must be included in advertisements on all rental websites. Hosts who advertise without a local registration number would face a fine of $125. Repeat violations could result in penalties as high as $1,000.

    When is Airbnb Liable for Guests’ Injuries?

    As Airbnb has become a considerably cheaper and more convenient alternative to Booking and other sites offering short-term rentals, the question of liability for a guest’s injury in an Airbnb rental has become more frequent. The process of seeking compensation after an Airbnb accident in Kentucky is not the same as in the process of recovering damages for a slip and fall injury sustained in a hotel. When your injury happens on the hotel premises, the hotel is almost always liable for any resulting harm because it is easier to prove that the owner or employees failed to ensure their guests’ safety.

    In the event of an Airbnb-related injury, on the other hand, proving Airbnb’s or the rental host’s fault is much more complicated. However, Airbnb offers host protection of up to $1 million for those who sustain injuries in a rental house, apartment, room, or space. Not all guest injuries are covered by Airbnb’s $1 million insurance policy, while getting access to that coverage is almost always tricky. Many injured Airbnb guests can recover damages by filing a claim with the homeowner’s insurance coverage. However, many insurers in Kentucky do not provide any coverage if the home is being used for financial profit.

    Speak with our knowledgeable Lexington slip and fall accident lawyer to discuss liability in your Airbnb accident. Contact Roberts Law Office to get a case review. Call at (859) 231-0202 today.