6 tips for Airbnb rentals

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The growing number of events happening throughout New Zealand, combined with a lack of accommodation in some regions, means more and more Kiwis are considering cashing in on the opportunity of renting out their home.

However, with nightmare stories about tenants offering pop-up nightclubs in their accommodation, complete with a door charge and bouncers, it pays to get the right cover in place before you hand over your keys and put the welcome mat out. So we’ve put together a few ways to help you protect your property:

1. Talk to your insurer: Start by getting in touch with your insurer to let them know your plans to rent out your property. You can then get to the nitty gritty of how your home and contents policies would respond should something happen while guests are in your home. You’ll also need to let your insurer know if this is a one-off, occasional or regular gig for you and your home, as this may affect your cover.

2. Intentional damage: Most insurance policies don’t cover the intentional loss or damage caused by a tenant or guest you’ve invited into your home, so it pays to check with your insurer. Generally theft is covered, so long as you’ve taken reasonable care in inviting guests into your home. So, once again ask your insurer for the heads up on this.

You might also want to think about the items you leave in your home. It’s a good idea to keep sentimental or expensive items out of the way, preferably under lock and key, to keep them safe, or take them with you.

3. Illegal drugs: Ask your insurer about how your policy responds to illegal drugs. Some may not cover the contamination caused by the use of drugs in your home, but will cover the damage from the drug being manufactured there. Others will only cover rental properties, so it really does pay to check out the cover, and if there are any extra conditions.

4. Insurance: If your tenant has an accident in your home, then they are covered by ACC, even if they are a visiting tourist to New Zealand. However, all Airbnb hosts are offered automatic Host Protection Insurance, in case your guests get hurt or cause property damage, and there’s also a Host Guarantee, which covers accidental damage to your home and stuff. While it’s recommended you read the fine print so you know the expectations and limitations, Airbnb insurance should not replace your general home and contents policies.

5. Property maintenance: Make sure your home is in good nick – it’s part of your policy obligations to maintain your home – but regardless, broken latches, poor security and rickety cabinetry are all accidents waiting to happen. So look after your home, to not only keep your guests safe and happy, but help encourage others to stay too.

6. Renew and refresh: Update your policy with every addition or alteration you make – you may add on a deck, and buy new outdoor furniture to put on it. This will add value to your home, so needs to be considered in your home’s sum insured. The furniture can then be added to the sum insured of your contents policy so, if the worst happens, your insurance will cover your adequately.

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