How to rent your place out on Airbnb hassle free

Whether you’re a rugby fan or not, you’ll be hard pressed to avoid the thousands of British and Irish Lions fans descending on the country for the June tour.

With 10 matches scheduled in little over a month, and at stadiums throughout the country, the tour will be a great boon for national tourism, as well as regular Kiwis wanting to cash in on the lack of accommodation already facing many fans.

The scarcity of affordable accommodation highlights an ongoing trend in New Zealand during popular events. Just take the accommodation issues around the World Masters Games for instance. Many a family member was called on for temporary digs, because there was literally no room at the (commercial) inn.

According to Airbnb, early last month it had more than 20,000 listings in New Zealand. These will surely go some way to combating the shortage many regions face. However, Government research suggests a likely shortage of more than 4,500 hotel rooms by 2025 – and that’s after construction plans for 5,200 new rooms have been taken into account.

Armed with these kinds of figures, and the prospect of making your home earn its own keep, you too may be considering short-term rentals like Airbnb. However, as the saying goes, ‘knowledge is power’, so it pays to do a little research before you let strangers into, what’s likely, your most valuable asset.

Here’s a quick checklist to get you started:

  • Before you sign up, talk to your insurer to ensure you’re adequately covered. Also ask them about intentional damage or loss as most insurance policies don’t cover this, and don’t forget to enquire about how your policy responds to damage caused by illegal drug use or manufacture in your home.

  • If you’re moving out temporarily, consider the items you leave behind. If you take valuables with you, make sure they’re covered by your contents policy while they’re out of your home.

  • ACC covers Kiwis, as well as tourists, if they have an accident in your home. However, Airbnb also offers Host Protection Insurance, in case guests are hurt or cause property damage, and Host Guarantee, which covers accidental damage to your home and belongings. It’s a good idea to read the fine print, but remember Airbnb insurance shouldn’t replace your own.

  • Keep your property well maintained – not only to meet your insurance obligations, but to prevent any accidents from happening. And if you’re making an addition or alteration to your home, then update the sum insured figure of your home and contents policies.

  • Most tenants are respectful, but it still pays to be selective on who and how many you let into your place, and make sure they understand the rules. Have some regard for your neighbours’ wellbeing, as they haven’t signed up for late night parties, compromised security, or over-crowding in the shared access areas. The ‘neighbour’ tool under the help section on Airbnb means anyone can report problems, so don’t risk your property being removed.

Aaron Dickinson

GM Strategy, Insights & Analysis, AA Insurance

About AA Insurance

AA Insurance is an independently operated, New Zealand-based joint venture between the New Zealand Automobile Association (NZAA) and Vero Insurance New Zealand Limited (VINZL). Since 1994 we have demonstrated trusted expertise in home, contents and car insurance in New Zealand, and in 2018 introduced commercial small business insurance. We underwrite our own policies and sell direct to New Zealanders. Our 930+ staff look after over 480,000 customers with 970,000 policies.

We proudly partner with Variety NZ and Eden Park and have been consistently recognised by: Reader’s Digest Most Trusted Brands (since 2011) and Quality Service Awards for Car, and Home and Contents Insurance (since 2015), Kantar Customer Leadership Index (since 2019), Canstar Blue Most Satisfied Customers (2011-2018), and the Colmar Brunton Corporate Reputation Index (since 2015) that recognises New Zealand’s most successful companies. AA Insurance was also named Consumer NZ People’s Choice award winner for car, home and contents (2019 and 2020).

AA Insurance has an AA- (Very Strong) Insurer Financial Strength Rating given by Standard and Poor’s (Australia) Pty Ltd. For further information visit

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