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Rogue tenants make Short Lets the Wild West of Renting, survey shows

Over half of tenants who have stayed at short let home-based properties via Airbnb or similar platforms have broken or damaged something at a host’s premises, according to a survey by Aviva.

The survey interviewed 1,000 UK adults who have stayed in home-stays. 

Of those who had caused damage at least once, the most common response - by 47 per cent - was to own up and offer to pay for the damage. Thirty per cent of guests replaced an item, although others were less responsible: 13 per cent hid the offending item and 11 per cent blamed the damage on someone else.


On average the cost of the damage was £95 – although one in 12 guests were faced with a bill of more than £250 to cover the cost.

Amongst the visitors who had caused damage 19 per cent also admitted they’d encountered a domestic disturbance where neighbours had complained or authorities had been involved. 

Nearly the same number admitted they had left the house in an unacceptable state, while 12 per cent had stolen something from their host house.

Two fifths of respondents to the survey also said they would be planning to take a home-stay break in the next 12 months.


Sarah Applegate from Aviva says: “Home-stays provide a great opportunity for people to earn extra income by allowing others to stay at their properties. However, guests can be unpredictable and our research shows more than half have damaged something when staying in somebody else’s home.

“Anyone who has a standard home contents and buildings insurance policy and is thinking about letting out their home – even if it’s just for occasional or temporary use – should tell their insurer in advance. This helps to ensure people have the level of cover that’s right for them.”

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