Homesharing – Part 1

For a variety of reasons, changing attitudes, objectives and financial situations have created interest in collaborative consumption and the growth in the sharing economy. Homesharing and ridesharing have become major components in this evolving economy. The term can be confusing and have more than one meaning.

Regarding this article, we are discussing commercial arrangements represented by services such as AirBnB. Its premise is to match supply and demand for housing related to traveling. It allows a resident of a home, condo or apartment in one location to provide short-term housing to persons traveling through or vacationing in their locale. The arrangement is facilitated through an online platform that provides the obligations of both parties to the transaction. Therefore, this discussion does not involve situations involving short-term trading or swapping of property in exchange for either similar residential space or in exchange for providing skills or services.

A wide variety of rental situations fall under homesharing, such as the following:

  • Rental of seasonally used property
  • Rental of entire premises for vacationers
  • Rental or part or entire premises for persons attending a local, large event such as racing, festivals, concerts, tournaments, sports championships, etc.
  • Providing space for a special event, such as graduations, weddings, or parties (birthday, retirement, etc.)
  • Renting a portion of a residence while the property owner or regular renter still occupies other parts of the residence

The online aspect is critical as it acts as a portal for providing information on available residences, locations of property, property features, rental costs, available amenities, contractual obligations related to property use and payment of fees, deposits, and, if necessary, damages or penalties due to misuse.

A major motivation for such homesharing arrangements is the opportunity of significant, additional income for underutilized property. However, that creates a problem. What coverage issues exist under residential insurance policies?


Continue to Part 2


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