I am currently renovating a property that will be listed on Airbnb when completed. The downstairs has a spacious area I have turned into a game room. I was planning to put up a dart board, but someone asked about the liability aspect of having a dartboard available. Does anyone have a dart board in their rental? Are there issues? I’m really interested to hear other hosts thoughts on the matter. We did discuss the possibility of having the board but telling guests they need to provide their own darts, or putting the darts in a lockbox and requiring guests to accept some type of liability release and monitoring children during use form to get the lockbox code.
I think some hosts are overly concerned about liability this and liability that. A clawfoot tub or slick stone steps in a wet climate is probably more dangerous.
But you can’t go wrong with a lockbox.
The fact is that no matter what you do if there is a serious accident:
Part of typical hospital procedures is to ask if the injury occurred as an accident. If the person says ‘yes’ expect the insurer’s lawyers to contact you. These lawyers are employees, on the payroll, and so making inquiries or suing you does not materially increase their costs. The insurer will sue you for all the medical costs incurred, and I don’t know if you get the network rate.
A lawyer for the guest might get involved depending on the seriousness of the injuries. Even if the guests signs a liability release (probably EACH guest would need to sign it) there are ALWAYS ways to attack the release. You certainly need to get a lawyer to draft the release and develop the procedures. Do you allow visitors? They would not be bound by a release signed by the guest. Nor would a worker struck by a dart thrown by a guest. Even if you ‘win’ you will have legal expenses that you don’t recover just because you win the legal point.
Do you have a good commercial insurance policy?
Have you discussed this with your insurer, and in writing?
Even if you discuss this with your insurer, do it in writing, and the insurer OK’s it (which I am skeptical of), if there is a suit and even if you win it, your insurance premium might increase or your policy might be dropped. Ask your insurer if that is a reasonable concern.
After all that, decide what is appropriate for you to do. I wouldn’t do it because my impression is that there is a potential cost here, it is potentially huge and there is little expected financial gain, certainly not enough to offset the potential liability.
From the article: "Darts are responsible for the largest single group of childhood perforating eye injuries.'To find way sin which this type of injury can be prevented, we have analysed a group of patients who have sustained dart- induced perforating eye injuries.
This won’t appease your competitive dart players, but Velcro dart boards are a fun diversion.
Bugger liability. What I would worry about is dart holes in everything – walls, ceiling, floors, doors, furniture, knicknacks, pets, car tires, etc. Not to mention the continuing expense of replacing “lost” darts. Same holds true of archery equipment, and firearms. Just say NO.
There are SO MANY dart board alternatives using magnets and sticky fabrics, I just googled it. That’s what I would do.
I purchased a dart board and my husband refused to put it up. I don’t think he was concerned about liability. He was more concerned about damages to the walls. He imagined drunk folks throwing darts all over the place damages walls.
Not only that, you might get reckless Airbnb guests.
But you know your families best.
Just go into any English pub (possibly US bars too) and look at the wall around the dartboard. You’d think it was riddled with woodworm.
Before getting a dartboard, if you decide to, check with your STR insurance company first.
If a guest slips on a wet stone step they might well sue you. But: 1) you’d have a defense that the steps and rail system conformed to the building code, same with the tub, but you wouldn’t have an external authority to hold up to say that the dart board specifically conformed to that safety standard, and 2) a building code would require you to have steps, also some way to bathe, whether shower or tub, that you can show you conformed to. Even so, you might be sued for a slip in the tub or on the stairs – that’s one reason why you have (ought to have) commercial insurance.
But a dartboard is not something you’re required to have. So, unlike having steps or a way to bather shower it is an avoidable risk. Of course, you’re not required to have a tub, but in many jurisdictions there are building code requirements around it to which you can show you conformed (or not).
Plus, not being required to have it, and not – arguably – providing much in the way of a financial benefit (unlike steps and tubs) the OP would be incurring a cost (including potential costs) greater than the expected benefit,
Though most all your posts are spot on, here I respectfully disagree. Even if the lockbox contains on it a sign saying something like, “Opening this lockbox signifies agreement to [specify] and releases Host/Property Owner of All Liability” that release might not be legally binding, wouldn’t be a signed release, and even if legally binding wouldn’t apply to anyone who hadn’t opened it like other guests or visitors or workers.
So count me as one of this Hosts concerned about the liability issues. I would say ‘not overly’ concerned but appropriately concerned.
But then you might say ‘too-mah-tah.’
The general advice given by this forum (and Airbnb) is that all hosts must have STR insurance.
Oh dear, you’re going to have to explain that. I don’t understand.
Yes, so we agree on this, as I expected that we would. THAT suggests that the first resource for the OP is to discuss this with its insurer. BTW, I didn’t realize that Airbnb also advises STR insurance since I think most Hosts here would say that Airbnb coverages don’t truly constitute such insurance.
I was thinking that @KKC might feel that I’m quibbling with words, @KKC saying that many Hosts here are ‘overly’ concerned with liability and I saying I’m just concerned – that is, not ‘overly’ so but appropriately so.
To that I anticipated a response that in essence was ‘You say tomato, I say tomatah’ my point being that this is not about semantics but the concern about liability is real and cannot fairly be dismissed as being ‘overly’ concerned, and that as to getting that dartboard the OP should ‘just call the whole thing off.’
Absolutely we do. And Airbnb, in its wisdom, also advises it, plus appropriate business licenses and paying the relevant taxes - but unfortunately many hosts tend to ignore or not even see that.
Where I am, I need to show my STR insurance certificate in order to get my business license but that’s probably because we’ve been a tourist destination for over a hundred years.
Being English, I’d say ‘you say tomaydo, I say tomato’. Nevertheless, it’s a great song.
Find a safer, less damaging alternative.
They make magnetic dart boards. MUCH SAFER.
I appreciate all the feedback and opinions. We did check with our insurance company (also a good reminder we need to change the policy! as it’s going from a full time rental to vacation rental) They have no stipulations about darts at all, we just can’t have a trampoline, pool or atv vehicles. They did say they recommend the lock box just to keep kids out of them unsupervised.
I know what damage they can cause to the walls, we left a dart board in our first rental for about a year as we had been living in it prior to setting it up as an airbnb. I did remove it to set up a better bedroom as it was a small space. This new house has a great space for it.
I do love the idea of setting up a secondary velcro board just for kids to play with. We still have two showers to finish so will be contemplating options in the meantime.
We have a dart board for our guests and haven’t had any problems, the guests love it! And of course there’s going to be some holes , but those can be patched!