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Renting out a spare bedroom in my own home


Hi all,

I just found this forum and had a quick read and found there are really useful answers.
So here is the thing: I’m moving into a 3bedroom house where only 2 bedrooms will be occupied. At first we were thinking about leaving it empty and use it as a guest bedroom when friends and family visit but then my friend, who is going to be my house mate, came up with the idea of renting it out on AirBnB.
To be honest at first the idea was appealing but as we will be leaving there it means all of our stuff will be there. I’m a photographer and graphic designer, meaning I’ll work a lot from home and having expensive computer and photo equipment. The whole point of renting a house was to have enough room for me to be able to have a desk in the living room.
But now I just started to think that even if we will be around every day, things could go missing. I read AirBnBs insurance policy and I’m not 100% sure wether it covers stolen property as well. We would only rent the room out if at least one of us is in London and would obviously try and vet our potential guests but I’m still a bit worried. It only has to go horribly go wrong once and I’d have a big financial loss.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts and experiences in advance.


Airbnb policy doesn’t cover stolen goods as far as I’m aware. You’ll need special insurance if you want it for airbnb guests. You can request guests put a deposit down to stay which cover you for damages, but this is likely to dramatically reduce guests. I decline the same amount of people as I accept I’m picky. Airbnb is a gamble and things will go walkies, not on purpose I guess, for us it’s teaspons of late.


I don’t mind the odd spoon or broken glass, however I would mind my iMac growing legs and walking out my front door. We were discussing these things with my future housemate and she suggested I keep it in my bedroom. But what is the point of having a living room then? Since I posted this question another friend told me there are devices for everything to be locked down and kept in place so that might give me a bit of peace of mind. We already agreed we will be picky with our guests, no children and 2 people maximum, no long stays etc. I’d probably list it with a reasonable deposit, say 200 pounds. But from what I read here there is no guarantee whatsoever that the guest actually has the funds available in the account which they booked through.


Five and a half years as a host here and I’ve never had anyone steal one single thing. Most guests are very trustworthy and I really doubt you would have this issue. (Other issues, yes, but not this particular one.)

If there is something missing or damaged you can try making a claim with Air. I’ve done this only twice and both times had a satisfactory outcome. I would also suggest you add a security deposit. Putting down a deposit reminds guests that they must be on their best behavior. They DO take an imprint of your card for the deposit… which is lifted 48 hours after check out… Just like if you were to stay at a hotel. So if a claim needs to be made it can be.

One other thing… Air now forces everyone to be ID verified, meaning no one can open a fake account after they’ve had some bad reviews.

Honestly, I think we would hear a lot more horror stories than we do if Air guests had excessively sticky fingers. Maybe get a lock for your own office where the equipment will be, say if you are not going to be home. I say go ahead and try it. See if you like it! Probably you will get addicted to the money like all of us here are. Well most of us, anyway. :slight_smile:


Thanks for sharing your view :slight_smile: thing is - some of my stuff will be in the living room and there is no way to lock that away from guests but will put it in the rules that they can’t use certain things. Also, will get a security lock for the stuff that is expensive and exposed and I can’t lock somewhere. Money isn’t our main motivation, of course it is in the picture but since I had a lot of positive experiences as a guest I’d like to see the other side too. :smiley:


You can always get Kensington locks and such… but most guests booking your place would be tourists I’d imagine, visiting the Great City of London, and out riding the Tube, visiting the Globe Theatre, having a pint or two in a jolly pub, watching the fantastic stage shows, popping by Buckingham, going to the British Museum, shopping in Soho, and having some tea at the fantastic Criterion Theatre. If I got back to London, that’s what I’d be doing, not think about escaping with your iMac mate! Cheers! :slight_smile: :slight_smile:


You’d be surprised…I was on couchsurfing until someone asked if they could borrow my ipad while day go on a daytrip. and i was asked for card details too and would have been given the cash. there are some weird people out there.


The good thing is, you are the boss here and can make the rules for the kinds of guests you want in your home. I even describe them in my listing. “I’m only interested in hosting a quiet couple or single who appreciates a dark, quiet location away from the heat, crowds and bustle of town and is not interested in partying.” Something along those lines.

Just because you have a listing up doesn’t mean you have to accept everyone! Good luck and let us know how it goes.


thanks will do , hope it will go as plannes :slight_smile:


Hi. Have you bought this place? If not and you are on a standard UK tenancy agreement, you can probably not legally sublet, which is what you would be doing, without your landlord/letting agents permission. Even if you get this any insurance that you have in place for your gear will probably be void when you have an Air guest. That might also be the case if you work from home. I had this insurance issue in a rented house on a tenancy agreement, water damage to my Mac, insurers did not pay out as they said I was insured for home use, not work. I know I keep bashing on about it, but I would make sure that my insurance covers my gear, in all circumstances, and that you have liability insuracne in place for any paying guests. It might seem like a lot sixty quid a month, but it’s better than forking out for a new computer or declaring bankrupt because someone is chasing you for £500K liability because they slipped in your bathroom/burnt themselves in your kitchen/or tripped on your stairs etc etc etc.


@jamfactoryken @Emese_Fajk

Although we are not in London anymore (Coldswolds now) we use airbnb for our rented place in London (spare room in our flat) and many of our friends did as well. It would have been classed as an illegal sublet as all tenancy agreements say you cannot have people stay and pay. HOWEVER, how is your landlord going to know? In the two year’s we were in London did our landlord check the place? no. Is it taking a risk and a bit cheeky, yes. Does every other person in London do it, yes. London is an expensive city, just be careful.

Also important to note, Airbnb does not prefer hosts to use the deposit system if you are renting your spare room out (as opposed to a whole flat). Your listing will get moved to the bottom of searches etc. Guests are also put off by having to put deposits down just for a few nights in a spare room. London has such choice it’s probably not worth it unless you live in say, Chelsea etc. I would suggest doing a search for properties listed on Air around your area to see what other hosts do.

Yes that’s right you can buy inexpensive laptop and tv locks like this: http://www.cables2u.co.uk/kensingston-type-lock-laptop-combination-security-p-426.html?utm_source=google&utm_medium=googleshopping&utm_campaign=googlebase&gclid=CjwKEAjwv8iwBRC35-_e8aPqwCESJAB8khP9B2RIqWBt58VQLj9YGU2t1paIlPVJNr21TrkzNMtk5RoCPAfw_wcB

We have also fitted one of these locks to our bedroom door (bit overkill as we never had any problems with guests: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Stainless-Steel-Round-Door-Knobs-Handle-Entrance-Passage-Lock-Entry-with-Key-/221549700519


A bit cheeky, I guess that’s one definition. If it is a huge corporate landlord then I guess I have limited sympathy with them. But if like me you are a one flat/house owner then I would see it much more like using someone else’s asset, illegally, to profit yourself. If I was the landlord and caught someone doing that, I would sue them from here to next week, evict them instantly and attempt to get the tenancy paid in full. And I think I would get a favourable hearing in the courts.

And as to how to find out. Go to the AirBnB site and do a map view of the area where you own a property. Look for your property. If you find it take screen shots of the photos. Really very easy.


Are you in the Uk?

You would not get sued lol sounds very American. you would lose your deposit which in London is bloody loads and be asked to leave OR you could say they are friends. How would your landlord know there paying you. In London most properties are run through major land agency’s they don’t give two hoots.


Not just the UK, I’m a Londoner. And if you are advertising on AirBnB it’s self-evident that you are sub-letting for money. If you break a tenancy agreement then it’s fair game as far as I’m concerned and I would go after anyone that did that to me in the courts for the money made from the sub-let, the money owed on the full tenancy, and damage to the flat. That would be in addition to the deposit. Just because you and your mates all did it, doesn’t mean that it’s legal, or OK.


Well yes, obviously. It’s more wide spread then you think. Particularly in large cities like London.


KJ, I don’t think it’s correct that Air places you lower in search when you add a deposit. If there is a claim, they would naturally prefer the guest to pay it first rather than have it go though their host guarantee system.

On the issue of renting in violation of the sublet clause of your lease, UK landlords probably would feel no different than American ones. If I were renting a property to tenants and they were trying to sneak AirB I would evict immediately and have grounds. And btw, your neighbors might inform on you…Airbnbs are easy to spot!


I guess that is the key difference renting out an entire property or listing your spare bed every so often to let on Air. In a city like London and even in large towns I very much doubt your neigbours would even notice. We don’t live in that sort of world anymore. I never see kids playing on the streets etc.


It’s our own property so no, I would not breach any tenancy agreement. When I was between two flats in London I rented through airbnb for 2 weeks and it was in a converted house with flats. not one neighbour asked who i was and what happened to the girl who was living in the flat. and it was sub-let. she did ask me to say i was a friend house sitting and i was perfectly fine with it. but nobody asked.
to be honest even if it was a rental, yes it would be cheeky, but prices in London are cheeky too. And I think it would be a lot worse if I’d have friends staying all the time as I’m pretty sure there would be a lot more wear and tear and damage as they wouldn’t think about wether they are liable for the damage they cause or not. I don’t really see how anyone could sue me but that is a different story, i will look into that. i won’t list it until about the 20th of this month anyways.


If you rent out a property, long or short-term, you have a duty of care to the renter. This includes public liability. Most landlord insurance covers this. But most landlord insurance only cover short term assured tenancies, not AirBnB rentals. It took me ages to find someone that would provide this insurance at a reasonable cost, The company that provides it is called Intasure. You might also want to check what the situation is wrt short term AirBnB lets with your buildings insurer. I know that some insurers do not cover for what are essentially holiday lets.

I can assure you that if somebody say burnt down your property while staying via AirBnB, or did something to injure themselves in your property and felt that this was because of your negligence, then you will be 100% happy that you spent the time checking these things and making sure that they are all cushty. Insurance companies and courts don’t do “cheeky”.



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