A majority of people who have hosted home-shares have reported having some kind of experience with ‘problem guests’, according to a new survey by Aviva UK.
The study revealed that 60 per cent of hosts who home-share using platforms such as Airbnb, HomeAway and Flipkey had experienced some kind of incident, while hosting someone in their home.
Home-sharing has become a booming industry in recent years, especially in London, with the supply of properties failing to meet rising demand from a growing population. A number of platforms offer property owners the means to earn some additional income, while also providing places for guests to stay on a short-term basis.
A number of grievances
Aviva UK’s study found that hosts of home-shares had a number of grievances, having allowed guests into their own homes.
Half of home-share hosts also reported having their homes or possessions damaged by guests, while another 48 per cent of hosts claimed that items had been stolen from properties. This came as 19 per cent of hosts who responded to the study admitted to not having any form of contents insurance.
Not only did hosts report theft or damage to their properties, but Aviva UK also revealed that 38 per cent of hosts reported experiencing some form of domestic disturbance, which resulted in involvement by neighbours or the police, while 18 per cent reported that guests had left properties in an unacceptable state.
As a result of these issues, 81 per cent of home-share hosts were considering installing home security systems, including video cameras, as a means to monitor guests in the future.
Stories from guests
As well as interviewing 1,000 hosts, the researchers also spoke to 1,000 guests of home-shares or holiday homes, and found that the guests also had a number of complaints about the properties they were given access to.
As many as 38 per cent of guests of home-shares reported finding that they were given bedrooms smaller than expected, while noisy neighbours and nearby roads proved to be an issue for another 34 per cent. A further 41 per cent of guests complained about staying in home-shares or holiday homes, where bad odours caused by pets or drainage were a persistent issue.
A report by the Institute for Public Policy Research in 2016 found that home-sharing was having a negligible impact on the housing supply in London, despite claims that it was reducing supply, as homes were being taken out of the private rented sector and being offered up for short-term lets on a more regular basis.
Demand for short-term lets remains popular, as regions including the capital continue to experience a shortfall in the supply of affordable homes, and the population continues to grow. Aviva UK’s study came a month after the government revealed that it had not managed to boost housebuilding sufficiently to meet its intended target of 300,000 new homes per year in England by the mid-2020s.