Renting out a property on Airbnb and other short-term rental platforms is a lucrative business and can bring significant profits. However, like every other business, it has certain risks implied, and the possibility of Airbnb theft is among them. Apparently, letting a stranger stay in your property does come with an element of risk. While Airbnb theft and Airbnb robbery rarely happen, just in case you should make a concerted effort to protect yourself and your valuables. Here are six effective ways to guard against Airbnb theft.
Get a Safety Deposit Box
Get yourself a safety deposit box at your local bank, in a bid to guard against Airbnb theft by safely storing your valuables including jewelry, important documents, and heirlooms. Don’t leave treasured or significant items lying around your property rental. Even if you store valuable bits and bobs in a box and pop it away at the back of a cupboard, it doesn’t mean nosy guests won’t come across upon your items!
Screen Your Guests
So how does Airbnb prevent theft? First off, they can assist hosts by providing information on the best way to screen potential guests. Find out who you are inviting into your home, by reviewing guest profiles and getting in touch prior to accepting a booking.
If you don’t bother doing either of these you are leaving yourself open to Airbnb theft. You are also failing to do your part in terms of the Airbnb Host Guarantee. If you contact and review the profile of potential guests you will be eligible for compensation via the Airbnb Host Guarantee in case of property damage or Airbnb theft. Your safety and the security of your property is of paramount importance. So if you don’t feel comfortable renting your vacation property to a particular guest don’t take any chances.
Protect Your Account
Don’t make it easy for hackers to commit Airbnb theft by hijacking your Airbnb account, you don’t want to facilitate Airbnb identity theft! Make sure your account settings allow you to receive notifications should any changes be made to your account. It’s also wise to set up a notification to inform you if someone logs into your account from a new device (i.e. a device that hasn’t been used to login to your account previously). A notification will give you time to change your password.
Secure Your Digital Network
Offering free internet access to your guests? You can make it easier for guests to access the world wide web by including the Wi-Fi password in the welcome manual. However, you certainly don’t want to make it easy for cybercriminals to gain access to your network and commit computer-generated Airbnb theft, such as Airbnb identity theft.
Protect your digital network via a VPN, doing this allows guests to connect with your Wi-Fi – with all of their online dealings running through the VPN. Every new device is provided with a one-off IP address. If your guests start getting up to something they shouldn’t whilst staying at your place, your VPN should guard you against accountability.
Invest in Home Security Systems
Protect your home and those in it from Airbnb theft and danger, by installing a security system. Make a research on the most effective smart devices that can be used to create a smart home security system. Perhaps, you might even opt for equipping your property with a house alarm, which will have a positive impact on your peace of mind and safety of your rental.
It’s also a good idea to invest in a keyless entry system. This is a great way to prevent Airbnb theft by allowing guests to enter and leave your home in a controlled way. Keys are way too easy to copy. You can’t be sure if anyone has sneakily duplicated a key in order to gain future access into your home to commit Airbnb robbery!
Keyless entry involves using a passcode to get into the property. The code can be set in line with the duration of your guests stay. When they leave the passcode can be changed to accommodate your next guests. You might be tempted to install a security camera to keep a beady eye on your place. However, if you decide to do this, please make sure you let your guests know! All surveillance devices need to be disclosed (even if they are turned off or not in operation).
Make Sure You’ve Got It Covered
Airbnb has a Host Guarantee, which is routinely offered to hosts. This program provides property damage protection of up to $1 million for every listing. However, it does not cover every eventuality. Keep in mind that the following items do not fall under Airbnb Host Guarantee:
- Currency and money,
- Notes and securities,
- Jewelry, artwork, and collectibles can have more limited protections.
It’s prudent to speak with your insurance company prior to listing your property for rental to make sure you are covered with Airbnb theft insurance. You might also want to consider asking guests to sign an Airbnb rental agreement in order to protect yourself against problems such as damage to property.
Better Safe Than Sorry
Prevention is better than cure, safeguard against Airbnb theft by using security measures wherever possible. You should also ensure you are following regulations and covering all bases – don’t leave yourself open to problems!