Property Advice

Short-term home rental trends

Private Property South Africa
Sarah-Jane Meyer |
Short-term home rental trends

Accommodation companies like Airbnb, as well as favourable exchange rates, have spurred more and more property owners to rent out their houses and flats on short-term leases to earn extra income.

Airbnb recently reported a significant profit for the first time since its inception, with turnover for the financial year of just under US$2 billion. The company said that its American and international business substantially recovered in the last three months of 2022 following the relaxation of Covid-19 travel restrictions.

According to short-term insurer, Santam, if you do decide to do this, it’s essential to be aware of the risks associated with holiday letting and put the appropriate insurance in place.


When you rent out your home, there are various types of incidents that could leave you liable. Examples of liability claims include:

  • Theft.
  • Damage to a residential property.
  • Tenants being the victim of crime.
  • A tenant getting hurt on a property – for instance, due to slippery surfaces on the premises.
  • Shoddy structures that lead to injury and/or damage to the tenants or their vehicles.

These incidents can result in costly medical expenses for which you, as the property owner, may be held responsible.


Although rental entities like Airbnb do offer host protection insurance, you need to carefully review the terms and conditions. It is really important to check what you are covered for before you decide to rent out your property.

Make sure you have proper liability coverage in place and that there are no exclusions that could put you out of pocket in the future.

Some insurers may exclude malicious damage to property and theft if the property is let or sublet to tenants.

Damage or losses caused by paying guests due to negligence - such as leaving the house unlocked when going out - could mean the difference between having your claims approved or declined.

Be sure

Mishaps can turn a holiday break into a bad experience for any tourist but could also become a costly outlay for an unwary property owner.

Ensuring that the right liability insurance cover is in place before letting your property provides security and peace of mind for both property owners and guests.

Contact your insurer or broker to make sure you have the proper insurance coverage in place for your home if you plan to rent it out.

Writer : Sarah-Jane Meyer

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