Airbnb Sexual Assault

Affordability, flexibility, and the chance to have a unique travel experience are all factors that have fueled the popularity of Airbnb rentals. Over 150 million worldwide users have used the popular home-sharing app to book over one billion stays. 

While a majority of guests favorably rate their stays, there are instances when an Airbnb stay can turn dangerous. A recent report highlights an alarming increase in sexual assault and physical assault cases involving Airbnb rentals and guests.

The nature of a sexual assault can make it understandably difficult for you to report the abuse you’ve endured. Working with an experienced sexual assault lawyer can help ease that difficulty and ensure you’re not alone in this.

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Airbnb sexual assault lawsuits

An Airbnb rental should be a place of safety and security. If your safety and security have been violated and you’ve endured physical or sexual assault during your stay, you may be able to recover compensation and justice by filing an Airbnb sexual assault lawsuit. 

Airbnb insurance policies in Colorado

During their early years, Airbnb did not offer insurance coverage to individuals who rented out their homes. Today, users on the platform have access to Host Protection Coverage. This coverage protects hosts from any liability a guest might claim for up to $1 million. It covers instances in which a host’s personal property is damaged or a guest has suffered an injury. It can also cover any damage or injuries a guest causes to another individual, such as another resident in an apartment complex.

Insurance provided to hosts by Airbnb

While Host Protection Coverage allows a host to fend off any lawsuits against damage or injury, this insurance does not protect against claims including but not limited to: 

  • Loss of earnings
  • Personal injury 
  • Fungi or bacteria
  • Communicable diseases
  • Chinese drywall 
  • Acts of terrorism
  • Product liability 
  • Asbestos, lead, or silica
  • Pollution

Airbnb sexual assaults

If you’ve unfortunately been assaulted at an Airbnb by your host or another guest, please know it isn’t your fault, and you are not alone in this. 

There is also a possibility you may sue Airbnb for their negligence in the sexual assault. Settlement amounts can range anywhere from $10,000 to up to a million dollars under the company’s insurance policy. Additionally, you may also be able to file a lawsuit against a perpetrator as well.

Airbnb and child sexual abuse 

It’s not just adults who may fall victim to Airbnb sexual assault. Unfortunately, children can fall victim to child sexual abuse in an Airbnb as well. According to experts, 1 in 9 girls and 1 in 20 boys under the age of 18 will experience sexual abuse or assault in their lifetime. Unfortunately, children are much less likely to report their sexual abuse, which often occurs at the hands of someone they know.

If your child has been the victim of sexual abuse, either by a friend, family member, or an Airbnb host, you and your child have legal rights available to sue both the perpetrator and Airbnb for negligence. Prosecutors consider sexual assault cases against children as crimes against the state, allowing them to criminally prosecute abusers.

Airbnb and voyeurism

Voyeurism is the act of spying on another individual without their knowledge or consent for sexual pleasure. This constitutes another type of sexual abuse a victim may experience in an Airbnb. An experienced Airbnb sexual assault layer can help you bring forward a successful lawsuit against a host who has spied on you during your most vulnerable moments. 

Airbnb physical assaults

Sexual assault can precede or follow a physical assault. In either case, you can file a lawsuit against Airbnb and a host or another guest if you have endured a physical assault in your Airbnb. It’s important to note that a sexual assault does not have to take place for a victim to file a lawsuit for physical assault.

History of Airbnb attacks 

Airbnb attacks have become an issue the company has fought hard and paid millions of dollars to battle against. While it’s unclear how many attacks have occurred in Airbnb rentals, data highlights that as Airbnb rentals move into cities, crimes tend to tick up, forcing long-term residents out. A recent study found a correlation between rising Airbnb properties and increased violence.

Researchers found that the creation of “transient properties” can lead to more crimes,  especially toward unsuspecting guests who stay in these Airbnbs. If you have been physically or sexually assaulted by a stranger while staying in an Airbnb, you can pursue legal action that will help you recover damages for your losses and pain and suffering. 

Airbnb sexual assault settlements

Initially, Airbnb used to have non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) in place with plaintiffs who settled claims with the company. Today, public pressure — especially after the Me Too Movement — has pushed the company to do away with these NDAs. 

One of the most notable settlements was a $7 million resolution with an Airbnb guest who was raped while staying in a Manhattan rental. While not all claims will result in monumental settlements such as this, if you were a victim, you have legal options to pursue a claim for damages when working with an experienced Airbnb sexual assault lawyer. 

How to protect yourself while using Airbnb

There are many ways to protect yourself while using Airbnb:

  • Ask questions about a listing before you book it and before you arrive
  • Work with Super Hosts. These are hosts who have a solid reputation for offering quality service, safety measures, and overall quality stays.
  • Read the reviews written by former guests
  • Once you arrive, do a walk-through of the property and look in obvious places like the bathroom or bedroom for potentially hidden surveillance equipment
  • Always lock the doors to your Airbnb, whether you are in or out
  • Never give your personal contact information to a host outside of the app
  • Book an entire property or a completely private room that has its own locking capabilities

Does Airbnb run background checks?

According to Airbnb, the platform runs a background check on all individuals who conduct a transaction on the app. The company checks the OFAC list and databases that oversee whether an individual has a criminal record or is on a state or national sex offender registry. 

I was assaulted. Should I hire a lawyer?

If you were the unfortunate victim of an Airbnb sexual assault, you have legal rights and options. An experienced Airbnb lawyer can help you explore these options in detail so you can seek the justice you deserve. However, you must report the crime before you can explore these legal options.

  • Start by contacting your local authorities to initiate the investigation process
  • Contact Airbnb and alert them about your sexual assault
  • Speak with an experienced Airbnb sexual assault lawyer and get legal guidance to help you build a successful claim

How long do I have to file a sexual assault lawsuit?

Like many states, Colorado is widening the statute of limitations and regulations for sexual assault victims who wish to bring forward a claim. Following Senate Bills 73 and 88, victims of a sexual assault can file a civil claim without missing the statute of limitations deadline. Prior to this bill, prosecutors had a six-year statute of limitations. 

Despite this statute of limitations, if you’ve been the victim of a sexual assault, it’s imperative that you file a sexual assault claim as soon as possible. Doing so allows you to seek the justice you deserve and hold your perpetrator accountable, as it’s easier to collect evidence to support your claim.

Working with an Airbnb sexual assault attorney

An Airbnb sexual assault attorney is working on paperwork at his desk. Next to him is an open laptop, the scales of justice, and a gavel.

If you have been the victim of an Airbnb sexual assault, the legal team at Bachus & Schanker is here for you, and we’re so sorry it has happened. An experienced attorney will work to collect pertinent evidence that will allow you to hold your perpetrator and Airbnb responsible. When you work with our team, you will have the dedication of our Victim Advocates Team. This specialized team is highly experienced in helping victims of sexual assault seeks resources, support, and the justice they deserve.


Airbnb Statistics. (2022).

Background checks. (2023). 

Host Protection Coverage. (2023). 

Ke, L., et al. (2021). Airbnb and neighborhood crime: The incursion of tourists or the erosion of local social dynamics?

Luscombe, R. (2021). Woman allegedly raped at New York Airbnb received secret $7m settlement.

Me Too Movement. (2023).

Paul, J. (2021). After decades of debate, Colorado will give sex assault victims unlimited time to sue their abusers.Sonnemaker, T. (2021). Airbnb deals with thousands of sexual-assault allegations every year, but manages to keep many out of the public eye, report says.

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Written and Legally Reviewed By: Kyle Bachus

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Kyle is a member of the Colorado and Florida Bar associations and has served on the Board of Directors of the Colorado Trial Lawyers Association for more than twenty years in total. Over the years, Kyle has achieved justice for many clients. He has served on numerous committees and repeatedly won recognition from his peers at both the state and national level. He is proud of the role he has played in the passage of state and national legislation to protect consumers and is a frequent speaker and guest lecturer.