Our customers

6 out of 10 home-share hosts have problem guests

But almost half of guests have experienced home-stay horrors.

Half of home-share hosts have had items stolen from their properties by paying guests, a new survey from Aviva reveals.

The study – which interviewed 1,000 people who let out their homes and 1,000 people who have stayed in home-shares – unearthed irritations on both sides.

Of those who have let out properties as home-stays, three out of five (60%) have experienced some sort of unpleasant incident involving guests. Within this figure:

  • 53% of hosts said their homes / possessions had been damaged by guests.
  • 48% have had items stolen from their properties.
  • 38% have experienced a domestic disturbance involving neighbours or the police.
  • While 18% said guests had left their homes in an unacceptable state.

In line with this, two thirds of guests (66%) admit to having broken or damaged something when staying at a home-share. Most visitors said they had either owned up and offered to pay (35%) or replaced the offending item (28%). But one in eight (13%) said they had blamed the problem on someone else and one in 10 (9%) hid the damage.

But many guests have grumbles about their home-stay experiences. Almost half (47%) of people who have stayed at home shares or holiday lets have been disappointed with the properties. Criticisms include cockroaches in homes, rude owners and a lack of locks on toilet doors. But the most common complaints are as follows:

Smelly house (bad odour caused by pets/drains etc)


Rooms smaller than expected


Property was dirty


Noisy neighbours / road


Location not quite as advertised e.g. not near to attractions


Photos from website obviously old, hiding wear and tear in property


Unwashed bedding / towels etc


Previous occupants still in the property


Owner left strict list of dos and don'ts


Adam Beckett, Product Director for Aviva UK General Insurance says: “Home-stays provide a great opportunity for people to earn extra income by allowing others to stay at their properties. However, guests can be unpredictable and our research shows around half of hosts have had something damaged or stolen when they’ve let out their homes.

“Anyone who has a standard home contents and buildings insurance policy and is thinking about letting out their home – even if it’s just for occasional or temporary use – should tell their insurer in advance. This helps to ensure people have the level of cover that’s right for them.

“For peace of mind, we’d also encourage homeowners to remove or lock away any valuables or easily-damaged items while guests are in their homes. Accidents happen, but this can help to minimise holiday headaches.” 

- ENDS -


The study was carried out by Censuswide research in August 2019, interviewing 1,000 UK adults who let out properties to guests as a short-term / holiday let, and 1,000 UK adults who have stayed in home-stay properties.

Aviva standard home insurance allows people to let out their homes for temporary / short-period lets, but cover excludes theft or accidental / malicious damage by paying guests under both buildings and contents cover. Guests should also be aware that their belongings are not covered under a host’s Aviva home insurance policy.

If customers have Aviva Plus home insurance and have selected the ‘accidental damage’ option, this cover would also extend to guests in the home. 

Media enquiries:

Sarah Poulter

Group External Communications

Notes to editors:

  • For information on how Aviva is helping our people, customers and communities impacted by COVID-19 visit: www.aviva.com/covid-19-our-response/
  • Aviva is a leading international savings, retirement and insurance business. We exist to be with people when it really matters, throughout their lives – to help them make the most of life. We have been taking care of people for more than 320 years, in line with our purpose of being ‘with you today, for a better tomorrow’.
  • Our vision is to earn our customers’ trust as the best place to save for the future, navigate retirement and insure what matters most to them. In 2019, we paid £33.2 billion in claims and benefits on behalf of our 33.4 million customers.
  • We operate through five business divisions: Investments, Savings & Retirement; UK Life; General Insurance; Europe Life; and Asia Life; and focus on three strategic priorities: deliver great customer outcomes, excel at the fundamentals and invest in sustainable growth.
  • Total group assets under management at Aviva group are £510 billion and our Solvency II capital surplus is £12.6 billion (FY19). Our shares are listed on the London Stock Exchange and we are a member of the FTSE 100 index.
  • For more details on what we do, our business and how we help our customers, visit www.aviva.com/about-us
  • The Aviva newsroom at www.aviva.com/newsroom includes links to our image library, research reports and our news release archive. Sign up to get the latest news from Aviva by email.
  • You can follow us on Twitter: www.twitter.com/avivaplc/
  • You can follow us on LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/company/aviva-plc
  • For the latest corporate films from around our business, subscribe to our YouTube channel: www.youtube.com/user/aviva
  • We have a Globelynx system for broadcast interviews. Please contact the Press Officer noted above if you would like to make a booking.


More from our Newsroom