LANDLORDS wanting to rent their property through Airbnb or similar platforms are warned to make sure they are properly insured for injuries to guests.

On Friday four people were seriously injured when the balcony in a property in Montpelier Road, Brighton, advertised on Airbnb collapsed underneath them.

There is no suggestion the landlord or host is at fault or had no insurance, but experts say the incident highlights the risks of a booming and under-regulated market.

There are more than 300 properties in Brighton currently listed on Airbnb, often seen as a quick and easy way to make money.

But experts warn landlords or tenants subletting the property might not be covered for third-party injuries if they had not told their insurers they planned to use the property commercially.

David Crosby, from Crosby and Woods solicitors in Brighton, said: "I think the main thing is to make sure your mortgage provider allows it (commercial letting) and you insurer covers you to do it.

"And make sure that you leave clear instructions as to the do's and don'ts so at least you are doing your bit to make sure people are safe."

Landlords or subletters would be legally responsible for guests safety, not Airbnb which acts as a platform.

Neil Sugarman, president of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers, said for the landlord to be sued they would need to have done something wrong, such as leaving a hazard in the flat or not warning people about it.

He added: "Just because someone has had an accident on your premises most definitely does not give rise to compensation.

"There has to be to be some defect or something wrong with the property."

He added his organisation was campaigning to make it illegal for businesses not to have public liability insurance, because injured parties can be left with nothing if the person responsible cannot pay.

A spokesman for Airbnb said it offers host protection insurance in the UK which provides primary liability coverage for up to $1 million in the event of third party claims of bodily injury or property damage.

A spokesman added: "The safety of our community is our number one priority.

"We urge all hosts to take some basic steps to keep their homes safe, and provide hosts with advice, approved by safety associations, on how to make their homes safer."