Collapsed balcony advertised on Airbnb as holiday flat feature

Posted On 04 Jul 2016 at 2:56 pm

A flat where four guests were injured after a first-floor balcony collapsed has been pulled from Airbnb while investigations continue.

The collapsed balcony in Montpelier Road. Picture by Eddie Mitchell

The collapsed balcony in Montpelier Road. Picture by Eddie Mitchell

The four victims of the accident were staying at the flat in Montpelier Road after booking via the accommodation sharing website, which allows people to rent out their own homes for short stays.

The listing, which was live until shortly after Brighton and Hove News contacted Airbnb this morning, described the £185 a night flat as “Best location, balcony with seaview” and under guest access, listed “balcony to soak in the sun / or rain…”.

Meanwhile, East Sussex Fire and Rescue service warned people not to go out onto similar Regency balconies in the city, as they were designed as decorative rather than functional features.

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The host, Monika confirmed the collapse happened at her flat and said: “I am still in shock and try to get all reassurance about the wellbeing of our guests and all who were involved.

“In this moment I can’t answer your questions as I will need to find out more information from the police and the council.”

A spokesman for Airbnb said: “We have removed this listing from Airbnb while we investigate and are in contact with the host and guests. We will provide the necessary support.

“There have been more then 80 million guest arrivals on Airbnb and problems for hosts and guests are extremely rare.”

The collapse is not the first in which people have been seriously injured, or even killed, in Brighton and Hove.

Last September, a man was impaled on a railing after a balcony in Waterloo Street collapsed and in 1995, BHASVIC student Tim Smale, 16, sadly died after the balcony he was standing on in Cambridge Road fell to the ground.

East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service’s incident commander Chris Baker said this morning: “We have attended similar incidents in the past where residents have used the balcony areas and suffered an injury as a result.

“Quite a few of the properties around the city have these types of balconies, they are more of decorative feature than a balcony. Over the years they crack, allow water in and subsequently get weaker.

“We would like to remind the local community of the hazards associated with balconies that are not necessarily constructed for the purpose of sitting or standing on.”

ESFRS encouraged landlords or residents of properties of this type to carry out an assessment of the use of the balconies, due to the possibility of structural instability.

Emergency services were called to the flat on Friday night at 11.49pm. Four people were taken to the Royal Sussex County Hospital, two with serious injuries. Brighton and Hove News understands that one of the casualties had a broken pelvis, and that some patients had facial injuries.

Brighton and Hove City Council’s building control department are now investigating the incident.

  1. roy Reply

    what number in Montpelier Road

  2. Stevolution Reply

    Ahhh. Not for actually using.. duly noted

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