Just as Uber has revolutionized the transportation market, sites like HomeAway and Airbnb have dramatically changed the way travelers search for accommodations. Vacationers are no longer forced to rely on hotels when they need a place to stay while on the road. Homeowners across the country simply rent out their own homes to travelers. Airbnb even allows homeowners to rent only part of a residence to a fellow Airbnb member.
If you’re considering renting out your home using one of these services, there are several things you’ll need to do before you get started. These steps will help you get ready to welcome a stranger into your home without offending your neighbors.
If you’re considering listing your property on Airbnb, the first step is to make sure there’s regular interest in accommodations in your area. If your city sees heavy tourist activity, you’ll likely have a winner. If you depend solely on the occasional business traveler or a few annual events, only you can determine whether it’s worth it. Search for similar properties in your area and make sure the market isn’t oversaturated.
Check Local Restrictions
Unfortunately, for many homeowners, vacation rentals are not an option. Many cities limit transient rentals to hotels and inns that hold government-issued licenses. If it’s allowed in your city, your homeowners’ association may prohibit it. Even once you’ve determined that legally you’re okay, make sure your option to rent all or part of your space won’t upset your neighbors. Consider where guests will park and make sure you have sufficient space for at least one extra vehicle.
Create Your Private Space
If you plan to remain in the home with the guest, you’ll ideally have a separate area that will give both yourself and your guests privacy during their stay. In the best case scenario, your guests will have a separate bathroom and bedroom at the very least. If you can’t provide this privacy for yourself, make sure you’re prepared to share a bathroom and other living spaces with strangers on a regular basis. Whether you’ll remain in the home or not, you’ll still likely want to add locks to closets, rooms, and cabinets that you’d like to keep private from guests.
Airbnb suggests that hosts provide clean linens, towels, and basic amenities to guests, so before you put up a room for rent, fully stock a closet with the items a guest will need. Travel sizes of items like shampoo, toothpaste, and shower gel will add a nice touch. Also consider how you’ll handle cleaning up and changing linens after your guest leaves. This will add additional work to your already busy schedule unless you choose to outsource it to a professional cleaning service for a fee.
Airbnb is a great way for homeowners to make a little extra money by renting rooms that aren’t being used. It’s important that homeowner determine a property is a good fit for Airbnb, while also reading over the site’s Responsible Hosting Recommendations, before making a final decision about being a host.