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Should You Put Your Rental on Airbnb?

By Jamie Richardson | June 26, 2018

Airbnb is becoming more popular with each passing year. This incredible space sharing resource has changed the face of the tourism industry; rather than immediately booking hotels, many travelers look at Airbnb first.

There’s a lot to consider before listing your space on Airbnb, especially if you only rent your home rather than own it outright. Here are some important considerations to keep in mind before listing your rental to be rented.

Are You Violating Your Lease?

Before you decide to list your rental as an accommodation, spend some time poring over your rental agreement to ensure that you aren’t in direct violation of your lease. As Airbnb becomes more popular, landlords are adding guidelines surrounding use of a dwelling as a short-term rental.

While reviewing your lease, don’t just look for something that outright tells you not to put your dwelling on Airbnb. Consider anything that could be remotely linked to the service and consider excessive damage policies, etc.

If your landlord does not allow short term rentals, consider asking them to sign up for a system which provides built-in incentives to landlords for letting their tenants sublet via short term rental sites.

Does it Make Sense?

If you’ve determined that you can list your rental on Airbnb, consider if the idea even makes sense. The main consideration is your location. Are you near something that is in demand? Generally, if you’re in a convenient location in a big city, your idea has merit. If you’re in a popular seasonal tourist location, it makes sense to list. If, however, you’re in a small town that’s far away from everything, you’re probably wasting your time.

Logistics, Pricing, and Insurance

You also need to consider the price you can ask for, based on your amenities, location, and how nice your dwelling is. You also need to consider where you’re going to stay after you’ve rented out your home. If it’s going to cost you more to stay elsewhere while travelers take over your dwelling, there’s no point in moving forward.

You’ll also want to factor in the need for additional insurance when renting out your home, which cuts into your bottom line. While Airbnb has basic coverage, it’s not enough to cover any serious lawsuits that might come your way. Do you have tenant’s insurance on your belongings? Will renting your space violate the terms? Find these answers before listing.

Do You Have the Time?

Many Airbnb hosts think that they simply list their place, clean up afterward, and call it a day. That is an oversimplified bordering on a completely inaccurate depiction of how things go. As a host, your location must be immaculate when newcomers arrive. If you have a popular spot, this could mean working your schedule around to get in and clean before the next people arrive.

You will need to be reachable as a host. If one of your travelers has a problem, they need to be able to get ahold of you to solve it. If the problem is too substantial, you may have to visit your dwelling to fix it. Until you figure out exactly what people need and how long it will take you to do things, you should be ready for a significant time investment upfront.

What Are Your Goals?

Before listing, think about what you’re trying to accomplish. Are you trying to make some extra money on the side or looking for a reliable income? Are you willing to leave your home in the hands of strangers or will you be sleeping under the same roof? What, ultimately, are you trying to accomplish by listing your place on Airbnb?

Putting your dwelling on Airbnb looks a lot easier than it is, especially if you’re considering listing a place you rent rather than own. Do your research and have an open discussion with your landlord before making a decision.

Jamie is a 5-year freelance writer who enjoys real estate. He is currently a Realty Biz News Contributor.
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