It’s all the craze: Turn you home into a vacation rental and earn some extra money on the side. With websites like Airbnb, you can curate an experience in your home and rent it out for top dollar rates on weekends and holidays during which you would already be out of town. But what’s the catch? Really, there isn’t one. With proper thought and effort, you can rent out your home in no time. Here’s how:
A Safe Space
Keep your guests safe. Top-rated vacation rentals are well maintained. The first step from home to rental is that of preventative maintenance. Your heating unit should be cleaned and serviced by professionals; smoke and carbon monoxide alarms should be tested, and kitchen appliances should be cleaned. While you’re at it, make sure any parts that may threaten functionality and performance are replaced.
Protect your home when it is vacant as well. You won’t always have guests when you want to get away for a weekend, or even longer. A home security system is essential if your home is empty at times. This will also lend a sense of safety to guests. For added security, consider a security camera system, like those from Lorex Technology. Lorex security systems come with a DVR and high-definition cameras that you can check in on when you’re not there. But for your guest’s privacy, keep the cameras outside.
You can always change what you charge. Experiment with price ranges in accordance with other rentals near you. Check the Airbnb website and see what comparable rentals charge. You can also check in with local resorts and hotels and price your nightly rates in accordance.
Face it, not all guests are going to be perfect, and some may even be disrespectful to your space and/or your neighbors. There are ways you can screen your guests. If you promote your home on Airbnb guests must contact you before they book dates. Once they do look them up on social networks and Google. A working professional will likely be more respectful of the rules and your space than a group of college students. Rental sites can also let you know if there’s been a complaint against the person — as will Airbnb.
If you rent your home out more than 14 days in a calendar year, you must report all income from this to the IRS as rental agencies and Airbnb report your earnings on their end.
Airbnb charges you three percent of the price of your rental for each night guests stay. HomeAway, a similar home rental service, charges a posting fee. For those who post regularly, there is an annual rate. For those who don’t post as often, there is a 10 percent charge for each booking.
Insurance is an important factor to consider for anyone who rents their home out. Most insurance policies cover short-term rentals, but if there are many different occupants then a business insurance policy may be required to cover all potential scenarios. Airbnb offers insurance to U.S. renters.
Courtesy TheTopTier Digital Media