You’ve seen the commercials for things like Airbnb or HomeAway and others. It makes it seem to be a good decision to offer your second home or rental property using their service. Maybe, maybe not. Should you offer your property on sites like those?
How does it work?
Basically, the sites allow owners to offer properties that are available for rent. Owners set up a profile and list their property. They decide whether to accept or decline a guest, often based on the guest profile.
Sites often offer protection for up to varied amounts in case a guest damages the property. Owners and guests can leave reviews of each other. Payment is made through the sites. Sounds great, and when it works it can be.
When it doesn’t…
Well, you as the owner need to make sure you are insured beyond homeowners insurance. Beyond damages to the property, you as the owner may be responsible for the liability of injuries that may occur.
Then there are local and state laws about short term rentals can trip you up as well. That extra money you make may just be dwarfed by the fines levied for operating a business in a residential area. This is especially true if your neighbors complain about people coming and going or being noisy, etc.
Another local or state law issue: landlord tenant law. Be careful how long you offer rental terms. In many cases if you rent your property out for a month, you need to go through the eviction process to get a renter out of your property. In the meantime, they are living in your property, rent free, and possibly damaging it.
Do your homework
If you do your homework and make sure you aren’t stepping into a mess and look closely at the profiles of prospective renters, offering your property on sites like Airbnb can be a great way to make some extra money and keep your property rented.