In a bid to afford homes in high-value areas, many homeowners turn to income from short-term rentals to cover a high mortgage payment. You can benefit from this option with some caveats:
- Location really matters. You might advertise your home as near the coast when it’s really 20 miles inland and get a few bites. But eventually, the reviews catch up with you, and you’ll lose out eventually. Be honest about where your rental sits. Market what is available: access to public transportation, quiet parks, sports arenas, theme parks, and the like only if they truly are accessible.
- Access is important. If you live in your home and vacate it while short-term renters use it, let them know what they can access and what’s off-limits. Consider installing locks on cabinets with your clothes and personal items that you don’t take with you.
- Consider hosting rather than leaving your home to strangers. That means you stay on the property while they are there and even provide breakfast. That way, you’re in control of who comes and goes. Your renters can’t sneak in a dozen of their buddies without paying for them.
- Be clear about the rules. If you intend for your guests to clean up after themselves, provide the proper tools for them to do so: dish soap, laundry detergent, a mop, a broom and dustpan, and trash bags. Spell out the rules in the rental agreement and post them on the premises.
- Make sure your HOA and municipality allow it. Many homeowner’s associations explicitly forbid subletting or short-term rentals, so if that’s your plan, read those pesky covenants, conditions, and restrictions (CCR’s) before you buy. Municipalities also have codes regarding hospitality properties. Many require licenses, permits, or fees, and some require occupancy taxes on the nights guests rent your home.
- Your homeowner’s insurance coverage may not protect you from damage or liability when you’re using your home as a business. Telling your insurance company that the damage was caused by your nephew won’t work here, since that’s insurance fraud, so talk to your agent before you post your home online and pay the extra premiums to make certain you’re covered.
Before you decide to turn your home into a short-term rental, know the rules and the risks or the rewards may not be worth the trouble. We are your best resource for discovering properties in your area suitable for a short-term rental so make that phone call today.