If you are like many property owners who travel a lot or have some extra space, you may be thinking about the possibility of listing your house or apartment on one of the many vacation rental websites that have popped up in the last few years. Without question, this is a great way to earn some extra income – many owners have found that this is so profitable that they have been able to purchase additional properties to add to their inventory. However, as industry experts like Brian Ferdinand will caution, it is important to understand the potential pitfalls so that you can avoid problems.
Follow the Law
Increasingly, many jurisdictions are enacting laws or bylaws prohibiting home or apartment owners from renting out their spaces as vacation rentals. There are many reasons why this might be the case – in some instances, cities may be responding to a shortage of housing as landlords opt to rent their properties on a short-term basis rather than to traditional tenants. In other cases, this may be the result of concerns about the disruption that many frequent visitors have on a community. Make sure that you are legally able to list your space as a vacation rental. Another legal element to consider is taxes – more and more governments are cracking down on owners who are not declaring their income from renting their property.
Be a Good Neighbor
A common complaint about vacation rentals comes from unhappy neighbors who have become tired of the constant flow of travellers dragging suitcases and arriving at all hours. They might be fed-up with finding rental cars in their parking spot, or added pressures on building amenities. They may also have been forced to deal with loud or inconsiderate travellers or are worried about security. Unhappy neighbors are a major concern because it is their complaints that can shut down your business. Be sure that guests understand the rules of the house, and that there are consequences for breaking them. Make sure that you are responsive to concerns raised by your neighbors. Be sure to read reviews about potential guests that are posted by other hosts, and to screen potential guests using whatever tools are available on the platform you are using.
Hire a Property Manager
Unless you are prepared to act as your own property manager, it is a good idea to hire a professional person to manage the day-to-day business of renting, cleaning, repairing, and upgrading your property. Don’t underestimate the time that this can take out of your schedule. Guests will have questions, and they may have problems which require immediate attention. A property manager who is available to meet incoming guests and to answer questions or provide assistance will be well-worth the cost.
Of course, there are many other things that you should consider before making the decision to put your home on the vacation rental market. Be sure to do your homework and make sure that you are prepared in order to have a positive experience.