Using Airbnb and other popular house-sharing services can help you earn extra income from unused space. Some property owners even turn short-term rentals into a full-time business. Most rentals go well, but some hosts have some truly horrifying stories to tell. Some prior planning can help ensure that you mostly have positive tales to tell about your experience as a house-sharing host.
Two Tips to Ensure You Have a Positive Experience as an Airbnb Host
Do many house-sharing hosts have rental horror stories to share? Naturally, experienced hosts mostly report positive experiences. Otherwise, they would have decided that they couldn’t earn a profit and would have given up long ago. At the same time, most long-time hosts will admit that some guests don’t abide by house rules or even what they considered reasonable expectations for behavior.
Horror stories from house-sharing hosts include finding messes, damaged and broken items, dirty kitchens and bathrooms, and evidence of wild parties. Some hosts have reported thefts, broken locks, or signs that off-limits areas had been rifled through. Even when guests have behaved, a few hosts have gotten in trouble because they did not comply with local laws or neighborhood rules. While you should expect the best, you’re always prudent to prepare for the worst.
1. Cover the Property for House-Sharing Guests
In order to prevent incurring losses after an unruly, inconsiderate, or even thieving guests leaves, it’s important to make sure that the property has good coverage. While some larger house-sharing sites include insurance for hosts, it’s important to understand that this kind of coverage comes with some exclusions and limitations.
Regular homeowners insurance policies may cover you, your family, and even non-paying guests, but it might exclude any paying guests. You need to speak with your agent or insurer to find out exactly what insurance you need to protect your home in case a house-sharing guest backs up your toilet or walks off with an heirloom.
2. Make Sure Your House-Sharing Rentals Comply With Local Rules
In most places, you can legally rent rooms of your home; however, many large metro areas have started imposing and enforcing laws that govern how you conduct this activity. For instance, you may need to limit stays to a certain period of time or even pay taxes on your earnings.
Besides checking out local laws, you also may need to find out how your neighborhood or building feel about this activity. Be sure to check with your neighborhood or condo association. If you rent your place, you’d also better check with the landlord.
3. Take Extra Measures to Secure Your Home
Your rental might only include certain parts of a home, but you can’t just assume that guests will stay out of off-limits rooms or even drawers and closets. Some Airbnb hosts have been surprised when they found evidence that guests had rifled through drawers or even broken closet locks. You can’t assume that all of your guests will behave. Certainly, you need to post clear rules about the limits of your agreement, so guests don’t venture into your home office without permission.
You should also back up these limitations with good locks, sturdy doors, and even a home security system. While they say good fences make good neighbors, you might also say that good locks make good guests.
Who Can Help You Protect Your Property for House-Sharing Rentals?
When you begin offering your home to paying guests, you will also begin conducting a business in your home. Many small business owners rely upon insurance agents to find proper, affordable coverage. In addition, your agent can also suggest simple measures you can take to minimize the risk of having any problems in the first place. You will need to make certain that your homeowner’s insurance will cover your house anyway, so you should include a conversation with an agent at Andreotti Insurance as part of your planning for rentals before you ever accept your first guest.