Thoughts on Short-term rentals

In May of 2015 Airbnb renters caused upwards to $150,000 damage to a home. This isn't to suggest that such behavior is common among short-term renters, nor to imply that short-terms rentals are bad. Stories like this are simply an important reminder that we need to be mindful whenever we choose to rent out our property and this becomes especially important when dealing with short-term renters.

If you are considering offering short-term rentals, here are a few things to wrestle through:

  • Legal and Regulatory Issues - First, does your city permit short-term rentals? If not, stop.
  • HOA Issues - Even if your city allows for short-term rentals, if your home is part of an HOA, their ByLaws may not permit short-term rentals. Neglecting the ByLaws of an HOA will result in fines and legal action.
  • Safety and Security Issues - If the city and your HOA permit short-term rentals, what measures have you taken to insure the safety and security of both your renters and your neighbors? Will you be thoroughly verifying the identity and background of each renter?
  • Tax Issues - Do you know what your tax liabilities will be if you decide to pursue short-term renting?
  • Landlord Issues - If you are a tenant, does your lease permit you to sublet or allow for short-term renting to others while you are away?
  • Insurance Issues - Have you checked with your insurance company to determine what additional coverage may be required if you decide to pursue short-term rentals?
  • Neighbor Issues - Let's say that all the above issues have been given a green light. What about your neighbors? Have you spoken to them? Are they supportive? Are they ok with having a continuous flow of strangers in and out of the home next door to them?

We are not attorneys and this is not meant to exhaust the topic nor to be a legal guide. Rather, this is only intended to invite you to thoroughly do your homework before jumping into short-term renting.