Do you cringe at the thought of your apartment sitting empty and unused while you travel the globe? When you’re off on an extended business trip, you might want to consider renting out your apartment to fellow travelers through Airbnb – here’s what to consider before making a decision.
There are big benefits to listing your place on Airbnb.
You can expect plenty of perks when renting out your space.
For starters, you can make some extra cash.
This is the most obvious benefit, of course, and it’s a pretty dang good one. Who doesn’t want to make more money without much extra effort? If you live in a hip or expensive city, this is especially tempting, because leaving an overpriced apartment empty for weeks on end feels like throwing money out the window – especially when travelers are clamoring to scoop up lodging in your neighborhood.
It doesn’t require too much commitment.
If the notion of selling all your stuff to book a one-way ticket isn’t in your plants just yet, Airbnb rentals are a great way to dip your toes into slightly longer-term travel without major commitment. You can just rent out your apartment for a few weeks during work trips rather than jetting off indefinitely and taking daunting steps like selling your house, ending your lease, or taking on a long-term tenant.
You can dabble in another income option.
Travelers are always on the lookout for creative ways to pay bills while they’re on the road. As a #bleisure traveler, you’ve got the income stuff covered, but what if you wanted to take the plunge into full-time travel someday – the kind that would take you away from your current job? Lots of digital nomads dream of renting out property to supplement their adventures, and Airbnb is an easy way to test the waters of that experience in advance.
Here’s what to ask yourself before getting started.
Before taking the plunge with Airbnb, there are a few important questions you’ll want to think about.
Are you allowed to rent out your space in the first place?
If you rent your apartment, make sure that subletting your space won’t violate your lease. Even if you own your place, you’ll need to be aware of local laws that might forbid short-term rentals. These types of rules are constantly in flux, so make sure you’re checking for the most up-to-date information. Sure, you probably could get away with hosting an occasional Airbnb guest without your landlord or neighbors finding out, but the stress of putting your home in jeopardy (seriously, people get evicted over this stuff!) is just not worth the trouble.
Do you want handle the logistics yourself?
Depending on how often you rent out your space and how much you’d like to be involved, you can either manage all of your hosts personally or hire a host management company to take care of it. If you choose a company, they can manage check-in, answering guest questions, and cleaning the space between bookings – but of course, they take a cut of your profit.
Are you worried about damage or theft?
Most Airbnb renters are sane, respectful people, but every now and then you’re likely to get a dud who simply can’t understand what’s so wrong about stealing your expensive guest towels or letting an avalanche of spilled beer seep into your nice hardwood floors overnight. (And don’t even get us started on bachelor/bachelorette party renters gone awry...) If you’re concerned about obnoxious guest behavior, make sure you don’t leave any precious mementos in your apartment when you rent it out, and look into insurance that can protect you if any damages occur.