So you want to rent out your house. It can be a great idea. There are lots of travelers eager to avoid high-priced hotels and spend their stay somewhere a bit more comfortable. The market is booming — especially in certain areas — and it’s a great way to help bring in some extra cash on the side.
Let’s do it! But before you get ahead of yourself, there are a couple of things you need to keep in mind. None of these will be roadblocks from successfully listing and renting out your home while you are away.
They are all important though. So be sure to consider these three things you should know before renting out your house.
1. Think About Rules
There are different rules and regulations about renting a house in different places. For those looking at short-term stays, you’re probably talking about listing your house on Airbnb or a similar digital platform. For most people just getting started, this will be the easiest route.
This is generally acceptable in most places, but certain locations — and especially certain homeowner’s associations or co-op boards — prohibit short-term rentals (and even sublets). Make sure you are allowed to rent before you find out the hard way.
2. Think About Stay Length
How long do you want to rent your place for? This is a key question both for your lifestyle and profitability. Do you have a second summer home where you will spend most of the warm months? Great. List it as available as much as possible and you’ll be bringing in money with no downside. You can even black out certain dates that you want to spend back home.
Other people may only ever go away for a week or long weekend at a time. That’s great too. The only downside is that you might not get any renters during these times, so try to give as much lead time as possible and get some word of mouth out there closer to the available times. And remember that weekend offerings are better than weekdays since that’s when most people will be traveling. Any time a special event is happening in town, that is also a great time to get some guaranteed traffic.
3. Think About Security
When homeowners think about security, they usually start envisioning surveillance cameras, smart locks, and alarm systems. That’s all well and good — and you do want to make sure your guests are always safe. But you also need to consider digital security.
You probably won’t actually rent your place to a gang of cybercriminals looking to steal your identity. But there is no reason to take any chances or tempt some digital savvy intruder. So instead of just giving them full access to the network, instead set up a guest WiFi password. It is easy to do and will add an extra layer of protection for your personal information.
Renting with Confidence
Making some rental money is a great way to boost your overall income. It is relatively easy and allows you to turn your best asset — your home — into something even more valuable. But it isn’t without some complications.
Before all else, you need to know the rules and regulations. Then you must figure out the availability and dates you wish to rent out the property. Finally, security — both physical and digital — is something that you must put some effort into strengthening.
What you don’t want to do is let the challenges stand in your way. These are all things you can overcome to start getting more out of your home. And, hopefully, you will soon start getting to share a place you love with guests who appreciate it as much as you.