Tips for tenants who want to rent all or part of their apartment on Airbnb or similar short-term rental sites.
If you ‘re a renter, there is commodity news and bad news about renting out your apartment short-run though websites such as Airbnb, HomeAway, VRBO, or FlipKey. The commodity news is that, depending on where you live, you can make real money with such rentals. The bad news is that you could get evicted .
here are some things renters should do before engaging in short-run host .
Read Your Lease or Rental Agreement
first, read your lease. It undoubtedly has a provision that says something like the succeed : “ Tenant shall not sublet all or any part of the premises without Landlord ‘s anterior written consent. ” “ Sublet ” means you rent out all or character of the apartment—whether for a few days or longer. If you violate this planning, or a rent clause limiting guest stays, your landlord can evict you.
If you ‘re a good tenant, your landlord may not be anxious to evict you and may let you off with a admonition and a predict not to do any more short-run host. On the other hand, if you live in a rent-controlled apartment and are paying a below-market lease, your landlord may be looking for any legal excuse to evict you and get new tenants at a higher—perhaps much higher—rent. This has already happened to renters in cities with lease dominance like San Francisco and New York. In one lawsuit, for example, a tenant who listed his San Francisco apartment on Airbnb received an eviction comment from his landlord even though he never actually hosted anyone .
Research and Comply with Your Local Laws
many local zoning or nation use laws restrict or prohibit short-run rental host. Research your local laws before you even think about renting out your apartment. For details, see the Nolo article Legal Restrictions to Renting Your Home on Airbnb or early rental Services. Links to the short-run lease laws for many cities are on Airbnb ‘s creditworthy Hosting page .
If your local laws prohibit short-run host, you should forget about it. If you ‘re very anxious to host, you could work to get such laws changed .
Most local laws do n’t flat out forbid short-run rentals. rather, they impose respective restrictions on them. For example, you may be allowed to rent out your unit only for a specify numeral of days per year — 90 or 120 days are common limits. You may besides be required to register with your city or county and pay a registration or license fee. Make sure to comply with all your local requirements before you list your apartment for short-run rental .
Work Something Out With Your Landlord
many renters who do short-run host never tell their landlords about it. This is like playing russian Roulette with your lease. It may work out okay if your guests cause no problems and your neighbors do n’t complain to your landlord. The landlord may never even find out about your Airbnb guests, specially if your landlord lives out of township and rarely stops by the rental. On the other hand, if neighbors complain or the landlord otherwise discovers what you ‘re doing, you could be in fuss.
alternatively of taking this chance, you should talk to the landlord and get his or her permission before you always list your apartment on Airbnb or another short-run host locate. ( See How to Sublet a rental whole for more on the subject. )
In order to get your landlord to agree, you ‘ll probably have to take steps to make it worth your landlord ‘s while. obviously, one room to do this is to offer to split with your landlord part of the money you earn. In one reported casing, for exemplar, a San Francisco landlord agreed to permit his tenants to list their rented home on Airbnb in render for 20 % of the money the Airbnb guest give, after clean expenses. alternatively, you could offer to pay your landlord a higher rent if he or she lets you earn extra income through short-run host .
There are other things you can do ampere good to make your landlord more amenable to your short-run host. For exemplar, your landlord may give you permission to host therefore farseeing as you promise to do then only on an episodic basis, quite than all the time. If your landlord is worried that your guests could cause problems and bother the neighbors, you could rent out only a fortune of your apartment, quite than the entire unit. That way, you ‘ll be present to deal with the guests .
If you do get your landlord ‘s permission to short-run host, be surely to summarize your agreement in writing. If you do n’t have it already, you should besides obtain renters ‘ policy with plenty of indebtedness coverage. If your landlord wants to increase his or her own policy coverage because of your patronize paying guests, you could offer to pay all or part of the cost. For details on insurance issues involved with short-run rentals, see Insurance Questions When Renting Out Your Home Short Term .
If your landlord wo n’t agree to permit you to short-run host, do n’t do it. The extra money you might earn likely wo n’t make up for getting evicted.
Pay All Required Taxes and Fees
Make certain you pay all want taxes and fees your state, city, county, or other politics means imposes on short-run rentals. local occupation taxes are normally paid by the guests who pay for short-run rentals, not the hosts who provide them. This is the lapp as hotel occupancy taxes that are paid by a hotel ‘s guests. The hosts ‘ function is normally limited to collecting the taxes from their guests and remitting them to the appropriate state and/or local representation. You may be required to register with your city or county, or obtain a business license, before collecting and remitting these taxes. In some areas, Airbnb or early host platforms will take care of calculating, collecting, and remitting local occupation tax on your behalf. You can find excellent summaries of the state and local anesthetic short-run rental tax rules for each country on the Avalara web site. You should besides check your local government ‘s web site for information about these local anesthetic taxes .
Screen Your Guests
last, you should constantly cautiously screen your Airbnb, HomeAway, FlipKey, and similar guests. This is by far the best way to avoid problems that can lead to evictions or problems in your rental. In one case, for case, a comedian rented his New York City studio apartment through Airbnb only to discover that the guest used the unit to host a “ BBW pantie raid party ” to which he charged the public admission. The apartment was ransacked and the comedian ‘s landlord started eviction proceedings. Had the amusing Googled the Gmail address and phone number the guest had provided him during their agreement on Airbnb, he would discovered a tweet ad such a party .
More thorough screening may be warranted, for model, if you are renting your apartment out on a long-run basis. In this case, it makes sense to run a credit report and screen your subtenants the room landlords screen raw tenants. See the Nolo article How to Screen and Select Tenants FAQ for more on the topic .