Are You Ready to Offer Short-Term Rentals?

by c21commonweath_ldowling 13. January 2020 16:47

bedroom with chairs by a windo

Short-term rentals are popular these days. Millions of people each year are reserving rentals through Airbnb, HomeAway, Vrbo, and other websites as an alternative to traditional hotels. If you live in an area popular with tourists or business travelers, offering your home or apartment as a short-term rental can be a great way to earn extra money.

Getting Ready for a Short-Term Rental

If your renters went to a hotel, they would expect a certain level of comfort and amenities. You can’t just leave the keys under the mat and expect everything to go smoothly. If you want to ensure a good experience for yourself and your guests, take these five steps:

1) Clean Up Your Mess

When you go to a hotel, you expect to find a clean, orderly space waiting for you. Your short-term tenants should find the same when they show up at your property, so make sure it’s been cleaned thoroughly before your renters arrive. If you want to make it easier on yourself, do what hotels do: Hire a professional.

2) Be Clear on the Rules

Hotels have rules, so your rental property should too. You don't need to write a whole book, but you should at least cover the basics:

  • Is smoking allowed? Where?
  • Can your guests have parties?
  • Does your neighborhood have a noise curfew?
  • Are pets welcome?

3) Protect Your Valuables

If you're renting out your personal residence, perhaps while you're on vacation, you need to keep your valuables safe. Keep things like firearms, jewelry, and personal documents in a safe, or better yet, store them off-site.

4) Make it Safe

If a guest is injured in your property, you could face a legal liability nightmare. Accidents might always happen, but you can reduce the chances by addressing any obvious hazards. Make sure a first aid kit and fire extinguishers are accessible in the property, and check that your smoke detectors are working properly. Leave emergency contact info and the address of the nearest hospital somewhere visible in case an accident occurs.

5) Stock the Shelves

Even short-term guests need some basic items to make their stay comfortable. At the least, provide the following:

  • Toiletries
  • Clean towels and linens
  • Cleaning supplies
  • Extra blankets
  • Iron and ironing board
  • Kitchen basics
  • Trash bags
Most guests also expect free internet access. Leave your Wi-Fi password for them, but remember to change it again once they check out.
Opening your house or apartment to short-term renters can be a lucrative side business, whether you share your primary residence with others while you’re away or you own a second property just for this purpose. Taking these simple steps before your guests’ stay will ensure a better experience for everyone.