5 Things You Need To Consider Before Renting Out Your Apartment On Airbnb
As Millennials struggle to keep up in our globalized economy, it's important we find additional sources of income.
Fortunately, Airbnb has opened up a new, easy way to do that, as it makes subletting and renting easier for Millennials.
You can now sublet your spare rooms to people across the world and pick up a few dollars night after night.
But there are plenty of challenges with subletting in general, and using Airbnb adds a few more.
Here are five things to consider before you post your room, apartment or house up on Airbnb:
1. Talk with your landlord.
Nothing will kill your relationship with your landlord faster than subletting spare rooms without permission.
As LearnAirbnb points out, your landlord takes on all of the risks of destructive guests and the potential loss of homeowner's insurance while getting nothing in return.
Using Airbnb without discussing it with your landlord is easy grounds for eviction.
You can suggest paying him a portion of the rent you accrue to make it worth his while or think of other incentives you could offer him. But if your landlord says no, you just have to accept his decision.
2. Personal safety comes first.
You have to remember that with Airbnb, you're letting people into your home whom you don't really know. There are plenty of horror stories of tenants who were rude, unprofessional or even dangerous.
There's no way to guarantee all of your clients are well-behaved, but you can limit the risks.
Take your time to communicate with any potential guest through Airbnb's messaging system, and take note of their social media networks and connections.
A guest who has an extremely limited social media network should be viewed with suspicion.
Set house rules to make clear what is and isn't expected from potential guests, and look into acquiring insurance to cover damage or lost valuables.
Above your best judgment is your gut. If there's anything off about a client, don't let them stay.
A few extra dollars isn't worth risking your personal safety.
3. Offer some amenities.
You're not a hotel maid, so make it clear to renters beforehand that you're not expected to pick up after them.
But Airbnb is a little classier than mere couch surfing, and you are expected to provide your guests with some amenities.
Some basic amenities are soap, fresh towels and a phone charger.
If you want better reviews, think of other additions like a map of the area and a list of interesting spots and eateries to visit.
Coming up with a list and buying amenities is an additional time commitment, but it's one you have to do to be a good host.
4. Consider taxes and other cuts.
After the previous section, you may wonder how much money you'll actually get through renting, considering the expenses needed for those amenities.
Unfortunately, Airbnb and the IRS are also going to take their share of the cut.
Airbnb charges 3 percent of your earnings to cover the costs of getting you and the renter together. They also send a 1099 form to the IRS reporting how much you earned with them for the year.
Remember: According to the IRS, you're renting a business comparable to a bed and breakfast. This isn't all bad news, though. You can deduct expenses related to your rental business.
Triple Net Property has a great list of tips for how to handle taxes and ways to lower the burden.
But understand you may not earn as much money as you think.
5. Can you get along?
What makes Airbnb so great is, it offers a way for you to meet so many interesting people and get paid in the process.
But for a lot of people, adjusting to a stranger staying in their house can be a challenge.
You're not their best friend, and trying to act like you are will weird them out. But, you should also be friendly and professional at all times.
You've probably had roommates at some point in your life. Ask yourself if you're willing to accept another for a fee.
That question will determine whether or not Airbnb is right for you.