It seems that everyone is renting out a spare room or a whole condo through the popular websites AirBnB and VRBO. Going away for a week or a weekend? Why not rent your apartment to a short-term guest? It seems like the perfect arrangement and you can make a profit too.

Like any business, hosting can be rewarding but it’s not without some risk. It’s rarely as simple as posting an ad and some pictures. Here are some basic guidelines to help you decide if short-term rentals are right for you and your home.

In Blue Mountain village, a few condos will allow short-term rentals so be sure to confirm this before getting started. If your condo allows AirBnB guests, make sure to communicate rules and regulations to avoid complaints and fines. If you are renting a house, post ‘house rules’ where they can be found easily. Rules for noise, maximum occupancy, damage policies, and fire escape routes are the minimum.

Safety should be the primary concern for hosts and guests. AirBnB publishes a guideline for hosts to make their rental suites “guest-proof”. For example, there is an enhanced cleaning checklist that includes a disinfection routine. Child-proofing is another consideration as some guests may bring children. At the least, emergency phone numbers and a first-aid kit should be provided.

Accidents can happen and for that there is insurance. Before deciding on whether to become a host, your first call should be to your home insurance company to ask about coverage for short-term rentals. Don’t assume that your house or tenant insurance will have the necessary coverage as many policies will not apply to paid guest arrangements. That means a fire or other expensive damage may not be covered by your policy which means you’re out of pocket for repairs or whole home replacement. Without adequate insurance, the terms of your mortgage are considered void and it could be subject to demand repayment.

Some cities require a permit to receive guests. These permits ensure that everyone plays by the rules. If you’re renting full-time, taxes may be a consideration.

Using an accountant for tax returns and advice on taxable deductions will ensure your experience as a host is profitable. They can guide you through the hoops to make sure your income is counted, taxes are paid, and as professionals with similar clients, they may have valuable advice to offer.

With some advanced planning and preparations you can have a safe and profitable short-term rental.

Contact us for short-term rental housekeeping and absentee-owner maintenance.