With the upcoming influx of visitors to Houston for Super Bowl LI, I have received a lot of questions about renting out homes on Airbnb, or similar rental websites. While it's tempting to capitalize on this opportunity, there are several key issues to consider before becoming a "Host."
Before you list your property, you'll need to do a little research first. If you belong to a homeowner's association or co-op, review any rules and regulations to ensure short-term rentals are allowed. You'll want to contact your homeowner's insurance provider to see what is covered or excluded under your policy. It's also a good idea to let your neighbors know you'll be renting out your property that way you can address any concerns they might have before your guests arrive.
Keep in mind that Airbnb is just one of the many options for listing your property. Be sure to investigate other popular choices like HomeAway, FlipKey, and VRBO. After evaluating the listing options, requirements, and fees for each platform, you can select the one that best fits your needs. You can always list your home on a few websites to reach an even bigger audience.
You'll also want to take a few precautions to ensure a successful rental experience. Set clear restrictions when listing your property, such as group size or no pets. In addition, a quick phone call can go a long way in screening potential guests before approving a booking. Select a strict cancellation policy so you're not left with an empty rental during Super Bowl weekend. Before your guests arrive, remove or secure all personal and valuable items. It is also recommended to forward or stop your personal mail during the rental period. Leave a binder that clearly states all the house rules and contains necessary instructions for any appliances, electronics, and security systems.
In the end, you'll have to decide whether the extra work and potential risks are worth the extra cash. It might also be the start of a new side business. If you have any questions about short-term rentals, we'd be happy to assist at Why I Love Houston Properties.