Should You Offer Airbnb lodging?
Should you offer Airbnb lodging? Homeowners across the country have begun offering Airbnb lodging to travelers. They’re bringing in a few extra dollars each week by renting out a guest house or even a room or two inside their homes. If you’ve considered getting a little help with monthly expenses by offering Airbnb accommodations, the first thing you should do is your homework.
Before offering Airbnb lodging, check the regulations: Check with the City or County to see if you’re going to be breaking any zoning regulations. Some Cities or Counties – and even some subdivisions – don’t allow rentals. Some don’t allow two unrelated parties to dwell on the same property.
If you pass that hurdle, check to see if you will be required to pay an occupancy tax. Visit the Airbnb website (https://www.airbnb.com/help/article/2297/occupancy-tax-collection-and-remittance-by-airbnb-in-california) to check the regulations for various California Counties. Note that in addition to the county regulations, you may be required to pay a City tax when you offer Airbnb lodgings.
Now put in a call to your homeowner’s insurance carrier: Don’t assume that your current homeowner’s insurance will cover you for liability should a paying guest be injured on your property. Further, don’t assume that your insurance will cover their possessions should the house burn or become flooded. Call and find out what you need and what it costs before you make the decision.
When you’re talking with your insurance agent, ask about coverage for damage caused by guests. While you may require a damage deposit, any hotel manager will tell you that some guests can do far more damage than a deposit would cover. Offering Airbnb lodgings in your home without adequate insurance coverage could turn into a financial nightmare.
Consider the impact on your family life: Will having strangers on your property change how you and your family members interact? Will it change your enjoyment of your outdoor spaces? If you have a pool and offer it to guests, will your friends and family want to use it when guests are present?
What about the neighbors? Offering Airbnb lodgings could put a strain on your relationships with neighbors. Some don’t appreciate the extra traffic in the neighborhood, the annoyance of guests who assume it’s fine to park in front of their homes, and the added noise.
When you think of offering Airbnb lodgings, it’s easy to think that all your guests will be quiet and respectful, but that isn’t always the case. Some play loud music or invite friends in for loud parties. And of course, some are not respectful of your home. Renting part of your home to short-term guests may give a welcome boost to your budget, but do think it over carefully before making the decision.
If you are in need of professional representation when buying or selling a home, or would like more information on best locations to set up an Airbnb, please call Weintraub & Wallace Realtors at RE/MAX Gold, call 916-233-6759.
— JaCi Wallace