Make Money From Your House While You're Away

Wouldn’t it be fascinating to actually make money whilst off visiting relatives for a week? It was expected that only someone with a second house could rent out a room, but this is changing. New services have helped streamline the process, which means you are able to set up a rental profile for your house with a couple clicks of the mouse.

So instead of leaving your home sitting empty the next time you go away, consider listing it as a holiday rental — your house may be able to assist you earn a little extra cash for that new couch you have had your eye on, or even finance your next holiday. Those who lease or who have a co-op should consult the landlord or co-op board to see if subletting is permitted before leasing the space. If you have your house, rent off!

Below you will find answers to some typical questions about renting out your house, plus the nuts and bolts of working with a holiday rental support.

Angela Flournoy

FAQs About Occasionally Renting Out Your House

Who’d want to rent my home? Even if you don’t reside in a holiday mecca or large town, you might still have great luck renting out your house sometimes. Folks traveling to your city for business or to visit family or friends may be on the lookout for a comfy, nonhotel location to stay, and your house might meet that need. Those in college towns can snag visiting professors or kids traveling together with their parents to check out the local schools. And needless to say, if you’re lucky enough to live in a beach town, vibrant town or popular holiday spot, your house listing is likely to create interest.

Arcanum Architecture

How can I protect my possessions? This is a clear concern, and there are a few frequent sense things you can do to put your mind at ease. For starters, talk with your insurance agent and assess everything, if anything, would be covered if a tenant damaged your property or your possessions.

When you are deciding what service to use to let out your location, pay attention to the security deposit needed and also inquire any other security measures which are going to be required to protect you. When it comes time to lease your location, eliminate or lock up anything you would be heartbroken to lose.

Cary Bernstein Architect

How is this different from home swapping? When you swap houses, you stay in your guests’ house and they stay in yours — normally in the exact same time, even though it can work otherwise. In a housing swap, typically no money is exchanged — you are simply trading a stay in your home for a stay in their house. When you lease your house as a vacation rental, you consent to vacate your house during the time that the guests have payed to lease it; it’s up to you where to stay while your home is being used!

More about home swapping

Megan Buchanan

Selecting a Service

Property management businesses. If you don’t need to deal with managing bookings, communicating with guests and managing problems as they arise, you may want to allow a property management firm do the legwork for you. Look for one locally with a good reputation and reasonable prices.

Managing an occasionally leased, owner-occupied home may not be something that your property managers are used to doing, however if you can work out an agreement, it might be worth it. Property managers can handle listing your house, communicating with and screening tenants, collecting deposits and payments, and cleaning.

Cary Bernstein Architect

Online solutions. There are many sites today offering semi-DIY rental services — two well-known businesses are profiled below, though a very simple search will turn up others. If you pick an online listing service, you will be ultimately responsible for communicating with tenants, drawing up a leasing agreement, letting tenants into your location, and locating and paying for your home cleaning service involving guests if needed.

Lauren Gries

Vacation Rentals by Owner (VRBO) is among the original sites for homeowners looking to rent out their homes, and it can do the job for your occasional tenant too. There is an annual fee for owners to list a home on the website, but it is refunded if you do not get a booking in a year. You have the choice to require tenants to buy property damage coverage, which can pay damages up to $5,000. The website also has rental arrangements, pet policies and other forms accessible to use.

Airbnb. This relative newcomer to the online holiday rental market is designed with the typical homeowner in mind — listing a property is free, and each booking automatically includes a “Host Guarantee” that covers property damage. Airbnb takes its fee when you get a booking, and both guest and host have to pay.


Getting Ready to Rent

Create a home reference binder. Make things simpler on guests and on yourself by compiling everything tenants will need to learn about your house into one neat binder. Besides info about your house (explained in detail below), you can include maps; instructions to favorite local restaurants, markets and stores; and contact numbers. Create a note if you would prefer contact by text or email for nonemergency questions.

Set home rules. If some spaces are off-limits for visitors, or if you have any home rules (such as a no-shoes coverage), include them into your house reference binder and do everything you can round the home to ensure it is clear what is okay (or not) — a boot tray and a basket of lace with a sign that reads “Help yourself!” Would be a nice way to encourage visitors to remove shoes. For a room you want to keep guests out of, a lock on the door is most likely best.

Zinc Art + Interiors

Label or record where items are. For kitchen items, labeling your cabinets or shelves isn’t a bad idea, especially if you would prefer items be returned to the location you left them. For larger items your guests could be searching for (the vacuum, bikes etc.) a notice in the house reference binder should do just fine.

Explain how things operate. Leave clear directions for working the TV and entertainment systems, dishwasher, laundry, Internet link (such as access codes), house security system, and also heating and ac systems. Either include all of the directions together in the house binder or tape up notes around the home.

Zinc Art + Interiors

Maintain another thing for you. Create a list of those things you want to eliminate or lock up before leasing, and you also won’t have to reinvent the wheel each time. It’s also smart to keep a household stock — then do a walk-through with it each time you lease your house, both before and afterwards.

Tell us Perhaps you have rented out your property? Would you like to attempt it?

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