More and more homeowners are choosing to let their property through Airbnb, and more and more travellers are opting to stay in properties let out through Airbnb—and why wouldn’t they? It’s a win-win—travellers get to see a side of a country that they might not see in a hotel, and pay less than they would, and homeowners can make money from their property. But, if you’re thinking of letting out your home, then there are a few things you need to consider before jumping on the bandwagon, chief among them safety. If you bear these considerations in mind then your experience with Airbnb will be worry-free.
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Ensure that you and your guests come to an understanding of what you can expect from one another before they arrive. You certainly need to set boundaries for your guests—ensure that they are aware of the dos and don’ts of your home. For instance, if your home is non-smoking, or you want guests to take their shoes off inside, then make sure that they know these rules. Having these rules and making sure that your guests know them is key to keeping you, your guests, and your property safe.
Local authorities’ attitudes to Airbnb varies from place to place. Just recently, Berlin signed a law forbidding homeowners from letting out an entire property through Airbnb or similar services—if you were to do so, you’d be at risk of a hefty fine. In New York, letters are only allowed to sublet their properties for 30 days a year, and then only if they’re still living in the property. In London, however, City Hall recently passed a law effectively legalising Airbnb for up to three months a year. Check with your local authorities to see how to let your property safely, without risking any repercussions.
Being an Airbnb host is an exciting opportunity—you get to meet new people and widen your horizons, whilst making money, but inviting someone who is effectively a stranger to stay in your home is a big step, and it’s one that takes a good deal of trust. It’s something where you absolutely need to do your research in order to keep you and your home safe. You need to do your due diligence before allowing anyone into your home. This means talking to your potential guests, as well as checking their social media pages. Try to find out why they’re in town, who’s travelling with them—anything that you think might be relevant to ensuring that you and your property stay safe.
There are upsides and downsides to every decisions, but if you follow these rules to ensure that you and your property stay safe then the pros far outweigh the cons.