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Preparing a Home for Short-Term Renters

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The global short-term rental market was $99.38 billion 2021, and is forecast to grow by a compound annual growth rate of 11.1 percent through 2030. A number of external factors have contributed to the increase of short-term rentals for shorter, more localized vacations, including the rising cost of travel and tourism and a desire for eco-friendly vacations among environmentally conscious vacationers.

For property owners in some of America’s most popular short-term rental markets, including Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, and Wisconsin Dells, signing up with an organization such as Airbnb can represent a new source of revenue. However, there are a number of potential concerns regarding short-term rentals, including fears that renters may damage or otherwise negatively impact the property, forcing owners to pay for potentially costly repairs before they can continue renting the space. There are several steps property owners can take in order to minimize the chances of a negative short-term rental experience.

To start, short-term renters should be subjected to the same rigors as a long-term renters. A property owner would not sign a year-long lease without speaking with the potential tenant first. The same approach should be taken to short-term renters when possible: property owners should communicate with renters, look into reviews of the potential renter and their rental experiences, and any other pertinent information.

Even the most trustworthy renter can have an accident of some kind, which is why property owners need to take additional steps to protect their units and their occupants. Some of these accidents may involve typical household mishaps, which is why property owners should check smoke alarms, fire extinguishers, and carbon monoxide detectors prior to the arrival of a new renter. It is also advisable to install a keypad lock that both protects tenants and allows for convenient access to the space.

In some cases, owners may need to engage in basic home repairs before moving forward with a short-term rental plan. A loose step at the bottom of a rarely used staircase may not be an issue for most homeowners, but if that staircase becomes a main area for a short-term renter, owners place themselves at risk for potential lawsuits. Similarly, owners should make sure the renter’s unit is properly lit and free of exposed wires.

Depending on the property owner’s preferences, they may need to make preparations for children and pets. It is generally advisable to store cleaning and lawn chemicals in a safe, well secured cabinet or locker. Properly storing chemicals becomes all the more important when a home may include a curious child or animal.

Other aspects of short-term rental preparations are often be overlooked by some property owners. For instance, it may not be wise to continue receiving mail at an address that is frequently occupied by renters. If the owner maintains residence on the same property as the short-term rental space, they should consider having personal mail sent to a post office box.

Finally, while there are many steps that can be taken to minimize the chances of an accident or property damage, owners must also take the proper regulatory and legal precautions. This includes all steps necessary for starting a small business.