We’re packing for a 2-month trip and haven’t found a short-term rental guest. I’m getting anxious. Can I find a house-sitter? Can we afford this expensive trip without extra cash from the rent? [Read more…] about Turn Down Short-Term Rental Guests?
Safety and Security
“Is it really safe to rent out your home while you’re away?” It’s the number one question I get when I mention that we can afford to travel so much because we rent out our home while we’re off to Istanbul or New York or Mexico City.
I wish I could answer that question with an unqualified “yes.” But the fact is that using our home as a short-term rental is always risky. That’s why we’re very, very careful.
To protect ourselves and our property, we keep our antennas tuned for scammers. We make sure our guests are who they say they are, communicate our house rules and expectations, check in with guests after they arrive, and have eyes and ears on the ground while we’re away.
Tip #1. Learn to spot the short-term rental scammers
Just about every short-term rental host I know has received at least one inquiry from someone who pretended to be a legitimate guest but was really out to make a quick buck. We almost fell for one ourselves not long ago.
I don’t have space to list every possible scam. Scammers can be particularly cunning, and new scams appear every day. But here are a few of the most common: [Read more…] about Is it Safe to Rent Out Your Home While You’re Away? Maybe.
Every short-term rental host’s nightmare are the Guests From Hell. You know who they are. They drive you crazy with nagging questions. They complain about everything. They leave the place filthy. They park in your neighbor’s driveway or hold rowdy parties.
We’ve had a few Guests From Hell ourselves: the man whose girlfriend liked to scream in the middle of the night; the couple whose party guest smashed into a neighbor’s car; the woman who dripped red wine on our favorite duvet cover; and the delightful couple from Amsterdam who used our car and left it filled with trash.
But those people were the exception, by far. The vast majority of our guests have been polite, friendly, and well-behaved, and they’ve taken good care of our home. Still, we never let ourselves forget that a thoughtless, careless guest could make our lives miserable, ruin our relationships with our neighbors, or leave us with a mess to clean up and or costly repairs to make.
How do we avoid problem guests? Before handing over the keys, we take several steps to make sure our guests are the kind of reliable, responsible people we want to welcome into our home. These steps can help you avoid Guests From Hell in your own short-term rental.
1. Talk to your guests
With very few exceptions, nearly all the problems hosts have with Guests from Hell can be traced back to a lack of direct communication. [Read more…] about How to Avoid Short-Term Rental Guests From Hell
Communities in towns and cities large and small are hotly debating short-term rentals. Residents on both sides of the debate crowd into city council meetings and send angry letters to local newspapers. The issue pits neighbor against neighbor and property owners against regulatory agencies.
Why do so many people hate short-term rentals? Here are three of the reasons most often cited by those who are demanding strict regulation and even outright bans. [Read more…] about 3 Reasons People Hate Short-Term Rentals
Given the size of the short-term rental market, scams and frauds are relatively rare, but they do happen, and scammers are continually coming up with new ways to extract money from unsuspecting hosts (and guests). Even though some listing sites have instituted scam protection measures aimed at weeding out the bad actors, con artists will always find a way to worm into the action.
So how can you protect yourself from short-term rental scammers? First, learn about the kinds of things scammers do to take advantage of you. Then take steps to stop scammers in their tracks. [Read more…] about How to Protect Yourself From Short-Term Rental Scammers
Do you worry when renting your home to short-term guests? You’re not alone. It’s no wonder when you read horror stories about short-term rentals going bad like the ones that appeared in the Huffington Post a couple of years ago. Okay, so thoroughly trashing a home, using it as a meth lab [Read more…] about Why Short-Term Rentals Go Bad