Can you Airbnb an apartment you rent? Considering that renting out your apartment is a fast way to generate income, you want to be sure this is possible. The simple answer is “yes” but there are other things to know.
The landlord needs to be aware and the space needs to be decent. It is also advisable to have a real estate lawyer explain the clauses in the Residential Tenancies Act (RTA), the main governing bylaws for landlords and tenants in your state.
Can you Airbnb an apartment you rent?
You can Airbnb an apartment you rent but not without your landlord’s approval, depending on your state. If your state allows subletting, your landlord may be required to respond in writing and give permission within a specified period in your local laws after your request to sublet or assign the rental property. Otherwise, it is automatically assumed that they have consented to the sublet.
Your landlord cannot refuse your request for an assignment or sublet without a valid reason in a state that allows subletting. Thus, it is legal to Airbnb your landlord’s apartment in a state or a community with Airbnb-friendly laws.
If Airbnbing is unlawful in your location, do not do it. In some other cases and states, the landlord has to get a license to legally operate Airbnb in the apartment.
Here, we also recommend Nate Woodbury’s informative video discussion on renting your apartment on Airbnb:
You cannot hike the price as a tenant subletting your rented apartment. This means that you cannot legally make a profit when you Airbnb your rented apartment. You may have to rapport with the Airbnb guest to pay more off the book.
How do you Airbnb your rented apartment?
Understand the following before you Airbnb an apartment you rent:
Know your local zoning laws
Some local zoning laws prohibit short-term rental hosting. Nonetheless, Airbnb’s legal restrictions are confusing since they are not uniform.
In New York, for instance, renting an apartment for less than 30 days is not legal, even if you own or live in the building.
However, in Chicago, Airbnb rentals are permitted in specific zoning districts. San Francisco restricts short-term rentals to a maximum of 90 days per year.
Most jurisdictions require hosts to register their properties. Check the Airbnb website for a summary of the legal requirements of major cities.
Check your lease
Find out if your lease says anything about subletting or limiting overnight guests. Your landlord may prevent guests from becoming full-time residents unless they sign a lease. They simply impose a limitation on the nights a guest can stay.
In other cases, your landlord may restrict renting out your apartment for the sake of noise or other disturbances short-term stays may generate.
If your lease allows renting out your apartment, it would typically have a provision requiring written consent from your landlord, which may be evaded.
Obtain your landlord’s permission
Some tenants Airbnb their apartment without informing the landlord, which violates the lease. Do not follow this route.
Inform your landlord that you intend to Airbnb your apartment. Be open and gauge their receptiveness to your proposal. Be honest about intentions as well.
You could try to make it a win-win situation by offering to pay higher rent or sharing a percentage of your Airbnb money.
You need to be this kind of tenant to secure your landlord’s permission:
- Be the ideal tenant. You pay your rent on time, keep your apartment looking good, and have a good relationship with your landlord.
- Get renters insurance. You need to add your landlord as interest on the insurance, and proactively give it to them.
Stop if your landlord objects to the idea. They may be worried that guests could damage the property or bother neighbors.
You may agree to rent out only a portion of the apartment so that you can be present to deal with issues.
Sign up on Airbnb
Set up an Airbnb account and specify your city. Also, specify if you are renting the entire place, a private room or a shared room.
Specify the number of guests you are willing to accept and do the math to know the number of people Airbnb can sleep and click “get started”.
Provide details of your listing
Be specific about your listing and what it offers. Select “apartment” from the drop-down of property type.
Indicate the available number of beds and bathrooms to renters, the correct address, and any amenities, including laundry room or pool. You need to iron these out with your landlord before offering amenities to guests.
Select any amenities that apply to your rented apartment from the list provided. Providing the information increases the visibility of your Airbnb listing.
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Be honest and accurate to prevent an Airbnb renter from canceling if they discover that your Airbnb apartment is different from the listing.
Name your listing
Airbnb renters tend to judge a book by its cover, so give your apartment listing a fun, memorable name, describing the place and the area. Do not exaggerate the title of your listing.
You would have to insert a picture of yourself appearing as a welcoming host.
Add pictures of your place
Provide images of the actual property your guests should expect. Upload high-quality images of all relevant rooms.
Ensure the rooms are clean and attractive before taking the shots. Do not use random images from the internet.
Add a short description of the place such as the first floor, or any related stuff relevant to the picture to tell potential renters what to expect.
Select your booking settings
This part is the nitty-gritty of Airbnb booking. You can also include additional detail you decided with your landlord, including identification requirements, house rules, and more. Do not allow pets, smoking or loud music.
Ensure to denote other information about the property, including the availability of an elevator or on-site parking.
You also want to create a convenient calendar. Decide the frequency with your landlord. You do not have to overly rent out the property to strangers to ensure a continuing good relationship with your landlord.
Set specific dates or leave the calendar wide open, depending on your agreement with your landlord.
Set your pricing
Normally, you do not charge more than your rent. If you decide to charge more than your rent, have an agreement with your landlord.
After consulting your landlord, the Airbnb pricing tool can help adjust the price following factors such as holidays and tourism upticks.
Choose a currency your guests will pay and set the minimum or maximum nightly prices. After setting up your Airbnb apartment listing, publish it.
You will pay taxes. You need to report the rental income as a cash-basis or accrual-basis taxpayer if you are subject to U.S. income tax.
Remember to include the utilities and cleaning fees for the property in the overall rate you offer.
Clearly communicate fees, expectations, and rules to Airbnb guests and maintain an open dialogue with your landlord to ensure satisfaction.