The rental industry has rapidly changed in the last years, today, it is quite easy to rent out your apartment to tourists for either short term or long term basis. Whether you want to permanently convert your apartment or you just renting it out for a few months while you are on vacation, there are many people who would want to rent it. However, you should know that renting out your apartment to tourists is a massive undertaking hence it is prudent to know exactly what you are getting yourself into as well as prepare accordingly. The following are important things that you should know before renting out your apartment to tourists.
· First determine if the apartment will make a suitable rental
Before investing your money and time getting the apartment ready to rent, ensure that it is rentable. Is it near popular attraction? Does it have unique features or amenities that make it desirable or is it in a desirable location?
An easy way to determine if your apartment is a suitable rental is by checking if the neighborhood has other vacation rentals and how often they get renters.
· Ensure that you can rent out the apartment legally
There are numerous laws and regulations restricting renting out apartment in some areas, therefore you should do your research to avoid paying fines in the future.
To learn about the rental laws in your area, search the web for your town’s rental regulations or contact the town’s main office to request them for information.
Also, if you are still paying a mortgage for the property, check the agreement to ensure that there are no restrictions on renting out the apartment.
· Decide if you want to rent out the apartment of short term or long term basis
You may want to permanently convert your apartment to a rental property or you just want to rent it out of a short term basis when on vacation. Figure this out carefully so that you make all the necessary preparations.
· Get the home ready to rent out
If your apartment is a suitable rental, go ahead and apply for a rental permit. Though this does not apply in all areas especially if it is a short term rental, in some areas, you have to get a rental permit before receiving the first guests.
After receiving the rental permit, you need to prepare the apartment by ensuring that all the appliances are working and the furniture is in good condition. Check if the carbon monoxide detectors, smoke detectors and fire extinguishers are working and put your valuable belongings in a secure location.
Also, put clean towels, beddings and other necessities the guests will need such as soap dispensers.
If you do not want to be doing all the cleaning on your own (consider that there is a lot of cleaning to be done), consider hiring a reputable cleaning service company. However, ensure that you do a background research on the company and only hire one that is insured and licensed.
Also, consider hiring a landscaping company to maintain and take care of the lawn. A well-maintained place will get good reviews which will make it easy to get new and repeat renters.
· Find the renters
In order to get renters, begin by taking clear images of the apartment, ensuring that each photo is properly lit and it highlights the special amenities of the apartment.
Secondly prepare a clear description of the property as well as all its amenities. You can read through the post in rental websites such as Airbnb to get an idea of what to include. The description should be clear and engaging, also ensure you include the number of rooms available as well the number of people the apartment can comfortably accommodate.
· Create a rental agreement to protect you and the renter
Though most rental websites have their own rental contracts, you should still make yours in the presence of a lawyer who will help you create it following all the rules and regulations in the area.
· Post the apartment online
There are so many websites where you can list your property. For a short term rental, consider posting in AirBnB or Booking but if you are renting out on a permanent or long time basis, post in sites such as VRBO.com and Homeaway. These sites offer different clientele and services, therefore, choose the site that suits you best in terms of services and the available clients.
Joining the rental sites is free but they get a small percentage of each transaction form both the renter and the host. Depending on the site you choose and the specifics of the reservation, the service fee can range from 3-12 per cent of the subtotal. The higher the subtotal the lower the percentage, therefore, you will save money when you make large reservations. Payment can be made in several options and the funds are often released after the guest checks in and he or she does not report any problem.
Screen the guest
The last thing that you should do when renting out your apartment to tourists is to carefully screen the guests. Having strangers in your apartment can be quite risky, therefore, have a protocol that you can use to screen all the new guests. Also, always ask for a deposit to cater for any expenses that may arise after some of the items are destroyed during the stay.