If you’re a homeowner ready to make a move, you may be thinking about using your current house as a short-term rental property instead of selling it. A short-term rental (STR) is typically offered as an alternative to a hotel, and they’re an investment that’s gained popularity in recent years. According to a Harris Poll survey, 28% of homeowners have considered using a rental service to temporarily rent out their home for additional income.
Owning a short-term rental can be a tempting idea, but you may find the reality of being responsible for one difficult to take on. Here are some of the challenges you could face if you rent out your house instead of selling it.
A Short-Term Rental Comes with Responsibilities
Successfully owning and renting a house takes work, a lot of time and effort.. You’ll have to juggle tasks like dealing with reservations, organizing check-ins, and tackling cleaning, landscape, and maintenance duties. Any one of those can feel demanding, but all together it’s a lot to handle.
Short-term rentals experience high turnover rates, as new guests check in and out frequently. This home traffic can lead to increased wear and tear on your property—meaning you may need to make more frequent repairs or replace your furniture, fixtures, and appliances more often. Think through your ability to make that commitment, especially if you plan to use a platform that advertises your rental listing. Most of them have specific requirements hosts have to meet, and it takes a lot of work. A recent article from Bankrate explains:
“Managing a rental property can be time-consuming and challenging. Are you handy and able to make some repairs yourself? If not, do you have a network of affordable contractors you can reach out to in a pinch? Consider whether you want to take on the added responsibility of being a landlord, which means screening tenants and fielding issues, among other responsibilities, or paying for a third party to take care of things instead.”
Not only is there the upfront time and cost of owning a short-term rental, but there are also risks that could come up for you down the road. Investopedia warns:
“Risks of hosting include renting your place to rude guests, theft or damaged property, complaints from neighbors, and potential regulatory violations depending on your location.”
There’s a lot to consider before taking the leap and converting your house into a short-term rental. If you aren’t ready for the work it takes, it could be wiser to sell instead.
Short-Term Rental Regulations
As the short-term rental industry continues to grow, regulations have increased. Legal restrictions commonly include limits on the number of vacation rentals in a particular location. This is especially true in larger cities and tourist destinations where there may be concerns about overcrowding or housing shortages for permanent residents. Restrictions may also apply to the type of property that can be used for short-term rentals.
Many cities also require homeowners to obtain a license or permit before renting out their properties. Nick Del Pego, CEO at Deckard Technologies, explains:
“Renting short-term rentals is considered a business by most local governments, and owners must comply with specific workplace regulations and business licensing rules established in their local communities.”
It is important to thoroughly check whether short-term rentals are regulated or prohibited by the local government and your homeowners association (HOA) before even considering renting out your home.
Your House May Not Be Ideal for Your Rental Goals
Not every house ends up being a profitable short-term rental either. One of the biggest factors is where your home is located. The less likely your neighborhood is to be a travel destination, the fewer requests you should expect from potential renters—and that impacts your bottom line. An article from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) advises:
“When it comes to the viability of profitable STRs . . . consider factors like location, amenities, and whether the property is appealing. Most people seek STRs in locations where they vacation, so proximity to attractions is important. Likewise, the property should cater to a variety of travelers.”
It’s smart to do your homework and learn how much rentals in your area go for, how much business they get throughout the year, and how this compares to your goals.
Converting your home into a short-term rental isn’t a decision you should make without doing your research. To decide if selling your house is a better alternative, let’s connect today.