How to Legally Host Your Vacation Home

Renting out your summer or vacation home whilst you reside within your more permanent home is an excellent way to make extra income. These “layman” vacation rentals have been gaining increasing popularity with certain apps such as Airbnb and FlipKey. If you are thinking of joining the thousands already who rent out their homes while away, it is paramount to know the legal ins and outs of the trade.

Know the Laws

When it comes to hosting for short-term and vacation rentals, rules and regulations hold as though you were going to rent long term. Every city is different regarding the laws and rights of both landlords and tenants. In the United States, each city’s laws are based upon either or both the Uniform Residential Landlord and Tenant Act (URLTA) or the Model Residential Landlord-Tenant Code (MRLTC). Become familiar with both of these, as well as the city’s codes and laws in which your home-to-rent resides. Be sure to obtain any necessary permits well before beginning to host or rent and be aware of renewal times on these permits. If you yourself are currently renting the place that you wish to put up on a site like Airbnb or FlipKey, make certain it is within your legal right to sublease. Learning about the laws and regulations from your city’s housing and planning department is a sure fire way to learn how to make your space legal for renting, as well as how best to protect yourself should anything go wrong.

Clean Record

Aside from having the proper permits and knowing your rights as a landlord and host, it is absolutely paramount to have not a mar on your housing record. Making certain all of your taxes are properly paid and in order is key to making certain your transition to becoming a vacation home host goes smoothly. Level credit ratings and properly paid taxes will ensure no slips and bumps down the road. Keep records of all taxes, paperworks, and anything else home owning or landlord related. In general, these are simply good practices for any homeowner.

Insure Yourself

Unfortunately, there are risks when getting into the vacation rental-home business. The majority of users of services such as Airbnb and FlipKey are respectful, however, some may not be as such, and accidents can happen as well. The rental home is still your home, and having a hefty insurance policy on both the place and certain belongings of your choice within the home is a smart road to take. Having insurance policies in case things go wrong will mean less headaches for you and avoids any potential legal action against guests. Insurance against possible accidents that are out of yours and your guests’ hands as well is a necessary step to take.

If you are ready to take the plunge into becoming a vacation rental home host, or are merely considering it, knowing your legal rights in the matter will help you become a smarter host. If you are in the market for a vacation home, looking to rent out or not, Hilton Head Island has a number of forest beach villas to buy that are sure to be the perfect getaway. Renting out your vacation home when it is not in use is a splendid way to make an extra bit of income on the side, just make sure you know your rights and the legalities behind renting in your city to protect yourself and your home from any possible blips. Happy hosting!


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