Using your primary residence as a short term rental can be a great way to make a little passive income. But while you may be excited at the idea, your neighbors may not be quite as keen. After all, they’re the ones who will be dealing with the comings and goings of people they don’t know. And since you still need to maintain a peaceful living arrangement with them the majority of the time, it’s important that you do what it takes to make them feel comfortable with the situation.
Be upfront and honest.
Start by being open and honest with your neighbors about your plan for becoming a short term rental host. Finding out after the fact will only serve to create more tension and make the situation worse. Discuss the arrangement with those who live nearby and ask them if there are any concerns or special requests that might make things go more smoothly. For instance, they may say they’re concerned about too much noise at night. Assure them that you’ll do whatever it takes to honor their wishes.
Set ground rules.
As an Airbnb host (or any other vacation sharing platform you choose to use), you have the right to set specific ground rules that all guests are expected to abide by. For example, you might specify that there is strictly no smoking allowed in or around your property. Furthermore, you can (and should) be very clear and specific about what other rules and regulations your guests are expected to follow, such as quiet time, number of parking spaces, use of shared facilities, etc. Take your neighbors’ input into consideration when defining these ground rules.
Be selective about your guests.
You obviously should never discriminate when renting your property, but you can be selective about the guests you allow to stay in your short term rental. In other words, you can hold them to a higher standard. Setting clear and precise ground rules, as in the last step, should help weed out some of the folks who might be problem renters. You might also set a few basic requirements, like mandating that the person renting be over the age of 25. Another good idea is to communicate with prospective renters in advance. This can give you a feel for whether or not they’d be someone you’d feel comfortable renting to.
Check in from time to time.
It’s always a good idea to keep the lines of communication open between your neighbors and yourself, beyond the initial conversation about becoming a short term rental host. Make it a point to check in with those who live nearby. Ask if they have any feedback or additional concerns that may not have originally been addressed. The more forthcoming and cooperative you are with your neighbors, the less likely they’ll be to raise a complaint about your short term rental arrangement.
Abide by the rules yourself.
Whether you use Airbnb, VRBO or HomeAway to market your short term rental, be sure you fully understand any and all rules and regulations that are required of you as the property owner. For instance, if you are a part of a homeowners’ association, there may be certain provisions that relate to renting your property out. Likewise, your city, town and/or state may also impose certain laws regarding short term rental arrangements. Learning, and more importantly, abiding by these rules will help demonstrate that you are a responsible homeowner.
At the end of the day, not everyone who lives near you will be fully onboard with the fact that your property is being used as a short term rental. Implementing the above strategies, however, should help set the minds of most of your neighbors at ease so you can continue to cohabitate in peace.
Interested in trying to AirBnB your home? Check out these tips to get started.