If you’re wondering whether you can Airbnb your apartment, you might be familiar with the benefits of hosting. By listing your short-term rental, you can provide travelers with the best amenities, prices and locations while bringing in extra cash.
Sounds intriguing, right? Whether you want to rent out a room, an unoccupied house or a pied-à-terre, Airbnb allows all kinds of listings. With so many offerings, you might just be able to Airbnb your apartment — as long as your property manager is on board.
Unsure if your apartment is the right fit for Airbnb? Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about renting out your space.
Airbnb is an online marketplace for homestay vacation rentals all around the world. Its story began in 2007, when the company’s founders rented out their space for a handful of tourists. Since then, Airbnb has become a go-to platform for global travel.
Guests count on Airbnb to provide a safe and authentic local experience. In addition, more than four million hosts offer unique stays on the platform — earning an average of $9,600 each year. If you’re looking to make some extra cash, continue reading to learn if you can Airbnb your apartment.
Interested in joining the global network of Airbnb hosts? You’ll first need to know whether your apartment is eligible. Here are the guidelines for short-term apartment rentals:
If you’re thinking of listing your space, you might wonder if it’s legal to rent out an apartment on Airbnb. The short answer is that it depends on the location. Local zoning ordinances determine how land and property in a designated region can be used, including rules regarding construction, business and short-term rentals of around 30 or fewer days.
For example, Denver asks short-term rental hosts to obtain a license. In New York City, Airbnb has to share information about hosts and listings with the city government. Meanwhile, hosts renting out their apartment in Los Angeles need to gain written approval from the property manager, share their data with the city, impose limits on stays per year and follow other procedures.
To figure out whether you can Airbnb a rental in your area, take a look at your city regulations. You’ll be able to confirm your eligibility and learn the additional criteria for Airbnb hosts in your region. Keep in mind that these laws change all the time, so make sure you’re staying updated on the latest rules.
Even if your local zoning laws permit short-term rentals under certain conditions, you still need to check your lease. The fine print might refer to short-term accommodations as sublets, so keep that language in mind as you’re reading.
Some leases might prohibit short-term rentals altogether, even considering them as grounds for eviction. The vastly different policies between property managers make it all the more important to review your lease agreement before renting out your apartment.
While your lease might permit short-term accommodations, it’s essential to gain your property manager’s explicit approval. One way to make this step easier is to establish a good relationship with them.
From there, you can ask your property manager about the possibility of renting out your apartment on Airbnb.
Offering a compromise might make them more likely to approve the plan. For example, you can agree to increase your security deposit or rent so that both parties can benefit from the listing. If your property manager says no, you definitely shouldn’t rent out your apartment on Airbnb.
Figuring out whether you can Airbnb your apartment requires you to keep money in mind. In addition to the fees you’re already paying for your place, you’ll need to keep track of the extra taxes and costs that can come with short-term rentals.
Depending on your area, you may need to collect local tax or Value Added Tax (VAT) from guests. You’ll also have to account for service fees, either by splitting the cost with your guests or covering it on your own.
Now that you’ve determined whether you can rent out your apartment, it’s time to list your Airbnb sublet. To help you through the process, we’ve put together the nine steps to Airbnb your apartment.
Starting your hosting journey is simple. All you have to do is visit the Airbnb website and navigate to “Become a host.” From there, find the “Get started” button and sign into your account. If you don’t already have an account, you’ll have to make one.
Once you’re logged in, the site will prompt you to create a listing. To begin, you simply type in the address of your Airbnb sublet and follow the remaining steps below.
Creating a listing on Airbnb begins with some basic questions. In addition to identifying your place as an apartment, you’ll have to add the following important details about your Airbnb sublet:
Sharing these details will help guests figure out whether your place is the right fit for them. Later, you’ll be able to share more than just the basics.
Capturing high-quality pictures for your listing is the key to attracting guests. In fact, hosts who use professional photography earn 40 percent more than others nearby. If you’d rather not hire a photographer, there are still ways to secure a good first impression.
To make your Airbnb look its best in photos, here are some pro tips:
With quality photography, you can give undecided guests the visual that persuades them to book your apartment.
Airbnb gives you 500 characters to really sell your place to potential guests. In the description, highlighting everything your space has to offer — like a large outdoor space or renovated kitchen — can convince travelers that your apartment will make a great home away from home.
Since more than one in three Americans aren’t satisfied with their current amenities, Airbnb guests might be looking for features their own space lacks. If your place has any of the following sought-after amenities, they’re definitely worth including in the description:
Writing a description that highlights the best features of your apartment can make your place all the more tempting.
When it comes to Airbnb apartments, writing a strong title is essential. It’s a sure way to help your listing rank high, both on the site and in the eyes of potential guests.
Ready to name your Airbnb? Here are some tips for crafting your title:
Since the title might be the first thing prospective guests see, writing an effective one can draw them to your listing.
To make sure everyone is on the same page, Airbnb requires hosts to establish expectations. First, you’ll need to create some rules for your guests. Airbnb asks if the following is permitted on your property:
In addition to setting the rules, you’ll also want to make sure your guests know what to expect on your property. Airbnb will ask you to disclose whether any of these features comes with your place:
Being upfront about guest expectations can lead to fewer surprises down the road.
After you’re done setting guest expectations, it’s time to identify your booking preferences. You’ll have to determine the amount of notice you need before check-ins, the time of day guests can arrive, how far in advance guests should make bookings and how long guests can stay.
From there, you’ll use a calendar to choose dates when guests can book your Airbnb sublet. If your availability changes, you can go back and edit your calendar later.
Fortunately, Airbnb makes picking your price simple. The site has a smart tool that suggests minimum and maximum nightly prices by comparing your listing to others in the area. The tool also suggests special offers for first guests and longer stays.
If you’d prefer to do it yourself, it’s crucial to keep track of similar listing prices and recent rent reports. That way, you’ll have a better understanding of reasonable rates for your Airbnb sublet.
Letting strangers into your home might feel, well, strange. However, Airbnb has a system designed to make hosts feel comfortable.
Hosts are able to leave reviews of all their guests. Even after you publish your listing, Airbnb allows you to read past reviews of anyone who books your apartment. Based on what you read, you can decide whether the potential guests meet your standards.
We’ve thrown a lot of information at you about Airbnb apartments, so here’s a quick breakdown of some common concerns:
As long as your local zoning regulations, lease agreement and property manager allow it, you can use your rental property for Airbnb. In general, knowing and following the rules should tell you whether you can Airbnb your apartment.
In many cases, rules regarding short-term rentals appear as “subletting” policies on apartment leases. Be sure to review the fine print to determine whether your lease agreement uses this language.
In order to Airbnb your apartment, you need to comply with your lease agreement and local zoning laws. You should also reach out to your property manager and obtain their approval before renting out your apartment.
Assuming your local zoning laws, lease and property manager sign off on your Airbnb sublet plans, you should be able to rent out your apartment while on vacation. Just be sure to follow vacation safety procedures.
Becoming an Airbnb host not only brings in extra income, but it also gives you a new perspective on rentals.
Rather than searching for your own place, Airbnb allows regular renters to experience the other side of the apartment search. All you have to do is determine your eligibility and create your listing. Then, you’ll be ready to rent out your apartment and make some cash. Happy hosting!