If you own a room or a house that you are not currently using, you can earn extra income by having it rented by people who go on vacation in your area. One of the most popular markets to advertise your place online is AirBnB. However, the process is not that simple. There are a lot of factors that you need to consider before having your property listed, some of which are the laws that govern this kind of business.
Getting a license to do business
A lot of cities and counties mandate property owners and operators to secure a license before opening their business to the public. Most of the local governments post in their websites information regarding the process of applying for a business license. You can also download from the website the documents that you need to accomplish.
Compliance to building and housing standards
Local governments and states usually have a set of rules and regulations that specify standards to be followed regarding design, construction and maintenance. Some of the rules for residential and non-residential properties may be applicable to your listing. Some areas may also need to do an inspection of your property to check its compliance to habitability standards.
A lot of cities and counties also have laws that specify the way your property can be used. Such rules are usually found in planning codes, zoning codes or city ordinances. You should be able to check these rules and regulations so that you’ll know if your listing is compliant with the present zoning requirements.
Some areas may require you to secure a special permit before you can rent out your property. Get in touch with your local government to check if you need one and the procedure that needs to be done.
Taxes are often collected in many areas for every overnight stay.
Rules specific to an area
It is also vital that you thoroughly understand contracts or rules pertaining to timeshare ownership, leases, condo board, HOA or those that were set by tenant organizations. Review your lease agreement if such rules are applicable to your listing. Check if the city where your property is located allows short-term rentals. Cities like New York do not allow listings that advertise properties to be rented for less than 30 days. On the other hand, Northern Las Vegas does not have an ordinance that bans short-term rentals.
If you don’t have confidence in your skills to sort out documents and check the legalities entailed with listing your property in AirBnB, it is best to consult an attorney. This way you are well-informed about the business and will avoid shelling out more money than you originally planned.
Written by The VanMatre Law Firm, one of the top real estate attorneys in Columbia, MO.