For years, in many parts of Europe, people have rented their homes during vacations or traveled for shorter or longer periods. The idea of renting your home for short periods is also gaining traction in Italy and the United States. Generally, Europeans use specialized agencies that accept reservations and receive rentals, but these services are not available in all countries. So how can you make money from your home while you’re away, keeping it safe from any risk?
Decide what furniture you plan to leave and what you want to take into a storage room. Short-term rental homes are usually furnished. Its aim is to make renters feel comfortable and protect their valuables at the same time. Putting them in a warehouse is safer than warning renters about the fragility of certain chairs or the delicacy of certain fabrics. Consider buying low-priced furniture to replace your most valuable items.
- Check the insurance policy on your home: Many insurances do not cover damage caused by a renter, so you will need to add one that includes damage to the home and its contents, as well as liability in case renters are injured on your property.
- Make sure that the municipal rules in your area allow for the rental of residential property. If this is not possible, you will have to look for a viable alternative.
- Decide what furniture you plan to leave and what you want to take into a storage room: Short-term rental homes are usually furnished. Its aim is to make renters feel comfortable and protect their valuables at the same time. Putting them in a warehouse is safer than warning renters about the fragility of certain chairs or the delicacy of certain fabrics. Consider buying low-priced furniture to replace your most valuable items.
- Do not leave valuables at home: Even if you have to trust the tenants, things can still go away while the landlords are gone. Take away valuables, family memories, expensive electronic devices, gold and silver. Simply placing them in the attic or cellar will not be enough to protect them.
- Check that appliances and plumbing work properly: It’s easier to make the necessary repairs before you leave than it is to organize the repair of a possible fault remotely, or worse, to come home to find that the tenants have tried to do it themselves!
- Hire someone to handle repairs and emergencies or leave a list of professionals from the various sectors involved for renters to contact if necessary: The first option has the advantage of saving you the inconvenience that your renters call an expensive professional for simple repairs, while the second option has the advantage that you only pay for the services provided.
- Ask a cleaning company to clean the house before renting it out and insert a clause in the tenancy agreement where tenants agree to provide the same service before leaving the house: This also avoids disagreements over deposit terms.
- Request a deposit: Even if you only rent for a short period, a deposit will protect you from damage or non-payment of rent.
- Investigate renters’ personal history, where you can, before meeting them in person or before signing the lease.
- Pay overdue bills in advance or manage them online: Sending the mail is a slow and insecure process, which can result in late or even missed payments.
- Make sure you have suitable accommodation for your pets: Take them with you if possible, or trust them while you’re away. Even if renters offer to take care of your dog or cat, you can’t know how your pet will behave with these strangers in the house.
- If you rent to people from another country or region, leave them useful information such as emergency numbers, business area addresses, maps, names of neighbors: Renters who feel part of the neighborhood are likely to treat their home more carefully.
- Keep a log and records of inputs and outputs, for a possible tax return: Collect the necessary information about various taxes and deductions from a professional or the relevant offices.
Arrange special offers for individuals and groups during periods of low demand (eg week-long rentals, one night free). Include cleaning costs and any taxes in the rental fee.
- In some communities, it is not allowed to rent the house on a short-term basis. Be sure to check if it is possible in your case. Beware of scams, especially from abroad.
- Please make sure you have received the correct amount before confirming.
- On checks, never cash the check if the sum is more than requested, because it is almost certainly a fraud (you will be asked to return the extra money and the check will be rejected). Watch out!