Renting Your Home For The Short-Term: The Basics

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If you have plans to be out of your house for several weeks or months, this might be a great time to earn some extra cash. Instead of letting your house sit empty, you could rent the home out on a short-term basis. This article examines some of the key considerations involved in short-term rental properties.  


Perhaps the best way to find a tenant is to have the house rented out to a family member or friend. In this case, you know the person who will be spending time in your home and will not have to look into their background. It's more likely, however, that you will need to rent the house to someone you do not know. One good option is to list the term on a website that features short-term rentals. You can list the property with a local real estate agent also. 

Once you have found some potential tenants, it's time to screen them. It's best to talk to them personally by phone. Find out how many people will be staying in the home and if anyone smokes. Ask if they will be bringing any pets. If you are worried about animals causing damage to your home, you may want to screen out pet owners. It's also a good idea to check out their online social media profiles if they have any. Keep in mind that by law you can't ask certain questions, such as asking someone about their race, age, country of origin, marital status or if they have a physical disability. 


In most cases, your homeowners policy should be able to cover any liability that you might incur if a tenant is injured in an accident while staying on your property. Talk to your insurance agent to be certain that this is case. In the event that you are not covered, you can purchase a landlord's policy that will protect you in case of an unforeseen incident. 


In some cases, you might encounter restrictions concerning short-term rental. For example, if you're in a neighborhood with a homeowner's association, it might ban short-term rental outright. Local ordinances might address this issue as well. New Orleans does not allow rental of less than 30 days, for example.

Renting out your house if you are going to be away for a while can be a good way to improve your finances. Just make sure that you research the subject thoroughly.