Easy and quick to set up
There are many advantages to setting up this type of additional income. This will require little effort in terms of procedures, time, and energy.
Few requirements can hold you back
Indeed, you will not need to follow many process.
- Depending on your country and your local laws, it is important to check with the local authorities what are the process to follow. In general, it will be a lot easier than with renting an entire place because the place remains your primary home. In many cases you will not have to register your private room with the city hall, and you have no specific limitation in the number of days per year.
- If you are the owner you will not have to ask the approval of anyone, and probably not to the trustee if you are in a building. But this has to be checked with the common rules that are enforced in your building.
- If you are a tenant, you should need a written agreement from your landlord to cover you in the event of a conflict with him.
- You should not have to register to any list or request a certificate. You shouldn’t have to join any group or association. Check if in your country you will need to provide any additional services as is the case of B&B or guesthouses for example.
- Your only step should be to declare your activity to the tax authorities.
You do not need to move or to invest in a new place
The principle of homestays is that you will welcome tenants in your main residence. Your only job will be to configure the space of your home in order to set up an area dedicated to host travelers. A closed bedroom will almost be the minimum. Then you can privatize a bathroom or other spaces to your guests, depending on the size of your place. If you already have a guest room, this optimization is almost already done.
If you do not have one, you can arrange in your living room a sofa bed which will be the bed of your tenants. You will have to present this as a shared room on sites like Airbnb.
In this type of approach, you must think of space as it exists today. If you want to invest in a larger home, renting a room will be a good income to finance your purchase.
No need for large expenditure on amenities or furniture
To create your profile online you will only need to write some text and take photos. Just use your smartphone for that, some adequate shooting technique and common sense will do the rest.
If you already have a guest bedroom, you will not have to buy furniture. Just use the one you have. At best you can invest in a good mattress and in new bedding if yours are too worn. The mattress should be as comfortable as possible.
Easy to maintain over time
To make your accommodation look at its best, and to secure good comments, it is important to keep the place clean and tidy. Cleanliness is particularly important at the arrival of your guests because they will get a general opinion on the premises during the first seconds when they get in. Then, during their stay, it will be normal for crumbs and dust to be present. They don’t expect you to clean everything every day. For everyone’s comfort it will be important to tidy up the shared areas such as the kitchen, the bathroom and the living room.
Another part of the work consists in being present at the check-in of your tenants, and spending time with them to explain which areas they can use, the rules in your house, and hot to use the amenities. You can easily dematerialize this with different tips, so that you don’t have to be physically present at every check-in. In the same way, for the check-out, you can be there or use techniques to allow an autonomous check-out.
Likewise, cleaning can be done by a cleaning lady, but it will still be easier and cheaper that you do it yourself if you have new rentals very regularly.
To accept reservations and communicate with your future tenants, the short-term rental platforms provide you with many free tools. You can chat, email or phone them to get their arrival details and get to know them a bit better. The language barrier will not be a problem thanks to Google Translate, or to the translation tools integrated by Airbnb.
There is a significant risk: exhaustion. If you do one-night rentals and they follow front to back, you will be exhausted from communicating a lot with your tenants, and from doing the check-ins, check-outs and cleaning. To avoid turning this easy source of income into a nightmare, I advise you to set up a 3 nights minimum stay. Under that threshold, it can be quickly difficult to maintain. You will have a lot of laundry to manage. You will have to be very careful to manage your communications with each tenant before their arrival.
According to my experience, you will not have to interact much with your guests. Often their schedules will not overlap your routine. The tenants will not be at home most of the day and you will have all the shared areas for yourself. You will still need to know how to co-live with strangers, but they know they are in your personal space, and will generally be very polite, calm and discreet.
An activity easy to stop
The advantage for you is that you have the control over the calendar. You can decide when rentals can occur. You just unlock the dates for the periods when you are sure you will be at home. You can adapt the rental periods to the rhythm that suits you the best, so that you always feel at home.
It will be your desire to earn more money that will push you to open the calendar. In practice, it is good to open the available dates about 2 months in advance. So you will not risk being overwhelmed by the rentals and feeling blocked. In addition, you can define whether you accept instant bookings or whether you can manually validate each rental request.
Easy to report your taxes
Like any furnished rental, you can declare your income to the local tax authorities. Depending on your country, the rules will be different and you will have to adapt to them.
If you are retired, this type of income should probably not affect your retirement benefits. Which wouldn’t be the case in most countries, if you were willfully employed at the same time as you are officially retired.
This extra income strategy requires very little effort. As well to set up this system, as to practice it on a daily basis or even to stop it.
Despite everything, you will have to honor your commitments and honor all the reservations you have accepted. You will therefore have to be very careful with your planning and not cancel reservations. It would be financially penalized by the rental platforms.