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SHORT TERM RENTALS AND THEIR PITFALLS

Short term rentals are used for a wide amount of purposes, from single day venues, to week long vacation stays and even month to month residencies. Many homeowners consider renting property as a viable option to make some serious income as well as offsetting the costs of owning that said real estate. If you are considering renting out a room or your home, you will want to consider the good, the bad, and the ugly of what you may be getting yourself into.

The Positives

There are often negative reviews of the effect short term rental properties have on the local economy. However, there is much to be said of the positive impact they have on society. These include:

  • Year around business to local merchants, shops, and service providers;
  • Invites visitors, family, former residents, temporary workers and more to the area;
  • Extra income for the property owner; and
  • Additional revenue into the community from those who typically do not reside in the area.

The Negatives

Of course with any positive comes the negative. There is much controversy surrounding short term rental. Opposition includes neighbors as well as local hotel owners and realtors. Some of the resistance argues that short term rentals:

  • Increase noise and traffic;
  • Compete unfairly with licensed establishments;
  • Diminish investment property value;
  • Reduce the amount of potential buyers in a high value market area; and
  • Infringe on property rights.

The Rules

There are several rules that are necessary for property owners need to abide by in order to have a successful short term rental experience. Some of the most helpful rules are:

  • Find our your zoning laws for where you are located. You may need to be located in a commercially zoned area in order to avoid penalties;
  • Screen your guests before you even book an appointment. Find out what their intentions are for using the property. This will reduce the amount of party groups that visit, thereby reducing the stress on neighbors and yourself;
  • Set ground rules for anyone who stays on your property, no matter the length of time. If you do not allow pets or smoking on your property, let them know this ahead of time and get it in writing. If those rules are broken, then you are legally able to charge fees for repairs;
  • Price your property appropriately. Research similar properties in the area and price yours accordingly. If you price it too far off of others in either direction, too high or too low, you will dissuade visitors; and
  • Promote your property. Be sure that you take plenty of pictures to fully show the glory of your establishment. Put them on sites that are going to attract the type of clientele that you are reaching for. If you put your advertisement on a site that is primarily for young singles, you may not get the mature crowd you may be wanting.

If you are thinking of using your property as a rental location, be it a single room or the entire establishment, it may be useful to have your business plan reviewed by someone knowledgeable in the legal system. If you have an experienced attorney assist you with your business start up, you are less likely to run into an unknown obstacle when it comes to expected paperwork and taxes. If you are looking for a trusted San Jose real estate lawyer to help you with your rental business start up, call us today at 408-779-4700 to schedule your initial consultation.

Sources:

http://www.strsantabarbara.org/

http://www.dailybreeze.com/business/20140321/airbnbs-short-term-rentals-break-law-in-los-angeles-says-city-memo

http://money.usnews.com/money/personal-finance/articles/2011/11/07/5-rules-for-short-term-house-rentals

http://www.realtor.org/field-guides/field-guide-to-short-term-rental-restrictions

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