While the Austin city Council is mulling over the pros and cons of short-term rentals in our city, let me weigh in on some thoughts about the benefits or problems that may occur. Generally, I don’t think that short-term rentals will benefit the neighborhood in which an owner leases the home on a short term basis, but it may certainly benefit the owner if they take precautions.
Doug Coates, whose blog VRRegs.com covers issues and regs with short-term landlords, says, “Vacation rental operations can have negative impacts on communities that host them, which include parking problems, noise and parties, and trash and litter problems.” However, compounding the popularity of vacation or STR are the rental websites which allow worldwide visitors to check out local properties.
Besides the online leader Homeaway.com, other sites include VRBO.com (Vacation Rental by Owner) or boutique-homes.com which lists from Marfa to Norway. Others include, DesignHotels.com – obviously for boutique hotels and Designtripper.com for indie hotels. For homes or single properties try quniquehomestays.com, which is primarily for Europe, or welcomebeyond.com, which is designed for the adventurous traveler.
So, if council approves and you decide to lease out your home (even on a short-term basis), what are the most important aspects should concern you as a future landlord? Mary Umberger, http://bit.ly/dqUklA , offers 5 rental need-to-knows. But the most important, according to Robert Griswold, is screening the tenant. http://bit.ly/xgNsB5 If you don’t want the tenant from hell and believe that eviction is an easy process, and as the landlord you have the upper hand, you should read his thoughts.
If Austin allows the STRs and if you decide you want to participate then do your homework. Find the right marketing website, and screen your tenants. Doing the right thing in the beginning will make the whole process more enjoyable and more profitable.