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    Smart Landlording: Short-Term Vacation Rentals?

    Many landlords are familiar with Airbnb or have at least heard about the short-term-rental trend which is sweeping the nation, and as a landlord it’s worth knowing more about the short-term rental market and how it may affect your rental.

    Many landlords are being swayed over to the short-term vacation rentals with the promise of higher rents and shorter rental agreements. However, it may not be as good as it seems, as much more time is required to manage the shorter terms. Also, in slower season or colder months, vacation rentals are slow and a landlord may be caught without that much need rent payment.

    Vacation rentals are also known to generate additional noise, as most vacationers are out to enjoy themselves and are not concerned with how their actions affect their neighbors. With the shorter stays, the tenants will be long gone before ever having to worry about who they inconvenienced blasting music late into the early morning hours. Security risks and property damages are real concerns landlord should consider when thinking about offering short-term vacation rentals.

    Al from A.G. Kemp and Associates INC had this to say:

    “You might think [they’re] not really a problem, so long as there is no damage to the suite or serious disturbances of other residents. But there are serious safety and security concerns with strangers having full access to the building. What if the Airbnb “tenant” is a professional burglar, prostitute, fugitive on the run, fentanyl pill manufacture, or…? You fill in the blank. Will short term occupants have any regard for those who make their home in the building?”[1]

    Most landlords looking to rent their property for longer periods tend to perform extensive screening of the potential tenants. However,  often these same measures are not taken with short-term rentals. Credit checks, criminal record check and reference from previous landlords are called and checked before a long term lease is signed and this helps to ensure that the tenant is the right tenant for the property.

    But when it comes to shorter vacation rental, much less information is generally gathered about the potential tenant. This means that a tenant, who would not be chosen for long term rental, may get access to the property with the short rentals and in-turn cause damages to your property or ruin your relationship with your neighbors.

    As more landlord, who had previously offered long-term rentals are moving over to offering short-vacation rental, the market is experiencing an increase in demand for longer rentals, especially in those cities who were already facing a rental housing crisis before the popularity of Airbnb soared. Meaning that a landlord who is offer a longer lease is extremely likely to find a tenant quickly as there is such high demand for these rental properties, and the landlord can relax knowing the rental is bring in those rent check for the length of the lease. Also, as many cities with high Airbnb usage, the governments are starting to legislate these short-term listing, which can leas to less hoops to jump thru if offer the longer lease.

    However, regardless of the rental length you are comfortable with, it is important to know how the short-term vacation is affecting your rental market. Is your rental neighborhood indianite with short-term rentals but lacking long-term?  Have the apartment’s strata or city council set regulations in regards to short-term vacation rentals? A smart landlord would know the answers to these question before handing over the keys.

    Lastly, for those landlords who are offering long-term rentals it is important to include your policy on short-term rentals in the lease.  If you do not want your tenants to renting out the property on Airbnb, make sure this is stated clearly in the lease. Also, it might be worth checking out the short-term rental sites to see if your property is being listed without your consent.

    For more on how Airbnb is affecting the rental market, check out these articles:

    The Globe and Mail: Cities take aim at Airbnb

    The Guardian: The ‘Airbnb effect’: is it real, and what is it doing to a city like Amsterdam?

    The San Diego Union-Tribune: Is Airbnb making your rent go up?

    [1] Kemp, A. G., & Associates INC. “Issue #39.” Al’s Almanac Issue #39 (01 Nov 2016): 1-2.  www.help4landlord.ca. Web

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