What you don’t know about renting your house or room
Renting a room out to stranger? Trying to make some cash on the side? Or, are you renting a room from a stranger to save some bucks? Either way, you’d better think it through before you do it. Here’s the stuff you need to know (for both renter and reenter).
The latest cool thing in hospitality is people renting out their houses, cottages, apartments, condos and even boats. And that’s great. But, it’s not like you sit back and just rake in the money.
First of all, check line 17 on the cherished IRS 1040 form: Rental Real Estate. The government (Federal, state, city and county) are all your partners (isn’t that special). And trust me, they are not doing the laundry or fixing that toilet.
Then there is the hard part, you are responsible for that space, and if you are not on call 24/7, you need to have someone who is to deal with everything from lost keys to no hot water, from smoke detectors going off to no Wi-Fi. Stuff happens, as they say. All the freaking time.
If you’re set on listing your apartment, think through a few of these questions:
- Who is really cleaning the place (and are they washing those sheets every time?)?
- What if the water-heater pilot goes out?
Sometimes it’s good to talk about this stuff. To take a peek behind the curtain, under the rug and behind the bedpost.
Gail Mandel, the CEO of Wyndham Vacation Rentals, will be glad to talk with you about this growing trend or rentals and what people (mostly women, they are the majority of the vacation planners and family chief fun officers) should do and ask before they close the door, pull down the sheets and and turn out the lights. If you want to hear about the good, bad and ugly of the sharing economy (as it relates to where you sleep, shower and let your hair down) you may want to chat with her. Gail brings the perspective of professionally managed rentals, which offers solutions to the problems mentioned above.
Look, there are some really great and cool accommodation rentals companies out there. We know that. But we also know what we tell our family, friends, neighbors and colleagues to ask before they go that route (with us or anyone else). And we’ll tell you, too.