We get lots of questions from tenants about Airbnb and similar sites. Question like “Can I get in trouble for renting out my apartment” or “Do I need my landlord’s permission to use Airbnb?”. In this article, we will explore these questions and more.
Let’s dispense with those first questions right away and then move on to the helpful suggestions. Yes, you CAN get in trouble, and yes you DO need permission from your landlord. While you might sneak by a few times, you probably will get caught if you sublet your apartment and the repercussions could be disastrous for you. You could get evicted, lose your deposit, or worse.
But don’t think that your landlord would be totally against the idea. Many landlords are ok with subletting through Airbnb, and many others just don’t realize what it is and how they can benefit.
Do your homework and understand your argument
Your landlord is renting to you for one simple reason – steady low risk income. A landlord or property manager wants a tenant that will pay rent on time, take care of the property, and leave it in good shape. A sure-fire way to strike fear into a landlord is to let them know that you want to let a total stranger in their property that is not part of the rock solid lease you signed. So now you are interrupting their comfort zone with these risks:
- Potential damage to the property with party animal guests
- Breaking of local ordinances that might prohibit short term rentals
- Loss of insurance due to business use of their property
- Allowing the tenant to break the ‘sublet’ clause in their lease
How to convince your landlord
If you are a good tenant, and are on good terms with your landlord, you might be in a position to approach your landlord. Think about what you can offer that might get them on board:
- Pay the owner a percentage of the Airbnb profit
- Agree to pay a higher monthly rent amount
- Purchase insurance yourself to cover any damages
- Get to know the Airbnb insurance guarantee
- Offer to pay the rent up front
- Let the landlord approve any rentals ahead of time
- Assure them that you will stay on premise during the rental
- Pay additional security deposit for your rental
- Offer to make improvements to your rental
If you do end up with permission to sublet your rental, be sure that you have your own renter’s insurance. This will cover damages to your property and provide liability insurance in case someone gets injured in your rental. Be sure that you research the local laws to give your landlord assurance that no laws or ordinances are being violated. Also be absolutely sure that any modifications to your lease are done properly (with an attorney), and that your right to sublease the rental using Airbnb or a similar site is clearly outlined in the agreement.