Important Things to Know Before Converting Your Home into a Short-Term Rental

Converting to Airbnb Fort Lauderdale

Insights and Tips for Transforming Your Home into a Vacation Rental


1. Regulations

When considering turning your rental property into an Airbnb, the first step is knowing regulations and taxes. Some cities require a business license, while others, such as Fort Lauderdale, levy short-term occupancy taxes of up to 13% on the income from rentals. In Fort Lauderdale specifically, sites such as Airbnb and VRBO take the taxes and remit these on your behalf. However, this is not the case in every city. 

In addition to taxes that you need to be mindful of, some cities require a minimum number of nights that all guests must stay. In Dania Beach, for example, short term rental homes in this city are required to have a 5-night minimum stay for all guests. It is essential to know the local laws and regulations within your city to host without being worried about fines or getting shut down. Check out Airbnb’s list of city regulations 
here

2. Get insurance!

Apart from the usual risks when you lease a house, an apartment, or a room, additional risks come with renting it out on a nightly basis. The Airbnb Host Guarantee Program offers up to $1M in protection against theft and damages, but it doesn’t cover valuables like jewelry or collectibles. We recommend getting an insurance policy that caters explicitly to vacation rentals. Insurance companies such as Proper or Kin replace your typical homeowners insurance and provide the necessary coverage in case something happens inside your short-term rental.

3. Have a Smooth Check-In Process

Your guest’s first impression of your home can make or break their view of you. Before they even arrive at your front door, make sure to give them contact information in case of emergencies and specific instructions on how best to get to your house from the airport/train station/local bus stop. If they have to spend an hour trying to get in because the lockbox isn’t working, the review will not be positive.

To make it easy for guests to get into your home, one of the best things you can do is invest in a digital keyless entry system. The digital locks will allow guests to be able to access your place remotely and without difficulty. If you cannot invest in this type of lock system, place an easy-to-use portable key box near the front door and give out one code per guest with clear instructions on how it works. You will want to provide keys that do not contain any information about where the house is located should they get lost along the way.

4. Make Cleanliness a Priority

One of the most common complaints amongst guests is cleanliness. There can be a disconnect between what a host may consider super clean and what your guests may find acceptable. It’s always best to lean towards over cleaning the home and going beyond their expectations rather than risking under cleaning it.

A lot of hosts hire a cleaning service. However, finding the right one can be difficult for new hosts. You’ll need someone with experience in vacation rental or hotel cleaning. The challenges they will face are different than those of a traditional home cleaner. For instance, they will have to check for damages and possible theft and items guests may leave behind while also making sure they clean on time so that your place is ready for the next guest who checks in. 

Vanessa

A true local to South Florida, I was born and raised right here in Broward County. As an avid traveler, I have always loved staying in AirBNBs because it allowed me to have a more authentic experience of the city I was exploring. When presented with the opportunity to become a host in my hometown I was thrilled to bring that same experience to people visiting South Florida.

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