How to turn your house into a rental property paradise
Posted by Alex Anderson on November 12, 2020 · Guest Post
This is a guest post by Agostina Chemello, Content Marketing Specialist at Porch, a platform that connects homeowners with high-quality home improvement professionals.
Renting out your home to guests is an awesome way to meet new people, host travelers from all over the world, and boost your income. Whether you want to rent out your entire house or just a single room, this venture can be a great way to bring in some extra cash.
You don’t need to live on a tropical island to transform your home into a paradise for visitors. If you happen to live in an area that’s popular with tourists, you should have no problems renting your home to people looking for a unique and affordable place to stay.
We believe it’s the best way to offer curious explorers a more personalized, local experience. Here are our top tips to help you turn your home into a rental property paradise people will book instantly and love.
Make your property a paradise for guests
You want to make this space a home away from home so guests will have an enjoyable experience. The happier your guests are, the more likely they’ll come back and recommend your property to others by leaving favorable reviews. We’ve put together this rental checklist to make your property feel as warm and welcoming as possible:
Walls: Paint your walls a nice neutral color such as creamy off-white or grey. If you want to add a pop of color, choose one feature wall and paint in a bolder, brighter hue. Neutral walls will make your home feel warm and will make it easier to change decor and furniture as needed.
Furniture: Incorporate furniture that’s trendy, but also that’s extremely durable and comfortable. Invest in high-quality sofas and beds that feature solid hardwood frames rather than particleboard. Make sure your bed is large enough for your guests. Ideally, a queen or king-size bed is best for bedrooms. Replace any old or worn-out furniture with something new.
Bedroom Essentials: Hosts should always provide their guests with clean bedding. Wash all linens before welcoming your guests and include an extra throw blanket and a few extra pillows. Make sure the bedroom has ample window coverings like curtains or blinds, so your guests have the privacy they need. Add a mattress cover to protect your bed and to prevent pesky bed bugs from getting into the furniture.
Bathrooms: Ensure that all bathrooms are freshly cleaned and well-stocked with toilet paper. You can also give your guests small travel-sized shampoo, soaps, and conditioner. Stock each bathroom with fresh, clean towels and washcloths. Make sure you have at least one spare towel for every visitor.
Kitchen: Stock your kitchen with clean pots and pans so your guests can cook if they choose. A coffee maker with fresh coffee, mugs, milk, and sugar is also a must for guests. You can include an additional “cleaning fee” in case your visitors leave dirty dishes or any other mess behind.
Amenities: You don’t have to own a resort to offer great amenities to your guests. Stock the living room with cards and board games and offer free cable for your guests to enjoy.
Having a clean home & some organisation tips
Make sure your property is always well-organized, clean, and sanitary. Follow a specific schedule that includes scrubbing toilets, showers, and tubs between visits. You should also wash all towels and bedding immediately after every guest leaves.
Vacuum carpets and mop the kitchen and bathroom floors. Don’t forget to wipe down tables and counter tops. Organize your rental home by adding some storage furniture like bookcases or storage boxes that match the decor of your home.
The key is to ensure that everything is clean, neat, and tidy before you welcome your next guests to your home. If you’re busy, consider hiring a professional cleaning company to help.
This service is affordable and will help you make sure that your rental home is absolutely spotless, removing all possibilities of a bad review.
The legal aspects of renting your home
It’s vital to understand all of the legalities involved in renting your home. Many of these laws depend on where you live, so always consult with your local jurisdiction before pursuing this endeavor.
Not every home can become a rental, so check with your country, city, or state to find out what’s required. You may need to obtain a special permit in order to legally rent your home to visitors. If you live in a neighborhood with an HOA, check with them before renting your home. Some HOA bylaws prohibit owners from renting their property to guests. This could get you into hot water if you don’t comply.
Most homeowner’s insurance plans don’t cover renters automatically. So you might need to purchase specialist top-up cover or even a separate policy. This will ensure that you’re protected from liability and can be crucial to avoid a potential lawsuit later.
You can find out more about the complications that can arise in regards to Airbnb and insurance in our post Why do Airbnb hosts need insurance?
Never rent your home to guests until you’re positive that you are fully covered. Any money you make from renting your home is considered income. This could affect your property taxes, which may also affect the amount of your monthly mortgage. Speak to a tax attorney or an accountant about the tax and mortgage implications of renting your home before you start.
If you’re based in the UK, we provide comprehensive and affordable cover that allows home sharing. You can find out more about our HOST and HOMECOVER by visiting Our Cover page. We can also provide overseas cover* to UK homeowners with holiday homes in: Germany, France, Portugal, Spain, Belgium, Netherlands, Denmark, Greece, Republic of Ireland, Cyprus, Italy and Malta.
(*to provide cover in these countries, the owner must have a property based in the UK as well)
Financial and legal checklist
Use this checklist to ensure that you’re doing everything right in terms of the legal and financial implications of renting your home:
- Talk to a local representative to find out if you need permits, and whether or not you are legally allowed to rent your home.
- If you live in a neighborhood with an HOA, read your bylaws to confirm that you are able to participate in renting or home-sharing.
- Examine your homeowner’s insurance policy and make sure it covers renters. If not, ask about a supplemental plan to make sure you have the right amount of coverage to protect you.
- Visit your local bank or speak with an accountant to find out more about your mortgage and tax responsibilities.
- Never book a guest until all of your legal, insurance and financial issues are up to date and enacted.
Protect your investment
Renting is a smart investment that can give you a decent profit, so it’s crucial that you protect yourself from potential issues. If you feel the need, lay down a few ground rules for your guests so that they understand boundaries and know how to be safe in the event of an emergency.
You can also consider adding a non-refundable deposit fee to your rental contract. This will ensure that you get at least some money in the event that someone decides to cancel.
Asking for a deposit can affect the amount of bookings that you might receive, especially if the deposit you are asking for is a lot. That’s why we created SUPERHOG. We provide bookings between members with our £1 million guarantee and provide a security deposit on your behalf. This means you don’t have to ask for one from guests. If you want to learn more, why not check out our security deposit.
We also provide ID verification services for hosts. That way you know exactly who you’re renting to and can have that extra peace of mind that your home will be kept safe by us. You can find out more about our membership benefits by visiting SUPERHOG.
Go over your insurance policy and find out if you should add extra coverage. Raise your liability limits or increase your property replacement amount in the event of a serious emergency, such as an accidental house fire.
Contact a handyman and find out about their services in case something breaks when your guests are visiting. Having a handyman ready at all times will protect your property and ensure that your guests always have a pleasant experience. Even if something goes wrong.
Living in and renting?
If you’re only planning to rent a small portion of your home or just one bedroom, living with guests can be challenging. Make sure your guests stay in an area where they have plenty of privacy. Offering the bedroom furthest from your own so you’ll both be able to get a good night’s sleep, is a good start.
Let your guests know they are welcome to use the kitchen whenever they need to, even if you’re at home.The key is to ensure that everyone feels comfortable while maintaining a good balance between being a great host and enjoying your own personal space.
In most cases, your guests won’t be there during much of their stay, since they’ll want to explore the area or attend business meetings. Be friendly and welcoming, but also set boundaries so that everyone is happy and respectful.
How to market your rental property
Once you’re ready to list your rental property, you’ll need to utilize some marketing tactics to get those rental confirmations booked. A good marketing plan will be thorough and give potential guests the information they need to make a sound decision.
Post clear, crisp, high-quality pictures of your property on your listing. Include a full photo of your home, the backyard, and all bedrooms, bathrooms, and the living room. Consider hiring a professional photographer who specializes in real estate photos to get amazing pictures for your rental.
Get to know your area: include information about local tourist attractions, amazing restaurants, and information about access to public transportation. Try include and support other small local businesses during these tough times, as guests really appreciate authentic local experiences!
If you’re able to, you should consider offering your rental property as a child and pet-friendly place.
Amenities like free WiFi, a hot breakfast, and laundry services can all make your rental more appealing. If you offer any of these services, be sure to include them in your listing description.
When you’re ready, advertise your rental online, through rental apps, or via a real estate agent or property manager. The more outreach you have, the more bookings you’ll have.
Once you’ve had a few guests, ask them to post a review of their experience. You can use these reviews to entice new guests and to show that you’re a fabulous host.
By joining SUPERHOG, you will also be able to offer guests that extra sense of security that your property is legitimate and accurately represented.
Converting your home into a rental property comes with its challenges, but it’s also a great way to get more money out of your home. Always make sure you’re following the law and that you fully understand the tax implications of having a rental home. Make your home a paradise by providing visitors with a clean, beautiful place to stay. Market and advertise your listing using great photos, and get ready to see the cash roll in.