After moving into an apartment with more space than you need (or one you’ll be away from for extended periods), one of your first thoughts might be to rent part of it out. Short-term rental agencies like Airbnb have made this route a great option for many people, but local zoning laws or rules set by your landlord in your lease may prevent you from doing so. Want to learn more? Read on below to find out if it’s legal to rent out part of your apartment on Airbnb.
Local zoning laws
The first thing that might keep you from renting out part of your apartment on Airbnb is your local zoning ordinances. Many cities ban short-term rentals in some areas, require a permit for rentals less than 30 days, or require that you submit paperwork documenting your short-term rentals.
You should be able to find any of these regulations on your city’s website or with a phone call to city hall. Be sure to always comply with local regulations, as a little bit of rental income isn’t worth any legal troubles.
Rules in your lease
If you kept a copy of the lease you signed when moving into the apartment, you can read through it and look for a clause about renting out your apartment. Many lease agreements specifically ban renting space out to someone else, so make sure you check your lease beforehand even if renting on Airbnb is legal in your area.
Your lease may also allow renting out your apartment but require you to obtain permission from your landlord. The easiest way to find out if you can rent out part of your apartment is to simply ask your landlord or the property manager.
Keep taxes in mind
When looking to rent out part of your apartment on Airbnb, keep in mind that you will have to pay income tax on any money you earn. It can be helpful to consider your income tax bracket and possible opportunity cost when deciding whether to rent out part of your apartment and how much to charge.
Airbnb rentals, however, open up multiple opportunities for tax deductions. Cleaning services and repairs can be written off as business expenses if you rent out your apartment, so keep all your receipts and check with a tax professional to see how you can save the most money.
Things to remember
If you choose to rent out part of your apartment on Airbnb, be aware that you will be responsible to the landlord for any damages caused by renters. Be sure your Airbnb listing includes any rules your landlord may have for the apartment, such as no smoking or pets.
If renters in your apartment leave a mess or cause damage, Airbnb has ways to help you receive compensation for the damages. Take pictures and keep receipts or invoices for any repairs or cleaning services you needed, and then go to the Airbnb resolution center and request the owed money from the tenant. If they refuse to pay or do not respond within 72 hours, the Airbnb specialist team will review the case and may pay you out of the customer’s security deposit.