Perhaps you are away from home for a few months and would like to earn some money from it with short term rentals. Or maybe you have a second home and would like to get some profit from it. Or you have a portfolio of property and need to make it earn some money.
Wherever you come to it from, having a property you want to short term rent carries some important responsibilities. To prepare for such short term rental what do you need to put in place?
Health and Safety
Although you are allowed to be quite tolerant of safety standards which may not be the highest in your own home, as soon as you offer your own home or another property you own for rental to others your observance of safety standards must be rigorous. This is important since any lack of such rigour will make you liable for severe penalties. It would be wise, before starting any short term rental, to run through a checklist of “what-if” scenarios, and ensure your property is prepared for them. Be especially careful that you check out and fulfil any locally imposed requirements.
Gas and Electricity
These can pose particular risks and dangers, so it would be sensible before venturing into short term rental to get these utilities checked by experts beforehand. Gas, particularly, can lead to catastrophic results, if it is not fully in compliance with legal safety standards. A good idea would be to get the gas and electricity provision to your property thoroughly tested for safety, not just at the start of short term rental, but on a regular basis. Whilst letting the gas boiler service miss a year is okay in your own home, such a lapse when you are offering a property for short term rental could land you with an expensive penalty, or maybe even in prison!
Anyone offering a property for short term rental must get it fully checked out with a fire risk assessment. Whilst it is a different set of laws governing fire safety in, for instance, hotels from those regulating short term rentals, the end results of negligence are just as severe. Once you have an accurate picture of potential fire hazards in your property you must, of course, remedy any shortcomings.
Additionally, as part of your compliance preparations make sure you provide plenty of fire warning and fighting systems. Smoke alarms, possibly sprinkler systems, regularly checked and tested are important. Fire extinguishers, again regularly checked, should be plentifully provided. Warning notices about fire exit routes will be suggested by local firefighters and may be required by local council laws.
Inadequate fire systems and negligence about gas servicing will directly affect the insurance status of the property. So, once you have put all those systems in correct order make sure your insurance fully covers all the risks you foresee before starting your short term rentals. Advice from a specialist insurance advisor – used to short term rentals – will prove valuable.
If you are hoping to run your short term rental as a business you may come into the area of being liable for taxation on its profits. Get advice from an accountant aware of short term rental finances. The good news is that many of the costs incurred by going into short term rental (such as increased insurance cover, fire protection) could be offset against tax.