Author Topic: Has anyone used AirBnB to Reduce Rent?  (Read 8789 times)

mobilisinmobili

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Has anyone used AirBnB to Reduce Rent?
« on: March 19, 2013, 08:26:55 AM »
I currently shared a small 2 bedroom with my roommate.. but it's starting to feel a bit tiny.

I'm wondering if anyone has experience renting a 2 bedroom apartment and then renting out the 2nd room on AirBnB. I figure this way I could possibly have the whole other 50% of the apartment paid for by a week's renting (if I rented at 400-500) and might even be able to live rent-free if I could have it rented most of the time. (450 x 4 = 1800 - which would be much more than the rent). Might even be possible to rent at a profit.

Has anyone tried this? Just wondering what people's experiences have been.

smedleyb

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Re: Has anyone used AirBnB to Reduce Rent?
« Reply #1 on: March 19, 2013, 08:39:08 AM »
I have.  I live in a modest college town where prices are kind of maxed out, but I think sites like AirBnB create the potential for a new kind of business investment geared towards loft/apartment type rentals for weekends/special events/graduation/sporting, etc.  I'm in the process of fleshing out the details as we speak.  Think same amount of income, with much less wear and tear (they like to drink at the local college).

totoro

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Re: Has anyone used AirBnB to Reduce Rent?
« Reply #2 on: March 19, 2013, 08:41:09 AM »
I haven't done this but I think it could work if you are in the right area.

Khao

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Re: Has anyone used AirBnB to Reduce Rent?
« Reply #3 on: March 19, 2013, 08:48:19 AM »
A girl I used to talk to at the dog park was doing it. She was a student and her AirBnB income was good enough that on some months it was more than her rent (I don't know how many rooms she had to rent though). This is in Montreal so there is surely a way to make it profitable! I also discussed with my gf doing it in our extra room, but we didn't take the plunge yet.

mobilisinmobili

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Re: Has anyone used AirBnB to Reduce Rent?
« Reply #4 on: March 19, 2013, 08:54:09 AM »
I haven't done this but I think it could work if you are in the right area.

I live in one of the most walkable area in North America .. I'd live in the same neighbourhood and my walk score (walkscore.com) is 98%. I'm near a major farmer's market as well as major bus lines, metros.

So I think I could rent it out ok probably. I might have to just try it to see.

freelancerNfulltimer

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Re: Has anyone used AirBnB to Reduce Rent?
« Reply #5 on: March 19, 2013, 08:54:37 AM »
Check and see what comparables there are on AirBnB right now. The easiest way to find out if it will work is take some nice photos and put an advert up and see if you get any interest. If you do get interest just tell them you're booked and ask your roommate to move out then do it for real. If you don't want to advertise what's not for sale yet you can jump in. If it doesn't work out just get another roommate.

mustachecat

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Re: Has anyone used AirBnB to Reduce Rent?
« Reply #6 on: March 19, 2013, 09:00:51 AM »
We've considered this, but decided it wasn't worth the risk of our landlords finding out; according to our lease, all sublets need to be approved by them. I think there are local laws in NYC that complicate things as well. For instance, it's illegal to rent out a room for less than 30 days if you yourself aren't occupying the apartment at the time.

caligulala

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Re: Has anyone used AirBnB to Reduce Rent?
« Reply #7 on: March 19, 2013, 09:04:26 AM »
We rented our apartment on airbnb for 5 weeks while we were traveling last summer and a good friend rents the lower level of her apartment regularly. It is not an inconsiderable amount of work. There's a lot of correspondence involved, a lot of cleaning, a lot of marketing. For us, the return was well worth the time invested, but it was certainly equivalent to a part time job. If you're having people stay in your home while you are there, you better like entertaining and be willing to put up with inconsiderate people. My friend has had some really obnoxious and messy guests, although 90% have been wonderful. So, whether or not airbnb would work for you depends on how much work you're willing to put into it.

mobilisinmobili

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Re: Has anyone used AirBnB to Reduce Rent?
« Reply #8 on: March 19, 2013, 09:11:41 AM »
We rented our apartment on airbnb for 5 weeks while we were traveling last summer and a good friend rents the lower level of her apartment regularly. It is not an inconsiderable amount of work. There's a lot of correspondence involved, a lot of cleaning, a lot of marketing. For us, the return was well worth the time invested, but it was certainly equivalent to a part time job. If you're having people stay in your home while you are there, you better like entertaining and be willing to put up with inconsiderate people. My friend has had some really obnoxious and messy guests, although 90% have been wonderful. So, whether or not airbnb would work for you depends on how much work you're willing to put into it.

Yeah this is where I'm on the fence. Is it better to just have an awesome roommate that covers the rent but is there all the time? Or rent it out 1 week a month and have the apt free the other 3 weeks? Or rent it out constantly and possibly make a profit?

Hmmm. I can't do it in my current apartment (my roommate controls the lease, I'm the sublet), but it's more of a possibility for if I move.

Miss Stachio

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Re: Has anyone used AirBnB to Reduce Rent?
« Reply #9 on: March 19, 2013, 10:07:51 AM »
I wonder about this too!  I'm moving to a very popular airbnb city and would love to have some extra income to help offset the high rent.  The apartment I'm moving to is in a kick-ass location but is a one bed which may make it hard although there is a "shared space" option on airbnb.

As someone who has used airbnb as a guest, I can imagine that it could be quite a bit of work to clean and host.  In one place I stayed, my bag was stolen while I was out along with the keys to my host's house.  The host was very understanding but this required them to change all the locks in the house (the cost came out of my deposit) which I imagine must have been somewhat of a pain.

mobilisinmobili

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Re: Has anyone used AirBnB to Reduce Rent?
« Reply #10 on: March 19, 2013, 11:46:00 AM »
Yes part of the reason I want to move is for the convenience.. so obviously this would be less convenient. Still tempting though.

Aarchman10001

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Re: Has anyone used AirBnB to Reduce Rent?
« Reply #11 on: March 19, 2013, 12:05:22 PM »
I don't know what the "atmosphere" in Montreal is like, but here in NYC AirBnB can be a very complicated idea.  I have several friends who rent out their own apartments regularly, and I have heard of people leasing/purchasing multiple apartments and booking them continuously to great profit.

As a previous poster mentioned, however,  many leases--and some municipalities--prohibit short-term rentals and guests who are not friends and/or family.   Frequent arrivals/departures of folks with suitcases and tourist guides can alert neighbors/landlords/maintenance people to what's going on, and many neighbors/landlords/maintenance people object to the perceived increase in wear and tear on public areas and increased use of utilities that come with hotel-like occupancy. 

In fact, current zoning regulations, in municipalities that have them, typically make what AirBnB does illegal--most codes designate very clearly areas in which the "Hotel" use is allowed, and prohibit it elsewhere. 

There was an article recently about a dude who was leaving some high-profile job and taking on the task of 'Government Relations'--i.e.: Lobbying for AirBnB, as the long-term viability of the company depends upon dealing with this situation.

All of which is to say that--if you plan to consider the AirBnB scheme--you want to make sure you get an apartment that does not have a very pro-active landlord and/or thin-skinned neighbors.  Building superintendents and maintenance guys can ususally be paid off--at least, they can in NYC!

« Last Edit: March 19, 2013, 12:07:15 PM by Aarchman10001 »

kisserofsinners

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Re: Has anyone used AirBnB to Reduce Rent?
« Reply #12 on: March 19, 2013, 12:14:37 PM »
I know kids in NYC who rent their apt when they're traveling for work and one week rental pays their rent for the month.

Be careful as there are areas that are starting to make it illegal unless you own your spot and are paying the appropriate hotel taxes and what not, like SF and NYC.

mobilisinmobili

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Re: Has anyone used AirBnB to Reduce Rent?
« Reply #13 on: March 19, 2013, 01:39:36 PM »
you want to make sure you get an apartment that does not have a very pro-active landlord and/or thin-skinned neighbors.  Building superintendents and maintenance guys can ususally be paid off--at least, they can in NYC!

In Montreal this shouldn't be a problem. The vast majority of landlords I've dealt with / heard of being dealt with, are the very definition of laissez-faire.. usually the the renter's chagrin.

Villanelle

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Re: Has anyone used AirBnB to Reduce Rent?
« Reply #14 on: March 19, 2013, 02:48:06 PM »
Not only should you research current AirBnB rates in your very specific area, but getting info on occupancy rates (year round) seems crucial.  If you'll only be able to rent for a few days each month, or less, then you could end up increasing your housing costs with this plan.  You say that you live in a very walkable area, but is it a very touristy area?  For weekly rentals, that's the kind of market you are going to get, most likely.  Very few people are going to spend a random week in suburbia unless they are visiting family or friends, in which case they'd stay with those people, not at a rental.

Also, are you going to be comfortable with strangers coming and going in your home, even when you aren't there?  If it was a home you owned, you could fairly easily modify it to give you at least some protection from theft (or just nosiness).  But a rental makes that a little more difficult.

I think airBnB is great, and I'd do it if I was going to be away from my home for some time so that I wouldn't be there when the renter was, and so that I could prep the home to remove my valuables and personal items.  Unless I was in a debt crisis, I wouldn't do it while I was living there. 

Have you considered trying to hook up with a university program for foreign students?  I had friends that hosted kids in that situation.  You'd still have a roommate during the school year, but the rates my friends got were far more than standard rents and they had a vacation from roommates for a few months.


mobilisinmobili

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Re: Has anyone used AirBnB to Reduce Rent?
« Reply #15 on: March 20, 2013, 06:56:20 PM »
Have you considered trying to hook up with a university program for foreign students?  I had friends that hosted kids in that situation.  You'd still have a roommate during the school year, but the rates my friends got were far more than standard rents and they had a vacation from roommates for a few months.

I've never even heard of this before. I'll have to look into it.

focusaurus

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Re: Has anyone used AirBnB to Reduce Rent?
« Reply #16 on: April 03, 2013, 01:17:56 AM »
Very few people are going to spend a random week in suburbia unless they are visiting family or friends, in which case they'd stay with those people, not at a rental.

I thought along similar lines when I listed a spare bedroom in my suburban house and then was surprised when someone rented it for a week while they got specialized medical care in the area. Then someone rented it for a month while condo-shopping to move closer to her son. The latter obviously had family in the area but that doesn't mean necessarily everyone will stay with their family.

Don't make predictions like this. Just try it and see what the reality is. I've been surprised at the demand. When I had to decline potential AirBnb guests because the room was already rented, I mentioned my unfurnished office/bedroom and even had an airbnb guest rent a completely unfurnished room and show up with his own air mattress!

I currently have a couple renting a room that started out as a week-long airbnb rental and they've been here over 6 months now!

mc6

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Re: Has anyone used AirBnB to Reduce Rent?
« Reply #17 on: October 08, 2013, 07:03:55 AM »
I had my first AirBnB experience as a guest last week.  My recommendation would be to make sure your place is clean and has privacy,.  No stains on the floor, no bathroom funk.  The place where I stayed gave me my own private bedroom but the bathroom had 2 doors and imagine the scare when a 15 yr old foreign exchange student and I nearly collided in the shower.