My biggest fear about ever putting my home for rent on airbnb is displayed in the below video. Snooping. It is a hilarious take on a parody concept of “airbnb Express.” Rent my home for two hours and snoop into my stuff. Look through my mail, books, closets. It is too funny. We are all curious people. We learn about others through their possessions, their habits, and the way they put their home together. You can learn a lot about someone by spending a few hours in their home.
Take our house for example. We have often been asked where all our furniture and items are hidden? The answer, no where. We do not have many nic nacs. For most everything in our home there is a purpose, or is art, or has some sort of sentimental value. We are minimalists, and find comfort in a clear and uncluttered space. For me to be creative, the house has to be clean and everything in its place. Call me particular (and yes I am) but a clean house and a clear mind actually allows me to be more creative. Essentially I have taken away the extra distractions. Does that always mean creativity wins? No. It just helps the process along.
I have often wondered about the spaces I have seen on airbnb. Some you can clearly tell are rental properties and the purpose of the listing is income. It looks like a rental. The furnishings are tasteful, but meant to have the wear and tear of the continuous overflow of differing guests. Then there are the house trade, or those away for weeks at a time that rent out their home. Maybe I am incredibly private, or have been burned too many times in life, but it would be hard for me to have strangers in my personal home while I am not there.
How many of you feel the same way about renting out a room or your home while there or a way?
There is always a new venture looking to simplify our lives and the world. We now live with endeavors such as airbnb, Uber, VRBO, where individuals can make money using their own homes or car. There is a new one that just launched in Portland called: “Flight Car.”
It is an interesting idea. You go to the airport, park in a Flight Car parking lot. Take a free shuttle to the airport and while you travel another fellow traveler can “rent” your car while you are out-of-town. Flight Car also will wash and vacuum your car before you return. Take the free shuttle back and pick it up. If your car is not rented you still receive a free car wash and vacuum. It sounds like a great idea, and in many ways is not much different from airbnb or VRBO.
Yet, why does it feel odd to me? Of course you are making money, and the longer you are away the more money you make. For me it feels different to have someone rent my car than my house. Many individuals that rent out their airbnb do not rent out their actual residence, rather depending on the city, it is an extra property, and sometimes it is only meant as income. I do not have a really good reason, but my car feels slightly more personal to me. You could have a manual car, and the individual that “rents” it has no idea how to drive manual. You do not know when you get your car back that they have basically killed your clutch. It will not show right away.
While Flight Car indicates that they have insurance up to $1M, it still just feels strange to me. Maybe because in a house you can often fix things easily or replace them. Cars are sometimes not replaceable. If you have a specific year and model of a car, it might mean that it is nearly impossible to get again. You might have the last year and model of that body style. The Flight Car “renter” wrecks your car. It would not be the same as replacing a hole in the wall in a home. I am all for fewer cars on the road and conservation, I just do not think I could rent mine out.
Would you leave your car at Flight Car while traveling?
I recently heard about someone who was renting out their apartment via Airbnb, then I read this Fast Company article called: “This Website Snitches on Renters Who List Their Apartments on Airbnb.” It mentions the website that tracks it is called: Huntbnb. I am sure they are a viable company and many landlords connect with them to be sure their properties are not listed. At the time I thought it was odd that tenants would do such a thing. As a landlord myself, I would never want to find out that my tenants were renting out my condo for others to use. The article cites that in New York City, one-third of apartments are being rented in an illegal manner.
When you go through the vetting process to find renters, you want to find individuals that you can trust, that will take care of the property, and that will alert you when there are issues. If tenants are then turning around and renting the place that they have signed a lease for, in order to make money and have other individuals utilize the property then not only is it illegal, but it is a breach of trust. When a lease is signed it is intended that those on the lease will be the ones that are staying at the property.
I can imagine that legal property and lease documents will continue to be honed and revised because of individuals that are going against principle and legal means in order to make more money. There are so many involved legal issues and liabilities with having individuals stay in a property when no paperwork was transacted with the owner and those staying on the property. There could be issues with theft, damage, fire, etc. To me it has nothing to do with the tenants making money and everything to do with contracts/leases that are signed and the choice of who is staying on the property. There is a reason there is a vetting process for rentals. If a property is listed on Airbnb it should be there because it is truly owned and used as an Airbnb (or other type of rental) that is listed by the owners themselves.
If you are a landlord and are renting your property how do you feel about having your tenants rent out your property on Airbnb? If you are a tenant, would you “sublease” your place on Airbnb?