Updated on October 2017
Renting out your home to a complete stranger is a big decision and shouldn’t be taken lightly. With short-term rental websites such as AirBnB getting popular in the last few years, renting out your home while you’re away has become an easy way to have an extra income.
AirBnB has built a foundation of trust among their hosts and guests but misconceptions do happen. They have created a host guarantee where they will reimburse eligible hosts for damages up to $1,000,000. To avoid any misunderstandings with your guests,it’s a good idea to have a document which will provide additional vacation rental protection. This can be done by creating and signing a vacation (or short-term) lease agreement. Airbnb does allow the host to provide a lease agreement as long as they are upfront with their guests before they book their stay.
What is a vacation lease agreement?
A vacation lease agreement is a legal document between a home or property owner and whoever leases it. The Lease establishes a written record of the agreement and outlines the responsibilities of the owner and renter including rent amount, security deposit, and pet and cancellation policies. A Vacation Lease is meant for a short rental period, generally for one month or less.
Why having a vacation lease agreement is a good idea:
Establish Vacation Rental Agreements Up Front – If you are hesitant about the occupants of your home having other guests over, you can state in the lease agreement how many they can have over at a time, or that no additional people other than who is originally listed on the agreement can be in the home. If you want to keep your home pet free or even smoke-free, you can make this clear in the document to establish that all parties are on the same page. The agreement will also layout the check-in and check-out dates and the agreed upon rent amount.
Protect Your Vacation Rental Property from Damages – Have a vacation lease agreement will create rules for what the occupants can and cannot do on your property. If the occupants disobey the rules that were laid out or something goes wrong, by establishing a written record of the rental agreement a landlord will have the legal recourse needed.
Protect Your Investment with a Rental Cancellation Policy- Having a cancellation clause in your agreement will allow you to collect a cancellation fee and return only a portion of any payment made if the lease is canceled too close to the rental date. This clause protects you from losses due to the inability to find new tenants because of the short time frame.
Sign the Rental Agreement Online – By doing a vacation rental agreement using Rocket Lawyer’s online interview process, the document will be available to you instantly. If the client is in another or state or even down the street you can send them the document by email to read over and sign it electronically before they even arrive for their stay. Once you have completed your agreement and it’s been signed by all parties, it will be saved under your account, and you can return to it whenever you need to reference it.
You’ve invested a lot into your property, and you want to make sure it’s enjoyed as it’s meant to be, beyond the logistics of an airbnb contract. By creating a vacation lease agreement, it will protect your home and property when you decide to upload your home for rent on AirBnB. Just remember to let interested parties know up front that you have your own contract before they book their stay.