How likely is it to make money with ABB?

My situation is a bit unusual. At least I think so. Cannot find anyone else so far… Perhaps someone here?

I rent a home in a popular small town in the west, and the owner has given me permission to rent out a room/bath on ABB. The city just made it “legal”. However, the owner is going to raise the rent $400/mo. I’m thrilled and grateful she said yes, but a bit cautious with her terms. First, I’m not sure I’ll like doing it, and if I end up not liking it, I’m stuck with higher rent. Second, wondering what the chances are I can make enough money to pay the $400 extra plus more to make the project worthwhile. My objective of doing it is to net enough money to help toward tuition and/or help with the rent.

Thoughts? Advice?

Make sure you GET THIS IN WRITING, that you are allowed to sublet a room short term. You may want to check out Mashivisors, Air DNA, Beyond Pricing, or other sites that give out reports on profitability. Depending on where you are $400 could be nothing or all of your profits! In SF $400 would be the bare min I think you would make monthly, but that wouldn’t be true of some place like Stockton.


How much rent are you currently paying? Have a look at what other people are charging and work out how many nights you need to fill to make up the difference in rent.
Each area will be different in terms of occupancy so it’s hard to say how many bookings you’ll get.

Could you ask your landlord for a trial month or 3?


Will you be living in the property too? I would be careful; I’ve never made market rent on my listing ;a private room)in the whole two years I’ve been hosting. I’ve made a contribution yes, essentially I mostly live rent free BUT I couldn’t absorb a rent increase of £400. I’d rather not host under those terms.

Big money is generally made on whole property listings. There are times of the year when it’s harder to come by bookings. And there’s always someone listing their place cheaper than you are so you might not be able to charge as much as you’d like. Keep that in mind before you sign up to a huge monthly increase in your rent.


These are rather cautionary tales actually. There is no point in doing all of this work if you are only going to make the rent increase, is there? The goal should be that this room pays about 75% of your total rent [give or take.] Otherwise, keep the lower rent.


Can you share what city/state? Location makes a world of difference.

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My 1 bdrm + ensuite bath, full kitchen privilege listing in Stockton made $1,100 last month.

That does not sound like a good deal. What is the owner’s justification for this? Increased wear and tear? Nuisance value? A desire to benefit from your Airbnb renting? Something else?

I’ve been renting since last May, and the renting has been going ok. But it does not feel like a dependable source of income, though it might become so over time if one diversified enough across listings and took enough other defensive actions. But that’s all rather time-consuming. You should consider how much time you are willing to give to this, too.

Random thought - you could offer to give the owner a cut of our rental proceeds for a trial period. Obviously, the percentage would have to be carefully decided. But I think a flat rate is just a bad idea for you. It’s a very good deal for the owner - she gets extra money for doing nothing. One question - who is responsible for taking care of wear and tear in the apartment? Obviously that affects the equation.


I would say don’t do it!

You are increasing your rent by almost five grand a year, you’ll have a lot of expenses for things like insurance, wear & tear on items, consumables, breakfast (if you choose to provide it), laundry - plus then there’s your time - and all for a job you might not even like and which can be very hard work.

Many hosts love hosting - I do - but I’d suggest reading through this forum very carefully to see what pitfalls other hosts have come across.


I like Faheem’s idea of profit-sharing rather than flat rate. That way you both win if you have success, and there’s no penalty if you try hosting and decide it’s not your thing, or need to cut back from time to time when your school load is heavy. I am impressed, however, that your landlord/landlady is even willing to entertain the idea of your hosting.

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And an endless stream of complete strangers is the good scenario. You may wind up with complete silence.

The median might be a more useful metric here. This is likely to be a somewhat skewed distribution.

Yes, please share your city so that we can look at your market and give you a more informed opinion. And @faheem has given you great advice. Through the site you can set up “co-hosts” or split deposits and you could set a percentage and that amount can go directly to your landlord. Yes he/she is taking on risk of damage, but you are taking on all the work and most of the expense in labor, materials, utilities, etc.

Unless by your expected minimum month you could at least be bringing in twice your rent increase it would not be worth it. I’m in the midwest and in my lowest month I brought in $800 for a whole apartment rental. If you’re in a seasonal or oversaturated market you could be making a tight rent situation horrible. But if you’re in a highly trafficked area with consistently high rents you could be in great shape. It all comes down to market and price-point.

I would not do this. It’s a risky proposition. During those lean seasonal times when you have no guests (and even I have low season here in Hawaii after 7.5 years of hosting) you’ll resent forking over that extra $400. You should wait tables or work in the library like most university students! :laughing: ABB is not really a good get rich quick scheme.

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If it’s a popular resort town that doesn’t suffer from strong seasonality, if it’s right on a main highway, if the price is just right, if it gets good reviews…it wouldn’t be hard to make it worthwhile, DEPENDING ON MANY VARIABLES THAT WE DON"T KNOW. If you aren’t very social or you hate house cleaning, if you aren’t very handy and you have to call a professional if the toilet flap needs to be replaced, it’s probably not for you. If you are like me and you like people, are handy, have the furniture and spare linens anyway, it might be fairly easy money. I’d be a lot more comfortable with it if you negotiated a profit sharing with the landlord instead of a set monthly fee.


I’d rather not since this is a public forum. I will PM you.

Yes, we will be living in the main house which is attached to the guest area.

From what I was told from the property manager, she wanted a cut. Other than making more money from the rental, I’m not sure why.

Normal wear and tear would be the owner’s responsibility. If anything is damaged due to ABB guests, it’s at my expense to repair.

My first offer was a % after we made a specific amount to make it worth it for our work, inconvenience, and safety to us and our pets. But she came back with a $400 rent increase. :worried:

You should discuss this with your tax preparer. Airbnb income is taxable income. You can only deduct a portion of your rent so depending on your rent the net income vs. increased rent might not pencil out.


That sounds like a grey area.

Your offer sounds reasonable. Hers does not. I’d pass. Unless you want to keep trying to negotiate with her. But it does not sound promising. Someone who thinks that kind of deal is reasonable isn’t someone you want to be in business with, anyway.

And frankly, unless you really really like the idea of hosting, you aren’t missing that much. As has already been mentioned, the equation makes sense (sort of) if you have your own place, have a spare room, want to make some income from it, and don’t mind doing some work. In a sublet situation, even if the landlord is on board, it’s an inherently more problematic situation. And that’s assuming a landlord that isn’t trying to take advantage of you.