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Renting to guests when you are out of town

I am considering using AirBNB to do short term rentals of the guest room in my home. I am out of town a lot, however, and am wondering if others have experience renting when you are not there. I think I can arrange to get people in the place no problem and maybe have a friend check on them once, but basically they would be alone in my house. How bad of an idea is this?

A very bad idea and illegal in some places. I would not do it.

I wouldn’t do it myself. Not unless the place was set up purely for hosting Airbnb private rooms with shared areas and none of your personal items there.

It’s definitely possible. That’s essentially VRBO’s entire premise (rent the whole house).

As long as someone would be there to help with turnover and any possible last-minute guest needs, it’s possible. Remote locks & thermostats also make it super easy to control the home remotely.

Just make sure you’re being compliant with local regulations & make sure your personal items are safe.

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Actually thinking about it. It would also invalidate my home insurance. As I have stated that I would be home and not leave for extended amounts of time. If you were to do it you should tell your insurance provider as they might have to adjust your premium or it might even not be allowed.

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Never never never in a million years. I have a separate guest unit and usually I block off dates when I leave town. However three times I have trusted guests to come and go and they have been among my best guests ever. That was lucky because it could have turned out worse. I would say no emphatically to what you are thinking of doing.


Most Airbnbs aren’t shared homes: http://insideairbnb.com/index.html

However, the OP is asking if he should do it in his home, guest room.

This is how I started Airbnb. I rented my room while I either slept on the couch or traveled. It’s ok if you locate everything important to you, and lock it away. Buy guest sheets and cover anything you would prefer that they didn’t touch. I have vowed to never rent my personal room again. People will treat your personal sanctuary like…a hotel room. I even had one couple tell me that I was ruining Airbnb because I had just put my things “up” instead of just having a completely bare room. Most people, though, loved my weird art and knick knacks. It just broke my heart to see soy sauce on my white high thread count sheets and my little toys taken apart and messed with.

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This can be true, but, you can buy insurance - it’s actually ‘B&B’ insurance - a commercial policy. Our regular HO policy cost about $950 and our commercial policy was about $1,700. Worth it to us.

And you can buy digital locks for your bedroom, or other room where you may keep personal items that you don’t want tampered with.

But I think it might be worth a go! Depending on your market, what you can make, what it’s worth to you.

My question would be more personal - since you are away from home much of the time, are you willing to share you space with strangers once you ARE home? Just something to consider.


We do it!! We rent our primary residence while we are out for the country.

Yes, we have had a few stupid guests, that played dumb to house rules ‘no smoking’ and occasionally small things get broke, but we have not had any major issues. We have a 2 bedroom/2 bathroom flat, and my DH’s closet leads into one of the bathrooms. We lock the closet door and put anything we don’t want guests touching in there. We also lock two other closets: my shoe closet and our wine closet. We have completely separate linen, bedding, pillows, mattress covers, duvets, etc the guests use and while some people still think it’s ‘weird’ it totally works for us.

My insurance is basically bnb insurance without the food. :slight_smile: but whatever the situation you should always talk to your provider :wink:

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I have just started doing this in my home, renting out a bedroom. It is an upscale home and I am experimenting with this to see how it goes. My property is at a higher price point than many others in the area. I am hoping to just rent out space occasionally. I may be there part of the time and then go out of town on the weekend to my city apartment. I installed a digital lock on my bedroom and there is one on front door so guests can get in without doing a key exchange. There is also an inexpensive surveillance camera on the front door (outside) so I can see who is coming and going, and it captures any cars in the driveway. I do NOT allow instant book on my personal home, because I am more particular about who I rent to, and do not allow children. I also like to bring it to their attention if I suspect they did not realize it is a shared space (even if I am out of town).

Yes - and do so BEFORE the fire…ha ha…

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Thank you everyone, these response have given me insight into a full range of issues and perspectives for me to consider…I welcome more responses, but this is already super helpful…thanks for taking the time to respond.

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