Wondering if I should register in Somerville... some advice would be appreciated

Hey guys -

I live in Somerville and rent two rooms out in my apt that I rent but do not own. I have NOT registered with the city so I can only accept guests who need the place for more than 3 months. Airbnb keeps sending me notices and gentle prods to register my units so that I can get more business however I am worried about the whole process of registering my place because the city may ask too many questions and also get my landlord involved in it and I don’t wish that to happen. So my question is: If anyone has registered with the city WHAT has been your experience? Did they come to the house to check out the place etc.

This sounds as though you are letting rooms, in your rented apartment, against the terms of your lease, and possibly against laws in your locality. I have no idea where Somerville is, other than an Oxford College, and I am not going to take the time to look for someone who undoubtedly knows that they are possibly/probably acting illegally.

I doubt that a single home owner, or Landlord, on this (international forum) will advise you in any positive manner to continue doing so. I am sure you will be told, with some force, that you have given your Landlord grounds to evict you.


My landlord ALLOWS me to rent to whoever I please as long as I pay the rent on time. The lease is in my name. I just don’t want him to get involved because he is an older man and has some health problems. I have been living here for 10 years now and have a very cordial relationship with my landlord. I will be leaving this apartment because I am getting married this Fall - and my landlord is already sad about this.

I do not agree with rental arbitrage, as I feel the landlord has all the risk.
Do you have appropriate insurance? I hope that you are not depending on Airbnb’s so called host Guarantee.

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Yes I have insurance - have you had problems with the Host Guarantee?

Yes I have.
I am fascinated that you were able to get appropriate insurance for STR, on a residence that you don’t own.
Who do you use?


“and also get my landlord involved in it and I don’t wish that to happen.”

If your landlord is ok this this then why wouldn’t you want him involved?
He’s the owner of the property. How were you able to get something other than renters insurance?


As you’ve seen from the above responses, members here (without exception these days I think?) own their properties or co-host for owners. I doubt that there’s anyone here who can help with a query so localised and regarding landlords.

Like others though, I’m really surprised that you’ve got STR insurance. As @Debthecat asked, please let us know who you use. I’m sure there are readers who would value the information.

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I didn’t realize this was an international forum - I live in the US - out here even if you don’t own the house you can buy Home owner’s insurance

I would suggest you stop what you’re doing immediately. If you have a landlord and they don’t know about your subletting or roommate situation and anything happens, you’ll find yourself banned by AirBnB and out on the street when your landlord evicts you.

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Yes, we have members from around the world. I think that in most places you can get insurance as a renter. What we were asking about is what company you get your STR insurance from. I really think that it would be great information for readers to have.

Here, we either own our properties, as I said, or some members are co-hosts looking after property for the owner, in which case the owner gets the STR insurance. I’m not sure that we’ve ever had anyone here who has STR insurance as a renter so it would be really valuable information.

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I think you’re mistaking RENTER’S Insurance with HOMEOWNER’S Insurance. Your landlord is the homeowner in Somerville, MA (I’m assuming that you’re near Tufts and renting to students?) and he has insurance on the entire building/apartment. YOU have renter’s insurance. STR is short term rental insurance and you can’t get it as a sub-landlord because you don’t own the property. Your landlord can, though, if he’s approved your doing STR on the property.

I’m fascinated if he has really, though.


To add to what @casailinglady said, as far as I know, homeowner’s insurance (and renter’s insurance) would be likely to decline any coverage for damage caused by a short-term renter, such as an Airbnb guest.

My landlord allows me to do Airbnb - but would rather not get involved in the logistics. We have a great relationship and I have signed the lease for one year - so he can’t evict me. In the US the tenant has more rights than the landlord - thankfully - lol -

What problems did you have?

He CAN evict you. You don’t have as many rights as you think and if your lease does not specify him allowing AirBnB guests, he can evict you.

My daughter is an attorney and had “a great relationship” with her elderly landlord (in MA) who then evicted her and the rest of the tenants when he wanted to sell - even though there wasn’t a clause about selling vacant.

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I can pretty much guarantee that you do not have appropriate insurance.


A lease is still pretty powerful - you can evict once the lease is up - but not before. Actually we just spoke about what would happen to us if the house got sold - he said that the owners would probably “buy us out” if we were still living in the house. Sorry about what happened to your daughter :frowning:

why does that matter to you?

What sort of insurance should I get?