Want to Be an NYC Airbnb Host? Read this First

Becoming an Airbnb host seems like a win-win idea, but before you do, there are certain things you’ll need to consider. Becoming an Airbnb host is a huge responsibility, so read on before you open for business.

Becoming an Airbnb host has proven to be a lucrative way for NYC homeowners and renters to make extra money from their residences. The service is so popular it’s actually become part of our lexicon as a verb: “Are you going to Airbnb while you’re in London? Oh my gosh, yes!”

The company positions itself as a company that benefits both hosts and visitors. Visitors get to save on accommodations when visiting cities around the world, and hosts get to earn extra money renting out part of or their entire homes. The setup hasn’t been without controversy; many cities, citing abuses like illegal subletting, are cracking down on home-sharing hosts. Tenant advocacy groups in cities like NYC and San Francisco claim that home-sharing sites like Airbnb have artificially raised home prices in their cities, making rents and home prices out of reach for many residents.

Follow NYC’s Rules

NYC law states that people cannot lease out their home for less than 30 days unless they’re present in the home at the same time as the guest and the subletter is allowed access to the entire apartment. Keep in mind that you may be required to collect taxes from your guests and even obtain a business license if the city deems your legal Airbnb a business. It may be determined that you’re running your Airbnb like a hotel, thus certain hotel taxes may apply.

Can you Be an Airbnb Host?

If you own an apartment in a condo or co-op building, you’ll need to check the rules to see if you’re permitted to Airbnb your space. Many co-ops flat out prohibit owners from subleasing their apartment in any form, while others have strict rules that owners must follow if renting out their apartments is allowed. If you’re a renter, don’t risk hosting your apartment on Airbnb unless you have permission to do so from your landlord. There may be terms or rules in your lease that prevent subleasing without your landlords express permission. If you violate those terms, you could find yourself on the street.

Be Prepared

Like many sharing platforms, people providing a service on Airbnb (hosts), as well as people using the platform (guests), rate each other. In order for you to remain a successful host on the platform, you’ll have to provide impeccable service. This means things like offering a residence that is spotlessly clean and full of conveniences. You’ll also need to be a responsive host so that if a guest has a problem, you’re prepared to react to and resolve it. If you don’t, you risk getting a low rating on the site, which could negatively impact the likelihood and frequency of future bookings.

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