Everyone's out to find a side hustle these days. And one of the easiest-sounding side hustles has to be renting out your space. If you have a summer home or second property, why not make money off of it while you're not using it? By the same token, if you're going on vacation, why not have your home or apartment pay for part of your trip?
Operating as a part-time renter is easier than ever thanks to websites and apps such as Airbnb. While this has certainly made becoming a renter easier, it hasn't necessarily removed all of the risks that come from letting someone else into your home. If you're thinking about picking up some of that sweet renting cash, this piece will give you some tips for getting started in a safe and secure way.
Understand the Legality
Before we ever talk about the best home safe for renters, you need to figure out if renting is a possibility in the first place. In some places in the world, renting without a license is actually illegal! So, in short, it pays to do your homework before you even consider establishing yourself as a renter. Sometimes you're in danger of falling afoul of the law rather than thieves.
Even if it is legal to temporarily rent in your area, you should make sure that you understand the full scope of that legality. For example, there might be additional taxes involved on the money you make - it's better to understand all of these intricacies before you start trying to make that rent money.
Use a Trusted Intermediary
While you can, hypothetically, just go start posting online offering up your place for renters, it's generally a better idea to use some sort of platform, like the aforementioned Airbnb. These platforms have the capacity in place to verify and check their users, meaning that you're less likely to get total unknowns. As well, if there is a problem, you have someone else to whom you can talk to get a resolution.
Regardless of how you do your verification, it's important that you get some legitimate IDs presented by your potential guests. If you are using a platform like Airbnb, this can all be done easily online. Regardless of how you check, you need to make sure that your temporary tenants are who they say they are. The importance of this step is why so many renters look to get the help of a platform such as Airbnb to streamline the process. If using Airbnb, you can look up previous reviews of guests to see what they're like, and what other renters thought of them. If you're not comfortable renting to a new member of the site, that's perfectly fine - better to be comfortable than worried. Investigate Insurance If you're working through a platform such as Airbnb, you should make sure to check out what they offer as far as host protection plans go. Even if you aren't using Airbnb it can be worth it to see what insurance options there are for short-term renting. There has emerged an industry revolving around this kind of short-term insurance, so feel free to check it out further. Remember that insurance isn't just in case your belongings get damaged - you may need insurance if someone gets injured in your home as well.
Understand Your Security Options
For many would-be renters, making sure that tenants behave seems easy enough - just put in some security cameras and call it a day. If something does go missing, you'll have proof. However, in many areas, putting cameras in an area with tenants is considered illegal and is a violation of their privacy. Airbnb itself has restricted these kinds of measures after cases of less scrupulous renters trying to get cameras into bathrooms and bedrooms. So security cameras might not be your "fix-all" solution.
Get By With a Little Help From Your Friends
It's not uncommon when people go on vacation for them to request that their friends give their property a visit once in a while to see how things are going. There's nothing saying you can't do this while you have temporary tenants - as long as you give them forewarning! Having someone stop by doesn't just mean that you can check up on your valuables, but also can make sure that the place is looking in good order.
If you're disappointed that you won't be able to try out your new secret spy camera - don't worry, there are plenty of other great gadgets that can help improve your renter security. Smart locks give you better control over who gets to access your home, while smart doorbells let you see who is at your door at any given moment through your phone. You can also control access to important valuables through the use of a smart safe, such as our own iCube.
Having to take all your valuables with you on vacation doesn't make much sense. However, you're never going to feel totally confident in their safety if they are back at home with strangers around. That is, of course, unless you have some Mycube products ready to store your valuables in. With a biometric safe like the Biocube, you can be confident that no one except for you will be able to access your valuables while you're away. Or, you can check out one of the best fireproof home safes out there in the Firecube. With this safe, your valuables will be protected no matter what sort of crazy parties your tenant might be holding (we're mostly kidding, not everyone has to deal with the worst Airbnb horror stories!).
So if you have any jewelry, important documents, precious photos, or anything else you can't stand to use, make sure to pick up one of our best home safes. You can make sure everything is locked away safely, and rent to your heart's content. And any tenants you have are going to be sure to be impressed by your sense of style!