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Considerations For Running An Airbnb Or VRBO

Posted on January 21st, 2023

Considerations For Running An Airbnb Or VRBO

Real estate in Montana continues to change, including a segment in the market specifically the Airbnb/ VRBO industry. Many “go-getters” are trying to make a seemingly easy profit at an average rate of nearly $200 daily rates due to the booming tourism industry. A potential problem is that many are blinded by the profit margin and don’t consider all the potential issues that can arise from being a part-time landlord. These deals may involve exposing your personal property to strangers and that property must be protected to the utmost possibility. Here are a few things to consider before transitioning a property into an Airbnb or VRBO.

Regulatory Issues Could Lead to Penalties

In order to be a “Superhost”, it is extremely helpful to understand the laws within the city/county of the listing. There may be zoning ordinances and administrative codes to follow for short-term rentals. In some cities/counties, there are requirements such as; registering the listing, obtaining a permit, and a license prior to earnings, in the same manner as a Montana registered business. There is some grey area on how local law enforcement govern this relatively new real estate landscape and it can cause confusion, therefore having an attorney is beneficial. Particularly, attorneys that specialize in real estate and can help protect the owner’s assets.

Airbnb and VRBO Might not Accept Responsibility for Damages

In some listings, Airbnb or VRBO may not be responsible for damages caused by guests. Damages that a host could be responsible for may include:
  • Injuries to anyone on the property.
  • Theft or damage of property belonging to anyone on the property.
  • Damage was done to nearby property.
This means liability can ultimately fall on the host if no precautions were taken for those possible scenarios. Proper liability insurance could protect you, along with a review or redrafting of the rulebook that is provided in every listing. Our attorneys will be happy to go over insurance policies and specific wording in the rulebook to ensure that they are protected.

The Neighborhood

When starting the process, there is a great chance there will be neighbors next to the property. How they react to the landowner having implemented an Airbnb or VRBO into their property could greatly affect its performance, especially when it comes to reviews that drive potential customers to your page. If complaints and petitions start flying into their local government with the purpose of regulating Airbnb, listing that space could lead to fines. Consulting with an attorney could mitigate this.

Business Plans Will Save You in The Long Run

While Airbnb or VRBO has a very simple business model, there are several different variables to be aware of. To maintain a positive review from customers, it is essential to ensure a plan is in place for upkeep, revision of pricing to capitalize on market fluctuations, and an up-to-date listing on information that adjusts to conditions. By having a business plan, it will provide a documented and descriptive time commitment that designates who oversees making sure the activities are done. This is beneficial for property management companies or listings that may have more than one owner. Utilizing an attorney to draft a business plan will make sure that no stone is left unturned to run a short-term rental in a well-documented fashion.

 

An Airbnb or VRBO business can be profitable and are an up-and-coming way to repurpose property that may not be used frequently. Many hosts do not plan accordingly to protect themselves and their property when there are so many variables. If anyone plans on starting an Airbnb or VRBO or currently have an Airbnb or VRBO, please contact us at (406)-449-4829 to set up a consultation for assistance in creating a business plan or reviewing what you have in place. We at Silverman Law are always honored to help our clients achieve success.

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