You’re ready to list your property on Airbnb, but is it actually allowed per Airbnb rules? If you don’t want your listing to be removed from the Airbnb platform after you create it, it is a good idea to do some research first.
Airbnb rules and regulations vary greatly from location to location given the fact that the Airbnb rules are often based on what the local laws are for short term rentals in each location. That said, there are some general rules that apply to most locations that you can use as a starting point in determining whether or not your listing is actually allowed. Here are the top things to look for when you check to see if your listing complies with Airbnb rules.
The first step to determining whether or not your listing will be allowed per Airbnb rules is determining exactly what rules and Airbnb regulations apply to short-term rentals in your area. Not all places allow Airbnb or home-sharing while other places have laws in place to govern the practice via business licensing, zoning regulations, and hotel ordinances.
Airbnb has created some local help pages to provide you with some preliminary guidance. Here are some examples:
Responsible hosting in the United States (scroll down to see your city’s regulations section)
If you’re finding it tough to find this information online, consider contacting your local government offices directly. When you do this, you just may uncover that the rules are actually different depending on the exact city or town that you live them. If you’re lucky, you may just find that you’re free to post your short-term rental on Airbnb with few to no restrictions.
Many cities in North America require you to obtain permits and a business license before you can begin operating your Airbnb business. While the exact requirements can vary, there is often no difference between renting out a room of your home and a having multiple properties listed on Airbnb.
To your local government, you will be considered as a real estate business owner. Depending on where you’re located, these documents may have different names, such as a ‘business license,’ ‘ lodgers tax license,’ ‘land use permit,’ or ‘TOT certificate.’ If you have more than one property, even if they are located within the same state, you may be required to obtain different licenses or permits for each property before it can be listed on Airbnb.
In some tax jurisdictions, Airbnb is required to collect the local occupancy tax on your behalf. However, in other locations, you will be solely responsible for making sure that the necessary taxes are paid from your Airbnb earnings.
You may also need to register for a tax identification number in order to pay these taxes by their due dates. It is important that you understand that taxation rules aren’t always covered by Airbnb rules explicitly but you will still be required to pay them.
Once you’ve determined what documents you need in order to start an Airbnb business, you’ll also need to bring your property into compliance as well. Every location has its own safety regulations for tenants, such as making sure that smoke detectors are installed or that the property has a fire exit, in order to protect Airbnb guests in the event of an emergency. Make sure that you have performed the necessary renovations to your property and obtained the proper insurance to ensure guests’ safety.
In addition to safety requirements, Airbnb rules also dictate that you should be mindful of your neighbors. That means that you need to ensure that rules that apply to your community or apartment building won’t be in conflict with having Airbnb guests stay at your property. If your building has noise, smoking, parking, and pet policies, make sure that you cover these in your House Rules in your Airbnb listing profile.
Airbnb prohibits listings that place unreasonable requirements on guests to stay at a property so if you know that having Airbnb guests stay at your place is likely to cause an issue for your neighbors, your listing is probably not allowed per Airbnb rules.
The most important thing to understand is that these rules are not only being made by Airbnb. In fact, you could actually land yourself in a lot of trouble and end up having to pay fines to the government or even be brought up on criminal charges if you ignore them. So make sure that you understand what is involved and read the Airbnb rules carefully before you post your new listing on Airbnb.
If you are still not sure after reviewing all of these factors whether your listing will be allowed per Airbnb rules, contact Airbnb directly for further assistance. This might be your best bet, especially in areas where there are strict local government controls on short-term vacation rentals.
Once you’ve covered all of these important steps to determine if your Airbnb listing is allowed, you’ll be ready to create your listing and start earning. Good luck!