Many property owners choose to rent their extra rooms, garage units or entire homes for short periods of time to vacationers. While this can be a lucrative situation and offset your normal housing expenses, it can also be a gamble. There are many legal concerns to consider before you list your room for rent through a travel agent or Airbnb. Below are just a few of the questions you should ask yourself before listing a short-term rental.

What city ordinances do I need to follow?

Many short-term rental business models are new and innovative, opening the industry up to millions who previously would have been unable to rent their property. But, this also means that cities and counties are scrambling to update their laws to reflect the influx of vacationers and rentals, including Naples and Collier County. Before renting your property, you need to check local ordinances, your property’s zoning and other laws to ensure you are renting your property legally and safely.

Does my HOA allow for short-term rentals?

If you are a member of a homeowners’ association or other community housing agreement, you should double-check your community bylaws to ensure compliance.

What does this do to my legal liability?

Not only will you be responsible for renting out your property in compliance with the local laws, you will also be responsible for the maintenance and safety of the property itself. An unsafe element on your property can become cause for what’s known as a premises liability suit, a form of personal injury lawsuit that can lead to serious legal and financial consequences for property owners.

The takeaway

As you plan to rent out your home or extra property, be cautious. The legal consequences can be high but are avoidable through careful planning and cautious legal advice. Speak with an attorney before you rent.