Every Airbnb hosts dreams of renting their property to only the best guests. Although separate Airbnb rental agreements are less commonly used on Airbnb than other vacation rental platforms and are not obligatory, you may want to consider using one. That’s because Airbnb rental agreements give you added protection from a full range of nasty problems and random surprises that can arise when renting your property.
Here are some reasons why you might want to ask guests to sign an Airbnb rental agreement and some of the clauses you might want to consider including in yours.
An Airbnb rental agreement clarifies any arrangements that you’ve made with your guests. This is different to your standard lease agreement or tenancy agreement. Although Airbnb covers hosts and guests for most aspects of a vacation rental stay, there are some things that you might want to emphasize with the agreement. A rental agreement is a perfect opportunity to make sure that guests understand the house rules and the potential consequences if said rules are broken.
An Airbnb rental agreement reduces the risk of you renting your property to unsavory guests. It also gives you greater legal protection in the event that an Airbnb guest books your property under false pretenses. You should especially consider an Airbnb rental agreement if there are special provisions that aren’t easy to address on the Airbnb platform, such as homeowner association (HOA) rules.
Before you issue any written agreement that you intend to be legally binding, make sure that you have your attorney review it first. Having an attorney review the agreement ensures that it complies with the laws of your state, your insurance company’s requirements, and Airbnb’s rules.
Now that you’ve considered that fact, here are some ideas on what to include in your Airbnb rental agreement.
Your agreement should clearly define the Airbnb guests who are renting your property. Make sure that it has your full name along with the names of every guest who will stay in your home. By doing this, you can stop Airbnb guests from having parties in your home or undeclared guests after they arrive.
Your Airbnb rental agreement should make mention of what guests can expect from your property and the amenities that are included in the rental price. You should also include the exact location of your property with a full address.
Specify the exact check-in and check-out dates and times for your guests in your rental agreement. Make sure that you indicate whether or not there will be additional charges if guests do not check-out on time.
Make sure that you clearly explain the house rules and the exact consequences of breaking those rules. Some ideas for house rules include no smoking, no pets, no parties, and that guests are responsible for adhering to local trash and recycling regulations.
Be sure to provide a breakdown of the exact costs of the booking along with any security deposit and cleaning fees that are included in the total cost. You can also include the costs of optional services that you may offer, such as tours, transportation and meals.
In the event that there is an emergency or maintenance issue on the property, make sure that your rental agreement explains that you may need access to the property with prior notice.
If you charge a security deposit, clearly explain in your rental agreement what you consider to be damage to the property versus reasonable wear and tear. Let guests know that they will incur fees for repairs that need to be made and how they can leave your property in a reasonable condition when they check out.
If your property is under the authority of an HOA, you should also consider letting guests know in your rental agreement that they’ll need to abide by the rules of your HOA as well. Make sure that your rental agreement highlights any special rules that are enforced by the HOA that the guests might not be aware of.
Darren Robertson of Northern Virginia Home Pro, the realtors who specialize in Northern Virginia condos, says, “Listing your condo on Airbnb can be extremely profitable, especially if it’s located in an in-demand area. However before you do anything, check your HOA restrictions to see if there’s a clause restricting leasing or short-term renting in the controlling documents.”
If your rental property includes parking, make sure that you specify where Airbnb guests are permitted to park, the duration, and the number of vehicles allowed. If parking is not included, you may want to suggest places to park and remind guests that they need to comply with local ordinances.
If you want to require your Airbnb guests to sign a rental agreement make sure that you provide them with the actual terms of the agreement prior to the booking. The best way to do this is by making sure that you mention the Airbnb rental agreement in your listing’s description.
You should also let guests know that you reserve the right to cancel an Instant Booking if the guest does not agree to the terms of the Airbnb rental agreement fully or refuses to sign it. Finally, you must make sure that the agreement that you initially provide is the same one that will apply to the booking after check-in. You will not be able to alter the agreement after the guests pay for the booking per Airbnb’s terms.
Furthermore, you should be aware of the fact that Airbnb is unable to help you enforce any special provisions within your agreement. So it’s especially important that you make sure to speak to an attorney as breaches of contract with regard to your Airbnb rental agreement will likely have to be settled in court.