Leasing out your property on a short term basis has become very popular in some locations, especially if there are opportunities to take advantage of vacationers or a heavy influx of visitors for a big event. If you do offer your rental property as a short term rental make sure to do your homework before you list the property.

Know the rules

Take a look at the rules of your HOA or condo association. Do they allow for short term rentals? How about your city or county ordinances? Some cities are examining the use of properties for short term rentals and are trying to reduce the number of short term rentals through new ordinances that limit short term rentals to owners of their primary residence. If you find you have the green light to rent on a short term basis make sure to keep a copy of any community rules in the unit for your renters to review.

Document and background check

For very short term rentals, such as a weekend, a basic rental agreement will suffice. Make sure the agreement includes any house rules and community rules that will affect your renters. Before giving over keys or the code to a lock box make sure the rental agreement has been reviewed and signed. For short term rentals of longer periods it is advisable to run a criminal background check on your renters. Some communities may require this as well, but don’t forget that when you run a criminal background check you are protecting your property and the neighbors around you. It’s the right thing to do.