3 June, 2018
In today's scenario, it is entirely possible that you may have a two bedroom home, whereas you and your spouse or just you, maybe the only occupants of the house. With most kids moving out of homes, state or even country, you may find that the extra bedroom is put to good use only when someone comes visiting. So, now what if you could put this spare bedroom or home to good use and earn from it and also find yourself a lucrative engagement? This is where the option of letting out your extra space comes in.
One of the more common options in India for travellers, especially in tourist-heavy cities, happens to be that of a paying guest or running a homestay. A paying guest can be a long-term arrangement as well, just like renting out a house and should be dealt with care. For running a homestay, most states have their own rules and regulations on what is involved. You can check out more on homestay options in our previous article on this topic here. The second option that you can explore, one which is now becoming known around India is the letting out of space to travel providers like Airbnb and HomeAway.
What does it involve?
A travel service provider like Airbnb is an established entity that has been functioning in the Western countries for long. In this case, what happens is that you list your room, home or apartment as may be the case on their website. All details about the space being let out will have to be provided, and the provider will help you out with suggested rent options and a few other things like that.
Once you list the space, people looking to travel to your city, when they check the site and find your space attractive, may book the same through the service provider website. The website, especially the established ones like Airbnb and Homeaway is quite safe. They have a few levels of checking for the guests registering on their site. On your part, if your property is part of any community, specific housing board, etc., then you may want to check out on whether subletting in such a way is allowed or not. If it is an individual property, then there are no such hassles.
Once, the booking is made, you will be notified of the dates, and details of the reservation and you can make arrangements. If you reside in the same place, you can choose to receive the guests and make necessary arrangements. The booking is made from your listing, which may also specify if you are providing home cooked meals, etc. The charges can be fixed as per your convenience, within the suggested budget, based on which the booking is made. Payment is also done through the provider website and is quite safe and secure. And what is more, companies like Airbnb have even got your back covered via necessary insurance. There is a complete set of FAQs listed on the site as well as they are willing to help you by answering any other queries.
Rules and regulations
Local rules require that you should register all guests in a register and verify their identity. There is an income tax as well GST liabilities that you should go through and understand, on what is applicable. In fact, the details of what is relevant are also provided on the websites of these travel service providers. They support you fully, and it is more or less a smooth and transparent process. In case, you do not want to let out the space for a specified period, you are allowed to do that as well. You can set the house rules, the check-in and checkout timings as well. With the help of the provider, you are still in control of your property and only need to ensure the necessary facilities as provided in the listing. Clean bed sheets, fresh towels, hygienic toilets, toilet paper, etc. are a few basic things which need to be always maintained.
Though initially, you may feel a bit apprehensive, with necessary safety and precautions, there is a possibility that you may actually end loving the guests coming in from across the world. It can become a good time pass and social interaction for you apart from the earning potential.
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