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Pros and Cons of Short- and Long-Term Renters

Pros and Cons of Short-Term and Long-Term Airbnb Renters from MaidThis.com

It’s safe to say that travel habits have shifted dramatically in 2020, but Airbnb hosts are still able to find success if they adapt to the changing times. As vacations have declined with the onset of the global pandemic, many hosts are turning to a different business model than usual in order to fill their rental properties: Long-term renters. 

There are pros and cons to both short- and long-term renting that you should consider if you’ve noticed a decrease in bookings this year. Here are a few things to think about. 

 

Short-Term Renters

Most Airbnb hosts target short-term renters. These are the people who want to book for shorter periods, like a weekend getaway or maybe they need to rent a venue for a family gathering. Usually, short-term renting is an ideal arrangement as you’re able to keep your property booked for peak season rates without having to worry too much about unpleasant guests overstaying their welcome.

However, when no one is traveling, short-term renting is much less lucrative. Hosts may struggle to keep their properties occupied, especially on weekdays (even at the best of times), and enhanced cleaning guidelines means spending more time and money on thorough sanitization between guests. 

 

Long-Term Renters

While the exact definition may vary depending on who you ask, in general, a renter is considered long-term if their stay is 30 days or longer. Some areas will grant your guest tenant rights after a month, so if you do decide to pursue long-term renters, it’s important to know your local laws and ordinances first. 

It’s also extra important to vet your long-term renters before their stay. Short-term renters can only do so much damage during their time with you, but a long-term renter could wreak serious havoc on your property if you’re not careful. It’s a good idea to check in with long-term renters a few times during their visit to make sure they’re not causing any harm to the unit.

However, there are many pros to long-term renting that make it worth considering. Usually, offering discounted rates would mean that long-term renting isn’t as lucrative as short-term if you’re able to book back-to-back short-term stays. 

But these days, since few people are traveling, you’re actually better off booking a long-term renter and guaranteeing your property will be occupied for a month or more at a time. 

Hosts who rely on short-term rentals might see their units sitting empty for most of the month, but plenty of people still need to book long-term rentals because they’re between leases, or because they want to ride out the pandemic in a new location.

Many hosts report that long-term guests end up taking better care of the rental property than short-term guests because they come to see it as their home during their stay. Finally, you’ll also save on cleaning fees as you won’t have to disinfect the property nearly as often when your guests are staying long-term. 

 

While you might need to change your business model to attract long-term renters, it’s a profitable solution that many hosts enjoy. Ultimately, navigating through these uncertain times will require you to consider whether short- or long-term renting is a better fit for you. 

 

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At first I tried to take care of all of the cleaning process myself, and it turned out to be a bigger headache than anything else. So a friend told me about MaidThis and its been fantastic. I’ve been working with my cleaners for a few months so far. I recommend you check out the service for yourself.
Brent
Airbnb Host in LA
90+

Hours
Saved

I definitely think that as a company we've been able to make more money, not only because we're saving money by using Maid This, but also because they're helping take a few of the necessary evils with doing vacation rentals off of the property managers plate.
Laura G
Airbnb Host in LA
90+

Hours
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2 of the Best Airbnb Door Locks

2 of the Best Airbnb-Friendly Door Locks from MaidThis.com

Door keys are so last century. No one wants to keep a jangling wad of metal in their pocket or handbag anymore when they can walk in the door by simply pressing a button.

These days, it’s also worth mentioning how the novel coronavirus has affected the short-term rental industry and the fact that the more we can cut down on passing things from person-to-person, the better. 

Now that every check-in is a remote one, dealing with physical keys is that much more of a hassle. Here are 2 of the best options for Airbnb door locks currently on the market. One may just be a great fit for your vacation rental.

 

Yale Assure Lockstarting at approx. $199 on Amazon

We love this lock for a number of reasons. Not only is it a fully keyless option, but it looks super modern and sleek. You have a few options to choose from to get much of the same functionality, including opting for a new door handle rather than a full-blown new lock. We think that’s pretty neat.

Here are a few other reasons why we like the Yale Assure Lock lineup:

 

  • Control everything from your smartphone: Add and remove an unlimited number of access codes right from the app. Never recycle old codes again if you don’t want to.

 

  • Third-party integrations: If you’re living in your home and truly home-sharing, it might be helpful to get your lock set up with other smart home apps like Alexa, Google Assistant, or Siri.
  • Set up auto relock: Set the door to automatically lock every time it closes so you never have to worry about whether or not it’s secure.

 

 

 

Gate Labs All-In-One Video Smart Lockapprox. $299 on Amazon (with service plan)

Gate Lab’s video smart lock is in a category all its own and might be our favorite of the two choices here. It’s the only lock on the market that directly integrates video along with its actual locking capabilities. Pretty cool, huh?

While compared to other “smart” locks it falls a tad short – it doesn’t integrate with Alexa, Google Home, or other third-party applications – and in order to get all its functionality, you’ll need to subscribe to a monthly “premium” service plan, it’s still one of the most robust options out there. 

Here are a few things we love most about the Gate Labs All-In-One Video Smart Lock:

 

  • Live HD video streaming: Greet your guests upon their initial arrival! You’ll be able to see them (and verify it’s who you’re expecting) and speak to them directly using the lock’s two-way audio to ensure they settle in comfortably.

 

  • Remote locking and unlocking: Lock and unlock the door via your smartphone and add up to 4 other admins with the same capability on the free service plan.
  • Unlimited guest access codes: Set a new code (or cycle through several) as guests come and go so your home always stays secure. Add and remove access codes all from the Gate Labs smartphone app.

 

 

 

There are a number of really amazing and secure Airbnb door locks on the market and not all are created equal. That said, we think these two options are the best suited for vacation rental hosts thanks to their functionality and user-friendliness.

 

By investing in a secure and easily-managed lock system, you not only keep your vacation rental safe and ensure the safety of your guests.

 

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At first I tried to take care of all of the cleaning process myself, and it turned out to be a bigger headache than anything else. So a friend told me about MaidThis and its been fantastic. I’ve been working with my cleaners for a few months so far. I recommend you check out the service for yourself.
Brent
Airbnb Host in LA
90+

Hours
Saved

I definitely think that as a company we've been able to make more money, not only because we're saving money by using Maid This, but also because they're helping take a few of the necessary evils with doing vacation rentals off of the property managers plate.
Laura G
Airbnb Host in LA
90+

Hours
Saved

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Airbnb House Rules: Should You Create “Seasonal” House Rules?

Should You Create Airbnb "Seasonal" House Rules? from MaidThis.com

Setting Airbnb house rules is something all hosts must do when first setting up their listings. But once the rules have been set, how often are they revisited? Unless you encounter a situation that specifically required a change-up or addition, our guess is not very often. 

While most house rules are applicable year-round, there are a few things that may be more season-specific that went forgotten. Below, we’ve detailed two small-but-powerful season-related situations that could make all the difference in your turnovers.

 

Outdoor Sport Rules

Depending on where you’re located, you may want to implement seasonal rules that pertain to outdoor activities. 

For example, if you’re in California and close to a beach, you may request during the spring and summer months that guests make an effort to remove their shoes after visiting the beach and before entering the house so as not to track sand into the house. (This is a good rule in general but especially important during the high-beach season.)

Alternatively, if your Airbnb is in an area that appeals to winter sports enthusiasts like skiers or snowboarders, you may ask your guests who have been out in the snow to remove their wet outerwear in a specific area of the house to avoid tracking any dirty water inside.

Some things you might consider to be “common sense” may be less evident to out-of-towners when it comes to keeping things clean. It’s not a bad idea to blatantly mention the removal of shoes or clothes in the entryway in your house rules.

 

Temperature Consistency

To avoid astronomically high utility bills during the hottest or coldest parts of the year, you may choose to implement a rule (or rather, a request) that guests don’t change the thermostat temperatures too drastically during the hottest parts of the summer or coldest parts of the winter.  This may seem off-putting to some, but most guests will be understanding (assuming your temperature settings are reasonable).

One way to keep tabs on this – or better yet, control it – is to install a smart thermostat system like the Honeywell T9 Smart Thermostat. With a wifi-enabled thermostat system, you can set up alerts on your phone to notify you when threshold temperatures have been exceeded. Depending on the model you choose, you may even be able to “lock” the thermostat settings so guests can’t go past certain temperatures.

If you choose to enact this rule, whether you install a smart system or hope for the best from your guests, be sure to specifically state where you’d like the temperature to sit in your listing rules. This is especially true if you go with a smart system as guests may be perturbed to discover they can’t do much to change the temperature after they’ve already checked in.

 

Overall, setting Airbnb house rules isn’t all that difficult. Like most things, though, it’s never a bad idea to revisit what you have and consider making changes or additions. By implementing a few extra rules during the height of the summer and winter seasons, you may save yourself some headaches in the long run.

 

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At first I tried to take care of all of the cleaning process myself, and it turned out to be a bigger headache than anything else. So a friend told me about MaidThis and its been fantastic. I’ve been working with my cleaners for a few months so far. I recommend you check out the service for yourself.
Brent
Airbnb Host in LA
90+

Hours
Saved

I definitely think that as a company we've been able to make more money, not only because we're saving money by using Maid This, but also because they're helping take a few of the necessary evils with doing vacation rentals off of the property managers plate.
Laura G
Airbnb Host in LA
90+

Hours
Saved

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Airbnb Enhanced Cleaning for Hosts

Airbnb Enhanced Cleaning for Hosts from MaidThis.com

Like everyone in the hospitality industry, Airbnb is making some important changes to its cleanliness guidelines. While cleaning has always been an obvious “front and center” issue, it’s now even more of a concern thanks to the coronavirus that just won’t go away.

Having a visibly clean home is great, but these days, it’s simply not enough. A safe listing is a sanitized listing and the best way to achieve that is by following Airbnb’s new guidelines as outlined in their Cleaning Quick Start Guide.

Here are a few things to know about the new “normal” for turnover cleanings and how to snag the new Airbnb enhanced cleaning badge of honor.

 

Cleaning vs. Sanitizing

We’ve said it before: Though there’s a tendency to use these two words interchangeably, “cleaning” and “sanitizing” don’t actually mean the same thing. Here’s a quick primer.

“Cleaning” means you’re removing dirt and other debris from a surface. Think of when you wipe down your kitchen counters or table after preparing and eating a meal: There are likely a few food splatters that made their way out of the pan or off the plate and you’ll wipe them away with a soapy sponge or rag.

When cleaning, you’re removing things from surfaces that aren’t a real danger to you or anyone else – they’re not likely to make you sick. 

“Sanitizing,” on the other hand, means you’re doing more than just removing dirt – you’re breaking down and removing germs and other harmful particles that have made their way onto surfaces. This requires more than just the average soap-and-sponge cleaning method; you should be using chemicals with disinfecting agents to kill those kinds of particulates.

To achieve a truly “safe” turnover, you should be both cleaning and sanitizing your vacation rental. 

 

The 5-Step Cleaning Process behind Airbnb Enhanced Cleaning

Airbnb (and, incidentally, MaidThis) has a straightforward 5-step process for turning over vacation rentals.

 

1. Prepare

Prep everything you’re going to need to clean. This includes ventilating rooms, compiling all necessary supplies, washing hands before starting to clean and sanitize, and wearing (ideally disposable) PPE.

 

2. Clean

Start the turnover off right by dusting and cleaning all the surfaces with gentler solvents to remove dirt and debris from surfaces so you can better disinfect in the next step. Take out the trash if guests left any behind, start the laundry and wash linens in hot water, and vacuum or sweep the floors. 

It’s also important to wash all the dishes and cookware in the kitchen – even if they appear clean – to avoid any cross-contamination. Preferably, kitchen items should be washed in the dishwasher if you have one.

 

3. Sanitize

Follow up your cleaning by sanitizing all the surfaces you’ve just cleaned and areas you didn’t clean with a fine-mist disinfectant spray. Focus on high-touch areas and objects, like remote controls, doorknobs, side tables, and countertops.

 

4. Check

Check your list to ensure you’ve done #allthethings in #alltheplaces. Then double-check because you can never be too careful.

 

5. Reset and Restock

Now that everything is safe and clean, start to reset the space. Make beds, replace consumables like tissues, toilet paper, and toiletries. Remake beds and place linens in their normal spots. 

 

As a MaidThis client, you can rest assured that our teams and partners are following Airbnb’s guidelines to a “T.” If you haven’t already, we encourage you to commit to Airbnb’s new cleaning protocol. You’ll be rewarded with a badge highlighting your listing as having an “enhanced clean.” There’s no better way to assure you’re guests you’re taking their stay – and their health – seriously.

 

Check out the MaidThis Covid Resource Center for tips, downloadable graphics, and more information on how to keep your guests safe during their stay.

 

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Vacation Rental


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Testimonials

At first I tried to take care of all of the cleaning process myself, and it turned out to be a bigger headache than anything else. So a friend told me about MaidThis and its been fantastic. I’ve been working with my cleaners for a few months so far. I recommend you check out the service for yourself.
Brent
Airbnb Host in LA
90+

Hours
Saved

I definitely think that as a company we've been able to make more money, not only because we're saving money by using Maid This, but also because they're helping take a few of the necessary evils with doing vacation rentals off of the property managers plate.
Laura G
Airbnb Host in LA
90+

Hours
Saved

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Preparing Airbnb Tax Information for the Year

tips for filing 2019 airbnb taxes

 

It’s that time of year again: tax season! As a vacation rental owner, filing your Airbnb taxes correctly is absolutely vital to the longevity of your business. Whether you rent your property as a side hustle or a full-time venture, botching your taxes can lead to high fines and penalties from the IRS. 

Fortunately, there are ways to make this time of year a little easier on yourself. Being prepared for tax season can save you a lot of time, energy, and stress. Here are 3 things to keep in mind as you’re getting your Airbnb tax information together if you want to come out on top. 

 

1. Know the rules. 

If you are considered self-employed by the IRS, you’ll have to remember to pay self-employment taxes in addition to any applicable occupancy taxes. Certain cities and states have their own requirements about the amount of tax you must pay when you operate a vacation rental, so be sure to do your research so you’re not surprised later on.

If you’re renting out just one room of your home instead of the entire property, you’ll have a slightly different set of rules to follow. Read up on the federal and local requirements to make sure you don’t miss anything important. 

 

2. Go digital. 

Paper receipts are easy to lose. It’s a good idea to create digital copies of all receipts that you accumulate throughout the year, backing up those copies to a Cloud database. Apps like Quickbooks or Expensify make it easy to keep track of your paper receipts and stay on top of your budget at the same time. 

If you haven’t been scanning your receipts, now is a good time to start: in the event of an IRS audit, you’ll need to procure copies of all of them. You are expected to keep all receipts for up to 3 years after filing, so it’s worth taking the time to get organized. 

 

3. Ask for more time if you need it. 

If you get overwhelmed, don’t be afraid to file for an extension. While it’s a good idea to get started on your taxes far enough in advance, sometimes the deadline sneaks up on you. If you don’t think you can get your Airbnb tax information compiled on time, look into whether you qualify for an extension and submit the necessary forms to do so. 

 

4. Hire a professional. 

Filing your taxes gets trickier when a rental property is involved. Factor in any additional income, charitable contributions, or other special circumstances and you might have a mess on your hands. When in doubt, hire a professional to file your taxes for you. Try to find a tax professional that specializes in vacation rentals as there are specific laws and forms that must be considered when filing. 

 

Tax season doesn’t have to be the most dreadful time of year. If you get organized, start early, and know the rules, your taxes can be a breeze. A little preparation goes a long way towards making sure your finances run smoothly even after April is over.

 

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Vacation Rental


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  • Never a No-Show. Guaranteed.
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Testimonials

At first I tried to take care of all of the cleaning process myself, and it turned out to be a bigger headache than anything else. So a friend told me about MaidThis and its been fantastic. I’ve been working with my cleaners for a few months so far. I recommend you check out the service for yourself.
Brent
Airbnb Host in LA
90+

Hours
Saved

I definitely think that as a company we've been able to make more money, not only because we're saving money by using Maid This, but also because they're helping take a few of the necessary evils with doing vacation rentals off of the property managers plate.
Laura G
Airbnb Host in LA
90+

Hours
Saved

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The Best Airbnb Management Tools for 2020

best airbnb management tools 2020

 

Running an Airbnb requires the same skills as running a small business. If you’re not organized, things can easily slip through the cracks. A misstep on crucial parts of the vacation rental process can lead to unhappy guests, or worse – problems during tax season

Here are 4 of the best Airbnb management tools that can help you keep your business on track and elevate your rentals in 2020. 

 

Guesty

Guesty is one of the most popular Airbnb management softwares on the market. One of the main draws is a 24/7 guest hotline that can manage communications with your guests even while you’re unavailable. This can considerably lessen the pressure on you as a host and provides a backup plan for times when you can’t respond. 

Guesty offers tools for every step of the vacation rental process. From analytics to see how your listing performs to a unified inbox for guest correspondence, this software is designed to help you perform better. Pricing varies depending on your specific business needs, so talk to their team if you want a quote. 

 

Expensify

Expensify is an app that allows you to easily keep track of all of your receipts, making it easier than ever to stay on top of your business spending. Using it is simple: Just take a picture of the receipt and the app will pull all the relevant information for you. No need to worry about making a typo when entering all of those numbers!

In addition, Expensify can automatically categorize your receipts and you can sync it with most accounting software tools for a streamlined process. It’s just $5 per month per user which is well worth the price if you rack up a lot of monthly expenses. 

 

Wunderlist 

Hosting comes with a long list of responsibilities and if you’re not organized, some of them won’t get done. Wunderlist allows you to create any number of to-do lists and share them with other users, making it ideal for collaborating with co-hosts if you have them. 

You can set deadlines, add notes, and set up reminders so no task gets left behind. The business plan is $4.99 per month for each user, which is a small price to pay for the perks you get. 

 

Quickbooks

In order to keep your business in the green, it’s vital to manage your finances correctly and efficiently. Quickbooks allows you to keep track of your expenses, send invoices right from your phone, set up automatic payments for recurring charges, and stay on top of your financial documents. 

The most popular plan is their Plus option, which is $35 per month. It allows for up to 5 users and features mileage tracking, time tracking, contractor management, and more. They also offer plans as low as $12 per month if you don’t need the full range of services. No matter the plan you choose, tax season will be a lot easier with Quickbooks on your side. 

 

While hosting can be a big job, there are plenty of ways to stay organized if you have the right tools. The right software can go a long way towards helping you get ahead. If you take the time to incorporate these apps into your rental business, you’re sure to reach new heights in 2020.

 

 

Clean my
Vacation Rental


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  • Automated Scheduling
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Testimonials

At first I tried to take care of all of the cleaning process myself, and it turned out to be a bigger headache than anything else. So a friend told me about MaidThis and its been fantastic. I’ve been working with my cleaners for a few months so far. I recommend you check out the service for yourself.
Brent
Airbnb Host in LA
90+

Hours
Saved

I definitely think that as a company we've been able to make more money, not only because we're saving money by using Maid This, but also because they're helping take a few of the necessary evils with doing vacation rentals off of the property managers plate.
Laura G
Airbnb Host in LA
90+

Hours
Saved

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5 Habits of Highly Successful Hosts

successful airbnb hosts habits

 

In the world of vacation rentals, if you’re not savvy, your listings might fall by the wayside. Successful Airbnb hosts don’t achieve their status by accident: There’s a strategy behind everything they do. 

Fortunately, anyone can improve their success rate by looking to these hosts for inspiration. If you want to level up your hosting game, here are 5 habits of highly successful hosts that you should channel. 

1. Be prepared.

Everyone in the vacation rental industry needs to come prepared with all the information they need to make smart decisions. Part of this requires research: Read up on your local ordinances to ensure that your listing is in accordance with the law. Hosts who are careless on this front can end up slapped with expensive fines or even banned from their platform of choice.

This preparedness should carry over to dealing with guests, as well. While you want to hope for the best, there are enough horror stories out there to prove hosts should take precautions before renting out their space. Assume that anything in the house could be broken and invest in the right insurance before you even start renting your property. You’ll be glad you did. 

2. Think like an entrepreneur.

Even if you use a website such as Airbnb to facilitate your vacation rentals, renting out your property is essentially running a small business. It’s important to periodically set goals for yourself the way you would with any business: What do you want to get out of hosting? What concrete steps can you take to get there?

Next, think about the resources you’ll need to provide the best possible rental experience and plan accordingly. You may need to budget for a professional cleaning service or for a co-host to help you out. Stay on top of your finances the way you would if you were running a company, even if you’re only a casual host. When it comes to tax season, there’s no room for error. 

3. Anticipate your guests’ needs.

Good hospitality is about more than just providing toiletries for your guests. The most successful hosts go above and beyond to understand their customers and anticipate their every need. Everything from the photos you include in your listing to the amenities you offer on-site will have an impact on a potential future guest. 

Evaluate your listing and your rental property from a guest’s perspective. From their initial search all the way to checkout, think about ways you can make their experience better. Even small gestures like a welcome kit can go a long way towards positively impacting their stay. 

4. Stay current. 

If you’re not regularly refreshing and updating your vacation rental listings, you could be missing out on valuable business. Successful Airbnb hosts look at their listings with a critical eye and know when to make a change. If your photos are outdated or you’ve made changes to your home that aren’t reflected in your listing, now is the time to fix it. 

5. Communicate. 

Clear communication should be at the heart of every interaction with a potential guest. So many negative guest experiences can be avoided through communication. When in doubt, over-inform. You want your guests to have all the information they need to feel comfortable during their stay, and any questions or issues should be addressed as quickly as possible. 

 

While there will always be some hosts who are more successful than others, you can increase your own success if you continuously try to improve. By working on these 5 habits, you can be sure to take your hosting to the next level no matter where you’re starting out.

 

At MaidThis, we take your Airbnb business seriously. Your guests’ comfort during their stay is equally important to us as it is to you. That’s why we leave no cushion unturned in our turnover cleanings. Learn more about how we can help you.

 

Clean my
Vacation Rental


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  • Never a No-Show. Guaranteed.
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Testimonials

At first I tried to take care of all of the cleaning process myself, and it turned out to be a bigger headache than anything else. So a friend told me about MaidThis and its been fantastic. I’ve been working with my cleaners for a few months so far. I recommend you check out the service for yourself.
Brent
Airbnb Host in LA
90+

Hours
Saved

I definitely think that as a company we've been able to make more money, not only because we're saving money by using Maid This, but also because they're helping take a few of the necessary evils with doing vacation rentals off of the property managers plate.
Laura G
Airbnb Host in LA
90+

Hours
Saved

Blog

Operating an Airbnb under the LA Home Sharing Ordinance

la home sharing ordinance 2020

 

As you’ve probably heard, the city of Los Angeles recently passed a home sharing ordinance designed to crack down on short-term home rentals in the LA area. Proponents of the ordinance have argued that short-term rental properties have contributed to the housing crisis in LA, making it difficult for long-term residents to find housing. 

Unfortunately, the ordinance has also made it much more difficult for vacation rental hosts in the Los Angeles area to see a return on their investment. Here’s what you need to know about operating an Airbnb under the new home sharing ordinance. 

What’s changing under the home share ordinance?

Hosts can now only list one rental property in the area and it must be their primary residence. This is supposed to crack down on landlords who rent out entire apartment buildings to vacation-goers, eliminating those units as a place for residents to potentially live. A host must live in the property for at least six months out of the year for it to qualify as a primary residence. 

There is also a limit to the number of times hosts can rent their residences out each year: 120 days. Once a host has rented their residence for 60 days or has been registered with the city for 6 months, they qualify to apply for an extended home-sharing option. For an $850 fee, you’ll be able to rent out your home year-round. 

In addition, short-term rentals will no longer be allowed in rent-controlled properties. All guests must adhere to a code of conduct, including quiet hours after 10 pm. If you are a tenant renting out your landlord’s property, you will need written permission from the landlord.

How can I register?

You must register your vacation rental properties through the Los Angeles City Planning online portal, which you can access here. You will need proof of primary residency when you do so.

Is the city enforcing these rules?

Yes. While some details of the LA home sharing ordinance might continue to change, hosts are already reporting that they’ve been contacted by the city. If your listing is in violation of the new ordinance, you will be notified, at which point you’ll have 30 days to bring your listing into compliance. If you do not, you’ll face a fine. 

What else do I need to know?

While enforcement is beginning, the ordinance, to some degree, is still in flux. Platforms like Airbnb have been pushing back against the ordinance which will hopefully result in more leeway for hosts over time. The best thing you can do is to sign up for the official newsletter in order to keep up with the latest developments. 

 

While this ordinance might put a damper on business for hosts in the LA area, it’s just one way the landscape is evolving to deal with the rise of short-term rentals. Without a doubt, other cities are sure to see similar ordinances in the future as well. The most important thing you can do as a host is to remain adaptable and be informed in order to stay on the right side of the law.

 

Clean my
Vacation Rental


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  • Automated Scheduling
  • Cleaning Report with Pictures
  • Never a No-Show. Guaranteed.
Book Now

Testimonials

At first I tried to take care of all of the cleaning process myself, and it turned out to be a bigger headache than anything else. So a friend told me about MaidThis and its been fantastic. I’ve been working with my cleaners for a few months so far. I recommend you check out the service for yourself.
Brent
Airbnb Host in LA
90+

Hours
Saved

I definitely think that as a company we've been able to make more money, not only because we're saving money by using Maid This, but also because they're helping take a few of the necessary evils with doing vacation rentals off of the property managers plate.
Laura G
Airbnb Host in LA
90+

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Help Us Fight the L.A. Home Sharing Ordinance!

los angeles home sharing ordinance fight

If you haven’t been living under a rock, you know that the new LA home sharing ordinance will go into effect in just a few short weeks on November 1st. At this point, you’re likely preparing to comply with the law and register your vacation rental.

(If you’re still stumped on what’s going on, check out the quick and skinny on the ordinance at the MaidThis blog.)

However, like you, we at MaidThis continue to be alarmed and concerned about the impact this new ordinance will have – both on our community of hosts and other vacation rental service providers like us.

Now that things are nearly “in place” and the ball is starting to roll with these changes, you may be asking yourself what you can do. 

We’re asking ourselves the same question and, as it turns out, we’re not alone: hundreds of hosts and Airbnb service providers across greater Los Angeles are banding together to continue fighting the damaging sides of the new law.

At MaidThis, we’re asking all our hosts to join us in the fight to overturn parts of the ordinance. Here are a few things you can do to get involved with the local movement.

1. Follow and get involved with Homeshare Alliance Los Angeles.

Homeshare Alliance Los Angeles (also referred to as HALA) is a new organization of “homeowners, tenants, cleaners, mom & pop shops, single moms, empty nesters, families of all colors and many different walks of life” who have come together to fight several key points on the LA home sharing ordinance.

HALA is THE group leading the cause and, hands down, the best group to be part of as we continue this fight. Follow them on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to stay up-to-date on what’s happening and how you can help.

2. Sign the petition on Change.org started by friends at HALA.

The crew at HALA has a goal to reach 2,500 signatures on their petition and they’re nearly there. If we all band together, we can easily surpass that goal!

Sign the petition to let your voice be heard. It just takes a minute and makes a huge impact.

3. Write a short statement of support for the 4 proposed changes to the existing ordinance (1 ordinance and 3 motions).

Unlike many other city councils across the U.S., the L.A. City Council takes the voices of its constituents online very seriously. That’s good news for us!

By tacking on a short comment to the updated ordinance and 3 motions recommended by councilmembers in support of the HALA movement, you add more wood to the fire.

If you can’t make it to city hall to speak in person and get your comments on the record, this is the next best thing to do and a great way to get involved. 

Grab the links from HALA’s website and leave a statement on each. Again, your statement doesn’t need to be long, it just needs to clearly support the motion or ordinance.

4. Speak publicly and share your opinion with city council committees on Tuesdays.

You may not be able to speak for long (the maximum time allotted for community speakers is just 1 minute), but your voice makes a serious impact.

HALA recommends signing up to speak at weekly Planning & Land Use Management (PLUM) committee meetings held at 2:30 every Tuesday in City Hall room 340 and we second that recommendation.

However, we also recommend attending the bi-weekly Trade, Travel, and Tourism committee meetings held at 2:00 every 1st and 3rd Tuesday in City Hall room 1060.

Why do we recommend attending two meetings, you ask?

Because councilman Mike Bonin, vice chairman of the Trade, Travel, and Tourism committee, is one of the two councilmembers to have introduced the LA home sharing ordinance in the first place. Councilman Bonin vowed to protect home sharing and “cut down” on what he called “rogue hotels,” but his proposed and soon-to-be-enacted ordinance does more harm than good to genuine hosts.

What better way to express your view on the ordinance than to tell one of the people personally responsible for its enactment?

Here are a few points to hit in either  committee meeting:

  • By limiting Airbnb/VBRO, etc. hosts, the city of L.A. is making a huge negative impact on its tourism industry. Tourists flock to Airbnb and similar sites because they don’t want to stay in hotels; they want to feel like true locals and vacation rental hosts provide that experience.
  • The ordinance directly affects and hurts more than just hosts. Local businesses in the vacation rental services industry, such as cleaning companies and others, will also take a hit from these changes. This will negatively affect the local economy and jobs numbers.
  • Many hosts’ short-term rental earnings are their main source of income. Most hosts aren’t “getting rich” off their vacation rental; they’re simply trying to pay the bills and make a living like everyone else. These changes have a deeply negative impact on our local community members.

 

There are so many simple ways to get involved and share your opinion on the changes that are happening. At MaidThis, we are joining the fight not just for you, but for us, too. The LA home sharing ordinance affects all of us: let’s work together to make a change that helps everyone.

 

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Testimonials

At first I tried to take care of all of the cleaning process myself, and it turned out to be a bigger headache than anything else. So a friend told me about MaidThis and its been fantastic. I’ve been working with my cleaners for a few months so far. I recommend you check out the service for yourself.
Brent
Airbnb Host in LA
90+

Hours
Saved

I definitely think that as a company we've been able to make more money, not only because we're saving money by using Maid This, but also because they're helping take a few of the necessary evils with doing vacation rentals off of the property managers plate.
Laura G
Airbnb Host in LA
90+

Hours
Saved

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How to Choose the Best Lead Photo for Your Vacation Rental Listing

tips airbnb lead photo

When choosing photos for your Airbnb listing, you might be blessed with a lot of options. That’s great! But how do you narrow it down?

Worry not – we’ve got the answers for you. Take a look at our recommendations below on how to choose a great lead photo.

Showcase professionally taken photos – only professional photos.

This should be a no-brainer by now: Literally, every source sharing Airbnb tips will tell you it’s worth every penny to invest in professional photos of your vacation rental. And they’re not wrong.

According to Airbnb, having photos taken and edited by a pro can increase bookings by as much as 24% – and that’s not nothing. Depending on your nightly rate, you might even be able to cover the cost of your photos in a single stay.

Now, while every source tells you it’s pretty much imperative you get a professional photographer to snap pictures of your place, many of them still have some outdated information. If you do a search, you’ll find plenty of tipsters suggesting you sign up to receive a free photoshoot. This is no longer a thing and it’s not surprising. 

Now that Airbnb has caught on like wildfire across the globe, it’s not cost-effective for the company to cover listing photos for every single host. It’s a bummer but it’s also reality. 

That being said, it’s still super important for you to invest in your business and hire a professional. If you’re not sure where to turn, Airbnb will still hook you up with a tried and trusted photographer. They’ll even work out the payment and backend stuff for you, taking some of the hassle out of the process.

NOTE: If you go the route of signing up for service through Airbnb, know what you’re getting into. There are lots of community posts like this one or this one where hosts discuss that they’re not able to use their photos on any other listing sites per Airbnb’s rules, among other things.

Now that we’ve gotten the basics out of the way, let’s get to the most important part of this article: how to choose the best lead photo for your listing.

Here are 3 suggestions on how to choose your winner.

1. Choose a smart common area.

While many guests won’t be spending much time in the living room or other common areas, there’s still something that speaks to people when they see a breathtaking common room.

If you’ve got a sparkling kitchen that’s well stocked with handy appliances and would be any home chef’s dream vacation rental, lead with a kitchen photo.

Do you have a particularly cozy or modern living room? Show it off.

If you’ve got something unique in your common areas, like quirky art or a baby grand piano, show it off in a room-encompassing picture.

2. Lead with a luxurious bedroom.

Is the master bedroom everything and more? If you’ve created a tranquil space that looks like something straight out of Architectural Digest, don’t be afraid to lead with it.

Bedrooms that have large, inviting focal points (the bed, obviously) and relaxing color schemes are good candidates for lead listing photos. 

Alternatively, it might be a good choice if your master bedroom is funky and unique, and might be THE reason a guest would want to stay with you.

Think carefully about this one: Is it something you’d be enticed by if you were shopping for accommodation? If the answer is yes, it’s probably a good choice.

3. Showcase a bright and airy angle.

Nothing sells like sunlight. If you’ve got an angle in your room that shows off brighter vibes, then it’s a sure winner for a lead photo.

Consider your well-lit dining nook that might also showcase your kitchen or living room in the background… or your living room space that leads down the hall to the bedrooms. Think in terms of brightness and warmth: what shots make your space feel most inviting?

 

It’s not so hard, is it? Definitely not! Start by getting in touch with a professional photographer, sift through the images they provide and pick that perfect shot to help you stand out from the crowd.

 

MaidThis is a proud partner of hundreds of Airbnb hosts in the greater LA and San Francisco areas. We help get vacation rentals ready for new guests with quick and consistently top-notch turnover cleanings. To learn more about our team, get in touch.

 

Clean my
Vacation Rental


single-blog-sidebar-vacation-rental
  • Automated Scheduling
  • Cleaning Report with Pictures
  • Never a No-Show. Guaranteed.
Book Now

Testimonials

At first I tried to take care of all of the cleaning process myself, and it turned out to be a bigger headache than anything else. So a friend told me about MaidThis and its been fantastic. I’ve been working with my cleaners for a few months so far. I recommend you check out the service for yourself.
Brent
Airbnb Host in LA
90+

Hours
Saved

I definitely think that as a company we've been able to make more money, not only because we're saving money by using Maid This, but also because they're helping take a few of the necessary evils with doing vacation rentals off of the property managers plate.
Laura G
Airbnb Host in LA
90+

Hours
Saved