Using your home for Airbnb to earn extra income

Credit: iStock
Credit: iStock

Have you considered using the AirBnB platform to earn an additional income? You can use the extra income to pay off debt, pay for a holiday or even save it for your own retirement! It’s also a great way to meet new people.

Read more: 9 tips to turn your spare bedroom into a money-making business with Airbnb

To become an Airbnb host, you: 

• must own a property (or if you rent,  the rental agreement must allow you to use the property for sub-rentals); 
• must offer a property or room for guests that is clean,  tidy,  comfortable and true to what is advertised; 
• should have insurance on your household content (this is necessary even while AirBnB offers their own insurance); 
• should be comfortable with having guests or travelers in your home (whether the host is present or absent when guests are there);  
• be available for guests specifically for their check-in and generally available to them throughout their stay; and
• must maintain certain “hospitality” standards to ensure your listing remains active on the AirBnB website.

Here are a few common questions about earning money with AirBnB.

Why is everyone so excited about earning money with AirBnB?

You decide on your prices and the availability of the space you want to rent out. You can rent out the entire house, a few rooms or only one room. You can decide whether you want to remain in the house or not.  

What can I potentially earn?

You decide on your own price per day, per week or per month. The fact that the guests don’t pay you directly (you receive funds when the reservation is confirmed) is a huge benefit. If you are not sure what to charge, do research on the Airnnb website to compare prices.

Is there anything illegal about using your home to earn an income?

Apart from having the consent of the owner if you don’t own the property, you must check with your  local municipality if there are any specific rules that apply to you, especially if your municipality consider you to be a “Bed and Breakfast”.

Must I declare my extra income to SARS?

Yes. You are taxed on the profit you make and not necessarily the full income you received. Keep detailed records of any expenses you have of guests. Check with the South African Revenue Service (SARS) or a registered Tax Practitioner if you need to submit any additional tax returns due to this additional income. Also ask them for advice on what percentage of your income you must keep aside for tax.

Is it an easy way to earn an extra income? 

Your house must be extra clean and tidy and you need to be fairly available to guests. Having people in your home while you remain there, may be difficult for certain personality types. You must be able to keep record of your income and expenses accurately.

Read more: Women made over R132 billion with Airbnb since its launch

Is there anything negative about being an Airbnb host?

Airbnb hosts may receive guests who damage the property or steal. To ensure your pets are not neglected, make other arrangements for them if you don’t remain on the property.

Are there any other benefits to be an Airbnb host than just earning an income?

You can meet new and interesting people. You can also offer to take them around your city or town and see it as a chance of getting to know it better. Your guests will determine how much you socialise with them.

If you still interested in earning income through AirBnb, visit Airbnb and study the process and requirements thoroughly.

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