By now, most of us have read a few nightmare stories from property owners who have made their units available on vacation rental sites. From six-figure damages to enraged neighbors, the risks to any property owner offering short-term rentals seem to grow each season.
This is why a recent press release noted that many, and all too frequent, abuses of short-term rentals is pushing owners towards making units available strictly as temporary housing for corporate clients instead. And interestingly enough, the corporate clients in need of short-term rentals are becoming more and more attracted to the option of a homelike setting over more traditional, long stay hotel options.
The Homelike Appeal Is Winning
Naturally, because short-term rentals are relatively new to property owners, there are a few issues rising to the forefront. First is the need to understand the differences between the vacation audiences and the corporate ones. The vacation renters are those who seem to bring with them the longest list of risks and concerns. Enjoying much shorter stays, using booking sites with no safeguards for owners and only weak communication methods, vacationers may forget that they are inhabiting residential properties and not far more public hotels.
Are corporate clients less likely to present such problems? If you consider the clientele, you see at once that they probably obviate major areas of concern. Clientele interested in short-term rentals will include single professionals only in an area for the duration of a project or contract; entire families traveling with a working professional; or groups that have opted to share a space rather than take up hotel or long stay suites. Far less likely to “partying” and careless behaviors, this group has built-in safeguards.
However, the single uniting factor in both groups is that most of them are within residential areas rather than corporate locations or commercial areas. This creates a unique set of concerns, but most are negated when it is corporate short-term rentals as opposed to vacation rentals.
Policy is Tough to Create
As one temporary housing blog noted when looking at vacation rentals “Local officials are scrambling to answer policy and regulatory questions that have arisen due to the popularity of and ensuing opposition to this practice. The most prominent community concerns surrounding short-term vacation rentals are allegations of over-occupancy, ill-behaved guests, large gatherings, revolving doors of different guests with very short stays, failure to run criminal background checks and general lack of accountability.”
This is a sticky issue because there are many types of housing made available, and community guidelines can be difficult to change. The By-Laws of a cooperative community, condominium complex, apartment building or subdivision can take a long time to alter, and can face lots of legal struggles. Fortunately, the problems that lead to such upheaval rarely arise when it is corporate housing instead of vacation rentals.
The “Risks” of Corporate Rentals
Few to no corporate short-term rentals subject communities and property owners to such risks. The basic characteristics of corporate temporary housing create a scenario in which the exact opposite is likely to occur. After all, corporate housing may not be exclusively for temporary workers but as a means of helping a new employee (and their family) move to the area, enjoy comfortable housing during training, or exploring the potential of a move within the company.
Because of that, the corporate clients of short-term rentals will do much more to ensure they are an asset to the community in which their temporary housing is located. Far less likely to annoy or aggravate neighbors, they are going to engage in the community, exploring resources and contributing financially and socially.
As that same blog pointed out, there is a notable and positive impact in the neighborhoods or communities in which corporate short-term rentals exist. Not only do the owners of temporary housing benefit from the income and low-risk nature of the tenants, but the neighbors and the areas businesses will benefit too. Rather than limiting themselves to dining in a long stay hotel restaurant or fast food establishment nearby, those in temporary housing actually engage in the local economy.
In the Coming Years
It is easy to understand how community leaders may worry about the problems that have and can arise from short-term and vacation rentals. Imagine the headaches that might occur when one apartment, condo or home is the scene of ongoing parties, noise, crowds, traffic and disturbances. How to create policies that are legal and fair? Fortunately, the risks to owners who shift to the corporate housing clientele rarely include such hassles or headaches, and their community leaders are coming to recognize this too.
If you are a property owner looking to monetize a home, condo or apartment, but you hesitate because of the horrible stories about vacation rentals, consider a corporate housing solution instead. Your renters will be vetted and communicative, and will easily become part of the community, contributing financially and ensuring your property remains in top condition.
Hello, this is Stella Jefferson, working as a Research Associate for Corporate Housing by Owner.