Homeowners Reveal the Pros and Cons of Renting a Room on Airbnb

The pungent smell of mussels being chipped in his kitchen by strangers was unappealing.

But renting part of their home, just a 15-minute drive from the surf town of Torquay, at the start of Victoria’s Great Ocean Road, was well worth it for Megan and her husband.

The $ 5,000 they earned from their foray into Airbnb funded their own vacation to Thailand.

Megan and her husband, who didn’t want their last name used in this article, rented three rooms at the back of their four-bedroom house.

Between November 2017 and March 2018, they attracted a steady stream of people heading to the Great Ocean Road or area sporting events.

Guests had their own bathroom but also had access to the main kitchen.

“The worst we had was a bunch of… people who went on a mussel hunt,” Megan said.

He had two buckets of mussels and some mud crabs and I was just like it’s gonna stink the house.

“It’s just something to be wary of when people walk into your house – they’re on vacation, maybe they’ve been fishing, and they treat it kind of like their own home.”

The couple had a sofa bed in their study, which meant the room could be used as a living room or a bedroom with the sofa stretched out.

Torquay, on the Great Ocean Road, is a popular destination for short-term accommodation. Photo: One Agency Surf Coast

“If you can, try to work with some flexibility in how you set it up, so that you can offer people different things depending on their needs,” Megan said.

She recommended making it clear to guests if you don’t have air conditioning in the rooms. If not, you may have to do what Megan’s husband did – take a night run to stores to buy fans after a 40 degree day.

Megan said she expects damage to your property, such as scratches when suitcases are dragged against walls.

Kim and Oliver, however, took a whole different approach.

The couple, who did not want their last names released, rented their entire house in Torquay as they traveled by caravan through Victoria.

Noosa, QLD saw an influx of people from Melbourne and Sydney. Photo: ABC News

It took a few weeks of work to prepare their property, but it paid for their trip and also helped pay off the debt.

“We win by having a vacation experience while also making money,” Kim said.

She said in the six weeks before they left they had a long list of tasks that included repainting the walls, replacing doorknobs and landscaping the garden, as well as purchasing things like pillows. and replacing family photos with landscapes.

Kim said the couple were done in a matter of months which would normally have taken them around a year.

“You would start something, and then you would always find something else that was wrong or that you needed to do, so I felt like the list just never ends,” she said. .

We were exhausted but it feels like the house is totally renovated.

Kim said that aside from the extra money, it was great motivation to declutter the house.

She suggested anyone considering renting out their accommodation to store valuables in locked drawers, rather than having to move them to a garage or other secure location.

The couple used property management company AirReady to take care of their reservations and screen guests.

“If you don’t have the time to devote to managing your property, outsource it,” Kim said.

Real estate agent Barry France, of Sawtell Real Estate Co on the NSW coast, said properties in the area can cost $ 700 a night during the peak summer period.

He said people considering renting out their homes should take appropriate safety measures, such as checking for trip hazards, installing window locks and securing gas stoves and barbecues.

Susan Wheeldon, national director of Airbnb in New Zealand and Australia, said many people are renting out their homes to cover their mortgages and fight the rising cost of living.

“Hosting allows people to typically take their most important asset – their own home – and turn it into an income driver,” she said.

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