Turning homes into hotels

Extra special: It's the special touches that your guests will remember. Consider the comfort of your guests and show your hospitality through added extras.
Extra special: It's the special touches that your guests will remember. Consider the comfort of your guests and show your hospitality through added extras.

These days it seems like everyone’s doing it.

And many seem to be making lots of money out of it.

But do you know what you’re getting into?

Renting a room out as a holiday let can be a great way to earn extra cash, however there are a few things you need to consider first.

Room letting pioneers Air BnB say that some cities have laws that restrict your ability to host paying guests for short periods.

“These laws are often part of a city's zoning or administrative codes. In many cities, you must register, get a permit, or obtain a license before you list your property or accept guests.

“Certain types of short-term bookings may be prohibited altogether. Local governments vary greatly in how they enforce these laws.

“Penalties may include fines or other enforcement.”

The Australian Tax Office state that you must declare any earning received from short-term or long-term rent from a property or part of a property that you own or lease, such as your home, a rental property or a parking space.

You must also declare earnings from sharing other forms of property, such as a motor vehicle or caravan.

If your turnover is below, or is projected to be below, the GST threshold of $75,000 per year, you are not required to register for GST, otherwise you will need to.

Booking agents such as Air BnB charge you a host service fee.

For homes, it is generally 3%, but can vary with different booking providers. 

As a minumum, you must provide your guests with essential amenities. This includes toilet paper, soap, linens/sheets, and at least one towel and pillow per booked guest. 

To really show your guests a good time, you should consider going a little further. 

Add a few extras to the nightstand. A lamp is always a welcome addition, but throw in a few books and magazines that might tempt your visitors to snuggle in before bed. 

Don’t forget to have a mirror somewhere in the room. Your guest may be in town for a special occasion and wants to look their best. Consider a full length mirror as well as a smaller mirror close to natural light for putting on makeup. 

Put together some information on what to do while they’re here. It’s easy to obtain tourism brochures from your local council. Leave them on the bench with a list of restaurants and cafe’s you can recommend.

Every guest will appreciate knowing where they can find the best coffee in town.

Taking the time to consider the comfort of your guest by including a few added extras will take your reviews from satisfactory to superb.  

Welcome: Opening your home to guests may mean a bit of extra work, but the added income can be most welcome.

Welcome: Opening your home to guests may mean a bit of extra work, but the added income can be most welcome.