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Airbnb is an online service that allows homeowners to rent out rooms to guests for a night, several nights, or more. With Airbnb, anyone can transform their home into an income-generating bed and breakfast. While renting out a room in your home can be a great secondary source of income, it’s important to make sure that you are ready to accept short-term tenants. The following guide provides simple tips and tricks for renting out a room in your home.

Photo: by Apartments For Rent Mississauga, on Flickr

Consider Privacy: Yours and Your Guest’s

When renting out a room, it’s important to make sure that your home is set up in a way that will provide both you and your tenant and privacy. For example, a rented room should ideally be in a different area of a home than the rest of the family’s beds, or have its own door and be accessible without having to walk through another person’s bedroom. In addition, the rented room should be equipped with its own private bathroom or have easy access to the shared bathroom. This will ensure that a tenant or guest will be able to have his or her own space.

Prepare the Kids for Guests
It’s also important to make sure that children know to stay out of a rental guest’s area of a home. Since an individual will be renting out a room, he or she will want to maintain his or her privacy and young children in particular may not immediately understand that the guest room is now off-limits. While there’s nothing wrong with having children, they just need to learn to avoid rooms that are being rented to a guest.

Get Smart About Security
In addition, it’s smart to make sure that your home has additional security features when renting out a room to a guest. While most guests are harmless, it’s important to remember than you are hosting a stranger in your home. Because of this, it’s important to make sure that both the guest and your family have the ability to secure their rooms. Installing simple door locks on bedroom and bathroom doors is an easy way to give both you and your guest peace of mind.

If you are considering making a portion of your home regularly available on Airbnb, consider installing a secondary wall in an area of your home. For example, imagine that an upstairs area has a series of different bedrooms and two bathrooms. One section of the upstairs can be set up for a homeowner and his or her family. To access this area of a home, an individual must use a key. There can be a separate area for a guest that also requires a key. This kind of partition not only ensures privacy and safety, it also makes your home more desirable to guests.

Quiet Homes Make for Happy Guests
It’s also important to make sure that your guest will have a quiet experience when he or she is spending the night. To make sure a guest has a quiet experience, it’s a good idea to make sure that a guest’s bedroom is not located next to a room with a loud television or noisy pets.

Be Up Front About House Rules
Finally, it’s a good idea to make sure that there are rules for guests. While a guest should be treated very well when renting out a room, it’s important to make sure that he or she understands the difference between a hotel room and a rented BnB room. To avoid alienating a guest, it’s a good idea to be upfront about special rules in your listing and then to simply post a list of those rules in the bedroom or other rental area of your home. For example, consider whether you will allow smoking or pets, or whether your guest may use your kitchen to prepare food.

By preparing carefully for your first Airbnb guest, you can ensure a great experience for both you and your guest, as well as a great review.

Charlie writes on behalf of Five Star Property Management, a San Francisco property management company specializing in Bay Area rentals.