Homeowners are sharing their private outdoor spaces for rental income by the hour and/or day. A handful of apps makes it easy to rent the outdoors.

Apps Can Help Homeowners Rent Out Their Outdoor Spaces

Do you and/or your home-owning clients have amenities such as a pool, spa, hot tub, tennis court, basketball court, secret garden, outdoor fireplace/kitchen, etc?  Now is the time to cash in on those amenities by renting them out to people who don’t have those amenities but want to use yours.

Just as many people use apps such as Airbnb or VRBO for short-term vacation rentals, more and more people are using apps for hour-long activities such as swimming, tennis, one-on-one basketball or a birthday/wedding party.

Booking Apps to Consider

Homeowners/hosts and guests are using some of these apps for booking opportunities:

  • Swimply – pool sharing app available in 125 markets
  • Splacer – city-based event rental app available in New York, Chicago, Miami, Atlanta and San Francisco
  • Peerspace – event rental app available in all 50 states

Homeowners list their outdoor properties with rental rates, number of guests allowed, parking information, insurance information, etc. and guests in turn book their preferred dates and times.  The app companies charge a fee to both the host and the guest in return for enabling the booking connection.

What Guests “Get”

At a private pool during this second summer of COVID, guests “get” the opportunity to swim outside knowing they can do so with family members and friends of their choosing rather than swimming in public/city pools with others outside of their “bubbles.”  For birthday pool/tennis/barbeque parties, guests can prepare their own food, order in the take-out food or have it catered.  The privacy of the experience inspires comfortability and intimacy among the guests participating.

What Homeowners/Hosts “Get”

Just as hosts who list their properties or rooms with Airbnb, homeowners/hosts who list their outdoor amenities on one or more of the above apps generates rental income.

One host, a paralegal in Queens, has been generating $2,500 weekly by renting out her pool.  Another host who earns the bulk of his income from party rentals in his backyard  is now building a one-bedroom auxiliary dwelling unit (ADU) over his garage so he and his daughter can retreat there while “guests” he doesn’t know take over his outdoor kitchen, fire pit and sitting area.

Risks to Homeowners/Hosts

Neighbors may not appreciate guests who park illegally or walk over their flower beds or play music too loudly.  A homeowner/host may face a private-nuisance lawsuit filed by an unhappy neighbor.

Legally, homeowners’ associations or municipalities may have rules that limit commercial use of residential properties or pools.  “Outside” rental use of someone’s swimming pool may not be in compliance with governing documents or local/sate law.  And even though insurance companies do provide limited liability insurance for homeowners/hosts, insurance companies may have local ordinances/policies of their own that could give them the right to not cover claims or damages done by a rental guest.

According to Matt Bendett, founder of Peerspace with more than 20,000 active properties on its platform, “We require hosts to be mindful and compliant…it’s really hard for us to do that alone without the host’s cooperation.”

Thanks to the New York Times.

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