The Reasons You Need Compliance Software to Track Short Term Rentals Now

by | Mar 31, 2020

Short term rental compliance software allows property managers to streamline their process for short term rentals, monitoring whether renters/tenants are complying with building rules and regulations.

In regular times, this is important, in today’s world, with coronavirus fears in every community, it’s a necessity.

Short term rentals are still happening. Some locations are being used as shelter in place options, and in other areas, where coronavirus cases are still low, renters are seeking opportunities for a change in scenery. The rules and regulations appear to be changing daily, depending on location and platform. If it’s difficult for you as a property manager to navigate, you can be sure your tenants are just as confused.

As bans are expanded or lifted, short term rental compliance software can help you monitor activity and communicate rules and regulations to your tenants. Both of the following circumstances appear to be occurring across the US:

  1. Your tenants are traveling back to be with their family or to spend time in their vacation homes, and need to make some income during this time of uncertainty. They are looking for opportunities to list their properties as short term rentals.
  2. Potential short term renters either want to get out of a high-risk area and go to a lower risk area to shelter or they want to get away during this time.

While this might not appear to be an issue, sources tell us that there will be an extended time of continual changes in the short term rental space.

If you have tenants in situation-1, who have left their apartment, condo, or home to shelter somewhere else, and they are renting their space in your building, it’s even more critical that you stay up to date on what’s happening in their property. Chances are your hosts may be checked out(mentally – pardon the pun). Even hosts that have been conscientious in the past are now distracted, fearful, and need the income.

If you are experiencing scenario-2, the risks are even higher.

New York recently put out a 14-day shelter in place for anyone who left NYC looking to get out of the hot spot. There are a lot of them. Some of those people may be in your properties. Knowing who is or isn’t renting now will allow you to enforce your regulations. You will need to decide whether you will allow these rental situations to occur, and to provide details about your cleaning methods and requirements – which will be relevant well into the future.

If you can’t allow for short term rentals due to the coronavirus, short term rental compliance software plays a role in your PR campaign. Buildings do not want to end up negatively in the news. This negative press can happen when you lose sight of your building because of your own remote situation. The right technology can become your eyes.

There is another scenario that is more of speculation at this point. We know from the past that disasters can drive crime. Situations of desperation call for desperate acts. The short term rental industry could be a target. Tenants looking to make a few bucks are more likely to list properties – available or not.

Additionally, there are spreader mentalities, which we witnessed early on in this pandemic – where infected individuals knowingly rent properties to spread infections or cause disorder. While we hope that these scenarios never play out, they are possibilities. In these cases, knowledge is power and prevention.

Whether or not you are continuing to allow short term renters into your building, you will want to monitor the traffic on all major platforms daily and enforce rules and regulations as needed.

If you are in an area that can have renters, short term rental compliance software will be one step of an in-depth process.

Property managers are beginning to create a robust protocol around who rents in their buildings. This protocol includes requiring hosts to ask renters to complete a more comprehensive application so they can know where they are coming from, how long they are staying, and why they are in your area.

Regardless of the reason, short term rental compliance software will become essential to manage your properties amid a changing environment. The outlook for the short term rental industry is tumultuous at best, although, as we will share below, some sources believe short term rentals will fare better than hotels. Projections show that we will see seasonal bouts with coronavirus in the future. With that looming on the horizon, you either face constant difficulties or create tight processes that you can manage now. Whether you are allowing short term rentals to continue or not, you must know who, what, when, and where.

Finally, what about your health and safety as a property manager?

Many managers tell us they like to “walk their buildings” as compliance managers. These extroverted, relationship-based property managers will struggle to get the needed information while working virtually themselves.

A property dashboard that comes from short term rental compliance software gives property managers vision into the short term rental activity at your property at all times. You can see host details, photos and more. If property managers aren’t tech-savvy and are worried about the added burden of learning a technology platform, that’s not an issue. Managers can receive daily, and weekly reporting delivered right to their inbox.

When you couple conscientious property managers with the right short term rental compliance software, you can manage the constantly changing environment we are facing.

Regardless of what happens, short term rentals are here to stay. The outlook for Airbnb and other similar platforms, according to many sources, remains high, even if tumultuous. And it makes sense. If renters face vacations, business travel, and getaways that require them to limit their social interactions, most would prefer to stay in a bigger space (than a hotel room) if they can trust the cleanliness.

If property managers can tighten up their policies and create cleaning and exchange protocol that satisfies the cleaning and social distance lessons we are learning from the coronavirus, we may have a win in this industry that can’t be beaten by a virus. Short term rental compliance software is the foundation that lets you manage, regardless of the reasons

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