How to Get Started on Airbnb – If You Have a Landlord

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Becoming an Airbnb host sounds like a rental dream-come-true, but before you actually hang the welcome sign on your door, there are a few things to consider. One major issue being, are you the owner of the property?

Before we go into detail on how to propose this to your landlord, let’s get one thing straight. Never rent out space without your landlord’s permission. EVER! Going around his/her back isn’t legal or fair. The potential consequences include getting evicted without notice, although most laws require a notice for eviction giving you a certain time to prepare and deal with the consequences of your secretive actions. It’s best not to gamble with your luck, and be open and honest about your intentions.

Now, let’s cut to the chase and get into the mechanics of softening up your landlord so you can start your hosting days!


Change Your Perspective

First of all, you have to really think like a landlord to understand where he/she is coming from in terms of perspective. Your landlord might be a hip, cool individual who’s all up for new adventures and business opportunities. Which is great for you.

Bear in mind that not all landlords are that open-minded. Some might have a hard time renting out to you in the first place, let alone a hoard of strangers every month. To some landlords, it’s a frightening thought, which is why, before starting THE conversation, you have to get deep into the mind of your landlord.

One thing all landlords have in common is: They don’t want any property damage and they don’t want to hassle with continually changing tenants. Add a few of other issues here and there, and you have a lot of strategizing to do in order to end your negotiation in a positive manner.

Give Some to Get Some

Appealing as it may sound to rake in all the Airbnb profit on your own, it might be a good idea to give some percentage away to your landlord.

  • An additional financial benefit isn’t something people usually reject without giving it a second thought. Or if you don’t want to give up your earnings, you can offer to pay a higher rent. This option is definitely a must if you see your landlord isn’t budging.
  • Offer to cover all the damage made by Airbnb tenants. After all, you want your landlord to know that you’ll be in charge, and if any damage were to happen, you will take responsibility for it.
  • You can even discuss what guests are preferable in the unit, in terms of business/families, how long will they stay and how often you plan on hosting.
  • Make sure that your landlord knows you’re in charge. If you really want to take a bite of the sharing economy pie, then be willing to show you’re going to be there every step of the way, taking accountability for whatever happens and making sure his/her property is safe and intact.

Demonstrate Your Commitment

What are some of the main reasons you want to rent out your landlord’s property on Airbnb? You will have to elaborate more on the idea, instead of just talking about the finances. Go into detail why you’re considering this option.

  • Will the extra income help your lifestyle and enable you to pay rent on time?
  • Will it improve your way of life by connecting with different people?

Overall, try to explain all the benefits from your standpoint, but don’t sound too naïve, like hosting is always just rainbows and butterflies. Mention the potential risks and show you have a plan and strategy on how to handle them. Balance out the pros and cons, so that your landlord sees you’ve given this serious thought, and taken into consideration both your and his needs. The more serious, dedicated and responsible you are, the higher the chances are your landlord is going to say yes.

Be Open to Suggestions

If your landlord is already familiar with the concept of Airbnb and is on the verge of accepting your proposal, you need to be willing to take his suggestions. After all, it’s his property so whatever fits in with his vision, should be considered. Getting the permission doesn’t mean you should exclude the landlord from the process altogether. On the contrary, be open for conversation at all times to discuss the issue in detail.

But remember, whatever your deal is, and I’m sure it will be different in each case, put it all in writing!

Be a Person Not a Sales Representative

No matter how much you need the potential extra income, never badger your landlord and try to sell the idea to him/her. You’re both hopefully reasonable people that can discuss it on a level that doesn’t sound like a business pitch. He might get offended by the fact you’re utilizing his property to become an entrepreneur of a sort. Don’t get caught up in numbers and fancy sales vocabulary, because it’s not going to sound sincere or appealing.


While hosting offers rich experiences to both guests and hosts, it’s nonetheless, a big responsibility. Take it as such and enable your landlord to get insight into your entire plan and strategy.

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