According to CBS Miami, the state of Florida has benefitted from three consecutive years of ground-breaking tourism numbers, which is due in part to allowing homeowners to rent their properties seasonally. Vacation rentals are considered any property that is rented more than three times per year for a period of less than 30 days each time. Vacation rentals by owners are becoming increasingly popular, particularly in prime vacation spots, such as Florida. Beach rentals are often viewed as an ideal getaway, and if you own such a property, you could find that people are practically standing in line to rent your property.
Sites such as HomeAway.com have become popular options for listing rental properties. In fact, ABC News reports that HomeAway.com has more than one million listings. While HomeAway.com offers a guarantee to the owner for several areas, they do not screen for criminal activity. The same can also be said for Airbnb.com. Recently, Airbnb has received press coverage regarding activity taking place in rentals listed on the site. For instance, New York Post reports that prostitutes often use apartments listed on Airbnb for brothels. How can you be certain that you are not letting your place to a criminal?
While, you can never be truly certain what someone will do when you rent your home to them for a short term rental, there are some steps you can take to limit the potential for criminal activity. The first and most important step you should take when renting out your vacation property is to ensure that you properly screen applicants. Although tenant screening is commonly performed by landlords for long-term rentals, when it comes to short-term vacation rentals by owner, landlords sometimes have more of a tendency to be remiss about performing background checks.
Sites such as HomeAway.com may be popular options for listing vacation rentals hot spots such as Miami, FL, but they do not offer criminal background checks. Failing to conduct a criminal background check can leave your property vulnerable to all types of criminal activity, including the potential for being used for drug and prostitute activity. Vacation rentals are often preferred for such activity because hotels have security cameras and doormen. Criminals far prefer the anonymity and privacy offered by vacation rental properties.
How should you conduct a background check for your vacation rental by owner? You could try to handle it on your own, but you might quickly find that the process can seem a bit overwhelming. Furthermore, you need to make sure that the background check run includes multiple states and not just the state in which your property is located. QuickScreen, a service offered by VerticalRent, allows property owners to quickly run a criminal scan on applicants who are applying to rent their vacation rental properties. It only takes a few minutes to run the scan and can provide owners with increased peace of mind as well as the ability to make a more informed rental decision when reviewing applicants.