Safer Travels in a New Home-Sharing World

via mashable.com

Home-sharing has become a modern day solution to exorbitant hotel fees and a quick way to have your own residence earn you an income while you’re home or away.

Before using this type of service, whether it be as a host or a guest, Yohana Desta, from mashable.com authors some tips for renting in this new industry. Here are just a few of Yohana’s tips:

1.      Background checks

Before booking your next stay or approving a guest to stay at your home, be sure to check the websites policy on conducting background checks on its users. Some do not perform background checks on its users, but only reserves the right to perform a background check. While it’s a convenient way to earn some extra money, your neighbor in the adjacent apartment may be subletting their space out to a total stranger of which has just become your new neighbor with access to the building.

2.      Some home-sharing websites have a team of professional photographers

Hosts can have a professional team come and photograph your home for the website, this showing a more credible look to potential guests. On the flip side, a professional photograph may be just that, a fancy set up room with perfect lighting to give you an inaccurate view of where you are applying to stay. Its best to still look at reviews to match up what guests are saying and what is being shown.

3.      Be aware of extra fees

When booking a room on a home-sharing site, be sure to factor in the extra fees that the host can attach to your total bill. Guests can pay up to a 12% service charge when they book a room, in addition to a cleaning fee and a deposit fee. In some cases, the cleaning fee can be upwards of $100 in addition to your nightly stay fee.

4.      Cancellation policies may vary

Different home-sharing platforms have different cancellation policies that can vary from flexible cancellation refunds to strict refunds, where you could pay 50% of your reservation fee if you cancel until 60 days prior to arrival. Be sure to check out the cancellation policy on the next booking you make and educat yourself on your next stay.

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