Cash-in this Holiday with Hosting on Airbnb Australia

The Airbnb boom is enabling many Australians to earn over $5,000 per month. This summer, Airbnb is looking for Australian hosts who want to cash in while away on holiday or make an extra income by renting out a spare room to travellers.

Australia is usually one of the highest in-demand destinations from December to February, with many Sydney hosts reporting the money they received, covering all their holiday trip expenses.

Airbnb is a community-driven marketplace that makes hosting short-term rentals in Australian easy and profitable. You can get a quick monthly estimate online, to help you determine if hosting will be worth-while. However, you do have to meet some basic requirements and create a killer listing so you’ll stand out from the crowd.

Why host with Airbnb?

While the financial gain of hosting is not a guarantee, the potential for creating a life-changing side business is what attracts most people. Australian hosts generally rent rooms, their primary residence or apartments as short-stay rentals because you can capitalize on high daily rental rates compared to long-term leases.

Whether hosting is worth it for you, depends on your specific circumstances. For example, do you have the time to deal with online inquiries, clean the house and keep guests happy? On the other hand, what you earn as a host might enable you to hire someone to take care of this, while still increasing your inflow of cash.

Pros and cons of hosting with Airbnb

Advantages Disadvantages
Generate an extra income. You might even be able to switch to part-time work. Your location and proximity to attractions will influence the amount of money you can potentially make.
You decide your availability. For example, if you have family visiting, you can block off the calendar and not rent your space during that time. You won't have the certainty of knowing how much rental income you can expect each month; it depends mainly on the demand and seasonality.
Airbnb makes it easy to list your property for free. You control the pricing, house rules, and how you interact with guests. Even though listings are free, Airbnb may charge a host service fee of 3% for each reservation to cover the costs of running the business.
You can request additional fees upfront for things like house cleaning. Guests can also pay you through the Airbnb app for services you provide, for example, sightseeing tours. You might sometimes have to deal with unhappy and demanding guests and must clean rooms.
Airbnb’s Guarantee program offers up to USD 1,000,000 worth of coverage for the rare event of damages done to your property by guests. Unruly guests are always a possibility. You do run the risk of guests damaging your property or inconveniencing you and your neighbours. Airbnb might not cover everything, for example, your cash, jewellery and pets.
You might be able to read reviews on potential guests before they come to stay, and once you've become established, you could have a list of regular visitors.
Connect with different people from all around the world.

How much does the average Airbnb host make?

It’s estimated that you can earn up to three times more with Airbnb vs what you’d make renting out your property long term. However, the amount of money depends on where in Australia you live (the higher the demand, the higher the potential of making money), the type of residence your offer and the number of guests you can accommodate.

For example, if you live in Sydney and rent out your entire place, which comfortably houses five guests, you can expect about $5,856 per month or $1,847 for a private room for one guest.

On the other hand, if your house is in Queensland, you might only get up to $1,746 per month when renting out your entire home, or $729 per month for a private room for one guest.

How and when will you get paid

You decide the price for your listing and can add additional fees, for example, cleaning services. It might be a good idea to use the Airbnb host calculator to determine the asking price for other listings in your city or neighbourhood.

Generally, you can expect to receive money 24 hours after a guest’s scheduled check-in time. If you’re a new host, then Airbnb could hold your payouts for 30 days after the first reservation is confirmed.

You can choose how you’d like to receive payment, for example via Paypal or direct deposit. However, it does depend on your location.

Do you have to pay taxes on Airbnb income?

Yes, in Australia, you must declare to the Australian Tax Office (ATO) the income received from short term renting of property/rooms through Airbnb. However, the ATO generally does not class money received from Airbnb as a business, which means you might be able to claim a tax deduction. You could claim for a portion of the mortgage and electricity, repairs and maintenance, and the hosting fees charged by Airbnb.

Generally, Good and Services Tax (GST) does not apply to residential rents, so you can’t claim GST associated costs.

Life Insurance Direct are not tax professionals; please consult your accountant or tax specialist regarding paying taxes on your Airbnb income.

Is Airbnb safe for hosts?

As an Airbnb host, you are essentially inviting strangers into your home. However, there are safety tips you can incorporate. You can decline a reservation request, and it won’t negatively affect your listing placement. If you’ve already accepted the booking, you can cancel it, although you might incur a cancellation penalty.

You might want to read reviews from other hosts before booking a guest, and you’re allowed to ask for proof of identification before confirming a booking. As an added precaution, you can ask potential guests to agree to your house rules before booking, for example, no loud music after 10 pm.

As a host you’ll also receive the added protection of liability coverage for up to USD 1,000,000 from Airbnb’s Host Protection Insurance programme should there be a third-party claim for bodily injury or property damage due to an Airbnb stay. You’ll also have the Airbnb’s Host Guarantee which provides an additional USD 1,000,000 against property damage for every booking.

However, this additional coverage does not replace insurance. You might want to consider homeowner’s insurance if you do not have it already.

How to become a host in Australia

First, visit the airbnb.com.au website and navigating to the ‘Become a host’ page. Create an account, using either your Facebook or Google credentials or your email address. After that, an online form will prompt you to provide details regarding the general criteria of your place, such as your home type (entire place, private room or shared room), the number of guests it can accommodate and city you’re in.

Then, the fun part starts, where you provide more information about your listing. Your listing should ideally include an accurate written description, a user profile so potential guests can get to know you and be sure to add lots of high-quality pictures with captions. You might also want to mention the experiences and restaurants that are available nearby.

Airbnb puts you in control and makes listing your place super easy. Are you ready to earn extra money and start this holiday adventure?

Author: Russell Cain
Published: November 13, 2019
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