People who Airbnb should be aware of certain bylaws and regulations that govern their homes. Photo: Facebook
DURBAN - With tougher economic conditions people are turning to short-term rentals like Airbnb to make extra money.

The rise of short-term rental online sites can be seen as one of the largest disruptors of the rental space and positive increase to the economy. 

However the Executive Head of Hippo.co.za, Vera Vera Nagtegaal, warns homeowners to be aware of the different and bylaws that govern the rental sector. 

Nagtegaal said "Short-term rentals are a fantastic way for homeowners to earn a little more spending money. But, for any homeowner who is considering renting out their home, it is important that they are aware of the regulations, insurance implications and security risks involved". 

The city of Cape Town signed a deal with Airbnb in October this year to promote the advantages of people-to-people tourism for the residents of Cape Town and their communities as well as endorse Cape Town across the globe as a one-of-a-kind travel destination. 

According to Airbnb's report entitled "Overview of the Airbnb community in South Africa" about R817 million wasmade by local households and more than R2,4 billion in total economic activity was produced betweeen Airbnb hosts and guests spending in South Africa 2016. 

Cape Town has 17600 live listings on Airbnb and Airbnb host shave made a combined income of R762 million in the past 12 months.

Nagtegaal indicated that after the city's announcement encouraging people tourists to utilise the short-term rentals, Counsellor Brett Herron cautioned that homeowners should keep in mind the the municipal planning bylaws which point out that a block of flats cannot be used for holiday accommodation or hotel purposes. 

If an owner wants to do short-term letting from a block of flats whether it is Airbnb or something must make sure that the property is properly zoned and mut apply for permission from the city's development management department. 

Nagtegaal explained "In letting out your home, this also has an impact on your insurance cover". She added that should your home be used for commercial purposes, an insurance claim can run the risk of being rejected if insufficient cover or if the wrong type of cover is in place. 

According to Nagtegaal it is very important that homeowners also understand the various types of cover available to protect against theft, damage and other potential claims that can be made. 

The home is technically is being run as a property for commercial gain, this has an effect on the type of cover homeowners should have in place which could also include public liability cover. 

Nagtegaal concluded by saying "As we gear up for the festive season, short-term rental hosts are encouraged to review and compare their existing cover against the various types of cover available to ensure that they are adequately and appropriately covered against any eventuality". 

- BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE