Rent out your home this holiday season

Many South Africans choose to take advantage of the public holidays and the warm weather by visiting loved ones or going on an adventure over December and January. However, expenditure over this festive season can quickly add up if you’ve planned a well-deserved break.

It, therefore, can be worth renting out your house for the season, so you can supplement your spending while you are away. Nowadays, short-term rental websites, such as Airbnb, make it relatively easy to rent out your home to holidaymakers, and receive an extra income for little extra effort. It’s a superb idea — however, take a look at these considerations before you open up your home.

Although ‘tis the season to be jolly, this period does, however, come with a few less-merry considerations to bear in mind.

For example, during these summer months, there tends to be higher risk of break-ins. Although there are numerous benefits to renting out your home while you’re away — such as earning an extra income and not leaving the property unoccupied so that it is vulnerable to a break-in — there are also other potential risks that you need to protect yourself against as a homeowner. For example, you could well come back to find items missing or damaged, or to see that part of your property has been vandalised.

If you do not have sufficient insurance to cover you, renting out your house could end up costing you dearly and setting you back for the new year. Be aware that typical home insurance may not provide cover for any damage or theft that could occur while your home is being rented to strangers. As theft cover on a standard personal policy requires forcible entry, it is unlikely that you would be able to claim for anything that is stolen by a guest. If you are planning to let out your home this holiday season, it is, therefore, crucial to carefully read the terms and conditions of your insurance policies to ensure that you understand the extent of your cover.

As short-term letting will generate a revenue, it is also technically considered to be a commercial venture, which means that you may require more comprehensive insurance for the associated risks. As well as protecting your physical possessions, you should ensure that you have liability cover in case a guest injures themselves on your property during their stay. Otherwise, you could be held liable as the owner, which may have some serious cost implications.

If you do decide to rent out your home while you’re away, bear in mind that you may be hosting travellers who have different habits to you. This could result in a nasty surprise when you return from vacation, so you should consider various ‘worst-case’ scenarios for insurance purposes.

Don’t hesitate to arrange a meeting to discuss how you can make this holiday season as financially viable as possible. Furthermore, be sure to have sufficient cover in place so that you can enjoy peace of mind, as well as a potentially greater income stream this holiday season.

(Info from

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