The travel industry has been transformed by a fairly simply concept: Regular folks renting out their homes. Actually, this isn’t totally new but with the arrival of AirBnB, the ease of renting a second home or a backroom has become as easy as ordering a book on Amazing. According to their mission statement, AirBnB provides “a trusted community marketplace for people to list, discover and book unique accommodations around the world.” Those accommodations can be anything from an entire beach house to a pup tent in a backyard. It is free to list your property on AirBnB. A guest who wants to book your space will pay through AirBnB. They will collect a service fee and then pay the host once the trip is concluded.

Everything is copacetic, right? For the most part, it is but if you intend of putting your home up for availability on a site like AirBnb you need to be aware of the pros and cons.

The Cons

You Could Be Evicted

Obviously, this only holds true to someone who is renting a place and posts that on AirBnB. Sure, you can have friends stay over anytime in your rental apartment but the moment you collect money from a guest you’re officially subletting that place and that could be a no-no with your lease.

You Could Be Breaking the Law

There are many cities and communities around the country that prohibit so-called “short-stay accommodations.” This is very true in a lot of beach communities. They might let you rent your property on a monthly basis but not weekly. Check before you dive in.

Your Place Could Be Totally Trashed

Admit it; when you stay at a hotel you don’t necessarily clean up, right? You leave it for the maid. That attitude could be pervasive among your AirBnB guests. There have been some notorious stories about AirBnB travelers who threw wild parties or stole personal identities. AirBnB instituted a Host Guarantee type of insurance policy that protects you from damage and theft up to $1,000,000. That’s nice but it wouldn’t be so nice to come home to.

The Pros

The Revenue Stream

Depending on your property, you can fetch a pretty decent sum of cash. Remember, you’re hoping to give travelers a break from the cost of a hotel so charge your per night rate accordingly. On the other hand, if you have a beach home or lake house that is sitting idle, why not get some of your mortgage paid off?

You’ll Meet A Lot of Interesting Folks

This applies more if you are just renting out a room while still living in your home. You could be introduced to some amazing cultures and traditions by sharing your home with a world traveler. While it is true that a guest is going to do their own thing, there is nothing wrong with inviting them to dinner or sharing a cup of coffee over breakfast.

Easy to Set Up

As mentioned above, it is easy to set up an AirBnB account and it doesn’t cost you anything. You just have to put in the effort of taking some appealing pictures and uploading those. AirBnB does the rest.

Bottom line: You have the potential to generate significant extra income from your properties. Are you ready to make that move?