Help me rent my condo
May 17, 2009 8:51 AM Subscribe
I need ideas for renting out our furnished Seattle condo while still allowing us to use it periodically, and while not running afoul of our condo association's rule regarding rentals.
posted by HotToddy to Home & Garden (9 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
We have a studio condo in downtown Seattle. It's just a vacation home for us and we haven't been using it that much lately. We would like to rent it out, but don't want to give up the use of it completely.
One obvious solution would be to list it as a vacation rental, but I am looking for a steadier source of income than that, and without the constant turnover and need for cleaning. This morning I happened to read a story in the NYT about "crash pads" for commuter pilots and, while that is not a good option for us, it got me thinking that there are probably a lot of niche markets of which I'm unaware. Do you have any other ideas?
Possibly relevant information:
-It is in downtown Seattle, ideally located for tourists (right under the Space Needle).
-It is very small--365 square feet with one queen bed, two Aerobeds, and a sofa bed that sleeps one (really it would only be good for, max, two adults and two kids).
-Everything in it (furniture, carpet, paint, bedding--everything) is less than two years old and I am very concerned about these things getting trashed. I realize these concerns are somewhat incompatible with renting it out but I'd like to minimize my risks as much as possible.
-Although everything is new, it's not luxurious (mostly IKEA-type furnishings). A fancy executive, for instance, would probably not find it suitable.
-We would like to be able to use it one weekend every month or two. The ideal situation would be to rent it to some individual who frequently travels to Seattle, but I've no idea how to find such a person short of Craigslist.
Complication: Our condo association charges a $500 "move in" fee and a $500 "move out" fee for renters. The ostensible reason for the charge is to compensate the association for the wear and tear incurred while people are moving their belongings; however, the real reason for the charge is that they want to discourage owners from renting out their units and are trying to make it economically unfeasible to do so. However, because our condo is furnished, there will be no "move in" or "move out," right? How likely do you think I'd be to prevail with that argument?