If you want to rent a house — or even just a room or two in your house — you have three ways to go.

  1. You can rent hourly to photographers, movie producers and people who want to host events.
  2. You can rent to tourists, who need a place to stay overnight.
  3. Or, you can find a long-term renter.

Each option has pros and cons. Here’s a snapshot of each:

Rental pros and cons

Renting by the hour is, by far, the most lucrative way to rent a house. Sites that arrange hourly bookings generally suggest you set your rates at four- to-five times what you might charge if you were renting the house out through AIrbnb. (Our editor tested this and earned $1,455 in one 12-hour day.) However, because these rentals usually involve having relatively large groups of people at your home, they also pose the most risk. Loss, damage, and liability. It’s important to understand your insurance coverage if you get into this.

Renting overnight to tourists can bring in steady income to people who live in or near popular tourist destinations. However, if you don’t have a separate guest house/rental unit, it can be the most disruptive to your life because you’re constantly dealing with strangers in your home.

Renting to a long-term tenant can be a great way to share your housing expenses. And, if you get the right tenant, you may also share chores and friendships too. But choose long-term tenants carefully. Once long-term tenants are in, they can be extremely difficult to get out. A litany of state laws and regulations detail renters’ rights. (We’ll explain more, if you choose this option.)

So, with that preamble…

How do you want to rent your house?

  1. rent by the hour
  2. to overnight tourists
  3. find a long-term tenant