So you want to rent your house by the hour? It’s a remarkably fun and lucrative opportunity that generally pays four-to-five times more than renting to tourists.

Rewards

Typically, home owners can charge $50 to $500 per hour when renting their space in this way. Obviously, the larger and the more unique the space, the more you charge. The other nice thing about renting your house by the hour is that renters are generally required to leave your space in the pristine condition that it was in before they walked in the door.

In other words, your house should be clean when everyone arrives. But you shouldn’t have to vacuum, clean bathrooms, or pick-up after the renters leave, unless you agree to it in advance. And, if you do allow renters to leave your house without cleaning, you can — and should — charge a cleaning fee.

Indeed, a big part of this market involves renting to movie producers. In these cases, it’s common to require the production to pay for a “site rep.” A site rep’s job is to take photographs before and after the production arrives. They make sure that everything is returned to its proper place and undamaged before the renters leave your space. If there are damages, the site rep will prepare a report, with photographs, that you can use to withhold a portion of the renter’s deposit or pursue a damage claim against the production.

Risks

However, there are also unique risks associated with renting your house out by the hour. Most specifically, whether the house is rented for a movie or a party, there’s a good chance that dozens of people will be on your site. The more people you host, the greater the chance that someone will hurt themselves or damage your property. You need to protect yourself by requiring that the movie production — or event — is covered by insurance.

Most of the platforms here offer some liability coverage as part of their booking service. However, these policies typically only cover liability claims, not breakage or damage to your home.

Additionally, most seasoned directors will have production insurance to cover liability for their crew. By and large, they also usually are willing to provide a deposit. If the renter doesn’t want to show you a copy of the certificate of insurance or provide a deposit, consider it a red flag.

If the platform doesn’t offer it, people who want to host parties at your house would need to buy separate “event insurance” to provide you with similar liability coverage. And, you should require a deposit to pay for any potential damage to your home.

With that said….

Rent your house by the hour

There are six different websites that can help you rent your house out by the hour. Each has a slightly different geographic footprint and terms. However, you do not have to choose between them. If there are several hourly house rental sites in your city, you can sign up with them all to boost your chance of getting regular rentals.

Here are your choices.

Giggster

Giggster specializes in renting houses out to movie producers and advertising directors, who use your space to film both professional and amateur (college-level) movies, music videos and advertisements. The site differentiates itself from its competitors by offering great customer service and by only charging fees on the rental, not add ons. (Other sites, such as Peerspace, will charge a site commission against cleaning fees, site rep fees and deposits.) The site charges a 15% commission on bookings and operates in 12 states — California, New York, Texas, Georgia, Illinois, Colorado, Nevada, Florida, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, Oregon, Washington State. 

Peerspace

Peerspace offers the same service as Giggster for the same price, but has a larger geographic footprint. The site operates in major (and some smaller) cities in the U.S., U.K. and Canada. (You can find the full list here.) The flip side: Customer service is non-existent and if you charge extra for cleaning, a site rep or want to collect a deposit through the site, Peerspace will deduct it’s 15% fee on those add-ons, as well as your booking. If you’re trying to charge cleaning at cost, you’ll need to mark it up to come out even after the Peerspace take or collect it outside of the platform. 

Splacer

Splacer is set up almost identically to Peerspace, with the major differences being that Splacer operates in fewer cities and is much less accepting of host cancellations. The site operates in New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Miami and Chicago. There’s no fee to list your space, but if it’s rented the site will deduct a 15% commission from the host’s payout. The site collects the full amount of the booking upfront and puts the payment in escrow until the day after the event. You get paid within a week following the event by direct deposit. However, if you need to cancel a booking, Splacer imposes at least a $100 fee for any host cancellation and may also charge a 5% processing fee. If you cancel more than one event in 6 months, you and your venue will be booted from the platform.

ThisOpenSpace

ThisOpenSpace allows you to list your real estate as a venue for events ranging from movie and photography shoots to corporate events and pop-up stores. You set your price and decide what type of events you’re willing to host and when. The site handles bookings and collects payment, taking a fee ranging from 10% to 15%. Hosts are paid four weeks after ThisOpenSpace collects payment, or before the event starts, whichever comes first.  But this site has a strict cancellation policy for both owners and renters. So don’t agree to a booking if you’re not certain it will work. The site also has a limited geographic footprint, operating only in New York, Los Angeles, Toronto, Vancouver, Ottawa and Montreal.

Avvay

Like Giggster and PeerSpace, AVVAY lets property owners rent their space by the hour for special events. These can include photography shoots, birthdays, corporate meetings, filming and the like. You set the rental rate and terms, including whether to tack on extras for cleaning or potential damages. Owners also choose how to handle client cancellations. Payments are generally made in advance. But AVVAY does not have commercial liability insurance. So make sure you ask your renters to get event insurance or production insurance, depending on what they’re booking.

CozyMeal

CozyMeal connects chefs and caterers with people wanting to arrange private and corporate dinner parties and cooking classes. The site also books homes as venues for these events when neither the chef nor the client has the right space. Since this site is all about cooking and eating spaces, you need to have a big kitchen to qualify. If you do, you can earn $100 – $150 an hour.

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