British Columbia

University of Victoria offers course to prepare future Airbnb hosts

This November, the University of Victoria continuing studies is offering a short-term course on short-term rentals.

Course begins in November, registration opens in July

Susan Jones says there’s more to short-term rentals than posting online and raking in cash — there can be real risks to consider. (Airbnb)

There's more to short-term rentals than posting online and raking in cash, Susan Jones says.

A former property manager in Victoria, Jones says there's a lot of preparation and care to be taken, and she's teaching a course at the University of Victoria to show prospective hosts the ropes before they receive their first guests.

"I would really like people to leave with a good understanding of what the risks are, both as a host as well as a guest, and how you can do your due diligence in both of those positions," Jones told All Points West guest host Kirstie Hudson.

Jones says she pitched the course to UVic after she was approached by friends who wanted to rent out their homes on Airbnb, VRBO and other websites, but had questions

How will strata bylaws come into play? What do you need to know about rental agreements? Should you get insurance? And how do the unique features of your home affect your risk?

"If you have a large fountain in your backyard, it's beautiful, but it's also a risk," she said. "Would you allow young children, families [to rent]? Those kinds of things have to be considered."

"More often than not, you'll see the positive responses people have … there's millions of those compared to the bad experiences."

"Vacation Rentals: To Host or Not to Host?" is being offered through UVic continuing studies, and begins in November, with registration opening the first week of July.

With files form CBC Radio One's All Points West

To hear the full story, click the audio labelled: UVic course wants to prep hosts on Airbnb and others for the risks of renting