Summer's here, and that means plenty of opportunity — and risk — for beach-house owners who want to rent out their dwellings.
Reservations at Airbnb are up sharply year-over-year for beachside destinations, in the U.S. and abroad. Havana, Cuba — where you can rent a swanky seaside home for $528 a night — has seen a 940 percent increase in bookings.
In the U.S., travelers are interested in Destin, Florida, where Airbnb reservations climbed by 232 percent from last year. There a two-bedroom condo with private beach access will run $229 a night.
Though short-term rentals can be lucrative, homeowners or lessees should do their homework before listing their properties.
Failure to do so can put you on the wrong side of local zoning regulations, your landlord or your homeowners association. In the worst case, your insurer may not cover any property damage while you're hosting.
"The prospect of side income is very exciting, but there are serious legal issues," said Ron Leshnower, a New York-based real estate attorney and author. "You can't just try hosting guests and then postpone your research."
Here are the five biggest risks to hosts who invite summer guests into their homes.