All eyes will be on Cleveland next summer as the official Republican presidential candidate is selected – and some of those eyes might be on Clevelanders’ homes
The convention will be July 18-21, 2016, and hotel rooms around the city have been booked since the dates for the convention were announced, as delegates, guests and journalists raced to reserve their spots. Some of the wealthier attendees, however, might be looking for something more comfortable and spacious.
It’s still a year until the convention, but for homeowners interested in listing their houses or apartments for rent, there’s plenty of preparation to do. Even Democrats can profit from the RNC by renting out their homes (though they might want to leave their affiliation out of their listings).
If you're interested in listing your own home for rent during the convention, here are a few tips to get you started:
How do I list my home?
Several Cleveland-area realtors are helping list homes and apartments for rental during the week of the convention. Howard Hanna
was named the official realtor of the Republican Party of Cuyahoga County. Also check out Cleveland House Hotels
, which specializes in vacation home rentals and has special listings posted for the RNC.
How much money can I get for it?
The old real estate cliché is true: the most important factor is location, location, location. The residences nearest to Quicken Loans Arena will fetch the highest price.
The most expensive rentals are asking as much as $40,000 for the week, such as local architect Robert Maschke's home
near the West Side. If it sounds too good to be true, be aware that the expected rental prices tend to be inflated. A condo in Cleveland
might go for $16,000, while some four-bedroom homes out in Lakewood are listed for only $5,700. Most homes, like those on Cleveland House Hotels, are listed around $10,000 and up for the week. Based on rental prices during previous conventions in other cities, this seems more reasonable.
A homeowner in Tampa, Florida
who tried to rent out his home for the 2012 convention wasn’t able to find a satisfactory offer. His home, with a waterfront view and within walking distance of the convention location, only received an offer of $15,000, which he turned down to wait for a better offer. It never came.
The good news: if a personal residence is rented out for less than 15 days of the year, the income does not need to be listed on tax forms and will be tax-free
. Most homes are only being rented out for the week of the convention, so that fits neatly into the time limit. It’s best to consult a tax advisor to be sure.
What do I do when the RNC is in town?
Homeowners will also want to consider finding a place to stay while their home is rented out. Some people will schedule their summer vacation for the same week, or stay with family members. Any valuable possessions or expensive artwork should be stored away from home for safekeeping.
What if something goes wrong?
Not all homeowners’ insurance policies cover short-term rentals. The company will need to be notified of the rental beforehand, and may require a policy update to provide coverage. For a one-time rental, it most likely won’t be necessary to make a full upgrade to landlord insurance.
As with any home rental situation, homeowners should avoid making any nonwritten promises and outline all their terms in the lease agreement. It’s also a good idea to run a background check on a tenant before making the final decision.
Is it worth it?
Rental prices for a single week are going to be pretty hefty during the RNC, so homeowners can potentially make a lot of money. It doesn’t come cheap, though – there’s plenty of labor and expenses involved, especially if the insurance policy needs to be updated. And then there’s the risk involved with letting strangers (to say nothing of RNC attendees) stay at your home.
The bottom line – it depends on the situation. If you are considering renting out your home during the convention next year, it’s best to consider the costs against the potential income.