When you own properties abroad, you invest in a vacation or a future retirement home. More and more families rent overseas, and these homes are also usually located in popular travel destinations, so before your retirement or vacation time comes, they can bring in additional vacation rental income. As a foreign home owner you can rent your investment property to vacationers who prefer to stay in an apartment or home rather than in a hotel. You will find some people who only want to stay the traditional one- to two-week period while others seek a longer term vacation rental of a month or more.

1. Find out what your income rental tax obligations are in the country where you own the property. It is important to register any income that comes from a rental property in the country where the property is being rented. Failure to register and report income received can result in heavy fines and even property liens. Contact an attorney or accountant in the country where you own the property to ask about this type of income, and to get help in registering the rental business. Have this legal professional help you meet government requirements and show you how and where to pay government permits and fees, if they are required.

2. Take attractive photographs of the home. The best way to get impressive photographs is to hire a professional photographer to take the images. Contact foreign real estate agencies in the area to find a qualified real estate photographer.

3. Navigate to websites like Vacation Rental by Owner, Transitions Abroad or Home Away, listed in the Resources section. These are well known websites that offer listings for people who want to rent a home abroad. Create a listing with one or more of these websites. Most vacation rental listing websites require a small fee to list the home.

4. Place pictures and a well thought out description of your vacation property in the listing you make. Describe the vacation rental’s location, the number of bedrooms, the distance from the airport, interesting tourist attractions and the availability of public transportation. Include any services like cleaning, electricity, TV and Internet that come with the vacation rental. Leave current contact information in the listing.

5. Create a website for your vacation rental. Many vacation rentals have websites with availability calendars, information about the home and the area where it is located. The website address can be added to your advertised listings. Websites of this type are inexpensive, and often a simple website template can be used.

6. List your vacation rental on classified or auction websites such as Craigslist and eBay. Add the pictures you have of the rental property, list the number of people the rental can sleep, the price and it’s location.

7. List rental properties with vacation rental agents. Often these people live in the area where you own the property. They have an established clientelle and often offer other services like concierge or travel information. Find an agent by asking foreigners that live in the foreign city, or by visiting real estate agents that cater to foreign investors.

8. Look over any contract you sign with a rental agent to be sure you are not offering them the exclusive rental rights, meaning that only the rental agent can rent the property.

9. Write up a rental agreement contract and specify the amount of damage deposit you need, the cost of losing keys, and damaging electronics, carpeting or furniture. Specify whether you allow pets and the total amount of the rental for the time requested.

10. Get the rental agreement signed by the renters and the deposit paid before the renters arrive at the foreign property. Make arrangements to show them the property and to deliver the keys for their period of stay.

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