Landlording & Rental Properties

Why We Need More ADA-Compliant Vacation Rentals

Expertise: Landlording & Rental Properties, Real Estate News & Commentary, Real Estate Investing Basics
44 Articles Written

Once or twice a year, we visit Kansas City to spend time with my husband’s family. This is great, as Kansas City has a fairly cool scene (I’m talking to you Beer Kitchen), and it’s nice to catch up with the relatives. That said, we consistently run into one problem every year, and that’s finding an ADA-compliant Airbnb.

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Wheelchair Access

James’ mother uses a wheelchair. With that, comes a lot of needs that the average layman is not used to thinking about: Ramps, shower bars, bathroom entrances, and spaces that can accommodate a wheelchair. This situation has been problematic for us. There just aren’t that many Airbnbs in the Kansas City area that can meet this request.

Related: 13 Mistakes New Vacation Rental Owners Always Make

The Shortcomings

For the past two years, the places we have rented that were ADA compliant were modern builds, run by investors. That’s fine, but they also lacked basic amenities. This year, we literally had to stab the top of a can of green chilis repeatedly to get the top off. Last year, we shared a single bath towel the entire time.

This brings me to two points:

1. If you’re going to do an Airbnb, do it right

2. There is a lot of money to be made for people who want to do an Airbnb that's ADA compliant. People don't need a lot. Clean, minimalistic furniture and clean sheets will do most people fine, as long as the bathroom and the kitchen also have the basics. We need clean towels, shampoo, conditioner, body wash, and a trashcan in the bathroom. The kitchen should have pots and pans, a coffee maker, paper towels, a trash can with trash bags, a can opener, (more importantly) a wine opener, and enough silverware and plates for eight people. Also, if you're looking for an Airbnb niche to help breakthrough an increasingly crowded market, ADA is a good place to be. (Airbnb knows this because they just purchased Accomable, which was the Airbnb of ADA rentals before it just became Airbnb.)

Related: How I’m Earning 8% Cap Rate With My Vacation Rental

Just a thought, but as we run into this every year (and I’m certain we’re not alone), it occurs to me that those who can rent or buy in ADA-compliant buildings would be smart to do so, because you would certainly have demand.

Do you have experiences with ADA compliant rentals?

Share them below!

Erin Spradlin co-owns James Carlson Real Estate. She loves working with first-time home buyers or sellers because it is fun to help people real...
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    Jeff Little
    Replied over 2 years ago
    If you own a rental with the front door ADA compliant, how can you tell if the bathroom is compliant?
    Erin Spradlin Real Estate Agent from Denver, CO
    Replied over 2 years ago
    I would double check this, but just a quick review on the Internet returned this article. I’m sure a local builder in your area could also tell you what the standards are. Good luck!
    Jeff Little
    Replied over 2 years ago
    Thank you!