AirBnb in Oakland, CA

8 Replies

Hi Everyone - 

I'm helping someone buy a one bedroom condo by Lake Merritt in Oakland. He wants to use it either as a rental property or AirBnb. Does anyone have any experience doing AirBnb rentals in this area? Any numbers on income, expenses, vacancy rate, etc. you can share? 

J. M. I know you have some! :)


I don't. But I've had to get this info for other areas. You can get a pretty good estimate by looking at homeaway and vrbo, finding the most similar properties in the same area, look at their price, cleaning fees, and calendars.

Then if I want to go further, I call a vacation rental management company as a potential client. I tell them the property and everything. Good ones can give you very accurate numbers for rent and expenses. 

Its not exact, but I do this when evaluating vacation rental properties. I can usually get pretty good list of comps.

I don't know of any condos around Lake Merrit that allow short term rentals.  I would also check what is allowed by the city unless the plan is to try to operate illegally.

Also check to see if the condo would be under rent control.  I know Oakland has rent control and it is a pain for a landlord I know there.  Some cities have rules regarding the age of the unit and that determining whether or not it is under rent control, so check that out.

Also, you will need to check the HOA rules regarding renting the unit out. And know that HOAs can change their rules down the road. And odds are good the neighboring condo owners will notice the comings and goings and will complain to the HOA.

@Michaela To

Tell your friend to first look at the CC&R's for the condo (Conditions, Covenants, & Restrictions.) If it does allow rentals, it almost never allows short-term rentals. And other condo occupants and owners will be highly likely to complain to the HOA about the violation of the CC&R's when they start seeing people checking in and out of the room all the time. An alternative may be to rent it out as a short-term furnished rental over 30 days. Usually 30 days is the short-term restriction. This might appeal to long-term business travelers, tech folks, or people moving into town that's easy and will pay more until they find a place they like. But that's step 1. I think the cart is before the horse with the performance...

@Sue K. ,

For a properly converted condo, there will not be rent control. A state law, Costra-Hawkins, exempts SFH and condos from rent control in the state of CA, even in the face of local rent control measures.

@Account Closed Thanks all for your input! I got in touch with a short term vacation rental management company who confirmed 75% occupancy rate and $100-110 nightly rate over 12 months in that area, which is close to the numbers I got from looking at AirBnb. 

I read the CC&R's which made no mention of rental restrictions. The HOA treasurer said there weren't any, but I'll have to confirm the rules around short-term rentals. The unit is right next to the entrance, so I don't see it as being a high risk for complaints.

Are short-term furnished rentals over 30 days marketed on AirBnb, VRBO, etc., or is there another niche site for that?

@Michaela To I know that as an airbnb host, I can get data about occupancy in my town from but I'm not sure if you can use that without providing a specific airbnb listing to start the analysis from.  Its probably worth checking into though.  Pricelabs also provides daily suggested prices for vacation rentals based on demand in the area.  

@Michaela To You might want to also look into providing corporate housing.  I had a traveling nurse head hunter approach me about renting them an apartment they could use for traveling nurses.  I had an ad on Craigslist at the time.  The building I managed was in Santa Clara.

The owner I worked for didn't like the idea of not knowing who would be in there at any given time.  After that, we rented to a couple different tenants who were nurses and they were great tenants.  So, targeting nurses might work well for you.  The only downside is that they sometimes work graveyard shifts, and that can make scheduling maintenance a hassle.

This is the "airbnb" for corporate housing, that I have heard about:

But, you might want to just contact Kaiser, for instance, directly and ask what agency they use for their traveling nurses, and then contact them.  I can't remember who it was that contacted me way back when.

Create Lasting Wealth Through Real Estate

Join the millions of people achieving financial freedom through the power of real estate investing

Start here