AirBnB, military, BAH

5 Replies

Would military members able to utilize an AirBnB with BAH money? Hoping to set up an AirBnB near an air force base that would primarily serve soldiers on short term assignments. I read an article stating that DoD restricts the use of short term private residences? I was hoping to get more clarification on this and how it works. I am not a military person. 

@Joesph Jordan  

Depends. If a member is on temporary duty (TDY) they are required to stay on base or stay at a hotel the military has established contracts with. TDY orders can range anywhere from a few days to months, maybe longer? Not sure. The longest my husband was on TDY was 9 mo

If they have permanent change of station (PCS) orders they can use their BAH as they see fit. Although, it probably wouldn’t be beneficial to pay daily Air B&B rates for an extended period of time.

Depending on where you are, what kind of mission the base supports, and the type of orders military’s members are typically on you could prob do short term leases and Air B&B in between vacancies. 

Best of luck. 

@Joesph Jordan


You need to look up the prevailing per diem rate for lodging.  That governs their available housing reimbursement, assuming an AirBnB is allowed.  If the TDY goes over 30 days, the per diem is reduced.  Any travel over 179/180 days it becomes TAD (temporary assigned duty) and their per diem is reduced further.

@Joesph Jordan - Pearl is correct in that "it depends". If a Soldier/Airman/Sailor conducts a Permanent Change of Station (PCS) they receive BAH, which is a monthly stipend dependent on the zip code. The service member can utilize these funds to pay for "living expenses" therefore, you could rent out to a PCS military member and they can pay with BAH money. HOWEVER, this probably isn't the strategy that you're interested in because the service member will be in search of a long-term rental thus, you'll need to offer LTR rates, which I'm assuming will decrease your projected cashflows.

Now, there are common scenarios where Soldiers attend schools for 6-9 months and receive the status of TDY or temporary duty.  TDY members travel "without dependents" hence, search for short-term rentals or hotels.  This issue with this scenario is how the Soldiers establishes their orders in DTS (defense travel system).  DTS is essentially the Concur system that large corporations use except it's utilized by most government agencies.  And this system will set up an estimated per diem rate for the zip code of the TDY location.  Therefore, the service member will travel and place the charges on their government credit card but YOU WILL need to match your nightly prices with the per diem allotments for that period (google "per diem rates").  This might also negatively affect your CF's because per diem rates typically sit below market rate, which is why you see a "military rate" when you stay at a hotel.

I'm not sure which market you're interested in but I have seen scenarios where investors purchase properties around bases with a lot of schools and training to house visiting families during graduations.

Hope this helps.

The above answers are all good points and not wrong. But here's a scenario that you may be alluding to:

To build off of Kyle's post, yes, there are many schools that "soldiers" (inclusive for all branches) attend for 6-9 months. This would be a TDY and while on TDY they will receive per diem, part of which is a designated lodging rate (found here https://www.defensetravel.dod....) So let's say the base has lodging for these soldiers at $50/night. Oftentimes (depending on rank, school, location, etc) they do NOT need to stay on base. They can take that $50/night and stay where they choose. Let's say you've got a 3/2 house fully furnished with cable, wifi, playstation, whatever, you could get three buddies (or strangers) all at the same training to go spend $50/night/person at your place grossing you, $150/night. Let's say the base lodging is fully occupied and the solider gets a coveted "non-availability slip." Now he/she is allowed to spend up to the maximum lodging amount for that locale. Now you could be making $100/night/person.

I've been out for a handful of years now, but I know houses like this existed in some of the places where I had extended training. If a group could come in with "non-A slips" the owners would usually get them pizza or a keg or something, but YMMV. Regulations could always change and not allow soldiers to utilize off-base lodging like this or the base could always build more housing so there are never any non-A slips. Either way, it takes a creative soldier willing to think outside the travel box to utilize something like this, because the normal action is to stay on base or if off-base in a hotel - but I was always amazed and jealous of the dudes running houses like this for how much money they could rake in. I'm not sure what base you're thinking of, but that's where I can see a short-term AirBnB scenario playing out. Usually the ones I knew of were run by other soldiers who were permanent party stationed at the base where training was occurring or some other sort of insider knowledge to connect with trainees.

All of the above scenario would be TDY money and not BAH like your original question was asking. As others have said, BAH is the Basic Allowance for Housing that soldiers get when "permanently" stationed somewhere. Those rates can be found here (https://www.defensetravel.dod....). But like others have said, in this case you are looking more at long term rentals than an AirBnB/STR system.