Why We Need More ADA-Compliant Vacation Rentals

by | BiggerPockets.com

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!

About Author

Erin Spradlin

Erin Spradlin co-owns James Carlson Real Estate. She loves working with first-time homebuyers for their enthusiasm and excitement, and loves working with investors because she’s a fellow spreadsheet nerd. She and her husband own three properties in metro Denver and are currently in the process of acquiring a duplex in Colorado Springs. You can find Erin’s blogs here: https://www.biggerpockets.com/renewsblog/author/erinspradlin/ and her airbnb video series here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLgSUZKLPRI9tK3Vd-qpH3Sk2Rh-_pIrNN.

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