How to Start an Airbnb Business in India Without Owning Property

Learn how to create a thriving Airbnb venture in India without buying property. Explore rental arbitrage, co-hosting, and legal considerations.

Since its launch in 2008, Airbnb has revolutionized the way people travel and find accommodations. While many assume that owning property is a prerequisite for becoming an Airbnb entrepreneur, there’s a lesser-known strategy that allows you to profit from Airbnb without purchasing real estate: subleasing. In this article, we’ll explore how you can start an Airbnb business in India without owning property, leveraging rental arbitrage and other smart approaches.

Understanding Subleasing and Rental Arbitrage

Subleasing : Think of yourself as a shop owner renting a spot inside a mall. The mall owner receives rent from you, and you earn income from their space—it’s a win-win!

Rental Arbitrage : Use other people’s properties to make a profit. Here’s how it works:

    1. Find a property for rent.

    2. Pitch the idea to the landlord: You’ll utilize their space as a short-term rental on Airbnb.

    3. Draft an agreement and get your business going.

Pros and Cons of Subleasing for Airbnb Business

Low startup costs (no need to buy property)Fluctuating monthly bookings on Airbnb
Airbnb handles marketing for your businessResponsibility for damages and additional utilities on the rental property
Opportunity to build income and invest in other ventures

Finding the Right Property

Budget-Friendly Options:

  • Sign a 12-month lease for a studio, one-bedroom apartment, or a two-bedroom house.
  • Capital within $7,000 to $15,000 is sufficient.

Setting Up Your Space:

  • Pay the first month’s deposit.
  • Furnish the property, add decor, and take professional photos for your Airbnb listing.

Legal Considerations

Lease Agreements:

  • Clarify terms, security deposits, and notice periods with the property owner.
  • Keep copies of rental agreements for reference.

Business Structure:

  • Consider forming an LLC (Limited Liability Company) for your Airbnb business.
  • Consult a legal professional for guidance.

Marketing and Guest Attraction

  1. Crafting an Irresistible Listing 
  • Write a compelling Airbnb listing description.
  • Highlight unique features of the property, nearby attractions, and the overall experience.
  • Use high-quality photos to showcase the space.
  1. Pricing Strategies
  • Research similar listings in your area.
  • Consider seasonal pricing adjustments (higher rates during peak tourist seasons).
  • Offer discounts for longer stays to attract monthly guests.

Guest Communication and Hospitality

  1. Prompt Responses
  • Respond to guest inquiries promptly.
  • Clear communication builds trust and encourages bookings.
  1. Personal Touches
  • Welcome guests with a personalized note or small gift.
  • Provide local recommendations for restaurants, activities, and sightseeing.

Financial Management

  1. Tracking Expenses and Income
  • Keep detailed records of expenses (rent, utilities, cleaning fees, etc.) and income.
  • Use accounting software or spreadsheets to manage finances.
  1. Tax Considerations
  • Consult a tax advisor to understand your tax obligations.
  • Keep track of income earned through Airbnb for tax reporting.

Scaling Your Business

  1. Co-Hosting Opportunities
  • Partner with property owners who lack the time or expertise to manage their own listings.
  • Offer co-hosting services and earn a percentage of the rental income.

2. Expanding to Multiple Properties

  • Once you’ve mastered the process, consider scaling up.
  • Manage multiple listings efficiently by streamlining operations.


Starting an Airbnb business without owning property is an exciting journey. By leveraging subleasing, excellent guest communication, and smart financial management, you can create a successful venture. Remember, hospitality and attention to detail are key to building a loyal guest base. So, hire a villa, welcome your guests, and let your Airbnb adventure begin!


Is subleasing legal in India? Yes, subleasing is legal. Treat it like renting a shop space within a mall.

What if my monthly bookings fluctuate? Be prepared for variations. Focus on long-term growth and diversify your income sources.

How do I manage guest communication and maintenance? Consider co-hosting services or hiring a property manager.

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