Hotels booked, home rentals may be popular for H-D 110th anniversary

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- As many as 150,000 people are expected to ride into Milwaukee for Harley's 110th anniversary celebration in three months, and several area hotels are already booked. Home rentals are proving to be a popular alternative.

Several ads for home rentals have started to pop up on websites such as craigslist. Renting out your own place may seem like a great idea to make some extra cash, but experts say there's a lot to consider before handing your house keys to a stranger.

"I think you need to be very careful with a public site like that," warns Ran Hoth of the Better Business Bureau. "It may not be as easy as you think."

The BBB says check with your local municipality first to see if you need a license to rent. You will also want to check with your insurance agent to make sure you're covered in case of damage. Lastly, call a rental management company for help drafting a rental contract.

Hoth says you'll want to include the terms of the rental agreement, security deposit requirements, and how many people can be involved in your contract.

People coming from out of town should be wary of properties advertised on public sites such as craiglist.

"We constantly see scams where a good looking property is listed on a well-known site that you can rent and it's actually a scam," says Hoth.

VISIT Milwaukee says some hotel rooms could still open back up.

"It loosens back up as some rooms are canceled or groups find out they don't need as many rooms as they thought," says Brent Foerster of VISIT Milwaukee. "I know Harley Davidson just put 100 rooms available on their site."

Harley's 110th anniversary celebration is expected to bring in around $20 million for the local economy.