Homeowners relying on short-term rental income stung by wave of coronavirus cancellations

By Katy McLaughlin | Wall Street Journal

Anne Carlsson was all set to earn roughly $12,000 in April from short-term rentals for her historic home on 30 acres of Kentucky bluegrass between Lexington and Louisville. Then the Keeneland racetrack Spring Meet was canceled and the Kentucky Derby was postponed until September. Ms. Carlsson’s take suddenly dropped to zero.

“This is our busy season with events. We were hoping to make up for the slow times,” said Ms. Carlsson, 44, a mother of four who lives most of the year in Gilbert, Ariz. Rental income during horse-racing season helps her maintain the house, which her grandfather purchased before World War II, and recoup the $60,000 she spent last year to upgrade electrical and plumbing systems, redo floors, update bathrooms and buy furniture. She uses the home in the summer to keep her children close to her extended family throughout Kentucky, she said.

“I had several people approach me to buy the home, but I took on the renovation and Airbnb so that I would not have to let go of it and my Kentucky heritage,” said Ms. Carlsson


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April 2020