How to legally rent your backyard out to campers

Real estate, Money

Do you have a nice, big backyard? Would you like to make some extra money over the summer? Renting your backyard out to campers may be just be for you.

Assess your situation

First, take a hard look at your yard. If you live in a busy urban or suburban area with small yards and lots of people, your yard may not be an ideal setting. A space with an expanse of grass and trees and some privacy is a better bet. However, proximity to major tourist attractions could make even a tiny suburban yard attractive to campers, so take that into account.

And it doesn’t have to be your backyard you’re renting: if you own a vacant piece of land, you might be able to rent that out to campers, too. But whether it’s your backyard or your back 40, you’ll need to provide bathroom access and a source of potable water for your guests. That means you’ll need to allow campers access to a bathroom in your home or in an outbuilding (like a barn or garage) or provide a port-a-potty.

Your campers will also need a source of potable water, so make sure they can access a hose or other supply of clean, drinkable water. You should also consider parking for your guests, trash disposal, and access to an outdoor electrical outlet.

Understand restrictions

Research your city’s and county’s real estate ordinances for regulations regarding camping on residential properties. You might find that such usage is prohibited, or that there are restrictions on the number of nights you can have a tent in your yard. You’ll also want to check rules on campfires. Some localities do not permit any outdoor burning.

And if your property is subject to the CCRs (covenants, conditions, and restrictions) of a homeowners’ association, check to be sure that camping is permissible. Finally, make sure your homeowner’s insurance will cover paying guests.

Get started

Once you’ve got all your ducks in a row and a good grasp of what you can offer, list your yard with a site like or Include lots of photos and a clear description of the camping area and its amenities. Set clear guidelines for clean-up, noise, and parking. Choose your available dates and rates and wait for campers to come to you. Payment is handled through the site.

You might even make a few new friends, or at least meet some interesting people, along with making some extra cash. Good luck!