Spring and summer are fast approaching, which means that families and couples everywhere are eager to take a well-deserved vacation. If you own a home that can be rented out as a vacation home, it can be a great source of income. But completing the transaction takes a little bit more than just posting your property on one of the many vacation rental websites available. Here are a few common mistakes that you should look out for and avoid when renting out your vacation home.
Have a comprehensive rental agreement
It’s tempting to want to be a landlord that has the fewest rules, but it may come back to haunt you if anything goes wrong. If you’re not familiar with rental and housing legal jargon, consider having your agreement looked at by a legal professional. If you use a service like Airbnb or VRBO, you may be covered by some of their legal guarantees, but be aware that most of these agreements protect the renter and not the landlord more often than not.
Hire a property manager
If you don’t live close to your rental property, consider hiring a property manager. One mistake that landlords make is trying to do everything themselves. In this area, it can really help to hire a professional property manager who understands housing laws and rules for vacation properties. If the property manager lives close by to your second home, they can be close by if tenants need anything during their stay, without the awkwardness of the owner having to show up at the property.
Keep immaculate records
Most everything is online these days, which can be a blessing or a curse when it comes to rental properties. On one hand, having online records means you can search for and find specific property information immediately—unfortunately, it also means that things can go missing. To protect yourself, and for tax purposes, keep records of repairs in addition to transactions when money was spent and earned—this can really help if you ever need to recall information.
Keep things clean and prepared for guests
There’s no faster way to get a bad rating on a vacation rental website than having a dirty or unprepared home. Consider using professional cleaning services after each rental (most websites will allow you to include a cleaning fee). You’ll also want to be clear about allowances for babies and pets on your property.
Additionally, make sure bedrooms and bathrooms are spotless. According to House Method, a great way to prepare guest bedrooms is by laying out fresh linens, stocking the cabinets with extra towels and blankets, and making sure the bathrooms (whether connected or not) are scrubbed down, sanitized, and in proper working condition. Some minor things to check include the water pressure and shower temperature.
Vacation rentals bring so much joy to families and couples who want a more home-like atmosphere for their next getaway. With these tips, you can be a part of that happiness while also protecting yourself and your interests.