Ward, Hayden

Trick or Treat: The Do’s and Don’ts of Vacation Rentals

Do's and Don'ts for Vacation Rental Owners

As Halloween approaches, don't let your vacation rental property be a trick in a world of treats. Disinfecting surfaces and establishing clear rules for your guests to follow may help keep your property rid of any spooks. Follow these simple Do's and Don'ts to make your vacation rental the (candy) apple of every guests' eye. 

Do: Treat Your Home to a Cleaning after Every Stay

One of the most important things you can do for yourself, your property, and your guests is a thorough cleaning of your vacation rental property. Taking the time to disinfect every surface helps prevent the spread of disease, including the coronavirus. If a person coughs on a surface or rubs their eyes and then touches a doorknob, light switch, or any common household item, those items are now infected with germs.

You will never regret time spent on cleaning your vacation rental. While you are cleaning around the property, check appliances and other areas to see if anything needs to be replaced or updated. With it being fall, raking leaves may need to be added to your cleaning list!

Don’t: Be Tricked by Cheap Cleaning Crews or Leave Areas for Later

Don’t let the dust and cobwebs in your property become fall décor! Never forget that your guests expect the same standard of cleaning or better than what they would receive in a hotel. If you hire a professional cleaning company, make sure they deep clean after each stay or come once a month for an intense clean while in the meantime you disinfect after each stay. Cleaning a vacation rental property takes a lot of time and energy to make sure it is done properly. Don’t go cheap on a cleaning crew or leave areas for later.

There is always the possibility of a guest checking out and leaving the space contaminated for the next visitor. You don’t want your short-term rental to become the mating grounds for germs. Take the time to efficiently clean everything from door knobs to TV remotes.

Do: Set Clear Rules and Expectations

All vacation rental property owners need to set clear rules for guests when staying at their home. Listing sites, such as Airbnb and VRBO, allow you to create guidelines for guests by completing the House Rules, Home Safety Card, Damage Policy, Rental Agreement, and House Manual sections of your profile. This allows you to set clear rules for guests around etiquette and safety before guests even book.

Setting rules is a professional way of letting guests know what you expect from them and what they simply just cannot do. It allows you to be clear and state what penalties will happen if any of these rules are broken. Being clear and setting expectations can help provide you peace of mind and save you time and money.

Don’t: Forget to Set Occupancy Limits

Be upfront about your occupancy limits. Limiting the number of occupants that can use your property will help ensure that guests are comfortable and safe during their stay. Occupancy limits should take into account the size of the property and local regulations. Do not forget to add this information to your listing. If you do not let potential guests know before they book, they may bring 20 people over to your two-bedroom property without warning.

For added peace of mind, purchasing a camera for outdoors will help identify each individual at the property. Just make sure to also state that you have implemented security cameras outside. Keeping this a secret from your guests may reflect poorly on you or your listing.

Do: Treat Your Guests to a Welcome Book

One of the most valuable things you can provide for your guests is a welcome book with loads of information in it. Walking into a home that you have never been in before can be extremely overwhelming and not easy to navigate your way through. The same goes with opening your home to guests! These welcome books can include safety information, instructions, where to find things, your cleaning regime, what products you use to clean, and tourist spots around your property.

You can avoid receiving panicked phone calls or emails from your guests by writing down where everything is and how to use certain appliances. Even though creating a good welcome book make take some time, they are essential for a seamless stay. Try looking on sites like Etsy or Pinterest for a downloadable template to help get you started. Give your guest something to fall for!

Don’t: Trick Guests by Forgetting Important Instructions

The worst thing is arriving at a house where you don’t know how to work anything and trying to guess your way through. Gather all instructions and helpful property information in one book for your guests. Include everything from kitchen rules, coffee maker instructions, and laundry how-tos. Don’t let your guests assume how certain pieces of equipment work … give them a detailed guide to avoid broken equipment. You can also provide a majority of these instructions in your listing or in a pre-arrival email. It’s also important to include a safety plan with emergency contact information.

Providing thought-out instructions and directions for items in your home will help reduce headaches on either side. It provides you and your guests with peace of mind and allows them to go on without feeling like they are “bombarding” you with questions.

Do: Treat Yourself to Correct Insurance Coverage

Correct insurance is the pumpkin spice of life to your vacation rental. Since renting out your home on a short-term basis is a business activity, you will need commercial insurance to make sure you’re protected from the risks you’ve opened yourself up to. Take the time to review your homeowners policy to see if you have adequate coverage in place. To find out more, Request a free quote today!

This blog may contain scenarios that are provided as examples only. Coverage is subject to the terms, conditions and exclusions of the policy issued. The information provided is general in nature and may be affected by changes in law or the interpretation of such laws. The reader is advised to contact a professional prior to taking any action based upon this information.

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About Us

CBIZ Vacation Rental Insurance, a division of CBIZ Insurance Services,Inc., is the largest insurer of short-term vacation rental properties in the United States. As part of an $850 million New York Stock Exchange traded company (CBZ), we are the first broker to develop specific policy coverage to meet the needs for vacation rental properties and the amenities offered by these businesses. We have insured vacation rental properties since 2002.

The CBIZ Vacation Rental Insurance team knows insurance, specifically the risks and exposures related to short-term vacation rentals.We won't confuse you with technical "insurance speak" ~ our representatives are well versed in explaining your coverage in plain English. With hands-on, personal customer service, we guarantee swift communication and a 24/7 claims team that is ready to respond to your call any time of the day. As specialist in the industry, we leverage our knowledge and passion to ensure you and your business are adequately protected.