Kiernan Walshire

How to Prepare Your Vacation Rental Property for Off-Season

Preparing your short-term property for off season

When you own a seasonal vacation rental property, the steps you take to prepare it for the off-season matter. Simple actions can help ensure your property is in peak rental condition when your busy season begins again, so you are less likely to have to deal with unplanned downtime on your rental calendar. This can give vacationers a better experience, which in turn could lead to increased rental revenues for you.

Being proactive and taking common-sense precautions also help lower your risk of loss related to property damage, theft and vandalism, as well as personal injury. In fact, good property maintenance practices are the key to mitigating liability hazards and claims by removing hazards that could cause bodily injury to guests.

Follow these helpful steps to prepare your vacation rental property for the off-season. 

Do a Deep Clean

While you already make sure your property is disinfected and cleaned in between guests, you likely don’t have time during your busy months to complete a deep, thorough cleaning. The off-season is the perfect time to clean those things that can be overlooked when you have back-to-back rentals, including underneath and behind appliances, dryer vents, air ducts and more. Keep reading to download our complete cleaning checklist. In the meantime, make sure you are staying compliant with the CDC cleaning guidelines and your listing platform's disinfectant guide.

Inspect Everything and Make Repairs as Needed

Vacation rental property off-season gives you an opportunity to make sure the HVAC unit, water heater, water softener, sump pump, washer/dryer, kitchen appliances, fireplaces, and electronics are in good working order and arrange for repairs or tune-ups as needed. Inspect the entire property, indoors and out, to identify any potential safety hazards, replace furnace filters, smoke and carbon monoxide detector batteries and burned out light bulbs, or repair features that have simply become worn with time and use.

Conduct Outdoor Maintenance

Trim shrubs and bushes, clean the gutters and roof, clear walkways, and deal with any potential pest infestations before they can become problems. Don’t forget about outdoor amenities like swimming pools and hot tubs, draining and covering them when not in use for an extended period of time.

Make Enhancements

Many vacation rental property owners also use the off-season to apply fresh paint, replace carpet or flooring, and otherwise give their properties a facelift to make them more appealing to guests. Now's the time to take stock of how things look and feel in your home and make enhancements where necessary.

Winterize

If it is used exclusively or primarily in the summer months, winterizing your vacation rental property takes a little effort but can eliminate problems and headaches later. Turn off water and other utilities, make sure windows and doors are securely locked, close storm shutters, unplug appliances, and drain water lines if your property is located in a cold climate. You should also set the thermostat to an appropriate level to maintain a safe air temperature inside the property. This can avoid damage from excessive heat or cold temperatures.

Monitor the Property

Consider using smart home technology and a security alarm system for your property in the off-season. Doing so can help deter vandals and thieves. If you live far from your vacation rental, you may also want to hire either a property management company or a local property manager who can conduct periodic check-ins of your property when it’s not being rented.  

For more tips on how to help you maintain your vacation rental property and grow your rental business, visit our Rental Resources page

Limit Your Off-Season Risks with Vacation Rental Insurance

Of course, despite your best efforts, things can still go awry with vacation rental property, especially when your property is not in use during the off-season. When things do go awry, however, it’s comforting to have vacation rental insurance in place to limit your out-of-pocket losses. Request a free quote today or receive a consultation with one of our CBIZ Vacation Rental Insurance experts!

Disclaimer: This blog may contain scenarios that are provided as examples only. In an actual claim situation, 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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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.