Ward, Hayden

Don’t Be Surprised by “That” Guest

Setting Vacation Rental House Rules

Traveling with others can be a real eye-opener. For example, some people are early risers and others like to wake up around noon. Not everyone travels the same. There may be a few things that you would think are basic rules of etiquette when staying at someone else’s home, but as you’ve probably experienced, not everyone works the same way.

It can be easy to assume that most travelers staying at your vacation rental property will be exceptional guests. They’ll abide by your house rules, not disturb the neighbors and, hopefully, won’t leave a trail of damage behind. However, you may be setting yourself up for issues in the future by thinking this way.

Here are a few ways to prevent “those” guests from negatively impacting your property:

Creating a House Map

Imagine walking into a property for the first time. You probably don’t know where the bathrooms are let alone the location of the water shut-off valve and utility box. Information on specific parts of the property, including where you can find them, should be addressed in a welcome book and the check-in notes. For example, if you don’t want your guests using the shed in the backyard, outline it in the house rules. Or if the electric panel is in the basement, let them know where it is in case of an outage or broken fuse.

Child Safety

Parents should be responsible for ensuring their children’s safety; however, if there are specific parts of your property that could be dangerous, they must be addressed. Examples include backyards, pools, hot tubs, stairs and even ovens. If your vacation rental is not suitable for children under a certain age, it’s wise to note that in your property listing.

It’s common for owners to leave some guidelines for their guests who stay with children, for example:

  • Please do not leave children at the property without adult supervision.
  • Please avoid children playing in the front yard. The backyard is fenced-in and suitable for children to play.

House Guest Etiquette Guidelines

Grateful and respectful house guests are what rental property dreams are made of, though not everyone is as refreshing as someone with superior house etiquette. To avoid discrepancies, make note of the basics, especially for when cooking, for example, not washing food remains down the drain if you don’t have a garbage disposal or ventilating the kitchen and bathroom to avoid strong smells.

Being overly descriptive in your welcome book is one way to mitigate issues. If you have complicated appliances, it’s wise to make printed notes near those items so your guests can reference them. Making your property easy to use and incorporating extra details like these can encourage your guests to leave a positive review and make repeat bookings.

Noise Concerns

Noise complaints and neighbor issues are common challenges that short-term property owners encounter. Your guests may be a little louder since they’re on vacation. This could be annoying to your neighbors who aren’t on vacation and have to work early the next day or have children. Companies like NoiseAware help detect sound in and around your property to ensure noise boundaries are kept. This can let you know if your guests are being too loud so you can react promptly. 

Parking Concerns

Depending on your property’s parking situation, it may be difficult for your guests to find parking. Do they need to park in the driveway, the street or in a garage? Not addressing the parking rules can leave room for interpretation and the possibility of guests parking in the wrong spot. Be specific in your check-in email and house rules. Go the extra mile by including a photo of where they should park.

Be on the Same Page

Above all, be on the same page as your guests. You want your guests to have the best experience without the cost of their safety, neighbor complaints and property risks. Make sure to create a well-thought-out welcome book and communicate anything that may be difficult to understand at your rental to avoid misunderstandings. To learn more about protecting your vacation rental business through CBIZ Vacation Rental Insurance, request a free quote.

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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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.