Hayden Ward

Vacation Rental Cleaning Amid COVID-19

Covid 19 cleaning

As the travel industry begins to re-introduce itself into the new normal, stringent cleaning measures will not only be vital to the health and safety of vacation rental guests, it will also be a key factor in your property’s success. A fundamental component is ensuring guests trust that the short-term rental has been properly disinfected and cleaned.

Here’s a deeper look into the new cleaning protocols and initiatives designed as a guide to ensure guest safety and peace of mind during their stay.   

VRHP/VRMA Cleaning Guidelines for COVID-19

The Vacation Rental Housekeeping Professionals (VHRP), a subsidiary of the Vacation Rental Management Association (VRMA), has released the SafeHome Campaign, which empowers members to adopt and execute safe cleaning standards that conform to - and, in many cases, exceed - those that are mandated nationally, statewide or locally.

The expanded guidelines include:

  • Disinfection and sanitization techniques
  • Proper use of personal protective equipment (PPE)
  • Recommended products, cleaning agents, and equipment
  • Updated cleaning and inspection processes for soft surfaces, upholstery, and linens
  • Trash removal and maintenance processes
  • Communicating expanded cleaning process to guests

VRMA states, “The SafeHome initiative encourages all vacation rental management professionals to openly communicate with guests and employees about the precautions they are taking to help keep them safe and healthy.” For more information about the expanded cleaning guidelines, visit the full list here.

Airbnb Enhanced Cleaning Initiative

The enhanced Airbnb host cleaning protocol includes specific COVID-19 prevention such as the use of PPE, such as masks and gloves for hosts and/or their cleaners, as well as disinfectants that are approved by regulatory authorities. The CDC recommended 24-hour wait period before entering is also required, as a precaution to address the possibility that particles remain airborne for a few hours. If hosts are unable to commit to the new protocol, they are being asked to opt into a new feature called Booking Buffer. Airbnb states that this feature, “Creates a vacancy period between stays. Hosts can commit to keeping their home empty for a set period in between stays, with no activity other than cleaning. Reservations will be automatically blocked during that time frame, currently set at 72 hours.”

VRBO New Cleaning Guidelines & Program

In an effort to help travelers find clean and sanitized vacation rentals, VRBO has introduced a new program that guides guests to trusted, clean properties. Rental owners will be able to indicate in their listing if their property is cleaned with disinfectant, if they offer a contactless check-in, and if the property is unavailable between guests.

This program that was developed with government and medical experts to provide new search filters to help travelers have confidence that they will be safe.

Tips for Cleaning & Disinfecting Your Vacation Rental

Cleaning is never a small task; it’s one of the most important things you can do for yourself, your property, and your guests. Disinfecting your property helps prevent the spread of disease, including the coronavirus. If a person coughs or sneezes on a surface or rubs their eyes and then touches a doorknob, light switch, or any common household item, those commonly used items are infected with germs. Long story short, it’s possible for a guest to check out and leave the space contaminated for the next visitor. This is why strong cleaning protocols are vital.

Your ‘new normal’ cleaning process you employ will help sanitize many surfaces, particularly paying attention to the high-touch areas of your space. Adding extra steps for sterilization will help ensure the safety and cleanliness at your property. 

  • For high-touch surfaces such as doorknobs, handrails, sink fixtures, TV remotes, and light switches, use a two-step approach. Begin by using a detergent and hot water, then following with a disinfectant to kill germs. 
  • For low-touch surfaces such as walls and blinds, clean by using hot water and soap. 
  • For items that need to be laundered, make sure to wear disposable gloves when handling and wash using the hottest water setting. 
  • Avoid touching your face while cleaning and wear gloves. 
  • During and after cleaning, make sure to open up the windows and ventilate the property. 
  • Verify that every kitchen item has been thoroughly cleaned and ready for guests. Having a cleaning checklist will help. You can download our Simply Spotless Cleaning Checklist at the end of this post.
  • Vacuum all surfaces as a part of regular cleaning. Make sure to wipe down the vacuum with disinfectant for guests use.

Cleaning your short-term rental doesn’t have to be a daunting task. Make sure to use proper PPE and follow the guidelines of the CDC. We also compiled a cleaning checklist along with a COVID-19 printout for your guests to show the efforts you are making to ensure their safety.

Stay safe and keep your property clean and insured. Talk to a CBIZ Vacation Rental Insurance expert today or begin a free quote to ensure you receive the best vacation rental insurance coverage for your unique property. 

download covid cleaning checklist

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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.