This guest post is written by Cloe Matheson. Cloe is a freelance writer based in New Zealand. She loves writing about latest trends in home design, and you can often find her checking out design blogs and photos for inspiration. Read more of her articles on her Tumblr.
Turning your home into a vacation rental takes a lot of planning, hard work and dedication. If you’re considering diving into this process, it’s important to know what you’re getting yourself into. Here are a few essential steps you will need to undertake when renting out your home.
Do your research
Before you can put your home up for rent, there are various rules and regulations you will need to follow. One of the first things to figure out is whether you need a rental permit. Requirements vary from location to location, so do your research to find out what the rules are in your area. If a permit is required, then make sure you have plenty of time to complete the application process before you start advertising your rental property. If you own the property, you will also need to take your mortgage agreement into account, as some agreements have restrictions about renting out the home.
Insurance is another important factor to consider. Give your insurance agent a call to check if your current insurance policy will cover your rental plan. While some policies will cover short-term rental, you may need special coverage for long-term arrangements.
Get your home ready
Here’s where the real work begins. You will need to prepare your home inside out to make it as comfortable and appealing as possible for renters. The first thing to do is check if everything is in good working condition. Do all the appliances work? Are the smoke detectors and alarms accessible and in good order? Take a close look at the bathroom as well – are there any renovations that need doing? Perhaps the bathroom fixtures and plumbing need replacing. If the shower curtains are looking old and worn, try replacing them with glass enclosures. Your renters will notice all the small details, and you want to make the best impression you can.
Once you’ve done all the necessary repairs and upgrades, it’s time to get the house looking spick and span. Make sure to put clean linens on the beds and stock the bathroom with soap dispensers, clean towels, and anything else renters may need. It’s also smart to put away personal and precious belongings in a secure area. The appearance of the outside of your house is important too. If the lawn is well maintained, it will give renters a positive first impression when they arrive and see that the house is well looked after. You can choose to do landscaping chores yourself or hire a landscaping service for a more professional look.
Provide entry instructions
It’s important that you provide clear, easy instructions to your renters on how to gain entry to your home. Depending on where the property is located, you may choose to simply meet the renter there and let them in. Otherwise, you will need to create an entry system, like an installed lockbox on site. Make sure to provide detailed information on how to use the lockbox so that your renters don’t end up stuck outside.
Create a welcome booklet
When turning your home into a vacation rental, you should always provide a welcome booklet. Inside the welcome book, provide information and instructions about the house, including your checkout policies. It’s also good to give additional information that your renters will find useful, like information about dining options, the local attractions and any emergency contact details. If you really want to impress your guests, why not also leave a welcome gift, like a fruit basket? Going the extra mile is a sure way to leave your guests happy and get positive reviews. Remember, the happier your guests are, the more business you will get in the future.