A vacation rental is an extremely valuable asset. With the amount of time and money invested in making it perfect for the guests, you would definitely wish to keep it safe from any sort of damage.
However, leasing your cottage or flat to a stranger involves numerous risks. While some incidents might be inconsequential, other might show significant consequences.
How to Curtail Vacation Rental Damage
No damage, whether malicious or accidental, is good. Damage to your vacation rental cannot be avoided due to regular incursion of guests. The list begins with broken furniture, spillages, jammed DVDs, burns, and the list is endless! Having your vacation rental trashed by careless guests is no less than a nightmare. Well, check out the following tips to reduce the damage to your precious asset.
Screen your guests
Screening your guests is the initial step towards protecting the rental cottage from damage. This can be done by speaking to guests before the booking is confirmed. This would help you find out the nature and behavior of potential guests as well as the type of vacation they are planning. If you are, in any case, not a phone call person, you can communicate with the person through emails.
Be careful about red flags and inconsistencies. Follow your instincts and don’t hesitate turning away inquiries you do not feel good about. However, it should be noted this method of screening is not flawless. It is, therefore, recommended you get an insurance policy to cover loss due to mishandling or intentional damage.
Take security deposit for your rental cottage/home
Don’t hesitate to ask for security deposit before you confirm the booking. Usually, the security deposit can be a flat fee or certain percentage of the booking amount. Security deposits provide you cash-in-hand in case of out of kilter situations. You can deduct the money for the damage and return the remaining.
Some useful tips about how to handle the security deposit issue:
It is a turn off for potential guests if the security amount is too high.
Make sure the deposit amount is not spent if you have a tight budget. It is better to keep it in your savings account to prevent you from squandering it.
Many states mandate the deposit be returned to guests within a specific period of time. Usually, this time period is 14 days. Find out what your state mandates and follow it to them.
Getting your vacation rental property insured is a good alternative to security deposit. If you are listing your property on the Internet, getting it insured is a matter of just one click. Well, as a matter of consideration, online polices, inspite of being cheap and easy to implement, might not cover all aspects, especially pet damage. Therefore, make sure you read the fine print before signing on the dotted lines.
Make a note of repeat guests
Preparing a list of repeat guests is one of the most effective ways to mitigate rental damage. Make note of the damage your property has incurred when a particular guest has stayed. Sift out guests who seem to take pleasure in damaging your vacation rental and focus on those who treat the property with respect. This will not only help you keep your property safe, it is also a good way to build a rapport with your guests.
However, it has been observed damage often is caused in spite of the various precautions and protective measures taken. Under such circumstances, it is best to speak to the guests and find a solution that will make both parties happy. This said, you should also look at the severity of the damage. In most cases, minor damage, such as broken glass or window pane, is usually an accident or non-malicious intent. You can either let it go or talk congenially to the guest and request them to pay for it. Normally, guests feel bad and offer to pay for the damage.
In addition to the above mentioned tips to mitigate the risk of damage to your vacation rental, it is equally important to get it insured against other risks like theft, fire, and other similar mishaps, that can come up at any point, to cover your losses.