Now is the best time to prep your vacation home for rentals during the holiday season, starting with a call to your independent insurance agent. Making sure your property insurance is current and coverage is complete should be priority one. And while it may seem too soon to start to prepare, it isn’t. Giving yourself the full month of October to evaluate what needs to be done is a smart idea to have it ready by November. After all, if anything major is needed beyond fix-ups, like replacing appliances, repairing water damage, roof problems, and such, you’ll have plenty of time to get it resolved.
When you rent out your vacation home or apartment, make sure it’s equipped to make your guests stay as nice as possible. Here are a few quick tips to check off your list:
- clean towels and linens (not necessarily the same ones your family uses, but you should have a set of at least two towels, hand towels, and washcloths for each guest
- extra blankets and pillows
- an ironing board and iron
- dishes, silverware, and pots and pans for the maximum number of guests you host
- kitchen towels
- a microwave oven
- coffee maker, teapot, and toaster
- cleaning supplies including hand soap, dishwashing liquid
- basic toiletries like toilet paper, paper towels, and tissues
- a first-aid kit
- a fire extinguisher
- functioning smoke detectors
- all remotes necessary to operate the television and other devices
- trash can liners
- pillow protectors and mattress pads
- extra light bulbs
Most guests will expect to have access to the Internet. If it’s not available, make sure you let them know up front.
The more written instructions you leave for your guests the better, such as how to operate various appliances and devices. If you have ‘house rules’ (and you should) make sure they are clearly understood and posted somewhere on the premises. Things like whether smoking is allowed or if you allow pets and what specific pet rules there are.
Finally, be sure to leave your contact information -- email and phone -- if your guests need to get in touch with you. Also provide local emergency numbers and the address and number of the nearest hospital.