How to Develop Vacation Rental Rules and Guidelines That Work

How to Develop Vacation Rental Rules and Guidelines That Work

Airbnb for years has been a worthwhile side hustle for property owners to make some extra cash. What new owners never see, though, is the dark side of vacation rentals. Guests that trash their rooms and leave the owner to foot the bill.

You need to have effective vacation rental rules and guidelines on your vacation property. This sets expectations and keeps everyone honest. The question is, how do you make house rules that people take seriously, and actually follow?

In this brief guide, we examine effective rental rules and policy enforcement for your short-term rentals.

Vacation Rental Rules and Guidelines Start With a Welcome Note

It's important not to kick things off with a long, easy-to-skip-over list of rules from the get-go. Instead, appeal to your guest's empathy and goodwill. Introduce yourself and your family, and wish them a great guest experience.

This begins with the right tone, humanizing you and creating an immediate bond with the person. You are showing them that you are human, not just a heartless property owner. Employing authenticity and transparency is a tactic hostage negotiators use to wear down those distrustful barriers.

It makes it very hard for the guest to break the rules or leave a mess. They feel, subconsciously, that they are hurting a good person and compromising their own integrity.

Plus, friendliness is an excellent way to encourage positive guest reviews for higher bookings.

Limit Initial Rules

It's understandable, as a homeowner, to want to list your every sultry whim. Small things, such as not moving the furniture or not letting the door slam.

The problem is, the more rules you list off, the less interested guests are to read. The more likely they are to forget.

Guests are focused on the most important things. They want check-out times, WiFi passwords, and so on.

At best, they'll skim any rules they see. That only opens up the chance for a querulous misunderstanding.

Instead, focus on your quintessential rules. Put all the extras in a separate section that they can read at their leisure. You can always point to these rules later to bulk up your defense if push comes to shove.

Make Clear Your Policy Enforcement

No one wants to have to argue with a former guest via Airbnb mediation to demand fine payment. Yet despite your best efforts, some people still will break the rules. It's key that you outline the consequences in no uncertain terms.

Clearly list any of the following fees if they apply:

  • Cleaning fees
  • Fees for damage to furniture or property
  • Missing items fees
  • Fees for breaking certain rules
  • Fees for extra visitors

Make sure to list these both in your physical rulebook and the original listing. This gives them teeth because Airbnb can show the guests that they agreed to them in advance.

Manage Vacation Rentals With PMI

Vacation rental rules and guidelines are a property owner's bulwark against bad apple guests. Start things off on the right foot with friendliness to gain their trust. Then, clearly outline your most important rules - and the consequences of disobedience.

Property Management Inc. helps you maximize your vacation rentals for profit. Get a free consultation for our short-term rental management services.