Congrats! You’ve done it. Your vacation rental is in tip-top shape, beautifully photographed for its online debut, and well-stocked with everything your future guests could need. Soon, you receive your first booking, and you do a happy dance…

…but it’s not long before it hits you. What happens if a pipe bursts? If the heater stops working in the middle of winter? Or your deck collapses due to rusty nails? How do you maintain your property to be both marketable and safe for guests?

As a landlord, there are a few simple things you can do to keep your guests safe and your property in excellent shape:

  1. Write a checklist. Before hosting your first guest, inspect the premises and list everything that was reviewed, from toasters to plumbing. If the home has never been professionally inspected, we recommend having that done right away. Immediately address any problems, and use the same checklist to personally inspect home once a year. We recommend increasing the frequency if your home has older plumbing or wiring, or if your home is in an area with an extreme climate.
  2. Create a reporting system. Create a feedback form, email address or phone number that is easily accessible to your guests to report safety or security problems.
  3. Keep a repair log. Keep a written log of all guest complaints and repair requests with details as to how and when the problems were fixed. Handle urgent repairs as soon as possible, and make sure to keep guests informed as to when and how the repairs will be made.
  4. Get short-term rental insurance. Many homeowner’s policies do not include coverage for homes rented out through Airbnb, Homeaway, VRBO or another similar service. By having the proper insurance in place, you can avoid having your home, retirement or other assets taken away from you in the event of a personal injury lawsuit or claim.

By having these simple systems in place, you can ensure a positive experience for both you and your guests.

This was written in partnership with Jennifer Spriggs, our preferred Farmers Insurance Agent in Fremont, CA, who can be reached any time for questions regarding short-term rental insurance policies. Happy hosting!

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