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How to Prevent Problem Rentals

April 21, 2017 Candace Quinn

The last thing you want now that you have your rental space ready for guests, with nice linens, nice furnishings, and all those extra touches, is a guest that takes advantage of you by throwing a party or parties, or housing an extra 2-10 guests.  No one wants the guest that your neighbors talk about for months after their stay, that not only cost you extra dollars for damages and clean up, but also cost you the good will of your trusting neighbors. 

We get asked frequently “how do you avoid or prevent such things?”

Here are some great tips our readers and other hosts have shared with us:

  • First, be sure to actually talk to your guests (not just texting or emailing) before they arrive.  Begin to develop a rapport with them, learn how they hope to spend their time while visiting you.  Even ask if they are familiar with your area, and if yes, how?  Engage them to learn if they have friends or family in the area. Be friendly and polite of course, and inquire as a friend would to assure they won’t need directions.  Done right, you’ll be viewed as helpful. Listen closely to their answers as you just might pick up early indicators that their plans are bigger than your space. 
  • Second, ask for references.  If they’d used AirBNB, HomeAway, or any other vacation rental, they’ll have former rental owners who should be happy to shoot you an email reference. If they haven’t, then potentially, seek a bigger deposit if you have an inkling that they may be trouble.
  • Third, trust your gut. If something feels off, it probably is.  If their references mention or hesitate to be anything but glowing, know something is amiss.  Maybe they were late with rental payments, slow to respond to emails, or even if they hound you with endless trivial requests.  It might be better to cancel if you are concerned, than to pick up the pieces after the fact.
  • Fourth, upon checking in, double check and review with them your expectations.  If you cannot be there in person, be sure a call is scheduled to review your house rules.  If you have any sense that something’s off, check in frequently.
  • Finally, those neighbors or family of yours nearby can serve as eyes for you if you cannot do it yourself.  Ask them to drive by, or keep an ear out. Be sure they let you know right away if anything seems out of the ordinary. 

After your rentals, be sure to rate your renters for others.  5star renters are just as valuable as 5star hosts 

Tell us your rental stories or tricks to avoid disappointing rentals.  We’d love to hear from you.


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