How to Prepare Your Home for Short-Term Rental
Getting your Seattle home, apartment, or condo ready for short-term rental may seem like a straightforward task, but there’s more to it than meets the eye. There are a few important things you have to do first to get it in tip-top shape for renting. Here’s our handy guide to prepare your home for short-term tenants:
Of course, it’s always the best idea to take everything out and leave only a few minimal furnishings, but if you must leave your things, ideally, you should keep your belongings locked away in a designated closet or room. This includes your clothes, favorite toiletries, electronics, and anything else that you wouldn’t want other people using. If you have extremely valuable items, such as expensive ornaments or jewelry, then consider leaving them in a bank safe deposit box for extra protection.
Double check that everything in the kitchen works, including the oven and all appliances. Make sure the kitchen is fully equipped with a sufficient number of plates, glasses, cups, and kitchen utensils. Leave basic cooking supplies such as olive oil, dried pasta, salt, pepper, and other staples that your tenants can use to cook meals with. Although not absolutely necessary, leaving extras such as fresh bread, butter, jam, milk, coffee, tea, and other breakfast items will certainly bring a smile to your tenants’ faces and make their experience at your home more memorable. If you really want to go the extra mile, you can leave something unique, such as a bottle of wine, chocolates, or some special regional food. This could be an appropriate welcome gift if you are marketing your home as a luxury rental option.
It goes without saying that the beds should be made, and remember to add a few extra folded sheets and blankets on top. If you keep spare bed sheets in a closet, leave the door open, or a note, so the tenants can see where they are kept. Another good idea is to add a mattress pad on the mattress and a pillow protector on the pillows for maximum comfort and sanitation.
The Living Room
In the living room, leave out the remote controls for the television and air conditioning (if you have it) so the tenants can easily find them. A thoughtful extra touch is to leave some magazines, books, and a deck of cards on the table, as well as a map of the local area and information about nearby restaurants, bars, and tourist attractions. You could also make a note of where the local supermarket and gas stations are.
The bathroom should be sparkling clean when your guests arrive with clean towels left there for them to use. You could also leave some basic toiletries such as toothpaste, soap, and dental floss. These little extras don’t cost much and can leave a great first impression on your tenants. You may want to leave a hairdryer there too if you have a spare.
General House Care
Check all the light bulbs to ensure they’re all working and leave a couple of spare ones in case one goes out. Leave a list of instructions on how to use the television, any appliances, and the alarms. It’s also a good idea to note an emergency contact number to call should they have any problems, as well as the contact details for a nearby doctor and hospital. Make sure you leave any passwords that your tenants may require as well, such as for the WiFi and Netflix. Also, remember to leave an iron, an ironing board, and basic cleaning supplies such as garbage bags, a sponge and liquid dish soap.
Other Important Factors
If you have close neighbors, make sure you tell them that you will have short-term tenants there so they know to expect new people in the area. They could also help you by keeping an eye on your property while you’re not there. Make sure you communicate the house rules to the tenants and make it clear where you stand with issues such as smoking, pets, extra guests, noise at unsociable hours, and parties. Finally, check your local laws to see what the deal is with renting short-term. Some regions require property-owners to pay a bed tax if they rent for less than six months.
Now your home is all ready to receive your short-term tenants! Let us know if you have any other ideas on how to prepare your home for short-term rental and of course, feel free to share your renting experiences with us!