Checklist: What to consider before renting out a holiday home or vacation rental?
Are you thinking of renting out your property as a vacation rental or holiday home? This can be very lucrative. However, there are a few things to consider here. In this checklist for renting out holiday apartments and holiday homes, you will find the most important information.
1. Write a good description of your holiday home or apartment
In the description, you should ensure you present your holiday accommodation in the best light, without exaggerating. An honest representation of the quality and equipment provided is important. Include information about the living space and the number and type of rooms. How many sleeping places are there? Mention the garden or terrace. Give a brief overview of the kitchen equipment and, if available, any special features. Details about the location should also be included, such as the distance to the nearest beach or ski lift. Likewise, you should mention the surrounding area with any attractions or shopping opportunities.
2. Set your prices
First, you should know the fixed costs for your holiday home or apartment. In the second step you look at the prices set by the competition. It is important to consider vacation rentals that are as similar as possible in terms of location, size, and amenities. Your price should not differ much from them. A special location or equipment can justify a higher price if it represents real added value for the guest.
3. Take good photos
Pictures are the first impression of your holiday home or apartment provided to the guest. This is not only with the first picture on your website or in accommodation directories or booking platforms, but also with all additional photos. Therefore, taking good photos should be a priority on your "vacation rental checklist". The photos should show all rooms. They must be authentic, but also attractive. The apartment should be clean and tidy and the pictures should give a positive overall impression.
Good photos of your accommodation – a central key to success
4. Make an inventory
Before you let guests stay in the holiday home or apartment, record all existing items as well as their condition in an inventory list. This way you can check after a holiday rental that no items have been stolen or furniture damaged, for example, stains or scratches. Minor damage or wear and tear can be quickly identified and repaired with the help of the inventory.
5. Security aspects
There are some safety standards you should consider, such as railings on balconies or secure windows and apartment doors. Then there are the smoke detectors, which are often required by law. Please note that the legal requirements can vary from country to country. For bunk beds, look for associated safety features, and for all optional extras, such as a swimming pool, make sure they are secured to standard. In particular, safety should also be made a priority for families with babies and young children. In this day and age, an important issue is that of data protection: make sure that guests' personal data is protected.
6. Use a contract
As a landlord, you should always sign a rental contract with your guests in case of disputes or problems. There are good sample contracts for this purpose, which also include the regulation of cancellation and the tenant's obligations. If you have your vacation rental arranged by a manager or a company, you should arrange a contract with them. For such an agency contract, there are model contracts that specify the rights and obligations of the manager.
The rental contract – an absolute must!
7. Tourist tax
When asking the question "Renting a holiday home – what to consider?" this point is often overlooked: where in coastal regions and well-known holiday resorts, a visitor's tax is due. Holiday guests pay this local tax either at the tourist office, at vending machines or directly to the landlord. Since this depends on local conditions, you should always be aware of current requirements.
8. Register your property as a holiday home or apartment
The mandatory registration of your own property as a vacation home at the relevant residents' registration office is not a mere formality. In rare cases, it can also be rejected, for example, due to the Housing Protection Act or a ban on misappropriation of the corresponding municipality. Failure to comply can result in fines of up to six-digits. Legally, there are no requirements regarding the furnishings or equipment in a holiday property, but a self-contained residential unit with basic furnishings and household items is required. If you are a co-owner of a property, it is also worth taking a look at the co-ownership regulations before you rent out to holiday guests.
9. Take out insurance
As a general rule, as a property owner you should take out the obligatory building insurance as well as supplementary natural hazards insurance to be largely protected against damage caused by natural forces. Especially for holiday homes, it is also advisable to take out commercial household insurance, which, in addition to private household insurance, also covers damage caused by careless guests or burglary. Very important is also the business liability insurance, which must considered in addition to personal liability insurance. You need this to be insured against justified claims by guests in the event of an accident, for example. It is also advisable to have commercial legal protection insurance so that you are prepared for any legal disputes.
10. Make your vacation home visible online – and bookable!
Everything prepared? Then you can start with the holiday rental: nowadays, searching for and booking a holiday home or vacation rental is largely done online. Accordingly, it is important that you make your holiday property visible online with a good Internet presence. This also includes a well-maintained availability calendar and a quick response to customer inquiries.
Having a good overview of all availabilities and customer requests – essential!
You can see from this vacation rental checklist: there is a lot to do and consider before you can start actively renting out your accommodation. It can be helpful to approach the holiday rental together with a strong partner or even to place it completely in their hands. One of the leading European specialists in this field is Interhome Group – with over 55 years of experience in vacation rentals.
When working with Interhome Group, you will not only benefit from the worldwide reach of their websites, the booking of your accommodation through travel agencies and all other comprehensive marketing activities of such a large partner. In addition to maintaining the Internet presence and handling all customer correspondence and payment, as experts in this field, Interhome Group can also take care of practical tasks on site – from professional cleaning and linen changes to all-round service in those destinations with a local Interhome service office.
Want to find out more?
Let us advise you free of charge and without obligation. We would be happy to show you your personal rental potential and together work out the right offer for you. Just reach out by filling out the Contact Form.