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short term rentals

A guide for vacation rentals

Summer is in full swing, and you might have a knack for remodeling homes, or you live in a touristic city (We see you, San Francisco!), if you are considering renting that extra room at your apartment or your folks’ beach home, take these tips into consideration.

1. Establish time limits

Standard practice is to require minimum stays of one week, one month, or even longer. Make sure that your vacation lease agreement includes it. For the most part, if your guests just need a place for 2 or 3 days, a short-term rental is unlikely to be practical.

2. Allow people to book early

If you plan to make that room available during the summer, make sure you allow people to book far in advance, that way you will provide a better service and make the place available for more potential renters.

3. It’s all about the numbers

How many people an apartment can sleep is not necessarily the same as how many it sleeps comfortably. Be clear about this beforehand, that way you will avoid terrible situations where your guests (and you) feel uncomfortable. The square footage is a more precise measure (one square meter is approximately 11 square feet). Finally, include all the necessary details on your list and the vacation lease agreement, from the proper use of the amenities to the broken elevator in your building.

4. Online everything!

By doing a vacation rental agreement using Rocket Lawyer’s online interview process, the document will be available to you instantly. If the client is in another or state or even down the street you can send them the document by email to read over and sign it electronically before they even arrive for their stay. Once you have completed your agreement and it’s been signed by all parties, it will be saved under your account, and you can return to it whenever you need to reference it.

5. Talk to your guest before you commit

You’ll have a stranger staying at your home, and you have the technology available to speak with this person before you rent the room or home. Make sure you’re comfortable with the agreement.

6. Read the fine print

To ensure that your guest adventure isn’t a horror story of confused dates and false promises, make sure both parties read the contract carefully before signing.

7. At your service? What is included?

Most rentals include a one-time housekeeping fee, but if you are renting the room for more than a week, you may want to add some costs to the agreement. Be clear, are your guest allowed to use the kitchen? Will they have counter space to cook and bring their own groceries? Be specific and avoid complicated situations.

However tempting it may be to rent out your place for extra income, the bottom line is, you should check your local county and city laws, including zoning and tax codes before creating the listing. Have questions? Ask a Lawyer; we’re here to help!

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