How to Rent Your Home While on Holiday

By
Education & Training with Property Investment Wise

Have you ever thought of putting your home to work while you went away on holiday? You aren't alone. Full time homes are becoming part time rentals all over the world. They are so common in Europe that they have agencies to help handle the whole rental process. In the United States, you may have to go it alone. If you want to rent your home while on holiday, make sure you check into all the fine details to make things go as well as possible. There's more to a holiday rental home than signing the lease, collecting the rent and holding the security deposit.

 

Location

 

Location

 

It does no good to rent your home for holidays unless you are near some attractive feature or event that will draw people. Seaside or lakeside cottages are always in demand in the on-season. If your house is in the middle of a popular tourist city, it should rent out rather quickly. Time your holiday during a large, local fair or convention to get even more traffic.

 

Laws and Ordinances

 

Laws and Ordinances

 

Make sure your city allows you to rent out your home for holidays. Many cities place limits on the way residential property can be used. If you want to rent your home while on holiday, you may have to seek out a variance first. Your Homeowners Association may also have covenants that would not allow you to rent out your home for the holidays. Discuss your plans with them before you incur any fines.

 

Mortgage Companies

 

Mortgage Companies

 

Many banks and mortgage companies draft their loans to the owner as the occupier of the property. If you intend to rent your home, you may need to seek permission from the mortgage holder. Be aware that it is very common for mortgages to contain a clause that says homeowners must wait a period of time before renting their homes to anyone.

 

Insurance

 

Insurance

 

Some homeowner's insurance policies may not cover rental homes. Sometimes coverage will continue through the rental periods, but it may not cover the damage caused by your renters. If it doesn't, plan to purchase additional insurance before you advertise that you want to rent out your home for holidays.

 

Storage

 

Storage

 

Before you go on holiday, check into storage for valuables, electronics, personal possessions and fine furniture. Renters expect a holiday home to come furnished, but that doesn't mean they want to walk into your life. Provide empty closets for clothing storage and try to minimize damage and theft by moving your things elsewhere.

 

Staging

 

Staging

 

When you are drafting your holiday rental ad, you will need pictures of your house inside and out. Remove all the furniture and items from view that you don't want to leave for your renters to use. Make sure that staged areas are clean and uncluttered. This makes a better impression on potential renters. Make sure to show off important features. If you have an updated kitchen or a backyard swimming pool, don't forget them in your ad pictures. Using a local holiday house rentals website can really help to narrow your reach to those who are specifically looking for a place in the area where your house is.

 

Pet Boarding

 

 Pet Boarding

 

Family pets are usually happier at home, but when you rent your home for holidays, they should go on holiday too. That doesn't mean you have to take them with you. A reputable boarding facility is a good, safe home away from home for your pets. Neighbors and friends might also make good caregivers, especially if they know your pet well. Otherwise, speak to your veterinarian to find a good pet boarder or if you would really like them to go on holiday with you, there are many pet friendly accommodation that you can stay at. 

Everything Needs to Work

 

Everything Needs to Work

 

Perform any minor repairs that have been sitting on the to-do list. All appliances should be clean and in good condition, so do any maintenance. It is much better to do repairs before your renters get there than it is to get an emergency phone call while you are away. Hire a local property manager to handle repairs that come up after you leave so that you don't have to come back.

 

Hire Cleaners

 

Hire Cleaners

 

Even if you have cleaned and prepared your house, it's a good idea to have a professional cleaner give it a polish before you turn over keys to your renters. Encourage your renters to use the same company before leaving. This helps eliminate disagreements over the cleaning portion of the security deposit.

 

 

 

If you need to make back some extra money after your trip, rent your home while on holiday. Check with your local government, mortgage company, and HOA to make sure you are permitted to rent out your home for holidays. Make sure your insurance covers damage by renters. Take pictures of your home with only the items you will make available to your renters. Showcase any special features your home may have. Make any necessary repairs to your home and appliances before you leave and hire a property manager to take care of repairs while you are gone. Put your valuables in storage and plan to board pets. Hire cleaners and suggest your renters use the same company upon checkout.

Posted by

Joe McCord works at REAA.

Comments (2)

Richard L. Sanderson
Richard L. Sanderson Consulting - Kalama, WA
helping improve local property tax systems

@Joe McCord - With online short-term rental services available today, renting your home while on vacation is definitely an option that people should consider, but only after doing their homework.  As you point out, local laws and ordinances may not allow for this option. 

Aug 19, 2015 06:56 PM
Joe McCord
Property Investment Wise - Las Vegas, NV
Making It Rain On The Regular

Richard L. Sanderson Thanks for the read.

 

I will try and cover local laws more in depth next time.

Aug 19, 2015 07:04 PM