how to prepare your home for vacation rentals

As companies like Airbnb become increasingly more popular and the cost of living continues to increase, it is tempting for homeowners to consider using their property as a short-term vacation rental. Depending on your location, your lifestyle, and your property, renting your home could be a great way to make a bit of extra cash.

However, renting your home out for the weekend isn’t as simple as creating a profile on Airbnb. You will need to properly prepare your space and be willing to accommodate the needs of your guests where possible.

Here are some considerations before you start to rent your home out.

Consider Your Space

Depending on whether you live in an apartment, a condo, a full-sized house, or on an acreage, your home will look different. This means that your rental space will be different too. If you have a large acreage, you might be renting out your guest house or a cabin that you don’t regularly use. Your guests will have an ample space of their own to occupy, and depending on the guest, you might not see them very much. Likewise, if you live in a large home that has a mother-in-law suite over the garage or on the first floor, you might find that accommodating guests is simple.

However, if you live in an apartment or a smaller house, you may need to share communal spaces with your guests like bathrooms and kitchens. If you live on your own or love to have company, this might be okay for you, but if you are the kind of person who values their privacy, this may present a problem.

Consider Your Lifestyle

Everyone has a different schedule. If you are working full-time, you might be out of the house from nine to five every day or depending on your work, you may need to take long business trips. If you are self-employed or you work remotely, you may spend the majority of your time at home.

As the host of a short-term rental, you are going to need to be available to answer any questions your guest may have about the space, the amenities, and the area. Whether you are available in person or by phone, you will want to make sure that you are able to address any concerns that come up.

To make check-in easier consider purchasing a keyless lock. Depending on your schedule, it could be easier to give your guests a four-digit pin number that they can use to access your home rather than meeting them in person to give them a key. Plus, with a four-digit entry code, you don’t have to worry about guests losing keys. You can easily change the code later.

If you decide that renting short-term sounds like it is for you, here are some tips about how to prepare your home for a short-term rental.

Keep Everything Clean

Keeping your home clean is one of the best things you can do to impress guests. Ensure that the floors are vacuumed and that you have provided clean towels and clean bedding. You will also want to ensure that all surfaces are free of dust and that the bathroom and kitchen surfaces are very clean.

Some people choose to hire a housecleaning service to do this work. For someone who has a busy schedule, this can be ideal. Others choose to do the work themselves to keep overhead costs low.

Safety First

You will also want to make sure that your home is safe. If possible, highlight or remove any tripping hazards between where guests will park and where they will stay. Ensure that your smoke detectors are in working condition and that fire extinguishers are readily available.

You may also want to keep any valuable items you have in a safe. On a site like Airbnb, it is usually possible to view a guest’s references to help you decide if a guest looks like a good fit, but additional safety measures can’t hurt.

Short-Term Rental Checklist

Here are a few items you may want to include in your rental suite.


  • Clean towels
  • Hand soap
  • Soap for the shower
  • Shampoo & Condition
  • Hairdryer
  • Toilet paper
  • Tissues


  • Microwave
  • Kettle
  • Coffee machine and coffee grounds
  • Fridge
  • Toaster
  • Dish soap
  • Dishcloth and scrubby
  • Dishes
  • Silverware
  • Large and small pot
  • Salt, pepper, and sugar
  • Mixing bowls
  • Spatulas, ladles, and other cooking utensils
  • Baking dishes or pans


  • Garbage cans
  • Garbage bags
  • Smoke detectors
  • Fire extinguishers
  • Extra blankets
  • Television
  • DVDs or cable
  • Cards or board games
  • Guidebooks and maps

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Posted by Eric Hoien on
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