When we start in the vacation rental business and we come from the real estate world, we must take into account that the product with which we provide the service is the same: apartments, houses, and studios.... However, the way of using them is not the same at all. Likewise, the documents and conditions to be defined by the real estate agencies or property managers change, paying special attention to the vacation rental rules or house rules.
What Are the Vacation Rental Rules?
In their documents, hosts must clearly and concisely detail the permitted and non-permitted uses of the accommodation. For example, in a long-term rental, it is important to indicate in the rental agreement the prohibition of drilling holes in the walls.
However, in a vacation rental, which is going to be used on average from 4 to 7 days, the rules should be different, such as: whether the sheets and towels are included in the price. As we can see, despite being the same property, the use is totally different, so the limitations must be stated accordingly.
How Are the Vacation Rental Rules Written?
Now that we know why it is important, we want to emphasize how to write these rules or indications.
Nowadays, everything is marketing and everything serves to achieve a 'wow' experience in the client and get customer loyalty. Therefore, the house rules are one more communication tool with our customers.
So, let's think about the type of guests we will receive: couples, groups of friends, families, and digital nomads. The use they can make will also vary according to the tenants.
For all this, it is important that you write the rules with a friendly tone, although it is true that we have to be clear and, if we do not allow parties, we must indicate it. Here are several ideas to detail it:
Text example 1: Our accommodations are designed for you to enjoy a few days of nature, tourism and relaxation, for that reason parties are not allowed.
Text example 2: We work for you to enjoy the most of your stay in our apartment and we would like it to be teamwork, therefore, we appreciate that you do not celebrate parties.
And a third option is that, in addition to indicating what cannot be done, you give them an alternative. Text example 3: Parties are not allowed, but we understand that you want to have a good time. That's why we recommend the bar "name of the bar", where if you go on our behalf, they give you a 5% discount.
To begin with, we can use a template, but we must always keep two things in mind:
The rental regulations of your city/region
The importance of personalizing this document regarding limitations
For example, a real estate agency may have 20 vacation rental apartments, 3 of which have a jacuzzi on the terrace. This service deserves to be specified in the rules of the vacation home.
What should be noted:
- Hours of use
- How to turn it on or off
- Brief maintenance instructions: such as, for example, covering it after use if necessary.
These rules can be key to making guests aware of the responsibilities involved in booking that property and whether they will be comfortable in that accommodation.
What Information Should It Contain?
Once we get the idea of how to write the rules of your accommodation, it is important to take into account what information is requested by the seasonal rental platforms. If we do not adapt to their rules, the rental conditions will not be reflected correctly when making the reservation.
Others like Airbnb, give a lot of importance to this information, therefore, we recommend that you at least talk about the following:
- General rules
The first paragraphs summarize the most basic information like the maximum number of people allowed, check-in and check-out times and possibilities to extend it.
Be clear on the schedule in which the travelers should not disturb the neighbours, there are communities of neighbours that have defined it and others not. It never hurts to remember it so that they keep it in mind.
- Security, windows, doors, emergency phones
As a host, you know the area where the tourist accommodation is located. Therefore, it is wise that you give some recommendations about security, besides remembering some basic things.
Do not leave the windows open if you are not in the accommodation or, even watch the fire at all times if your vacation home has a fireplace. In addition, the emergency telephone number should be indicated, in case a delicate situation arises.
Whether you want furry visitors or not, let them know. If there is no problem with pets, except for the quantity, weight or certain types of animals, make it very explicit, so that you don't have any surprises later on.
It is also necessary to specify whether smoking is allowed or not. And if it is, where: on a balcony, in the patio, away from the children's area... So that there is no room for doubt!
Advise the visitors through these rules on the best way to use their car. Tell them where there are parking lots, whether they are paid or free, whether they are public or private, and whether they are covered or not. The more defined it is, the less doubts they will have.
As we mentioned before, if you have a swimming pool, Jacuzzi or similar, it will be important that you explain how it should be used and the schedules in which it is available. Doubts such as: Do you have to reserve it, how hot is it, or is it shared with the rest of the guests, may be some of the questions travelers may have.
We already know that accommodations with barbecue or fireplace are usually very popular, so, if it is one of yours, explain clearly how they should make fire, how it should be extinguished and at what time, so that there are no future problems.
- Damages and flaws
An accident can happen to anyone, but what to do when something is damaged is what you should clearly state in the vacation rental rules. Knowing the consequences, such as the non-refund of a deposit or the payment of the damage, will help the visitors be more careful.
In the final section, it is important to remind the visitors again of the importance of complying with everything detailed above and how to proceed otherwise.
Where to Indicate the Rules of the Accommodation on Airbnb?
This information compiled in the rules of the house is so important that even the tourist rental portals recommend detailing all of them so that travelers can consult them before making the reservation.
OTAS such as Airbnb have an exclusive space to detail the rules of the accommodation.
Defining, customizing and indicating on your website and OTAS what your house rules are, is vital so that guests can make good use of the accommodation, there are no unforeseen events that can be avoided and you enjoy more of the vacation rental business.