Preparing your home for holiday rental

Although your primary residence is no doubt already furnished and decorated, you’ll have to find a balance between personal convenience and guest comfort if you begin renting it to holiday rental guests.

First, walk through your home and remove any irreplaceable or valuable items. You can create a lockable closet in your home for storing personal items and extra supplies.  Then, take the time to clear away as many other personal possessions as you can, and make sure there is no clutter anywhere.  Renters often complain when they find owners’ toiletries, clothes, or other personal effects left behind.  It may pay to invest in some storage bins so that you can empty wardrobes, cupboards or chests of drawers easily.  The key here is to provide enough storage space for your guests to feel like they’re able to make themselves at home for the period of their stay.  Clear bathroom cabinets or desks, and stash it all in the attic, or a locked room or garage.

Next, think about getting a professional cleaner to come through, or be extra especially thorough yourself, as guests may have very high expectations.

In addition to removing and locking away personal items, it’s also important to add the things that travellers expect to find in a holiday rental.  Here’s a break down by room:

The Kitchen: When it comes to the kitchen, guests appreciate convenience. Your kitchen should be equipped with enough plates, glasses, and flatware for double the number of people that you sleep.  You’ll also need a coffee pot, adequate cooking gear, and a dining room table that will seat the number of people that you sleep.

The Bedrooms: All holiday homes should have quality and ample bedding. This means at least two sets of high-quality sheets for each bed, pillows with pillow protectors, extra blankets, and mattress pads. Also, consider supplying an alarm clock and reading lamp on a bedside table in each bedroom.

The Living Area: You should also provide a TV large enough for guests to watch from across the room (27” or larger), a DVD player, and a couple OF decks of cards and a board game or two for rainy days. Be careful when itemising facilities: if you say the property has a TV, make sure it has Freeview, or else clarify this in the listing. Guests appreciate a stereo, preferably with an iPod dock or auxiliary input so they can play their music. Leave clear instructions on how to use the home entertainment system.

The Bathrooms: Renters expect bathrooms to be spotless.  Provide at least two bath towels, two hand towels, and two flannels per guest.  Guests appreciate decent linens and finding a bathroom supplied with quality toiletries.  Think “hotel-like experience”!

The Extras: When equipping your primary residence for short-term renters, remember why travellers choose to rent a home instead of booking a hotel. The good news is, since you spend a great deal of time in your own home, you might already have many of the must-have amenities, like a washer and dryer, high-speed Internet, an iron and ironing board, a hairdryer, books, games, videos, and a first aid kit.


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