How To Safely Rent Out Your Home For The Festive Season 

Dec 28, 2023 | Property

It’s become quite popular for people to rent out their homes over the holidays, mostly because it’s a fantastic way to make some extra money. For some, this is how they afford their own time off. For others, it’s a necessary way to make it through the silly season until the first pay day of the next year. There are even those who’ve decided that becoming a ‘rentrepreneur’ is more lucrative than their normal 9-5.  

That said, renting out your home isn’t always as simple as locking away your valuables and taking some beautifully filtered pictures for whatever platform you’re using to advertise your place.  

If you’re thinking about becoming a holiday landlord or have already started this journey and want to make sure that nothing comes back to bite you in the proverbial, then let us lay out a few tips and tricks that you should be aware of.  

The Platform Rules Matter 

There has been a rise in online platforms, making it easier than ever to list your property. We’re talking about the likes of Airbnb, Booking.com, Lekkerslaap, and HomeAway. When it comes to listing your property for these short-term stints, we urge you to follow the rules of the platforms and become intensely familiar with their terms and conditions.  

It’s not just about being able to become listed as a host. It’s also so that if things go wrong, you know where you stand. Depending on the scenario and the rules of the platform, you might have every right to demand payment from the guests who spilt paint all over your couch.  

Seeing as there are no proper contracts for short-term rentals between you and your guests, you need to know how the platform protects you.  

Check Your Guests Out 

It’s really for your own safety (and the safety of your property) that you do what you can to check out prospective guests. 

Even if you’re using a booking platform, it’s still wise to do what you can. For instance, you can use the platform to communicate with guests and look at possible guest reviews left by former hosts.  

But if you’re renting your home out privately and foregoing any of the protections that an online platform might offer, it’s up to you to request information about your holiday tenants. Most hotels, guesthouses or other registered holiday accommodation will gather this data – and for good reason, too. These details should include full name, numbers and copies of their IDs (or passports), their car registration number, and their usual residential address.  

You don’t want to be scammed or have no way of getting in touch with guests who have left things behind, or taken (or even broken) your possessions.  

Private Landlords Need Contracts 

If you’re not using a booking platform and are privately renting your home out, it’s important to have a written rental agreement or contract. In this agreement, make sure you’ve got the basics, like the details of which property (or part of a property) is being rented, how long you’re renting it out for, and how much the rent is per day, week or month. More than this, though, you should also include who is liable for damages and missing items, and who will be paying for the water, electricity and any other services for the rental period. 

Talk To Your Insurer 

Remember to let your insurance company know that your home will be hosting holiday tenants. They might not cover any incidents that happen while you’re not home. If they do, though, then they’ll want to know if your guests are occupying your whole property for more than 30 days and may increase your premium in order to cover any theft or damages done by your tenants, as well as theft of any of your tenants’ belongings, and any liability claims in case your tenants injure themselves in your home. 

Take Precautions To Protect Your Possessions  

It makes sense to lock away your valuables (like jewellery, electronics, and personal documents), and even park any cars you don’t take with you at a friend’s or neighbour’s property. However, two extra safety steps you can take include making your guests pay a deposit and conducting incoming/outgoing inspections and inventory checks with guests. This way, everyone is on the same page about what’s going to happen to that deposit if they damage, break or misappropriate any of your belongings.  

Feeling Informed? 

We trust that this advice is useful and will help you safeguard your home while you earn some extra cash over the festive season.  

Don’t forget that AA Inform is home to a range of useful tools and resources – including access to multiple home insurance quotes from the AA Insurance Supermarket so that you have the kind of cover that has your back in these scenarios.  

Get A Free Property Valuation Report

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