Vacation homes and Airbnb’s are more popular than ever, with many people choosing them over pricier hotels. People like the privacy and sense of hominess that these places provide, but rental properties may have some responsibilities attached. Here are some tips to help you have a pleasant stay and make sure that you are doing your part.
Do the Chores
The home’s owner will likely leave you a list of chores to do before you leave. They may want you to take out the trash, strip the beds, or sweep the floors, among other tasks, but the list of requirements varies from one place to the next. You definitely want to read over that list of requirements before you leave the home, and try to get a look at the list before you agree to stay there. Keep in mind that these chore lists can be different on the rental website compared to the list left in the home.
Not taking care of the chores can mean that you are charged extra money for your stay, so to avoid that, we have provided a list of general rules for cleaning up that can help you. Whether all of these tasks are required or not, you will make a great impression on your hosts by doing these simple chores:
- Take out the trash
- Wash the dishes
- Sweep floors/ pick up trash
- Straighten furniture, mats, and carpets
- Wipe down counters
In many cases, the rental home owner will have a cleaner come and do the rest of the tidying up, but they will ask you to do some of it.
Don’t Eat That Food
If you find some food stored in the fridge or freezer in the rental property, be careful about assuming that it is for you. It could have been left by a previous guest or it could belong to the owner. Many people rent out their homes periodically but come back to live in them after the vacation season.
Your host may allow you to use the coffee, sugar, tea, and other amenities that are in the house, or they may not. Before you use any food items at all, check with the host or see if the rental agreement spells out their usage or not.
Use Caution with Consumables
Most Airbnb’s will allow you to use the toilet paper that is provided, and perhaps paper towels, but beyond that, you may not be allowed to use other consumables. Don’t help yourself to the paper plates and cups, toothpaste, or even bath soap if you are not 100% sure you are permitted to use them. The rules vary from one rental property to another on all of these kinds of things. Even something as simple as a coffee filter might be off limits.
Using items you are not supposed to can come with a high price, and the fees you are charged for using them can be more than they are worth. Ultimately, it is up to the host to determine which items you can use and how much to charge for their use. Airbnb charges hosts for their service, so the hosts will often be quick to pass on those costs to you.
Remember that you are just a guest, and like you would if you were staying in a friend’s home, you should ask before using anything you aren’t sure about.
Secure the Property
It’s also important to ensure that the property is locked as much as possible. Remember that you are spending time on someone else’s property, so you want to treat it even more carefully than you would your own. The doors should be locked at all times they are not in use. Just make it a habit of locking the door once you go inside, and then lock them whenever you go out the door with the intent of leaving the property for any length of time.
You don’t know what kind of neighborhood you are staying in, so you can’t be sure what types of security risks are around. It is best to just assume that someone will want to get into the rental property if they have half a chance, so don’t give them one.
Treat the Property with Respect
If you have kids or young people in your group, make sure that they are being responsible and treating the rental property with care. Let them know upfront that they aren’t supposed to play rough indoors or throw anything. Remind them that none of the furniture, appliances, or electronics in the home belong to you and that they will be expensive and inconvenient to replace. If the young people seem restless and overactive, you can take them outside to play, travel to a park, or give them some other way to work out some of their excess energy.
You may need to remind your party every so often to be gentle with everything. Remind them to close doors gently, press buttons with care, and not rush around inside the home.
Keep in mind that you may have neighbors nearby who will want you to keep things quiet. The host may detail any rules about sound levels, but you should just assume that the quieter you are, the more the neighbors will appreciate it. You will make things nice for the host if you don’t tick off the neighbors.
Communicate with the Host
The final bit of advice we want to leave you with is that it will be to your advantage to communicate properly and clearly with your host at all times. You may not need to bother the host at all while you are staying on their property, but if you run into any issues, let the host know. Ask them any questions you have that are relevant to your stay, let them know about any problems as they happen, and be sure to tell them when you check out, if you are checking out early. All of this will help to sidestep problems and make the experience better for you and your host.