Beach vacation rentals seem like the picture of perfection. After all, what could be more ideal than sunset views, sandy beaches and mornings spent hunting for seashells? You’re running the perfect spot for any guest’s summer getaway.
That being said, beach vacation rentals demand more attention than your standard rental property. The same sand, sea and sun that delights your guests can accelerate property wear and tear. Without proper ideas for maintenance and cleaning, you might be stuck with a property that’s burning a hole in your pocket even as it collects bookings.
Not to worry, though — as long as you’re aware of problems, you can stay on top of them. Here’s the low-down for everything you need to know about maintaining and cleaning at your beach vacation rental!
1. Devise a clear set of rules
The short-term occupancy of a beach vacation rental means you will need to set some ground rules. Guests are using your property for the length of their vacation, and because they have no investment in upkeep, they’re less mindful about walking through the house with wet shoes or hanging sandy towels in the hallway.
Since you’re not around to remind them to use the shoe rack or shake out their towels, you can do the next best thing and create some guidelines. Think of the most common issues you have to handle between guests, then write them down and place them somewhere easily accessible.
You can attach the document to an email, or for extra beachy vibes, have it stitched and framed to hang on a wall in your rental. Three essential ideas for your seaside house rules are:
- No beach shoes in the house
- Always hang wet towels outside
- Rinse off feet before entering.
2. Hire a property manager
If you prefer to take a passive approach to your investment, hiring a property manager is often the best course of action. You can turn your focus elsewhere as they handle the responsibilities of your beach vacation rental, accounting for maintenance and cleaning, and communicating with contractors if necessary.
A property manager can help investors sidestep some of the common pitfalls of real estate. Before you make a hiring decision, check how experienced they are in your area to get a good idea of how helpful they will be in choosing trustworthy contractors and knowing how to deal with local regulations.
That said, property managers can also be expensive. They typically charge a fee between 4 and 10 percent of the monthly gross income for the property. For a single-family beach vacation rental, the percentage is often closer to 10 percent. This decision is really up to you, your budget and your willingness to deal with the nitty-gritty details of maintenance.
3. Protect the interior
A beach vacation rental is more susceptible to humidity and water damage. For one thing, even with rules in place, it’s only a matter of time before sand and water are tracked all over the floors. These problems can also affect the durability of your rental’s furniture.
You can protect against puddles and sand by picking durable flooring for your rental. You want to avoid hardwood floors or carpet if you can — moisture and dirt are unfriendly to both. Moisture resistance and durability are key to choosing long-lasting floors that are impervious to humidity. If you’re still furnishing your vacation rental, bear these hard-wearing flooring types in mind:
- Sheet vinyl
- Porcelain tile.
There are smaller measures you can take to protect your beach vacation rental, too. You can put covers on furniture between occupants to shield them from the warm, damp sea air. Most of all, ensure the space is well ventilated, not only for your fixtures and fittings but also for your electronics.
4. Weatherproof the exterior
On the subject of materials and renovations, you have options for protecting your property from environmental stressors. While the location of your rental makes it vulnerable to sun, sea, sand, weathering, erosion and other environmental factors, a little weatherproofing can keep the cost of maintenance low.
You should treat your rental’s exterior with weatherproof paints and finishes. This can prevent issues like cracking and peeling caused by moisture and sun exposure. Cracks in the substrate allow moisture to enter the interior, so this is an essential precaution you have to take to ensure your property doesn’t suffer water damage.
This might sound intimidating, but a local professional should be able to help you figure out some key tasks for yearly maintenance if you need advice. When it comes time to do periodic repairs, do your research to see what works best for a beachfront property.
5. Ideas for cleaning
Cleaning your rental between guests requires a solid game plan. This is even truer when you have to deal with stray grains of sand and wet floors. Make your life a little easier by listing a few cleaning tasks for guests throughout their stay and before they leave:
- Sweep up any sand
- Leave used beach towels in a laundry basket
- Rinse out the cooler bag or box
- Shake out and hose off any chairs, loungers or umbrellas used
- Clean up in the kitchen.
You might even decide to add a cleaning fee to your nightly rate, especially if you’ve had issues with cleanliness in the past.
When you’re preparing your beach vacation rental for your next guest, pay special attention to the kitchen and bathrooms. Humidity can create more issues with mold, so you want to make sure everything is in good order. You can also seal any tiles with silicone if they’re picking up lots of moisture with every stay.
If you want to automate your rental cleaning, contact a local company or sign up for a cleaning app to find the right personnel to prepare your rental between bookings. Set aside time to browse your available options, searching for companies with good reviews, affordable prices and a broad range of services.
Taking care of your beach vacation rental
Beach vacation rentals may require more attention than other rental properties, but it’s often well worth the extra effort. As long as you follow some of the suggestions above, you can feel confident in the profitability of your vacation rental and make maintenance and cleaning a stress-free mission.
Better yet, your guests will be impressed at how clean and cared-for your beach vacation rental really is!
About the Author
Holly Welles is a home improvement writer interested in making the most of any space. Besides writing around the web, she also runs her own blog, The Estate Update.