Many homeowners are surprised to learn that you can be an expert at inspecting your own home and are clueless when it comes to vacation rental inspections. The wear and tear on vacation homes as well as the intended usage makes the inspection look a whole lot different, so it’s no wonder that many vacation rental owners find themselves in the dark when it comes to checking their second home.
Fear not! A vacation rental inspection might take some time, but with a thorough checklist, you can be just as good at inspecting as you are at renting. We’re going to tell you all about why you need a vacation rental inspection checklist and exactly how to conduct one.
Why are vacation rental inspections important?
If you manage your property remotely, conducting a vacation home inspection might feel like just another burden to bury. Having to take yet another trip to your vacation rental can sound like a real bear, but the reality is that a good home inspection will save you from many future headaches – and money!
Protect your business
Emergencies and mishappenings can sometimes bring out the worst in us – especially when something happens during your vacation. With that said, guests might lash out if something, that would have been preventable with a home inspection, happens during their stay and rightfully so.
Things do happen, home inspection or otherwise, but having a record of routine inspections might protect your property from a future lawsuit. Imagine that a wire is frayed and during a guest’s trip, this causes a small electrical fire, damaging their property. Having proof that an inspection was recently conducted might save you from having an instance like that escalate to a legal battle.
Keep guests safe
As a part of a top-notch guest experience, you’ll need to provide the maximum level of safety for your visitors. If you can proudly present a good track record for vacation rental inspections, guests might feel more comfortable staying at your property. The consequences of this are only positive – think: good reviews, repeat customers, and an overall great experience had by all.
Your own peace of mind
It’s happened to all of us where you leave the house, you’re on your way to work, and you think, “Did I turn the coffee pot off?” Faulty vacation rental inspections follow more or less the same logic. When you’re consistent and follow a vacation rental inspection checklist, you don’t have to second guess yourself or fret from doubt because you’ll have a relieving tickmark next to every inspection to-do.
How often should you do a home inspection for your vacation rental?
As most things in the vacation rental industry go: it depends on your property. If your property is a bit more high maintenance, such as a renovated home from the 1800s or property in an extreme weather zone, you might need to conduct a monthly inspection and focus on particular aspects like storm door functionality or structural damage.
Generally speaking, you should conduct a vacation rental inspection at least at the end of every season. The involvement of these inspections might vary depending on the season, however. A house that resides in an area that gets heavy snowfall might need to do a more thorough look at the roof and water damage checks at the end of the winter season. Think about when your property could use a closer look.
How to conduct a vacation rental inspection
By now, you’re probably fully aware that your vacation rental needs some maintenance protocols in place, but where to start? We’ve looked at the areas of the house that you’ll need to cover, but let’s break it down a bit further so you don’t miss a beat.
Make it routine
First of all, you’re going to want to establish how regularly you want to conduct your vacation rental inspection. Some things will need to be addressed on a more routine basis while other aspects of your home might be a bit lower-maintenance.
You can organize your vacation rental inspections according to the different sections of your house or you can do so in order of priority. Organizing your inspections by weekly, seasonal, or yearly check-ups is up to you. This list can also be divided between you and your property manager, if you don’t visit your property frequently.
Further, different homes are going to require different routine checks. For example, a beach house might need to check the structural integrity of the stilts before, after, and during the hurricane season while winter homes might require a chimney sweep before the cold hits.
Check every crevice and corner
The most important part of vacation rental inspections is being thorough. Sometimes the major problems in your home lie in the smallest places. Checking for small stains on the roof, soggy ground near the foundation of the home, or any small leaks from the faucets or pipes are some examples of keeping an eye for detail. Structural issues, pest infestation, and water damage can all show themselves in discrete ways so make sure you’re paying close attention.
Have guest responsibilities for vacation rental maintenance
Not all the work needs to fall on you. Having an on-the-ground team, vacation rental software to help you delegate tasks, and top-notch guests will make the pain of inspections a little easier. Your guests are going to be living in the home and seeing any issues that might arise first hand making them a reliable source for checking the integrity of your vacation rental.
There are some light tasks you can ask of your guests or gentle ways to ask if the property was up to standard without it seeming like a chore. After all, they are on vacation! By including a small questionnaire at check-out asking if they noticed any damage or issues during their stay, can help you to get a better sense of what’s going on at your property without having to be physically present.
Use a vacation rental inspection checklist
No house is perfect and there are many issues that can arise during homeownership. With that said, many vacation rental owners think that they have every step ingrained in their mind then end up forgetting a crucial part of the inspection. The best way to avoid this? A vacation rental inspection checklist.
Having an organized, written list of all the things you need to examine will make sure you don’t miss a thing. Feel free to write your own list if you feel it needs customization or use our own free home inspection checklist for rental property.
Keep your home in tip-top shape by conducting thorough vacation rental inspections regularly. Your home will thank you and your guests will too. Sometimes the laundry list is long and owners accidentally skip a step, causing serious issues down the road.
Don’t leave any of your property’s care to chance. Make sure that everything is in working order by following our free vacation rental inspection checklist and ticking off all the listed items for full peace of mind.