Has Summer Taken a Toll on Your Vacation Rental?


For the most part, the hotel industry has set certain expectations when it comes to the condition of a vacation rental property, and the behavior of its guests.  Certainly, those who stay a few days or even a week are less likely to cause damage than, say, guests who are staying for a whole month, but there is always room for exceptions!

It goes without saying that you should always present your vacation rental in the best possible light, making it as homey and comfortable as possible without going overboard on items that might be at risk for theft, damage or end up causing harm to your guests if used improperly.


As the owner of a vacation property, you probably expect a certain amount of wear and tear each season.  If you’re a new rental property owner, you’ll be happy to know that in general, it is not typical to see significant damage caused by guests.  However, there may be accidents here and there (ranging from something small like a broken wine glass to something more significant like a broken garbage disposal or clogged toilet).

Obviously, the more renters you have during the course of a season, the greater the wear and tear on the unit.  Particularly when children and pets are involved. And if your unit is located near the beach, expect that sand will be a permanent fixture in your cottage!

Here are some “normal” occurrences when it comes to vacation rental damage:

  • Broken plates, glasses, coffee pot
  • Cookware becomes worn (Teflon scratched, for example)
  • Worn carpet or light stains from minor spills
  • Scratches or fabric pulls on furniture
  • Appearance of ants or other bugs from garbage left behind, doors being left open, etc.


There are occasions where there may be too many renters in the unit, young adults looking for a party place, or situations that arise that cause damage to your home.  Although these instances are rare, it’s important to anticipate them and include any necessary clauses in your rental contract to protect your investment.  Here are some examples of abnormal wear and tear:

  • Broken or cracked window pane
  • Hole in the wall
  • Electronics missing from the unit
  • Ripped carpet or cracked tile

If you believe that significant damage has resulted from reckless behavior or theft, your guests may be responsible for the repair or replacement of those items.  Be sure to obtain a valid credit card, damage deposit or insurance to protect you should an incident take place.

Depending on the number of times you rent your property during the season, it’s always a good idea to have an expert frequently evaluate the unit to inspect major appliances, perform plumbing maintenance and determine if  any repairs are necessary.

The number one repair in rental units that go unreported are running toilets.

Most of the time your guests will  not even notice the toilet constantly running, or they will notice it but not report it.  A constantly running, unattended toilet can run up your water bill very quickly, may overflow, leaks may occur, etc.  This can be particularly troublesome if the unit is vacant for a period of time.

Regular maintenance and annual inspection on the following items will ensure that your guests enjoy a fun, uninterrupted vacation:

The condition and amenities your vacation rentals offer is what keeps guest coming back year after year.  When you find guests that are respectful and treat your property like their own, you’ll want to make sure you get their loyalty.  Keeping your unit regularly maintained will not only bring in repeat buisness, it will save you money in the long run when everything is running smoothly.