The vacation rental industry is thriving, and the demand for short-term vacation rentals has reached unprecedented levels. Travelers are now looking for flexible and unique accommodation options, making short-term rentals an ideal choice. In the United Kingdom, there has been a notable increase in stays between May and June last year, growing from an average of 9 to 11 days. As staycations and shorter city explorations become more popular, property owners have a golden opportunity to maximize their income potential.

To ensure a successful venture in this dynamic and expanding world of short-term rentals, it is crucial for vacation rental owners to have a well-structured short-term rental agreement in place. In this article, we will delve into the 15 key components that should be incorporated into such an agreement, providing a comprehensive guide to enhance business practices and safeguard the interests of both hosts and guests.

What exactly is a short-term rental agreement?

It’s a document that establishes a contractual relationship between the property owner and their guests, covering stays typically ranging from 1 to 30 days. While each agreement may vary, there are essential elements that every property owner should consider.

When do you implement a short term rental agreement?

Implementing a short-term rental agreement may seem like a cumbersome task involving paperwork, but it is a vital step that can save you significant time, money, and legal issues in the long run. It is crucial to use a rental agreement for every new guest, regardless of how short their stay might be, even if they are friends or acquaintances.

However, if you have guests planning to stay for more than 30 days, such as a month or longer, a short-term rental agreement may not be suitable. In such cases, a fixed-term lease agreement, renewed monthly, would be more appropriate.

Before renting out your property to guests, it is essential to have them sign a short-term rental agreement to protect both you and your property. To ensure transparency, all the relevant terms must be disclosed before the booking process. You can include this information on the property listing platform and share the short-term rental contract through the message thread with your guests or upon receiving their booking request. This way, you can accept their booking only after they have thoroughly read and signed the agreement.

15 Things to Include in a Short-term Rental Agreement

  1. Rental Property Details: Provide a clear and unambiguous description of your vacation rental property, including all amenities.
  2. Information About the Rental Parties: List all guests’ names, addresses, and contact numbers for the rental period.
  3. Rental Period: Specify the date of arrival and departure, and address any changes to these dates.
  4. Maximum Occupancy: Clearly define the maximum number of allowed guests and sleeping arrangements.
  5. Keys and Access: Explain how guests will access the property, especially if using lockboxes or key management services.
  6. Rental Rules and Restrictions: Outline your house rules, such as smoking or pet policies, and the penalties for breaking them.
  7. Payment Details: Include the rental rate, due dates, and any additional services with their associated costs.
  8. Security Deposit: Define the amount and purpose of the security deposit, which protects against property damages.
  9. Fees: Clarify any extra fees and their purpose, apart from the rental rate and security deposit.
  10. Cancellation: Explain the process for guests to cancel the agreement and any associated terms.
  11. Cleaning: Detail what the cleaning fee covers and provide departure instructions for guests.
  12. Amenities and Furnishings: List all available amenities, including furniture, linens, TV, and outdoor areas.
  13. Limitation of Liability: Include a clause that limits your responsibility in case of accidents or injuries on the property.
  14. Violation of Agreement: Outline the consequences if either party violates the agreement, including the right to cancel.
  15. Extra Clauses: Consider adding specific clauses to address unique situations, such as restricted property areas.

Additional Aspects for Consideration

  • Insurance Coverage: Mention the importance of both property owners and guests having appropriate insurance coverage for added protection.
  • Security and Privacy: Address the measures taken to ensure the security and privacy of guests during their stay.
  • Maintenance and Repairs: Include details about how maintenance and repairs will be handled during the guests’ stay.
  • Guest Responsibilities: Mention the responsibilities of the guests during their stay to maintain a peaceful environment.
  • Dispute Resolution: Consider including a section on dispute resolution to resolve conflicts amicably.
  • Local Regulations: Highlight the importance of complying with local regulations and zoning laws related to short-term rentals.
  • Emergencies and Contacts: Provide emergency contact information for both the property owner and local emergency services.

As a property owner, creating a valid short-term rental agreement for each guest is crucial to ensure clarity on rules and regulations during their stay. A comprehensive agreement provides protection against liabilities or damages. If unsure, seek legal advice for peace of mind.

Elevate your holiday rentals with Holidayzer! Assisting property owners since 2014, our expertise in managing short-term rentals is unmatched. Contact us now to discover how we can help you maximize your vacation rental business.