Tips for Owners of Vacation Rentals Using Contracts with Customers
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If you own a vacation property that you rent out, you may need a contract to use with potential customers. We have a vacation rental contract template that can be tailored to fit the needs of your vacation rental business.
Important Considerations for Your Vacation Rental Contract
Below We’ll Cover:
- Important Details to Include in Your Vacation Rental Contract
- Clauses to Consider Adding
- Mistakes to Avoid
- Links to Additional Resources
- How to Get Your Contract Signed
Important Details to Include in Your Vacation Rental Contract Template
Renting out your vacation property is an excellent way to earn extra income. In fact, the property may even earn enough to pay for itself. Renting property, however, can be a risky business if you fail to protect yourself and your customers. The best way to ensure that the obligations and responsibilities of both parties are clear is to create and execute a well-drafted contract.
When creating your vacation rental contract, be sure to include the following details:
- Contact information for the landlord and tenants
- Description of the property
- The time frame covered in the lease
- Payment rate and terms
- Cancellation terms
- Legal terms
Clauses to Consider Adding
Along with common terms and provisions that should be included in every vacation rental contract, you may also wish to include additional clauses to help ensure that the agreement between you and your tenant is clear and that both parties are protected, such as:
- Payment Methods. In today’s digital age, many property owners accept a variety of payment methods. If you are one of them, consider adding a clause outlining how you accept payment, such as direct payment using a debit/credit card or through Zelle, PayPal, or wire transfer.
- Customer Screening Process. To limit your risk when renting your vacation home, you may wish to screen potential tenants and include a clause explaining and authorizing that screening process.
- Additional Cleaning Fees. Standard cleaning charges are likely included in your contract; however, you want to put your tenant on notice and cover yourself if additional cleaning is required. For example, if a tenant smokes inside the property or a pet stains the carpet you want to be clear about what additional cleaning fee the tenant will be responsible for paying.
- Contract Deadline. Prime rental property is a sought-after commodity, especially during peak seasons. To make sure you do not miss an opportunity to rent your property while waiting for an agreement to be signed, you should add a contract acceptance deadline. You can use Nitro Sign to get any of your contracts or important documents signed quickly and easily!
Mistakes to Avoid
The last thing a property owner or tenant wants is to end up in a costly and time-consuming dispute. Creating and signing a vacation rental contract will dramatically decrease the odds of that happening; however, you want to avoid making common mistakes when drafting your contract, such as:
- Failing to familiarize yourself with local laws and restrictions. Some localities impose restrictions on short-term rentals as do many HMAs and COAs. Make sure you are legally allowed to rent your vacation property and that your rental terms abide by any applicable laws and restrictions.
- Not including Covid-19 cancellation terms. The Covid-19 pandemic has caused airlines, hotels, and vacation property owners to revise their cancellation terms. If you have cancellations terms that apply to situations involving Covid-19, consider adding them to your contract.
- Forgetting to Address the Use of Amenities. If your property is a condominium or is located in a neighborhood that offers residents the use of amenities such as a swimming pool, playground, or clubhouse, make sure you specify whether your renters will be allowed the use of those amenities or not.
- Not including a clear pet policy and related fees. Consider specifying what types of pets you are willing to accept and any weight, size, or other restrictions applicable to those pets. You may also wish to limit the number of pets and/or charge an additional fee for multiple pets.
Links to Additional Resources
- Vacation Rental 101: Rental Agreement
- 10 Things to Include in a Short-Term Rental Agreement
- How to Write a Vacation Rental Contract
How to Get Your Contract Signed
Proper execution of any contract is crucial to ensuring that the terms agreed upon in the contract will hold up in court should a dispute arise. In today’s digital world, the ability to have your contract signed electronically is imperative. Once you have customized your vacation rental contract to reflect the agreement reached between you and your customer, sending it to your customer for a signature is easy and quick with Nitro. Start your Nitro free trial today.