How to Prevent Theft From Your Vacation Rental
Theft and damage are concerns that seem to plague people who are considering renting out an investment property. And that concern is valid. You only have to look at Airbnb community pages to see instances of theft or damage by guests. Even if the stolen items are small such as a towel or article of dishware, over time these things add up. So how can you prevent theft from your vacation rental happening in the first place?
Research Your Guests
Today, there are many ways of researching your potential guests in order to protect your rental. Screening via Skype or doing an online search can be helpful. It can be telling just to look at someone’s social media to determine whether this is someone you want to rent to. You want to ensure that they are who they say they are and make sure these are the type of people you feel comfortable renting to. Watch out for red flags such as a hesitancy to use your payment method or using emails with temporary addresses. Always make sure that your guest’s name, contact information and email correspond to each other.
Require a Security Deposit
You can require a security deposit to protect against anything that is stolen or damaged. This can cover the cost of replacing items as well as instilling a greater sense of responsibility in your guests. Unfortunately, if your guests dispute the theft or damage, it can result in negative reviews for you as the host. Sites such as Airbnb have resolution departments that can help you navigate a theft as well as ensure it doesn’t affect your reputation.
Keep an inventory list of everything in your rental no matter how small. Take photographs of everything and keep receipts of any items that have been purchased in case you need to go through your insurance company. If at all possible, never store valuable items at your rental unless absolutely necessary.
Installing a security system on the exterior of the property and at each exit door can help prevent theft as well as protect your rental when it is empty. If any guests decide to remove anything from your rental, you will have evidence of it. You will always want to disclose installed cameras to your guests, however.
Maintain a Good Relationship
Maintaining a good relationship with your guests can help to build a sense of trust. Guests are less likely to steal from someone they like and trust. If guests are unhappy, they may be likely to take it out in odd ways. Always check in with your guests periodically to make sure that they are satisfied with their stay and offer to make reparations if they have legitimate issues. Having the expertise of a property manager can ensure that things are taken care of expeditiously so guests can feel satisfied with their stay. Call the experts at Better Vacations to see how we can help.