Writing A Perfect Vacation Rental Agreement – Part 1

The main purpose of letting out rental homes is to earn from the property and get returns out of the real estate investment. It is important to find guests who abide by your terms and conditions, and keep your rental home in good condition during their stay. rental agreement.


However, at times disputes tend to occur due to various reasons, and it is important for the rental owner to deal with them in the correct manner. A recommended way to streamline the rental process is to create an acceptable rental agreement between you, the owner of the rental property, and the guest who is the occupier. Rental agreements serve a dual purpose – they specify the conditions of occupying the dwellings in black and white and form a legal agreement that acts as a deterrent for the occupiers if they intentionally or otherwise choose to misuse your property, and they provide a way out for you in case of disputes. While you can certainly work out the rental agreement on your own, it is worth checking out some pointers that can help you draft an effective rental agreement and avoid probable issues later on.

Offer a definite rental finalization date

More than often rental owners miss out on lucrative guests simply because they wait too long for the formalities to get completed and receive the payments. It is imperative to fix a specific date by which the agreement should be signed by both the parties involved and obtain the rental amount. Rental occupiers generally approach many owners before they finalize upon a specific home. They prefer to wait for negotiations to occur, and subsequently try to avail a lowered rental price. Since they are not in much of a hurry to finalize the deal, it is up to the rental owner to take the initiative and hurry things along.

Securing your rental

It pays to secure your rental in some way or the other. One of the best ways of doing it is to receive a token or advance payment in the form of a retainer. The idea is to commit your guest to the rental, so a non-trivial amount should be fixed as a retainer. It is important to specify the nature of the advance option. You could accept it as a part of the actual rent payable, or as a refundable deposit which can be redeemed in case of cancellations.

Avoid future pitfalls and issues

The nitty-gritty of the rental can create issues later on at the time of occupying the home. Sometimes guests tend to complain, or appear dissatisfied with what they have rented after finalizing the offer. The issue may be related to the amenities offered by the rental, the duration of the stay, the location preference, or any other reason. It is important to specify exactly what you are offering and what your guests are renting. So don’t just rely upon verbal discussions or talks – get everything in writing. Before signing the agreement, renters are supposed to thoroughly read the contract, and this is when many aspects associated with the rental are made clear.

Getting the dates and occupiers right

One of the commonest issues faced by both the rental owners and guests is the time and duration of booking the rental, in addition to who will be occupying the home. This can generally occur due to misunderstandings or a lack of clarification, or misconception, on the part of the property owner or the guest. So it is wise to include the specific dates and times when the guests should check in, for how long they are expected to occupy the premises, and the names of individuals who will be staying, in the agreement. The payment related aspects can also be included to further consolidate the agreement.

Specifying the mode and time of payments

The mode of payment can be a cause of concern with rental property owners. While most owners are completely satisfied with bank checks and pay orders, a few rental owners prefer their payments through PayPal or credit cards. It is a question of how quickly you prefer to receive your payments. Moreover, you need to apprise your guests how much in advance they are required to pay to confirm their stay by making the retainer payment. It would help them to make arrangements for the payment.

Accident claims, insurances, and cancellation charges

In the event you guest may undergo an accident or suffer a certain financial loss due to any reason, you need to clarify that you are not to be held responsible for it, and will not be liable to pay any compensations. You should clearly specify that you do not provide any types of insurances or are liable to honour any type of claim in any way or manner for anything that happens to them during their stay. You should also specify the cancellation charges due to you in case the guest decides to postpone or cancel his or her rental.

Legal consents and signatures

It is good to follow the policy of including the guest’s consent in the form of signature on every page of the rental agreement. It is just a legal formality in case the guest decides to sue the rental owner by manipulating legal documents after he or she has signed it. If you prefer using electronic form of correspondence such as emails to work out the rental specifics with the guest, it is advised to use electronic signatures to legalize your correspondences.

Have you prepared vacation rental agreement of your rental? Please share your comments with us.

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