When you rent out a holiday home to vacationers you will inevitably across circumstances in which you will need to deal with guests that have damaged items or parts of your property. There are obviously many different scenarios that you will need to deal with such as guests that admit they are a fault to guests that will claim the damage was already there.
We are going to cover some points that you should consider when it comes to damage claims and damage deposits for vacation rental properties.
- Using Damage Deposits
Some vacation rentals will ask for people to pay a damage deposit upfront along with their booking or just before they arrive after their booking has been made. If you do this, make sure you have a clear PDF guide that states what the damage deposit covers, and how much items are worth. You can also offer a list of shops where to replace damaged items that are easily obtainable via local stores and inexpensive.
The damage deposit will also need to come with a guarantee of return which is usually given back upon check out or after cleaners have been into the property and fully checked the place after the guests have checked out.
This is the safest option to use because it means if there is ever any damage, then you will be able to deduct the amount for the damage caused after coming to a settlement agreement with the guest.
- Using Adjustments on Vacation Rental Websites
Nearly all the major vacation rental websites come with an adjustment facility. This area of the host panel is there in case any additional costs are added. For example, your guest may ask for the cleaner to come in during their stay, which would cost extra as you would need to pay for the cleaner.
Many hosts that do not ask for an initial damage deposit will use the adjustments to charge guests for any damage found after they check out or damage that they admitted to causing while they were staying at the property.
This is not the safest way to deal with damages, but it can be a selling point for some people that do not want to pay a damage deposit for whatever reason. They would usually have to give most hotels their credit card details as a deposit security token with no charge to their account in most cases, and so they expect the same from vacation rentals.
Of course, there is the argument that some hotels do make small damage deposit deductions, but for the most part, when you book through Agoda or other hotel booking sites that is not the case.
- Settlement Agreements
Always come to a settlement agreement even if you have given the guest a break down of the rough costs involved with damage, repairs, and replacements. The last thing you want to do is upset a guest and end up with them leaving bad feedback about their experience staying at your property.
You will also need to have some kind of redundancy plan or guest damage procedure in place for different cases. Cases in which guests do not admit to damage, and in cases where they do admit to damage, the procedure would be just a matter of the settlement agreement.
For more information, please look at the following vacation rental damage deposit advice that has been created by one of the vacation rental industry’s expert tech companies. There is also a downloadable version you can view and even use as a documentation guide to give to employees if you are working in a company that offers vacation rental services.