Top 5 Things to Prepare Your Vacation Rental Property for the Season

Seasonal changes are great opportunities for updates, upgrades, and regular maintenance on your vacation rental property. After all, effective property management means maintaining a top-level property that attracts and satisfies clients all through the year. But what exactly is needed to adequately prepare rental property for the season? Here’s a handy checklist of items that should and must be done to prepare your rental property for seasonal changes.

Repair and Maintenance Projects

Regular repair and maintenance are key to maintaining a well-ordered and attractive rental property. Steady use contributes to eventual wear and breakage, not to mention the occasional accident. Quarterly seasonal checkups can reveal loose towel racks, leaky faucets, and worn traffic areas that need touch-up painting. Sticky or loose doors need fixed, as well as stiff or faulty locks. A quick, professional inspection between guests will find issues that need immediate attention, but can also just note items that could be addressed when more time allows.   

Larger items should also be inspected for wear or breakage, such as loose joints or trim on furniture, or loose or broken fixtures. Loose boards or railing should be repaired, and any nails or fasteners sticking up or otherwise presenting a safety hazard should be repaired. Check all light fixtures for loose or visible wiring and replace any blown light bulbs. Loose carpet or rugs should be secured to prevent falls, as well as loose or broken steps or decking.

Boiler / HVAC / Fireplace Service

Seasonal changes usually mean an increase in heating or air conditioning usage. Schedule a service professional to check and provide any necessary maintenance or updates to your boiler / HVAC equipment at least quarterly. Regular cleaning and checkups prevent most serious issues from happening by surprise, and saves larger, emergency repair costs at inopportune times. In some areas boilers must be inspected by a licensed professional each year, but it is still the responsibility of the Owner (or their Manager) to arrange the service and provide access to the home.

If your rental property has a functioning fireplace, have it checked and cleaned at least before each cold weather season, if not more often. Professional service can check for proper ventilation, safe sealing, and note any small issues that can be repaired for less cost than major repairs. If your property has a gas fireplace, seasonal checks to ensure proper ventilation is a must. Fireplaces can be a great amenity, or a great liability, depending on the care you provide for them.

It’s a good idea to check all smoke detectors and carbon monoxide monitors twice each year.  It is recommended to change batteries when clocks are changed for daylight-savings.

Deep Cleaning

Regular traffic and use accumulates dirt and grime. Quick cleanings between renters is a good practice, but a seasonal deep cleaning is a must to keep properties looking fresh and new. Carpet is probably the most used item in any property, and one of the quickest to show dirt and wear. Quarterly or bi-annual professional carpet cleaning will keep them looking and feeling plush and new. Furniture and fixtures also need regular cleaning and polishing to maintain their new appearance and to extend their useful lifetime.

Little things matter in a rental property, especially if they are notably clean. Window sills, trim, door frames, cabinets, appliances, electronics, and entertainment equipment all attract their share of dust and dirt. Regular attention to these and other hot spots tell clients you are serious about providing them a clean, safe, and exceptional vacation home away from home.

Deck / Porch Staining or Painting

Decks and porches must withstand the wear and tear of the elements as well as regular use by clientele. Consequently, they may show wear and need more than what would be considered normal upkeep. Keep them looking new to ensure the first impression of your property – that you only get one chance to make – is always positive and inviting.

Regular coatings with weather- and wear-resistant stain or paint can protect your investment while keeping porches and decks attractive. Heavy traffic also shows on these areas, so regular maintenance is a must to keep a fresh, new look for guests. While doing this yourself is possible, coating professionals have the equipment and experience to handle this chore in a snap.

Inventory Property

Items break, become worn, get knocked about, or just walk away in the rental property business. It’s a fact. A seasonal inventory of items inside and outside the property allows you to keep track of what is being used and what needs replacement. Keep a checklist of all kitchen, bathroom, game room, poolside, and other amenities, as well as the furniture and items in each room.

Restock broken or worn plates, glasses, cups, cooking utensils, and worn or inoperative appliances. Game or entertainment systems require functional accessories with fresh batteries. Bedding, linens, and towels should be replaced when missing or at the first sign of overuse. Worn or damaged furniture or other items should be repaired or replaced as needed. Any missing items should be accounted for, and retrieved or replaced.

Property Management is a Big Job!

What are some other items needing attention to prepare your rental property for the season? An experienced and professional property management company like Book by Owner (BBO) can assist you with creating a list for your property and getting the help you need. After all, the joy of owning a vacation rental property is providing a first-class experience for clients and earning a steady residual income, not becoming overwhelmed with details. That’s where a property management service can be your best asset. Let BBO take the planning and execution of your seasonal property checklist off your mind. Call 970.305.3166 or go online for a quote today.