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Enforcing Maximum Occupancy Rules at Your Vacation Rental

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Created on: Aug 28, 2009 6:15 PM by community-editor - Last Modified:  Jul 29, 2013 10:30 AM by beth

maximum occupancy for your cabin rentalWhen furnishing your vacation property, you will be taking into consideration the number of guests you would like to accommodate for your short term rentals. This occupancy generally depends on the number of guests that can sleep in your house. You can increase the number by adding twin or bunk beds in kids' rooms or including a sleeper sofa in your living room.

Now that you have established the maximum occupancy, you need to state it within your rental rules. Renters will see the number of bedrooms and the number your property can sleep when reviewing your listing, but it is important to reiterate it in your contracts just in case any questions arise later in the reservation process. When renters are perusing the sites and inquiring with multiple properties, it could be easy to confuse two 3-bedroom homes where one sleeps six and one sleeps seven. The sleeping accommodations need to be clear within your listing and in your rental rules in order to prevent disappointed guests upon arrival.

In a situation where the renter knowingly wants to book a property for more than it sleeps, you should be clear about the occupancy, but you might want to be a little flexible. For example, a family traveling with children might have two little ones share a smaller bed or have a baby in a crib. Many owners do not like to go over their maximum occupancy with adults but will bend when there are more children. As long as the renter understands the sleeping accommodations, it should be safe to allow an extra guest or two, especially children. Besides, it could mean a little extra income if you charge a fee for additional guests.

If you find that a renter has occupied your property with more guests than your maximum occupancy states, you have some decisions to make. If there were just one or two extras or there was an additional guest visiting, it's probably best to let it go because it is impossible to micro-manage your renters. However, if you feel that there were too many guests staying at your home and you incurred damage because of the extra traffic, it might be worth a conversation with the renter to determine recourse.

Here is a sample maximum occupancy clause for your rental rules:

MAXIMUM OCCUPANCY- The maximum number of guests per condominium is limited to eight (8) persons. An additional charge or $10.00 per person per night for guests in addition to eight (8) will be assessed.

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