We are relatively new to vacation rentals - 2 years in.
We stopped collecting a few hundred dollars damage deposits last year - thought they were not worth the hassle at the time.
Got to reconsider.
Need to re-think allowing children in our place.
We also need to reflect on the value, for us, of continuing to allow the general public to rent our cherished vacation home.
Below is an overview of our summer fun - so far...
Week 1 - Unsupervised kids obviously banging something on a brand new cherry coffee table; and giving it an unwanted distressed patina. The little troopers must have put quite an effort into their mission - they did a very thorough job.
Week 2 - New family. Unsupervised kids again; demonstrating their profound lack of spelling and artistic abilities; as illustrated via their favorite medium - ink on lamp shades.
Week 3 - New family. Dad, or the family's pet gorilla, for some reason decided to remove a custom window screen from the master bedroom; by ripping it out of the window frame and totally.trashing it.
Week 3 - Same guests - complaint that the cloths dryer was taking forever. Our particular model is new, efficient, and drys much faster with good air flow... and also when the back of it isn't shoved hard against - and almost thru the wall; thus crushing the metallic dryer vent pipe; and blocking said airflow.
Week 4 - New family - Want to remove a hot tub cover. Don't waste time with those pesky buckles - just rip the straps off the cover - now its easy on / easy off...
Week 5 - New family - Someone in your family with a gusher nose bleed during the night? Use our handy bed pillow and queen size duvet to stop it up...we will buy new ones.
Week 6 - New family - Master bedroom dresser mirror found on the floor, not smashed, but the mirror was out of the frame. This is a hard one to explain.
Week 6 - Same guests - We learned something new - kitchen curtains work remarkably well as vertical drop cloths - and keep the gravy, we think, splash from soiling the window glass...note to self... purchase replacement curtains that cover the entire wall... and cabinets.
This is on top of the usual: spilled drinks, little hand prints all over the plate glass windows, Cheerios, puzzle, and game pieces liberally spread throughout, makeup wrecked towels, and the random items that go missing; like kitchen gadgets, cutlery, device cords, books, cds, etc...
For folks that have been in the biz a while... is this type of stuff typical? Are there strategies or best practices to identify and screen out the house wreckers? Like jacking up prices and go for fewer renters but with higher margins? Thanks in advance to anyone that could provide insight.