My suggestion is to charge a set amount for your house. Don't discount. That way, if the renters want to sleep in every bed, you won't feel bad for the extra work.
In our home, we have very different beds in each room. I don't mind if we even have a single renter sleep in each bed because the rate is for the whole house. Maybe one bed is much more comfortable and it makes their vacation that much better.
I know of some owners who lock off additional bedrooms for small families or single renters, but I don't want to deal with that.
It doesn't make much sense for one couple and 2 toddlers to use all 5 beds, but people usually think "I paid money to rent the house so it's all mine to use." If this is the case then we think wiffle has a good suggestion - charge one rate only. In our house we have 2 bedrooms but one is in a separate "pod" which we can lock, so we advertise a 2-person rate if they share a bedroom. Also, you might want to put some linens away in the locked owner's closet as people will always use every towel in the house if they are out.
However, did it look as though more people were there? Use of towels, paper goods, etc.? Neighbors viewed more than 2 adults? Not that you can do anything about it now. But wiffle's suggestion would work there too.
We charge a flat rate for our home, no matter the number of guests. I've found on ocassion even 2 people can manage to make as much work as 8-10.
As for extra towels, etc. my housekeeper puts out 2 bath, 2 hand & 2 washcloths per person for a 2-3 night stay and double that for 4-6 nights. We do have a washer and dryer in the home. I found out quickly that guests would use very towel I put out .
Here's an inexpensive trick I use when we have more than 4 guests staying in our 3 bedrm, 2 bath place to help them keep thier towels seperate. I bought wooden clothspins and numbered them 1-10 with a paint pin (10 sets of each number cost abt, $8) . I keep them in baskets in each bath with a note telling guests to choose their number for their stay. They can just snap them on the towels to know who's is who's. We have both towel racks and pegs, and most people love this.
It seems to have cut down on the amount of laundry being done, especially during week or longer stays.
I was just thinking a little more about your post.
They used the linens for the sofa bed?
I would guess that they had way more people or the kids were making a fort (2 year-olds NOT). Or, they were cold?
You said that the contract was for two people, yet they also had two children - I would make that rental agreement for FOUR people, or two adults and two children, however you want to word it. But kids should count on the agreement. I don't differentiate between kids and adults in my rental agreements, but some do.
Some people are just dishonest and will take advantage of you to save a few bucks. So yes, they will rent a house that is too big for the number of people in the contract and then beg a discount or lie if you have a rate that varies by the number of people. Some people look for that sort of situation so that they can cheat you.
I had mentioned in a prior post the idea of locking off the additional bedroom(s) if you choose to rent a smaller portion of your house. When doing this, it is ideal to use a dual keyed deadbolt (needs a key to open it from both sides) and DO NOT leave the key with the renters (only you and your housekeeper). That way, they can't just jimmy a simple interior door lock (even a child can pick the lock to the bathroom) and they also cannot lock themselves out, or have the kids lock themselves in.
The contract was for 2 adults and 2 small toddlers and I do have a pack and play on the property. I assumed that one couple plus 2 toddlers would sleep in the king in the master and either the pack and play or the kids twin room. BUT.....all 4 bedrooms were used and the sofa bed! I only left 2 towels and for each adult and 2 extras for the babies so if there were extra people, they didn't have any towels!. I learned my lesson early on not to leave tons of towels because they use every single one!
Is it appropriate to ask sleeping arrangements before they checkin or should I just suck it up and make up all the beds for each and every checkin no matter how many people?
On a happy note, I had the schlage link lock system put in this week for my locks and thermostat. It is absolutely amazing!
I would make up all the beds, but make a single rate for the entire house so that you don't feel taken advantage of when they use the whole house.
The whole house should look nice for them, and they may prefer the lighting or location of a different bedroom than what they might select from photos. Or someone could be having hot flashes and want to sleep separately, or an argument, or someone gets ill. You just never know. If the beds are there I would expect them to be used, and if the beds aren't made up, people will sleep on them anyway, which is yucky.
Our contract does require the total number of guests: ____# adults _____ #children under 18., with ages.
It helps me know how to make suggestions for local activities, among other things.(We offer a Pack and Play on request for wee ones)
It also insures (somewhat) our ability to enforce our contract if more people show up than what was agreed on in the contract. Our contract has a clause stating that all monies and the Damage Deposit will be forfieted (and immediate eviction actions will be taken) if we find more guests in residence than the signed contract stated.
Never had to enact it, but it is a deterrent.
Just a few of my suggestions that work for me.