Vacation Rental Checklist

Managing a vacation rental can be a lot of fun, but there are also numerous responsibilities. Even the best of us can forget essential tasks from time to time, but we certainly don’t want that to happen when guests are on the way. Creating a detailed vacation rental checklist ensures that every task is completed on time and meets your set standards. Checklists also facilitate communication with cleaning crews or other staff you’ve hired and help you to keep everything running smoothly.

The best plan is to create a vacation rental property management checklist for every stage of the process, from preparing for guests before they arrive to cleaning up after they leave. This way, you and your staff never miss important steps, and your guests always feel welcome and comfortable in your vacation rental property. You can also hire a manager or property management company like Grand Welcome Franchise to handle the details in a professional and orderly manner. However you decide to proceed with managing maintenance, a rental property checklist will be invaluable. Take a look at the types of checklists you need and how to create your own.

You are reading an article from the How to Start section of our Ultimate Vacation Rental Business Guide.

See the other articles in this section below:

     • How To Start a Vacation Rental Business

     Vacation Rental Property Business Plan

     Rules and Regulation for vacation rental property

    ➜ Vacation Rental Checklist

     How to Prepare Your Home for Airbnb

Types of Vacation Rental Checklists

There are three major types of checklists that vacation rental owners commonly use, including a vacation rental inspection list for before guests check-in, one for when they check out, and a cleaning checklist.

Pre-Arrival Vacation Rental Inspection List

Although the property will be cleaned after the previous guests check out, you will want to walk through and conduct an inspection before the next guests arrive. You may need to do some quick spot cleaning or dusting, depending on how long it has been between visitors, and you should plan on restocking all the essential supplies.

Remember that the advantage of vacation rental properties is that guests get to feel as though they are in their home away from home. They want to enjoy the same amenities they would have in their own house, but with the atmosphere of luxury associated with a hotel. Use the sample list below as a guideline for creating your own unique pre-arrival checklist.

  • Provide 24-hour automated check-in so they can arrive at their own convenience. This can be done using a lockbox or keyless entry system.
  • Make sure guests have the correct address, check-in information, parking instructions, keys or lock codes, and a number to contact you.
  • Supply necessary codes and information upfront or in advance. For example, wi-fi passwords, maps, local restaurants or tour info, and instructions for electronics and appliances. Include information about changing the thermostat, running the hot tub if you have one, and other extra items like sound systems or barbecues. Try to anticipate any questions they may ask and provide information that contains the answers.
  • Provide a list of house rules and special instructions like where to dispose of full trash bags.
  • Make sure there are fresh, clean towels (including hand towels, dish towels, and extra bath towels) and plenty of toilet paper, paper towels, and tissues.
  • Provide hangers in the closets and an iron and ironing board, as well as a hairdryer in each bathroom and a coffee maker in the kitchen or pantry.
  • Stock the pantry and/or fridge with basic necessities for cooking. Include spices and complimentary items like popcorn, coffee, hot chocolate, or bottled water.
  • Stock toiletries like shampoo and soap. For an extra special touch, include disposable razors, shaving cream, face masks, makeup remover, sunscreen, aloe, etc.
  • Stock dishwasher detergent, sponges or brushes, laundry detergent, and other cleaning supplies.
  • Supply extra pillows and blankets and make sure they are clean and neatly folded.
  • Extras: Consider the location and unique needs of your property. Supply extra items that may be useful, such as umbrellas, beach toys, or outdoor games.

Check-Out List for Guests

When visiting a vacation rental home, guests generally expect to do some minimal cleaning up before they leave, and you expect them to respect your personal property. Because of this, it is reasonable to leave a shortlist of items you request of guests as they are leaving. Make sure to send them a thank-you card afterward to show your appreciation. Check-out instructions for your guests might include:

  • Turn off all the lights and appliances.
  • Close and lock all the doors.
  • Wash dishes and run the dishwasher.
  • Remove bedding and leave sheets in the laundry room.
  • Take all garbage to outside disposal areas.
  • Leave keys on the counter or in the lockbox.

Post-Stay & Cleaning Checklist

Conduct a post-stay inspection, or send your property manager if you do not live in the area, to make sure nothing is missing or damaged. Check for personal items that your guests may have left behind as well, and return them as soon as possible. If agreed upon by your cleaning crew, you can include some inspection and simple maintenance items with your cleaning list for efficiency. For example:

  • Check and replace light bulbs.
  • Check and set time on clocks.
  • Make sure all tv remotes and electronic parts are present, working, and put away.
  • Replace batteries in smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors if needed.
  • Make sure locks are working and keys have been returned.
  • Set thermostats to an appropriate temperature for an empty house.
  • Check for pests, stains, and other damage.
  • Check that appliances are in good working condition.
  • Check that all cooking utensils are clean, present, and in good condition.
  • Remove any trash that was left behind and wash unwashed dishes.
  • Sweep, vacuum, and mop.
  • Clean oven, stovetop, counters, sinks, refrigerator, microwave, table, and chairs.
  • Sanitize kitchen and bathrooms, including trash cans.
  • Clean toilets, bath, and shower.
  • Wash and replace sheets, mattress pads, pillowcases/protectors, blankets, and pillows and remake beds to hotel standards.
  • Dust furniture, fans, picture frames, knickknacks, etc. from ceiling to floor.
  • Straighten furniture and pillows.
  • Wash windows and windowsills.
  • Check and clean up fireplace, barbecue, or other extra amenities.

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Comprehensive Management System

Maintaining a successful vacation rental property can be difficult if you do not live in the area or don’t have the time to dedicate to managing all of these tasks. Many property owners hire managers or use rental property management services to facilitate and regulate maintenance.

Grand Welcome provides a comprehensive management program for vacation property rental owners looking for the best way to smoothly run their rentals and keep guests coming back. We take care of everything, including account and revenue management, housekeeping services, maintenance, 24-hour emergency response, guest services, and annual check-ups for deep cleaning and full maintenance. We also help you book more visitors with our marketing and online partner’s travel service, which includes Airbnb, Red Awning, and

Start with Grand Welcome

Currently, Grand Welcome manages vacation rental properties in California, Colorado, Hawaii, and Idaho and provides beautiful accommodations for groups of all sizes. When you list your property with Grand Welcome, you join an elite group of renters dedicated to providing quality and comfort for travelers seeking adventure and luxury.

If you are interested in opening the business rental management franchise to expand your business, recruit new properties, and grow a successful vacation rental business, contact Grand Welcome Franchise today for more information about any of our rental properties or to receive the FREE Franchise Information Kit.