Avoid Rental Damage Disputes
Whether you have a vacation rental, or a long term rental, having a detailed inventory of all the items you have in your rental property is an absolute necessity.
When damage to your rental does occur, you must be able to determine the source of the damage, and then deal with the problem swiftly. In order for this to happen, vacation rental owners must follow a set of guidelines. These guidelines will help them isolate the source of the damage so they can take action.
Create a Full Inventory of the Home
Before you start renting the home, create an inventory that lists every item in the rental property. In addition, list the condition of the items. Make sure you go through every room of the home when compiling the list. Every item should be included in your inventory.
Keep up to date pictures of the home’s inventory. Visual proof is important. In addition, have the housekeeper take a picture if an item is damaged. This can be helpful in recovering damages. Before and after pictures will make it easy for you to prove the extent of the damage.
Is a Home Inventory Needed for an Unfurnished Property?
The short answer is YES. Even if a property is deemed as unfurnished, there will still be items that can be damaged and costly to replace e.g sinks, carpets, condition of walls etc.
Keep Your Inventory Updated
Make sure the housekeeper updates the inventory with any changes that occur. If an item is missing, it should be removed from the inventory. In addition, items that are brought into the home should be added to the inventory. Changes in the condition of items should also be noted. The inventory must be current in order for it to be useful.
In most cases, property owners do not have access to the vacation rental on a daily basis. Because of that, they need to have their housekeeper thoroughly examine the property after each traveler leaves. They should check the items in the vacation rental property against the items listed on the inventory sheet. Housekeepers should report any damaged or missing items immediately.
In addition, houseguests should inspect the home upon arrival. Provide renters with a checklist they can use for the inspection. Have renters go around the home and check for damages. Have the housekeeper review the list of reported damages and compare it to the inventory.
Create the Line of Communication
Inform renters that they should contact you if they damage anything in the home. They are more likely to contact the property owner if it is requested of them. By opening the lines of communication, the collection process will be much easier.
Unless property owners can isolate the source of the damage, they will not be able to charge renters. Thus, these steps are essential. Take the time to create an inventory and then make sure the home is checked thoroughly between renters. This will save you a great deal of headaches in the future.
"Born Out of Need and Compassion." Bradford Stanley founded DocuHome in March 2009 after he and his family lost their home in the Malibu Corral Canyon fire. Read the full article
Anita Leverenz, Mortgage Officer
20+ year veteran of real estate finance at Skyline Financial Corp.
Jason Gilbert, COO DocuHome
Developing stronger customer relationships through the use of digital technology.
Mark Gruskin, Real Estate Specialist
An attorney specializing in the sale and leasing of high end luxury properties in the Malibu area.