What to Ask Before Renting a Vacation Home

Posted by Pekin Insurance on Jul 14, 2019

5 min read

Make your stay a success with these vacation home questions. 


The world waits beyond your fingertips. So, which vacation will you book?

You're tempted by the quiet cabin in the woods. How about the ocean and sand between your toes? That beach house looks awfully nice.

It’s your trip, and you earned it. As you finalize your plans, know what to ask before renting a vacation home.



Airbnb Isn't Your Only Choice

You probably know all about Airbnb if you like to travel. Their online platform allows hosts to rent single rooms, apartments, and entire homes to guests.

Maybe Airbnb isn’t for you, though.

That’s okay because you have a lot of places to search for high-quality vacation rentals:

Research the legalities no matter where you go or what service you choose. Las Vegas, Los Angeles, New York City, San Francisco, and other cities have very strict short-term rental laws.



What to Ask After You Find the Rental You Want

The listing you choose might include the details you need. All we want to do is help you make a good decision and avoid a bad deal.

After you find the rental you want, ask the owner the following questions.

Is the price negotiable?
Will you travel to your destination during a not-so-popular season? The owner might  give you a discount due to lower demand. 

Is the rental close to main attractions?
Maybe you don't mind renting a car, taking an Uber, or hiking. If you want a spot close to the attractions, ask about the rental's distance from lakes, beaches, downtown, and the places on your must-see list.

Are pets allowed?
The family pup could cost you extra. The owner might charge a pet fee for potential damages and clean-up, or they could have a no-pets rule.

Are there any restrictions on the number or ages of children?
The owner might not allow children. This could be due to the rental’s surroundings, like mountainous areas or dangerous trails, or for fear of damages to the property.

The rental could accommodate you and your entire family, though. Work this all out beforehand to make it crystal clear.

Would you tell me more about sleeping arrangements?
You don’t want your family to sleep on the floor. When you bring the kids along (especially the little ones), ask the owner about cribs, pack 'n plays, and the sizes and number of beds.

Do you have weapons on the premises?

You could be completely fine with the owner storing firearms in a safe, locked location. On the other hand, you might not want your kids to stay in a house with weapons.

It's your call, and we're not here to judge. Either way, you should talk to the owner about this.

Do you have a washer and dryer?
This one probably doesn't matter much if you're spending a few days away from home. If your vacation lasts a week or more, you won't want to go home with garbage bags full of dirty clothes.

What’s in the kitchen?
You want to check out the local cuisine, but you'll save money by buying groceries and cooking. Ask about kitchen equipment, the size of the fridge, and whether the owner will provide dining basics like condiments, napkins, dishes, and utensils.

How does the security deposit work?
Who likes leaving money on the table? Nobody!

Don’t book the rental until you know how to get your security deposit back (if the owner requires one, that is).

Could you put that in writing?
Several travel sites encourage users to leave feedback. Consider it a warning when rental reviewers mention an owner's shady practices.

You can’t rely solely on reviews, though. Ask the owner to put everything in writing just in case they try to pull a fast one.

Do you have any unwritten rules we should follow?
Not everything will show up on a listing or contract. You want the owner to know you and your family will honor the house rules, even when they aren't written. This creates a two-way street for respect.

What kind of insurance do you have?
The property owner should have a homeowners policy that includes liability coverage. How does this affect you? If the owner’s negligence causes you or a family member to get injured, the liability coverage helps pay for medical bills.

The owner should also carry property damage coverage in the event of a fire, windstorm, or loss not caused by you.



Ask Your Agent, "Am I Covered?"

A short-term renters policy could help protect your finances from damages you or your family cause at the vacation home. 

If you want to know more about renting out your own house as a vacation home, look no further than our guide, Should You Put Your House on Airbnb?




Before you book a vacation home, reach out to your local Pekin Insurance agent to talk about renters coverage.


Contact your local Pekin Insurance agent today!





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