Back to top

Encompass® Insurance Insights & Articles

How to Prepare Your Home for Renting

Are you thinking about turning a home you own into a short-term or vacation rental? It can be a great way to earn some extra income. In fact, participation in the sharing economy continues to grow every year, with no signs of slowing down.

Helping strangers feel comfortable in your home takes some thoughtful effort. You want them to have a great time and leave a good review, while also protecting one of your most valuable investments. Check out these tips to help you get started in creating a rewarding experience for everyone.

A couple walking up to a rented property.

Leave Detailed Instructions

One of the best ways to ensure that all of your belongings are handled properly is to leave a detailed instruction binder or notebook in a visible place such as the kitchen counter or table. Include your contact info and local emergency phone numbers.

Also lay out instructions for operating kitchen appliances, the heating and air conditioning system, security system, TVs and other electronics. Let guests know how to handle trash and recycling, and point out any special parking or house rules.

While you should include the Wi-Fi password in the manual, post it in an obvious place guests are sure to see right away, like in a picture frame on the entryway table or on the refrigerator. It's also thoughtful to leave a list of your personal recommendations for local dining and entertainment.

Provide Kitchen Basics

Remember that this will be someone's home-away-from-home for a bit! Make sure to stock your home with at least the basics and ensure they're easily accessible for guests. It can be helpful to mark certain drawers and cupboards with labels to denote what's inside.

Appliances to leave in plain sight include a microwave, coffee maker and toaster. Have enough clean plates, cups and silverware for at least the maximum number of guests you allow to stay in your home. Providing some coffee, creamer, sugar, basic spices and condiments are appreciated by guests.

Create a Comfortable Bathroom

Think about what you'd expect to find in a hotel bathroom if you were traveling. Ensure guests have plenty of toilet paper, tissues, soaps and other toiletries.

A first-aid kit with at least bandages and antibiotic ointment should be handy. Feminine hygiene products available in each bathroom are also a thoughtful touch.

Keep Linens Impeccable

The bed linens should be spotless and freshly laundered. Even if the sheets were clean when the beds were made a month ago, wash them again. Dust can easily cling to pillowcases over time and leave a musty smell or irritate allergies.

You should provide at least two bath towels, hand towels and washcloths for each guest. Fluffy bathrobes can earn you some extra points.

Extra blankets, pillows and cozy throws for the beds and couch are appreciated. If your abode is pet-friendly, using old blankets and towels on floors or furniture can make great spots for animals to lounge.

Ideas for Special Touches

Many hosts love to go the extra mile, and guests are quick to notice and praise the effort. Consider including the following for an elevated experience:

  • Food to cover the first night and first morning so guests don't have to grocery shop right away.
  • DVDs, books, board games and cards for quiet nights spent at home when the sightseeing is over.
  • Fans and space heaters to supplement your heating and cooling system.
  • An iron and ironing board tucked in a closet or utility room is good to have on hand.

Store Your Valuables Off-Site

While you can lock personal belongings in a closet or a separate room, bringing them with you or storing them somewhere safe off-site can bring you greater peace of mind. If you rent out your home frequently, renting a small storage space or safe-deposit box may be worth the investment.

Before you make your home part of the sharing economy, touch base with your local independent insurance agent to make sure your home and belongings are properly protected.

Family in the kitchen.

Cover home, auto & more.

Encompass Insurance offers protection for the things that matter most.

Find an agent

The general information contained in The Encompass Blog is provided as a courtesy, and is for informational and entertainment purposes only. The contents of this website are subject to periodic change without notice. Information provided on The Encompass Blog is not intended to replace official sources. Although attempts will be made to ensure that the information is accurate and timely, the information is presented "as is" and without warranties. Information contained on The Encompass Blog should not be mistaken for professional advice. Information contained herein should not be considered error-free and should not be used as the exclusive basis for decision-making. Use of website information is strictly voluntary and at the user's sole risk. We encourage you to obtain personal advice from qualified professionals when making decision regarding your specific situation.

Other resources linked from these pages are maintained by independent providers. The Encompass Blog does not monitor all linked resources and cannot guarantee their accuracy. Statements, views and opinions included in an independent provider's material are strictly those of the author(s). These views may not necessarily represent the opinions or policies of The Encompass Blog, the Encompass family of companies or its agents, officers or employees.

ECC Monitor: OK