Vacation Rental Property Maintenance: 2024 Essential Guide

Getting into the vacation rental game provides a versatile avenue for boosting your income. If you have a well-placed property, you can establish competitive daily rates, ensuring a steady stream of renters and optimal return on investment. Of course, the critical side involves regular upkeep and cleaning to keep your space cozy for tenants. Strategic maintenance curbs wear and tear over time, and fosters repeat business from contented customers. Here is a guide on essential tips for effectively managing your vacation rental property.

florida housekeeper 1000px

1. Create a Maintenance Budget

The foundation of successful vacation rental property maintenance lies in creating a well-thought-out maintenance budget. Factor in regular maintenance tasks into your budget, such as:

  • Painting
  • Landscaping
  • Routine inspections
  • Malfunctioning HVAC system
  • Leaking roof 

For optimal planning, allocating around 1% of the property’s total value for annual maintenance is advisable. The exact amount might fluctuate based on the property’s age, local living costs, and location. Allocating a specific percentage of your rental income to maintenance ensures you are financially prepared for unforeseen issues.

2. Set a Clear Policy for Damage

The landlord is responsible for general rental property maintenance, but the responsibility falls on you in the case of vacation rentals. You should make sure your tenants understand their responsibility as well. They should know they could be held responsible for any property damages. Write a clear policy that you include in the house rules and ensure your guests know it before their stay. Indicate the time within which they should report issues to you. Charge a security deposit or damage waiver fee so you have extra cover in case of accidental or intentional damage.

3. Know When to Call a Professional

Understandably, you want to save as much money as possible, so DIY may make sense. However, not every maintenance or repair task is suitable for DIY. What you can and cannot handle depends on your skillset, skills, and availability. For some tasks, however, it is best to bring in a professional with more technical knowledge. Leave any electrical and plumbing work to an expert, as you could end up causing more damage. When working with, you can also easily address any roofing issues. Investing in professional services when needed can prevent recurring problems and enhance the overall longevity of your vacation rental property. 

4. Don’t Forget About the Appliances

Many people use vacation rentals because they can enjoy the comforts of a home in a new accommodation, which a hotel cannot. A fully equipped kitchen, a functional washing machine, and other key appliances can be a great selling point. However, promising amenities and failing to deliver can ruin the experience for your guests. A broken appliance will leave you wondering how to deal with negative reviews left by dissatisfied customers. Make sure you regularly test the appliances yourself for any issues and upgrade them when necessary. 

5. Conduct Frequent Inspections

While you only need to do some tasks once a year, property inspections should be a frequent activity. You should conduct an in-depth inspection at least once every quarter, but you could do it more often if you have the time. Also, make sure to do an occasional drive-by inspection on different days so you can identify potential issues before they become big problems. Things could look different based on the time of the day and the season. For example, you will hardly notice a leak during the summer, but it may not be the case during winter.

6. Maintain the Outdoor Area

curb appeal 01

Many vacation rental property owners only focus on the interior, forgetting the key role the outdoor area plays. The wear and tear on the outside may be hard to notice, especially if the property’s main selling point is the interior. A mismanaged exterior can find its way into the interior through pest infestations, mold, and even structural damage. Every routine maintenance should start from the outer edges. Check outside the property for any new changes and damages. Check for weak points in the fence, especially if you allow pets on the property. 

Cracks in the driveway, pavement, and sidewalk are another sign you need to watch out for. Regularly trim landscaping, clean outdoor furniture, and address any issues with walkways or driveways. Ensure that outdoor lighting is functional and that the property’s curb appeal is inviting. Pay attention to the condition of decks, patios, and other outdoor structures, addressing any safety concerns promptly.

Final Thoughts

Keeping up with the upkeep of your vacation rental might appear demanding, but it’s a proactive measure that can alleviate future stress and expenses. Regular maintenance aids in averting expensive replacements and prolongs the property’s value. This enhances customer satisfaction and ensures a steady influx of new guests, ultimately increasing your revenue.

For additional insight into vacation rentals and real estate, please visit