Unfortunately, things happen. Having a protocol for handling damages to your vacation rental can save you a lot of time, money, and future headaches.
It’s safe to say, at some point during your time as a host of a vacation rental, your guests will damage something in your home. Most of the time, people are upfront and honest with you when they damage something – hey, accidents happen.
However, it’s not uncommon for some guests to not say anything, and hope that you won’t notice! How you handle interactions regarding damages can make the difference between a good and bad experience with your guests.
Have Something in Writing
Different vacation rental sites have different policies regarding damages, and how they will help you in the event that a guest is not cooperating. Make sure that you are clear on what the policies and procedures are for each site, so you can work in conjunction with them if necessary.
Always try to resolve it with the guest first. Make sure that you have something in writing for your guests regarding damages. It will give them the ability to handle it correctly with you from the onset, instead of guessing what they should do.
Also, be clear about what you expect from guests during their stay. If you have a beautiful white carpet that you would like to keep white. Tell your guests that they should remove their shoes when they enter the home. Don’t assume that people will know what to do – tell them!
Document the Damage
Since you may not be the one to actually discover the damage, make sure that your vacation rental cleaner notifies you as soon as possible, and also documents the damage with photos as soon as they come across it.
This is critical, as you don’t want to leave any room for an argument or disagreement to ensue as a result. In a perfect world, a guest will be the one to tell you about any damages made to your vacation rental. But the unfortunate truth is, some people will try to hide damages, or, let’s say in the instance that a child might damage something, the responsible party may not even be aware of any damages.
Ask your vacation rental cleaner to get into the habit of doing a quick walkthrough after the guests check out, before they start cleaning, so you can address any damages with the guest as soon as possible after their departure.
Maybe you had some nightmare guests that left the house a mess. They were difficult from the get-go and you really want to stick it to them. Think twice about this. In the interest of reviews, you want to take the high road. Be fair and honest about how much is realistic to be compensated.
If your guest ruined a cheap bathroom rug, expect to be compensated for the price of a cheap bathroom rug, not an expensive one. Keep in mind the condition of the damaged item. If something has a lot of wear and tear, make sure you take that into consideration when going after compensation.
Is it Really Worth It?
Speaking of wear and tear, maybe that bathroom rug was due to be replaced anyway. If that’s the case, then maybe it’s better to not pursue anything with the guest. Look at whether or not it’s worth it to get compensation for something that really needed replacing anyway. It may not even be worth your time to talk to the guest about it.
Your vacation rental cleaner should also be keeping you up to speed on the condition of various things in the vacation rental as well. Make sure they are communicating with you about things that need to be replaced on TurnoverBnB. Having your vacation rental cleaner conditioned to taking photos is a great way to do this.
Set the Stage for Amicable Communication
It could be quite upsetting to find out a guest didn’t tell you that they threw up all over the brand new expensive comforter that you just put on the bed. Keep your cool when communicating with your guests.
Avoid curt or rude accusations. Make sure that when addressing damages, you are to the point, but try to keep a friendly dialog if possible. It can really make the difference in how quickly and amicably damages are handled.
Make sure that if the guest threw up on something that cannot be laundered out of the comforter and it has to be replaced, that you let them know that. Hopefully, your vacation rental cleaner took those photos we talked about earlier, so there is no confusion about compensation.
At the end of the day, you want to make sure that the guest leaves the experience feeling good.