Your mission, as a property manager, is to provide the best guest experience. Short-term rental luxuries such as larger living areas can boost guest comfort and satisfaction, but only when guests feel comfortable in the first place. At the core of the guest experience is their trust in you and your property to keep them safe. 

Recent events have intensified these expectations, especially in relation to cleanliness. So, although there are set rules by law, it’s also important to keep up with global trends to address the changing needs of your guests.

Safety awareness in the short-term rental industry is vital for property managers, homeowners, and guests to all be protected. There’s a lot to consider, and whether you have ten or ten thousand properties these standards should not falter or you risk being held liable. 

9 health and safety rules for vacation rentals

1. Insurance

It’s there to protect you. Think of all the things that could go wrong: high-expense items like TVs or hot tubs could get broken, guests could injure themselves, a vacated property could be broken into, damaged, or burgled. All of these scenarios lead to unexpected claims and hefty replacement costs. 

But, with the right vacation rental insurance in place, you don’t need to worry about the day something goes wrong. 

Don’t rely on the cover offered through booking platforms. It won’t be as secure as vacation rental damage insurance (not to be confused with homeowners insurance). Do your research and go with trusted insurance experts.

2. Risk assessment

Every property has limits and you need to be aware of them. Create a safety checklist and assess your property for any pain points. Does it have appropriate wheelchair access? If not, highlight this in your listing. The same goes for age restrictions, such as high-risk pool areas or cliff-side homes unsuitable for younger children. 

Could you add handrails or non-slip mats in areas where someone may slip, trip, or fall (some of the biggest contributors to bodily injury in rentals)? 

3. Cleaning

Hygiene expectations in vacation rentals are much higher than ever before. Many guests look for listings stating how accommodation is sanitized and may be more inclined to choose those using professional cleaners, such as our partners, Turnoverbnb.

Don’t be afraid to raise your average daily rate. Since cleanliness is in high demand, it’s likely to attract guests rather than deter them. 

4. Noise control

From break-in alerts to loud guests, noise control monitoring systems, like Minut’s automated software, alert you of any dangers to your property in good time, reducing potential risks. 

Not only can this tech keep your property safe, but it’ll also improve your guest’s (and your neighbor’s) experience. 

5. Tech

Remove the need for face-to-face interactions and keep yourself and your guests safe with contactless check-in tech like smart locks. These innovations reduce infection risk and drive down inefficiencies.

Stay up to date with real-time data on your property with all-in-one software systems, and be aware of temperature drops, security threats, or a fire in an instant. 

6. Air quality

With increased awareness of infection, many want assurances a vacation rental is safe before booking. Bad air quality can lead to drowsiness, disturbed sleep, and health problems, as it exposes guests to indoor contaminants. Air monitoring software drastically decreases these risks while keeping a steady temperature and humidity.

7. Fire safety

Are there safe, clear walkways for a quick exit during a fire or emergency? How old are your fire alarms? Do you have a carbon monoxide detector? 

These are questions every property manager should be asking. If your fire alarm is older than ten years, you should replace it. After this length of time, the fire alarm could have a 30% failure rate.

Get assessed by the local fire department, and keep up with annual checks, like gas certificates and electrical PAT tests.

8. Inspections

Identify potential risks before they turn into accidents with routine inspections. Every five years, check your property's structure. Check the interior and exterior safety annually. Visually inspect the property during turnovers. 

Is everything working properly, including the smart lock, shower pressure, and hot water? Do filters need replacing? Are there any leaks? Does any furniture need fixing? Preventative maintenance helps get ahead of issues and provides a better guest experience.

9. Guest screening

We’ve covered how to safely check everything within the property to ensure guests aren’t put at risk. But what about the risk potential guests could pose to you? Screening tech alerts you of higher-risk guests, so you can decide who you let into your property. Uplisting’s Guest Identification feature can verify identification documents are legitimate. Another one of our partners, Superhog, goes a step further and offers host protection insurance for screened guests.

When you protect your property with comprehensive insurance and guest screening plus maintain it to its highest standards through monitoring tech, inspections, and cleaning, you're reassuring potential guests of its safety. You can be confident they’ll have the best guest experience staying in your vacation rental. And you can rest easy knowing you’re covered no matter what happens.

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