As an owner of a short-term property rental, there are many things you need to do to prepare for renting out the property. You must ensure the property is adequately furnished and ready for guests. You want it as practical and appealing as possible to ensure the guests choose your short-term rental for their stay. And that they have everything they need to have an enjoyable stay. That way, they will return in the future and will also give you a brilliant review when they leave. They could potentially help others learn of your accommodation and then you will have further guests staying at your property. As much as you want it to look fantastic, ensuring all the items that are necessary for a short-term vacation is highly important.
When you need to buy lots of items for your short-term rental, you will want to invest in good quality items that are long-lasting and will work well. After all, if you go for cheaper items for the property, you will need to replace them often and they will break easily. You will have to then spend more time and money sorting out new items for the property. And you are likely to receive bad reviews if items are broken during your stay,
The only issue is when you have items on your property and have people stay, there is a risk of items getting broken or stolen. And if you have spent a lot of money on the items, it can eat into your profits. That is why a lot of property owners who are letting out their short-term rentals decide to make a property inventory. Here is everything you need to know about property inventories including how to make one, why you should do it and what exactly they are.
What is a property inventory?
The first thing you need to know is exactly what a property inventory is before you can consider making one for your short-term rental. In basic terms, a property inventory is a list of everything that you have on the property.
It contains every single item that the guest will use while on the property. It’s an essential way to ensure your property’s items remain safe and will also ensure you know exactly what you have on the property. It’s not just short-term rental owners that have a property inventory; a lot of landlords of all different types of properties have one as it protects both them and the tenant. It’s an important factor if you did need to claim against any damage to the items to the property. It’s a vital tool when tenting out a property and it’s legally suggested to do so.
Why should I have a property inventory?
While we have briefly explained what a property inventory is, here are some of the main reasons why you should have one for your short-term rental:
To protect your belongings
The main reason why you need to create a property inventory for your short-term rental is protection. Your items are at risk of getting broken or stolen by guests so you need to ensure that you have protection in place which will help you in this worst-case scenario. Every item you put on the list will give you that added reassurance that if something happens, it’s easier to claim for the item as you have proof the item was on the list. When you have spent a lot of money on items for your short-term rental, it’s more important than ever to protect them. Otherwise, it will be pricey when it comes to replacing them.
Another reason why you should create a property inventory is because of insurance purposes. If you have no proof you had the item in the first place, you will struggle able to claim the item, especially when you have been renting out the property. You will then have to fund the replacement or repair yourself which can cut down your profits. Therefore, a property inventory makes it much easier to protect yourself legally and will help you when you go down the claiming route with your insurance.
On this note, ensure you do have valid insurance when it comes to the rental property. You need both home and contents insurance for your rental property. This is important to complete before starting to rent out the accommodation.
Reassurance for both owner and guest
Another reason why you should get a property inventory is that it will give that necessary reassurance to both the owner and the guest. With proof of exactly what is in the home, there can be no disagreements if items do get broken or go missing during their stay. Also, for them, they can have reassurance if a host says there is a problem with an item that was not on the list or was broken before they got there. Therefore, a lot of guests will prefer to go with an owner who has spent the time making sure a property inventory is accurate and up-to-date.
Keeps you updated on what you have at the property
A property inventory is also really useful to do as you might find items you need for guests you haven’t bought as of yet. As you go through the house making notes of the items, it will remind you to buy various items. And it’s a great way for you to stay in the know about what needs repairing. You can check the list and then get the item repaired before your next guests arrive.
How to create the property inventory
So now we know exactly what it is, this is the best way to create the inventory:
Ensure you put the address clearly at the top
Make sure that you include the address at the top of the property inventory. That way, there is no way there can be a dispute around what property you are talking about with the list. It ensures that you are writing what is in that property and it helps you to be clear. You don’t want any come back that this list is for a different home.
Separate the indoor and outdoors items
You should firstly write a list of all the items for the inventory that is inside the property. You might want to go through each room, starting with the first room as you enter the property. You will want to list appliances and furniture that are costly to replace and clearly state what exactly is on the property. You will want to put the number too so there is no debate on what you have on the property. Once you have gone through the items inside the house, don’t forget to go through the garden. After all, if the short-term rental has a garden, there might be items outside that are worth a lot of money such as garden furniture, cooking equipment and outdoor play equipment. Also, garages and sheds are worth noting, especially if there are any items of worth in these.
Don’t forget fixtures and fittings
A lot of people forget about fixtures and fittings but these can also be expensive to replace and might need to be claimed on the insurance if something gets broken. Therefore, items like wall lighting or ceiling lighting should be included. If you have fixtures such as wall brackets, these can also be included so that you could have them repaired if necessary.
Send a copy to the person staying at the short-term rental.
When you make the booking with the guest and the date arrives for their stay, it’s a good idea to send this over to them. It’s important to remember that the property inventory is given to both the short-term rental guest and a copy remains with the owner. It’s a good idea that you get them to sign it to agree that they have seen everything that is on the property and in the condition that it states on the property inventory so that you both have reassurance.
Don’t hesitate to get professional help
You can always get professional help when it comes to creating the property inventory. They know exactly what you should include and might think of areas that you have not covered in the document. They will also ensure it’s future-proof so that anything that could occur in the future you haven’t thought about is included. They can help to ensure it’s suitable for insurance purposes and with their experience they can make any necessary tweaks to the document.
Keep it up-to-date
One of the most important factors when creating a property inventory is that you need to keep it up-to-date. It’s likely over time items will need to go or items will be added to the short-term rental. So you must take the time to go through it regularly and make any changes. That way, there can’t be any issues around items going missing that you have forgotten to add to the list. Any time you buy a new item, remember to add it to the property inventory.
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