Lake Havasu is a popular Southwest vacation destination. Hundreds of thousands of people visit our fair city each year. As you can imagine, hotels fill up pretty quickly. Many visitors seek out alternate places to shelter during their stay. Some turn to renting a house for the week. A “home away from home” if you will. When you own a vacation property, this could prove to be very lucrative. However, it can be difficult if you don’t know what you’re doing. Therefore, I’ve put together this helpful Havasu vacation rental owner’s guide to assist you.
Havasu Vacation Rental Owner’s Guide
Your Rental Agreement
First of all, you definitely need to have any tenant (no matter how long their stay) sign a comprehensive rental agreement. Even if you sign up with a service like VRBO or Airbnb, you should consider requiring renters to sign an additional agreement. That’s because the legal guarantees provided by those vacation listing services tend to favor the renter and not the homeowner. You need to make sure you are protected in case things go awry.
Online sites like eForms.com allow homeowners to create their own rental agreements. Generic forms can also be found at most office supply stores. Make sure the agreement includes the renter’s name, length of the stay, and any restrictions you impose about things like pets and consequences of property damage.
Property Managers are Worth Their Weight in Gold
Probably the very best advice I could give you is to hire a property management company for your Havasu vacation rental. Even if you live in Lake Havasu City, hiring a property manager for your Havasu vacation rental takes an incredible load off your shoulders. Instead of calling you at 3 am because the sink sprung a leak, the renter calls the property management company to come take care of it. They also screen renters, handle money transactions, and ensure all housing laws are followed. Some companies even handle the house cleaning in between tenants. Interview a few and ask for references before deciding which company to choose.
Keep it Clean
Once a tenant vacates your Havasu vacation rental, you need to make sure your property is cleaned from top to bottom. Before the next tenant arrives, make sure the bed has fresh linens on it. Provide extra blankets and towels. Wash the dishes and put them away, if necessary. Empty all trash bins and replace liners. Go through the house and make sure the faucets, electrical outlets, toilets, and appliances work correctly. If you hire a property management company, they may provide this as part of their services. Ask them about it.
Keep Records of Everything Regarding Your Rental Property
It is essential that you keep track of anything you spend on your Havasu vacation rental. This helps when it comes to tax time. But it also comes in handy if a problem arises down the road. Cleaning crews, cleaning supplies, linens, toilet paper, repairs…you name it. If you spent a dime on something in regards to your rental, you need to keep a record of it. Your property management company should be able to give you a detailed list of services they provided as well. Even if you keep track of these expenses via an online source, it’s a good idea to have a backup file of all paper transactions at home for easy access, too.