By The Hospitable Team
Clear and concise Vrbo house rules are a great way to tell travelers about what is and what isn’t allowed at your property. They can help prevent many common issues and misunderstandings and guarantee a safe and enjoyable experience for all your guests.
Even if you plan to rent out your vacation rental property only during the peak season or for just a few weekends a year, you should take the time to write out your house rules. Communicating these rules upfront on your Vrbo listing can save time spent answering questions about your property and help avoid unexpected surprises during the guest’s stay.
If you’re feeling a little lost or need some guidance about how much detail you need to go into, in this post, you’ll find examples of rules that you can’t miss in your vacation rental.
You may also want to check out our article about Airbnb house rules, where you can find some actionable tips and templates.
What Are Vrbo House Rules?
Simply put, Vrbo house rules are a more professional way of explaining to your potential guests what they may (and may not) do when they stay at your home or apartment. Travelers must agree to your house rules before they book your listing.
You can easily set your house rules from your Vrbo dashboard by clicking on “Property” and then “Rules and policies.” There are six predefined fields where you can clearly outline your rules about:
- Minimum age requirement;
- Maximum number of overnight guests;
- Children allowed;
Each field includes extra space to add specific details about each policy. For example, if you let guests bring their pets, you can add information about pet type or any size restriction. You can also add up to three custom house rules unique to your property.
As you see, it’s quite easy to communicate your basic house rules for guests over Vrbo. But if you want to dive a little deeper, you can always send a full copy when the guest makes the reservation.
You can also remind your guests about house rules in your welcome letter to help you make a great first impression and show your guests you really care about them. It’s a message that you can send to your guests through Vrbo.
Effective communication with your guests is critical for making them happy, but it’s very time-consuming if you send each message manually. Luckily, with Hospitable.com, you can automate this process and save tons of time.
Have conversations with your guests even when you sleep.
Another way to remind your guests about your house rules is to include them in your house manual, which can be digital or printed. This welcome book will help your guests navigate your rental space and make the best use of it. It doesn’t have to be very formal and serious because your guests will read it before a vacation.
How to Write Vrbo House Rules That Guests Actually Read
Travelers are likely to have more respect for rules if they seem like requests from an actual person. So don’t forget to say please and thank you, and if you want, add a touch of humor. Whenever possible, use rules to guide your guests rather than limit them. You should try to inform guests what they may do, rather than what they may not do.
Make your house rules readable. The good idea is to present them in the form of a bulleted list with no more than two short sentences per rule. If you see you are exceeding those limits, you should think about stating your rules more simply.
You can use bold text to make extra important information stand out. Just do it sparingly because too much bold text can give the impression of yelling.
Vrbo House Rules Examples
Now you know how to write your own readable rules and are ready to put pen to paper. But what house rules should you include? It depends on the type of rental property, the activities it offers, and many other factors.
Still, there are some general categories that most Vrbo and Airbnb hosts use when crafting their own rules. We’ve also included some Vrbo house rules examples to help you get started.
Check-in and Check-out Instructions
Your rules must clearly state when your guests should be checking in and out of your short-term rental. This way, you can prevent travelers from arriving too early or leaving too late. The latter is especially annoying because it could mess with your cleaning schedule. That’s why we also recommend sending automated messages right before check-in and check-out to remind guests of the exact times.
Rules Regarding Damages
Unfortunately, accidents happen, and guests can damage or break things. That’s why you should notify your guests that you will charge them for any damages to your property. You should clearly specify that the guests are responsible for missing items in the house and the loss of the keys. It’s also a good idea to ask your guests to keep you informed of any damages or breakages during their stay as soon as they happen.
You should be specific about the cleanliness and housekeeping instructions of your house. Tell your guests about their responsibilities during their stay, such as recycling and taking out the trash. Tell them about the housekeeping routines and give them clear instructions on using your cleaning appliances like the dishwasher or washing machine.
Keeping your rental clean is critical for getting excellent Vrbo guest reviews, so it’s better to hire a professional cleaning team to ensure your property is spotless and ready before new guests arrive. It’s also helpful to set the extra Vrbo cleaning fee for your listing to cover your cleaning costs and use software tools like Hospitable.com to notify your team about new tasks automatically. Hospitable.com will also help you manage your listings on Vrbo, Airbnb, and Booking.com and protect you from double-bookings with instant calendar synchronization.
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Rules Regarding Noise Levels
Of course, you want your guests to have fun and enjoy their stay, but you also need them to have respect for your neighbors. So, it is a good idea to include set hours during which your guests need to minimize noise. Your neighbors will appreciate it if your guests don’t disrupt their peaceful night’s sleep.
Rules for Pets and Kids
If your property is pet-friendly, provide the guidelines for bringing furry friends clearly in the house rules. If you don’t allow pets, emphasize this and highlight the penalties for breaking this rule. The same is about children. If you do not allow children, make that clear upfront. If you accept guests with kids, Include age limitations and the number of kids allowed at one stay.
You can’t expect your Vrbo guests to treat your rental property the way you want without clearly explaining to them what you expect exactly. Having detailed house rules will help prevent unpleasant accidents at your short-term rental and ensure your guests’ stay will go stress-free for you as a host. Just make your Vrbo house rules simple, and don’t leave things open for interpretation to avoid confusion and ambiguity.
Not sure whether you need to set a Vrbo cleaning fee for your listing? Setting a cleaning fee protects Vrbo hosts from absorbing the cost of cleaning up after their guests depart. Read this article to learn everything you need to know about the cleaning fee and how it will impact your listing.
Before you create a listing on Vrbo, it’s essential to review the laws that apply to short-term rentals in your area. Then you should examine the Vrbo hosting rules and prepare to follow the best practices. Don’t feel overwhelmed, and let this article guide you.
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