By the Hospitable Team
To ensure your STR business runs smoothly, you must protect your Vrbo property from damages and minimize the risks of dealing with problem guests. One of the ways to do that is to have a Vrbo rental agreement that clearly defines both your and your guests’ rights and responsibilities. Read on to discover why a rental agreement is essential for both parties and what key things you should include.
What Is Vrbo Rental Agreement and When Should You Use It?
Vrbo defines a rental agreement as an agreement between a host and guest(s) about their expectations and legal relationship. These documents can help hosts outline their policies and guidelines on guest behavior during their stay.
If you have more than one Vrbo listing, you should create a unique short-term rental agreement for each vacation rental property. You must save your Vrbo rental agreement as a PDF file on your computer and then upload it to Vrbo. Then your guests can review it before they book a stay.
And while a rental agreement can be helpful in some cases to avoid risks and protect your property and your rights, Vrbo also recommends providing clear house rules directly on their website. The house rules supersede your rental agreement; you can include them for every STR property you list on this OTA platform.
Sharing the rental agreement details in your message flow with each guest who books your property is a good idea. You’ll never forget to do that if you opt for vacation rental software like Hospitable. You can schedule a message with a digital copy of your rental agreement at a certain moment after each reservation.
Have conversations with your guests even when you sleep.
Vrbo Rental Agreement: What to Include
Every STR property is different, and each host has a unique hosting style, so the policies and guest behavior guidelines included in a rental agreement will vary depending on a specific situation. But some basic points should be included in your rental agreement for Vrbo:
- Rental property details—include the legal address of your rental property and information about the property type, write a detailed description of your rental space, and specify what amenities you offer.
- Information about both rental parties—include your full legal name and the full names of all guests who will stay at your home during the specific rental period.
- Rental period—include the dates of the arrival and departure.
- Maximum occupancy—limit the number of guests allowed to stay at your vacation rental.
- Check-in and check-out processes—tell how guests can access your vacation home and state exact check-in and check-out times.
- Payment details—specify the nightly rate, additional fees, and payment terms and outline everything related to payment.
- House rules and restrictions—outline your pet, noise, and smoking policies, age requirements, and if you charge penalties for breaking the rules, highlight that in your contract.
- Cancellation policies—explain in detail how a guest can cancel the rental agreement.
- Violation of agreement—explain the consequences of either party violating the agreement.
To help you get a better idea of what this important document should look like, here is a free sample Vrbo rental agreement that you can download right now. Use it as a reference for creating your document and add custom terms to help ensure that your property is treated with respect. And consult a lawyer to ensure that this formal document is spelled out in the correct legal language.
DISCLAIMER: This is a sample vacation rental agreement only.
Please ensure you seek the advice of an attorney before finalizing any legally binding document. Your agreement should be revised and updated habitually to adhere to any changing local or state laws.
Vrbo Rental Agreement: What Are the Benefits?
Not all STR hosts and property managers use a rental agreement when dealing with guests on Vrbo. And suppose you’re a busy host managing multiple listings on different channels. In that case, you may not like the idea of spending your precious time creating a new agreement for each property and reservation.
As a host, you have to juggle many responsibilities, such as communicating with guests via messages, updating your listings, assigning tasks to your cleaners, etc. But it’s quite possible to use your time more efficiently if you automate your daily hosting routine using vacation rental software like Hospitable.
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Writing a clear rental agreement, a legally binding document, is worth your time and effort because it will protect you, your property, and your guests.
- It will give you more confidence when renting your home to strangers.
- It will ensure that you and your guests are on the same page about what is and is not acceptable on your property.
- It will help protect you and your guests from misunderstandings or legal issues during the stay.
- A rental agreement can be useful for record-keeping and will provide the proof you need if the IRS audits you.
A Vrbo rental agreement can help set clear expectations and ensure that guests will respect your vacation home as much as you do. Since this critical document provides details about the rights and responsibilities of both parties, it can help protect you and your guests if there are any disputes. This way, you may avoid serious problems and conflicts with guests during and after their stay.
Although having a rental agreement isn’t included in Vrbo requirements, you have the option to add it to your listing. If you choose to do that, feel free to download our sample rental agreement for Vrbo to better understand what details you need to include in it. And seek the professional advice of a real estate attorney before you finalize this document.
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