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Vacation Rental House Rules for Short-Term Vacation Rental Owners

House rules are a very important part of getting your vacation rental ready for business.  Whether you are renting your home for only a few weeks a year or are a professional property manager, it is crucial to present your house rules to your guests so that they know exactly what is expected and allowed during their stay.  Many vacationers forget their manors when they are staying in a rental, and it’s crucial for owners to remind them that they are actually staying in someone else’s home and should treat it with respect.  By creating these rules, we are sure that owners will sleep better knowing that their guest have been given clear instructions on what is acceptable behavior and guests will know exactly what is expected of them and the consequences of ignoring these rules during their stay. 

For those of you that don’t know where to start, we have created a guide on how to create your rules.  We know that each rental is unique, but most of them are sure to have similar requirements. You can also download this form that we have created.


Keep this statement short.  Tell your guests that these are the rules and complying with them is mandatory.  If these house rules are disregarded, what are the consequences? Loss of security deposit could be a good motivation for guests to follow the rules, or even being removed from the property.


Give your guests a clear name and telephone number of who to call in case of any problems and tell you guests to contact this number in case of any problems or complaints from neighbors. 


This is usually the big one.  Your guests are on vacation and what to enjoy themselves.  If your property has a nice outdoor area or pool, things may tend to get a bit noisy.  What are your rules regarding noise?

Make sure that guests are given the exact times (from-to) that noise levels are to be respected.


Your property rental has been rented to a group of young adults whom have traveled to your location as a group and rented multiple properties. What are your rules regarding visitor’s? Do you allow your guests to have visitors and how many? Do you allow overnight visitor’s? If yes, is there an extra fee?

It is strictly forbidden that any person or persons that have not been reported and approved by the owner or his representative remain as overnight guests.


Tell your guests were and how to park.  If you provide parking, please let the guests know that this is the only place that they may leave their vehicle.  If there are other designated areas to park, let you guests know exactly where they are along with areas where they should not park.   


Does your property allow for events such as birthday parties, weddings or group gatherings? Do the guests need permission to host events and what are the maximum size of events that can be hosted? 


What are the rules regarding garbage? Where should the guests throw away their trash and is recycling required.  How are they expected to leave the property after they leave? Are they expected to put dishes in the dishwasher and remove all garbage from the premises or should they leave everything in a specific place?


What are the guests responsible for? Any damages to property will be deducted from there security deposit.  What happens if damages exceed the security deposit amount?

Guests should report any damages as soon as possible (reasonable).  Failure to do this will result in loss of security deposit. 

Can guests use your towels for the beach? What if they take home your towels?

Can guests move around furniture without prior approval?


Where is smoking allowed (Inside/outside).  How should guests dispose of cigarette butts and ashes?


You, as the host, are not responsible and will not assume liability for the loss, damage or injury to persons or their personal property.  Neither do you accept liability for any inconveniences arising from the temporary defects or stoppage in supply of water, electricity or plumbing.  Nor will you accept liability for any loss or damage caused by weather conditions, natural acts, disasters, or other reasons beyond your control. 


Guests must be fully aware that these areas can be dangerous, especially when wet.  Injury can occur if guests are not careful on site.  Do you allow glassware around the pool and outdoor area or have you provided plastic glasses and plates? Is there a time limit on when the pool can be used (e.g. pool is only to be used between the house of 07:00 – 22:00?


Guests should supervise babies and children at all times.  Children are NOT allowed to us the swimming pool without adult supervision.  Do you have any other rules regarding children, especially on the terrace, patio and pool area? 


Do you allow pets at your property? If yes, are there any special requirements?


Are there any special rules or instructions on using the outdoor barbecue?


Are there any special rules during checkout? How will the key be given back, does the owner or manager have to inspect the property and how is the security deposit returned? Most importantly, in what state is the rental to be left by the guests. 


It’s always good for the guest to have emergency contacts on hand.  Make sure your guests have the numbers to emergency services.  In addition, it is great to leave telephone number for trusted transport services and any other services that you provide. 


Give a final compliance statement to your guests such as: Guests who do not follow the above-mentioned terms and conditions are considered in breach of contract. 

The owner of the property or his representative reserves the right to terminate your stay if found to be in breach of contact.  This applies to any guests and/or visitors who refuse to follow the above-mentioned house rules and whom are found to be causing disturbances or damages to the property, neighborhood or to the residence of the community. 

Category: Just for Hosts