Although the majority of your guests will be well behaved and will take care of your property, you will need to develop a set of house rules to avoid misunderstandings and protect your property.
These can be built up over time, and added to or amended according to your experiences, but here’s a thought starter as to what house rules should be included:
- Maximum occupancy
- Check-in/check-out times and check-out policy
- Provision for damage – accidental or otherwise
- Pet policy
- Smoking restrictions
- Policy on early departures
- Trash and recycling
- Cleaning arrangement and guests’ responsibilities
- Noise restrictions
- Air conditioning and heating
- Use of candles and fires.
Don’t make unenforceable house rules such as no smoking anywhere on the property, garden or yard. Better to say something like: ‘Smoking is not allowed anywhere within the property. If you wish to smoke outside of the house in the yard (or garden) please make sure you extinguish and dispose of all cigarette/cigar butts.’
Spell out penalties
Penalties for non-compliance with this and other house rules should be spelled out. So you might add: ‘If there is evidence of smoking in the property during your stay, you will be charged an extra $XXX for thorough cleaning.’
Complete house rules in a book or folder should be left in a prominent place and you may want to consider providing a less daunting, one-sheet summary posted in the hallway.
You can get a customized house rules wall poster from www.chatterboxwalls.co.uk.