Tag Archives: Vacation Property

Getting Out of the House

Hey all you renters, landlords and property owners out there. Summer is the time for vacationing, and that means, hopefully, actually leaving your house, apartment or condo and getting out there to see the world! Depending on your situation, you may be out for just a few days, or for a few months, but if you don’t have roommates, or they’re coming with you, it’s going to mean leaving your home all alone for a period of time. This week, the Hometown Rant is bringing you a handy guide to make sure your rental property doesn’t miss you too much while you’re gone.

Even if you don’t have a big summer trip planned, chances are you’ll want to get out for at least a few weekends, which won’t be a big deal so long as you take the proper steps to make sure your property is secure. Close your windows and lock your doors, and make sure you remember to bring your keys. If you’re having a neighbor or friend house-sit, don’t forget to leave them a spare, or they might have to resort to drastic measures to get in.

A good habit to get into before leaving the home for any period of time is doing a quick run-through to make sure your electronics and appliances are turned off, and you don’t have any water running. While it may not matter if you’re out getting groceries, a TV or a stereo left on will run up your electricity bill faster than you might think, especially if it’s going for a few days straight. Same with a faucet left even a little bit running. The last thing you want to be paying for on vacation is a huge wasteful water bill from your house or apartment back home. The most important appliance to have off though is the stove. Not only is gas expensive, it can lead to disastrous results if left running unchecked. Don’t be a Rob Schneider. Turn it off.

If you’re planning on being gone for more than just a few days, you’ll want to have a neighbor or a friend check on your house or apartment now and again. This is yet another reason that you want to be on good terms with your neighbors, so if you aren’t yet, you might want to start schmoozing before it’s too late and you have nobody to water your plants while you’re gone. If you have higher orders of things living in your house or apartment, cats or dogs for instance, you’ll want to have someone coming in every day to feed and clean up after them, otherwise you might come home to a big mess at best, and a slew of animal cruelty charges at worst.

As a final note, it’s always nice to clean your house, apartment or condo before you leave. That way when you come home, it’s to a fresh space instead of some gross dishes that have been festering for two weeks while you were away. Most of all though, have fun out there, and hopefully when you come back, you’ll feel refreshed and your rental property will have that magical aura of newness about it once again.

 Do you have rental questions of your own? Comments? Concerns? Love letters? Hate mail? Holla back:  Hometownrant@hometownrent.com

Be The Beast of the Lease

The beginning of the summer is a hot time to move into a new house or apartment, and along with that comes every every landlord and renter’s favorite thing: signing binding legal contracts! Hooray! In a perfect world we’d be able to just say hey man, I’ll give you some money if you let me stay here for a while, and that would be that, but unfortunately people aren’t always as trustworthy as they claim to be on the internet. Who knew? Luckily, the Hometown Rant is here to help both renters and landlords make sure that renting is the mutually beneficial, almost symbiotic relationship that it should be.

If you’ve been a landlord for a little while, you probably already have a standard lease drawn up that you use with your clients. That’s great! If not, you should probably get on that before you agree to let people live in your house, apartment or loft. The ever-useful wikihow has a nice step-by-step guide for writing your own from scratch, and a quick Google search will yield you more sample leases than anybody could ever sign. Find one that works for you, and if you can’t, edit one until it does.

The bare minimum you need is a document that identifies the names of the parties involved, the location of the house, apartment or loft in question, when rent payments and deposits need to be made and how much they cost, the responsibilities that each party assumes for maintenance and upkeep, and the penalties should either party violate their end of the bargain. Also, a place to sign. But you knew that.

The section where leases tend to differ is the section outlining the responsibilities of both the landlord and the renter, and it’s also the section that tends to be the most often broken by one or both parties. This is the section where you’ll specify who pays for garbage, who’s responsible for calling (and paying) the plumber when the toilet explodes, who is responsible for maintaining the yard, whether or not pets are allowed, and all sorts of other benefits and stipulations that will make or break the deal, so it has to be done right.

Landlords writing leases need to be clear about what they will provide as well as what they expect tenants to do in order to maintain the property. DON’T BE AFRAID TO USE BOLD PRINT IF YOU WANT TO MAKE SURE SOMETHING GETS SEEN! Don’t go overboard though, or you’ll lose the effect. As the owner or manager of the house, apartment, loft or condo, you have the final say about what can or can’t be done there, but remember that you want your rental property to be attractive for potential renters, so don’t get too ridiculous with your rules. If you do have policies that people might not like, maybe provide some services in exchange.

In this day and age, we agree to things all the time without actually reading them, but RENTERS, IF YOU READ ANYTHING EVER, READ YOUR LEASE! IT ACTUALLY MATTERS!  If you don’t, you won’t know what you’re supposed to do, and you won’t get what you deserve! That’s no way to be!

Do you have rental questions of your own? Comments? Concerns? Love letters? Hate mail? Hit us on the low-low: Hometownrant@hometownrent.com


Common Myths Associated with Vacation Home Renting


A few of these myths are listed below:

  • You must live near the rental property – there are hundreds of rental owners who live far away and still earn money from their vacation home simply because they have hired a reliable caretaker or housekeeper to see things through.
  • Renters will damage your property – this rarely happens. Still, if you’re not sure, you can always screen the guests.
  • Finding renters is quite difficult – it’s quite simple actually. You can seek assistance from the plethora of vacation rental property websites that offer their services to millions of vacation homeowners each and every year.
  • You can’t use the property yourself – you have the right to utilize your own property at any given moment.

Earning some extra cash every now and then isn’t a bad thing and renting out your vacation property can really provide you with some ‘easy money’.

Renting Your Vacation Property Off-Season

A lot of people think that renting vacation property can only take place during a holiday season. But in reality, things are quite different. You can rent your vacation property with as much ease during off-season as well.

For starters you can make some amends in your “renting requirements”. This includes:

  • Lowering the price – this will allow budget-conscious winter travelers to approach your vacation home.
  • Seek assistance from local businesses – you can offer discount coupons to local ski-resorts, parks, local restaurants, movie theatres, etc. to people who rent your property.
  • Decrease the number of days included in the minimum stay – when people know that they’re not compelled to stay for more than just a weekend, they’ll readily be willing to rent your vacation property.
  • Introduce winter-friendly amenities in your vacation property – this will attract people towards your rental property, i.e. once you’ve advertised properly.

Although you may not be able to make as much money as you do during the holiday season, making the necessary changes will help you attract some business if nothing at the least.

For more tips on renting vacation property during off-season, visit, http://realtytimes.com/rtpages/20040727_vacationrental.htm