In a prior post we talked about keyless locks and using Nest control for air-conditioner/heating . But there are other things to consider when furnishing/prepping a home for short-term rental. The goal is offer a “whole home” while ensuring the safety of your guests and limiting liability.

Carpets pose a Challenge

If you are setting up a home that you know you’ll want to rent short term, we recommend doing away with carpets or fancy rugs. Yes, they’re cozy and add warmth and character to your home, but they also cause headache. The fact is carpets stain easily and are expensive to maintain when you have more turnaround. We’ve priced out many carpet cleaners and are often astonished by the steep costs.

If you must, must have your cream-colored carpets, I’d consider limiting the number of children who can stay in your house and being upfront with your guests about cleanliness. “Listen folks, if you stain my carpet you are going to lose your security deposit.” Point out where the guests can find carpet cleaner in an emergency. You may even want to take pictures of the carpets before you rent your place to avoid the dreaded “who dunnit?” That being said, we have clients with expensive carpets who simply bake in routine carpet maintenance into the cost of the rental–so there are different approaches.

Baby-Safe is Best

When you are furniture shopping for a home that you intend to rent short term, consider the type of guest you are marketing to. If you have a large house, how many guests do you intend to sleep there? Families are, by and large, your ideal guests, so you’ll want to make your listing accommodating to them if you can.  That means picking out furniture that’s somewhat kid-friendly—do away with those coffee tables with the separated glass tops, or super elevated beds. Trundles and daybeds are a great sleeping options for little ones.

If there’s a pool, fence it. If you own antique vases, place them out of reach. A little conscientiousness goes a long way in prepping your home as a family-friendly rental.

Stow Away Equipment

If you’re the kind soul who wants to share your bikes, surfboards, and tennis rackets with future guests, you may want to think twice. Guess what happens to sports equipment when it’s used by the inexperienced? It breaks. Over the years, we’ve disposed of many a boogie board, so this comes from experience.

Also, if you list “tennis rackets” as an amenity on your listing and one guest breaks it, you have to either replace it or remove it from your listing. However, there may be twenty already-confirmed guests who booked with the expectation that your property has rackets, so they will be disappointed. As you can see, furnishing your home with sports equipment or easily breakable items can become a vicious cycle. We tend to avoid it and guide guest toward places they can rent what they need inexpensively.