Buying vacation houses is a very lucrative investment, but the downside is it’s very hard to maintain, especially when you’re here in the UK while your investment is on the coast of some island half way around the world.
To help ease your fears that some stranger might trash your remote investment, why not try some of these strategies so you can still safeguard your property even if you aren’t around:
Greet Your Visitors With A Letter
Write a letter addressed to your temporary house guests. It doesn’t have to be long and formal, but it needs to include your photo, a few sentences hoping they’d have a wonderful vacation on your home, and an explanation about how much you take pride in keeping your home nice and tidy.
Place it in the kitchen or somewhere it can be easily seen, so your visitors can see it immediately when they first arrive at your house.
I always do this when renters stay at my vacation homes, since people are more likely to treat your house with respect when they feel a connection with the owner. While most visitors would behave accordingly, there a few who were born to break the rules and, apparently, everything else in your house.
Charge A Higher Deposit Fee
Owners charge a high deposit fee to their house to make sure that these temporary guests won’t do any damage to their property. When the place is spotless before the guests leave the deposit is returned, however, when anything is broken or damaged they say goodbye not only to the house but also to their money.
This is such a common practice that some renters are already anticipating this fee when they rent a vacation home. It’s more convenient to charge this via credit card rather than asking for it in the form of check or cash, because not many families have that kind of extra money in their bank accounts.
As an alternative for charging high deposit fees, some homeowners and management companies have moved to charging a property protection fee of £50 to £75 to their renters. This fee is usually non-refundable and charged before the guests arrive at the vacation house.
Basically, a property protection fee works like insurance. It’s commonly used to pay for any accidental damage incurred by the property up to the amount of £500.
Tuck Away Expensive Items
You may have expensive items like an Xbox or juicer in your vacation home in order for your family to enjoy when you visit your house.
While you may include these items on the list of your house’s amenities, you better think twice or even thrice before leaving them exposed when you take in renters. Remember that you’re still letting strangers into your home and when they leave, some of them might decide to take your appliances with them.
To avoid these unpleasant incidents, I strongly suggest locking expensive appliances in a closet.
Remember, just because you aren’t physically present to watch over your house doesn’t mean you won’t be able to protect it. Although bad incidents like theft aren’t that common (especially if you are careful with screening clients), it’s always better to be safe than sorry.