What does a Garden Gnome do when she is not gardening, in the kitchen or doing genealogy? Well the answer might just surprise you so read the entries to find out more. This blog focuses on everything we do to make our house a home. There will be a strong emphasis on home energy efficiency and do-it-yourself (DIY) projects. At the same time there will also be crafts, knitting and crocheting projects along with any other little tips we do to create that down to earth, I want to be here home. Please enjoy your visit :)

Monday, October 4, 2010

Renting Out Our Vacation Home

Renting out our vacation home is considerably different than simply renting a house out as a rental property.  We hope to rent our vacation home during the periods of time we are not using it.  That means it may be rented for a week or two at a time to as long as three months.  We have to options available to us.  We can rent the property out ourselves or we can use the rental agent.  There are pros and cons to both options but using the rental agent is the lower risk option even though we pay them a monthly fee.  In return they do the credit and security checks, security deposit, collect the rent, ensure the tenant is following the rules we set out (eg. no smoking, no pets), arrange for cleaning when the tenant leaves and in short do all the things we would be doing if we were renting it ourselves.  The real plus is they are on site within the community to take care of any problems as they arise.

We have rented vacation homes on several occasions so already had a fairly good idea of what tenants need in a rental vacation home.  In order for our vacation home to go into the rental program the home must look like a home which means it has both function and decor but it doesn't need to be extravagant or fancy.  The furniture must be good working condition and there is a minimum amount of furniture required in each room.  There is also a listing as the minimum specific extras (eg. towels, bakeware, cookware, small kitchen appliances, etc.) that must be provided.  A vacuum cleaner, washer, dryer, iron, ironing board and telephone must be provided.  The telephone is in our name but we have to put a #2 block on it restricting use to local calls only.  Long distance calls can be made by the tenant only through their own calling card or major credit card.  A golf cart must be provided and if one is not available the rental agency arranges for one with the cost coming out of the rent paid to us.  We can provide extras if desired but it isn't mandatory.  For example a popcorn maker is not on the list of required small appliances but I added one because it is a nice option to have.

Common to all the vacation homes in our community that are rented out when the owners are not using them is one or more locked closets.  Personal effects that we don't want tenants to use can be stored in the locked closet.  We can put things like non-perishable foods, clothing, toiletries and any other extras as we need which eliminates us having to bring them with us each time.  Ideally we would like our personal storage to be stocked to the point when flying all we have to bring is a carryon.  The closet we are using for this is 29" deep, 44" wide and 8' high at it's highest point.  The is one open wire shelf for hanging clothes and shelf storage but with good organization it will provide ample storage for our needs.

Garden Gnome