How to Protect Your Orlando Vacation Rental

Posted by Team Donovan on Wednesday, November 29th, 2017 at 2:49pm.

Many people buy a vacation home near Disney World so they can generate income by renting it out to holiday visitors. Buying a second home is a big investment, so it’s important to put security measures in place to protect your property. This is especially vital for home owners who live outside of the area – whether you’re a snowbird, or a resident of another country, like the U.K. or Canada. Here are several vacation rental security tips to help keep your home and its contents safe. 

Lock up your valuables

Most of the time, you’ll have no issue with a short-term rental. But theft is still a top concern for homeowners. It’s wise for you to place any valuables like jewelry, artwork, family photos, important documents like passports or financial statements, and collectibles in a secure place such as a locked closet. Better yet, you could just remove your belongings all-together and keep them in a secure self-storage unit, or other safe location, so you don’t have to worry about them./p>

Collect rental payments via booking platforms

The best way to increase your safety with rental guests is to process payments via a booking platform such as HomeAway, Airbnb, or VRBO. These platforms typically require guests to verify their IDs and confirm personal details. In addition, some platforms like Airbnb protect hosts with a $1 million guarantee. If a prospective guest wants to pay outside of the booking platform, this is a big red flag. You should ignore the request and report it to the booking company instead. 

Insure your rental property

Homeowners insurance is a necessity, but it probably won’t cover costs and claims related to your rental. You should invest in a short-term vacation rental insurance policy which will cover the building contents, income, liability and more. 

Require a security deposit 

Safeguard your rental against small incidents like pet damage or a broken item by requiring your guests to pay a security deposit. Online booking companies have different policies regarding security deposits, so you’ll have to respect their rules. HomeAway, for example, lets their hosts charge what they want for a deposit, but they won’t get involved if you need to make a claim that exceeds the deposit amount. Airbnb, on the other hand, will act as a mediator if you need to collect money for damages above and beyond the security deposit. 

Update your home manual

Nearly one-third of home break-ins occur through an unlocked door or window. To protect your home, make sure your house manual includes a check-out reminder for guests to close and lock all doors and windows before they leave. 

Use a smart lock

Installing a smart lock, or digital, keyless lock, will make your home safer, and make your job as host a whole lot easier. A smart lock provides remote access to your property; it monitors visitors who enter and leave your home; it generates a unique key code for every guest; and it gives you complete control over who enters your home. Best of all, you won’t have to bother with a key exchange. 

Install smoke detectors 

There were over 380,000 house fires in the United States in 2015, which caused $7.1 billion worth of damage. That’s why it’s crucial for you to equip your rental home with smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, and fire extinguishers to ensure guest safety and help prevent accidents. 

These tips should help you prevent and overcome any security and safety issues when renting your Orlando home to holiday guests. 

To inquire about Orlando vacation homes for sale, contact the real estate experts at Team Donovan online or call us at 407-705-2616. We can help you find the ideal property to use as a short-term rental.