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Vacation Rentals: How to Deal with Late Check-Outs

by postvines7

Consider the following scenario: your visitors were scheduled to depart at 11 a.m. At 3 p.m., you have new visitors. Your visitors take their time and stay till 2:00 p.m.

This forces you to either expedite the property’s preparation or postpone check-in for subsequent guests. In any case, it’s a hassle for you and may result in two bad reviews on the same day.

If you’ve had several late check-outs or are becoming weary of your visitors taking their time leaving your vacation rental home, here are seven things you can do to put a stop to the problem once and for all:

1. Establishing House Rules

House rules are a formal means of outlining the ground rules for any visitors that access your home. They enable you to define clearly what you expect of them, what they are and are not permitted to do, and what sanctions will apply if these rules are violated. When your visitors are all on the same page and have a clear understanding of what is permitted and prohibited, you will feel much more in control.

Noise, smoking, dogs, rubbish, parking, and guests are all examples of typical home regulations. Including a check-out time in your home rules is critical. Additionally, you should include the precise time on your vacation rental website and any other OTAs where you offer your property.

Your visitors are required to follow your house rules as they have signed them. We’ve designed a home rules template that you may customize. We have, of course, included the check-out time. It is available for download here.

2. Make a Down Payment

Once you’ve specified the check-out time in your house rules, you’ll want to include some repercussions if it is violated. While a security deposit is often intended to cover property damage or wear and tear on furniture and amenities, it may also be used to cover any violations of house rules.

As a result, you may collect a deposit from your visitors and return it only if they check out by the specified time. By collecting a refundable deposit in advance, owners create a fund from which they may withdraw and deduct monies in the event of a late check-out. This will deter visitors from checking out late if they are aware that they will be charged.

3. Assess a fee for late check-out

You may even take further measures to keep people on time by instituting a check-out charge. There are several methods to achieve this; you may charge them per hour, for example, $50 per hour, or you can charge them for the whole day. These extra expenses may deter late check-outs, and if they do occur, you will profit from them.

Again, you may charge this fee on your vacation rental website as well as on major online travel agencies (OTAs) such as Airbnb, VRBO, or HomeAway. Bear in mind that check-out costs must be included in the rental agreement that visitors must sign upon arrival.

4. Maintain Contact with Your Guests

Communicating with your visitors typically begins when they reserve your vacation rental, but continues throughout the process of preparing for their arrival. You must advise them of the check-in process, who will receive them, and what time they will arrive, among other things.

If you wish to avoid charging your visitors or deducting a portion of their deposit, you can resolve things before taking any negative action. Simply inquiring as to their check-out time simplifies things. There is no risk, and it may even help avoid issues.

If they claim that they will check out later, now is the time to inform them that this is not feasible. Then offer alternatives, such as staying a few hours but paying $50 per hour after check-in. Alternatively, you may keep their bags for them on your premises or suggest a nearby location.

Alternatively, you may be accommodating. If you do not have any new reservations for that day, try being generous and allowing them to remain for a few hours free. As a consequence, it may result in an extraordinarily favorable review and recommendation, increasing total bookings!

5. Present Yourself at Check-Out

Being physically present at the departure time is one of the most efficient strategies to prevent a late check-out. In this manner, visitors cannot use the fact that no one is there to ensure their departure. Additionally, they will be physically unable to remain longer once the host arrives at the premises to check them out.

Consider employing a property manager if you have an automatic check-in system or if you handle the rental property remotely. Each business provides a unique service. While some property managers are responsible for cleaning and restocking amenities, others serve as the emergency contact for visitors while they are on-site. They may engage someone to serve only as check-in and check-out agent. This is a significant advantage, particularly if you have new arrivals on the same day.

Some hosts have even altered the code on their WIFI door lock after check-out to prevent visitors from accessing the home!

6. Adjust Check-Out Time

Another option is to adjust your check-out time. If you have a history of late check-outs, try setting your check-out time to be sooner than it is. This has the benefit of providing you with more time to prepare for each guest changeover. As a result, you’ll be able to foresee these issues before they arise.

7. Remind Them the Previous Night

Send a pleasant reminder to your visitors the night before check-out, along with the check-out time. A simple text will suffice. Consider the following example:

I hope you liked your stay at (guest name) (rental name). Just a reminder that check-out is tomorrow at noon. We wish you a safe return and look forward to seeing you soon!Additionally, you may advise your visitors that the cleaners will be arriving at check-out time and that you will be welcoming new guests. Lodgable’s vacation rental reservation system has automatic messages that you may send to your visitors, ensuring that you never forget or get concerned!

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