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What to Include in a Short-term Rental Agreement

by Uneeb Khan

As an Airbnb host, you can assure the smooth operation of your vacation rental company by drafting a risk-minimizing short-term rental agreement. The agreement should include the host’s and visitors’ rights and duties. Additionally, it should consist of the lease’s terms and conditions.

We will discuss the 15 most critical items to include in a short-term rental agreement and why you should use one in this post.

What Is a Lease Agreement for a Short-Term Rental?

A short-term rental agreement, sometimes referred to as a vacation rental agreement, is a legal document that summarises the terms of the legal agreement between the property owner or management and the renter. It is often intended for a brief rental time (between 1 and 30 days).

A short-term rental agreement for Airbnb allows owners to guarantee that visitors understand the consequences of breaking the regulations. Airbnb’s basic policy covers the majority of situations. On the other hand, a short-term rental agreement may assist hosts in filling in the gaps and further mitigating hazards.

As a host, this provides you the authority to demand the visitor pay for damages incurred due to agreement breaches during the stay. If the property’s regulations and guidelines are violated, you will obtain the right to cancel a booking immediately.

When Is a Short-Term Rental Agreement Appropriate?

Given that a short-term vacation rental agreement assists in defining hosts’ and guests’ rights and obligations throughout a certain lease period, it is a good idea to utilize one each time you rent your home to new visitors. The duration of your stay should not dictate when you invoke the agreement. Utilize it even if visitors come for just one night and rent to pals.

When renting, you utilize a short-term lease agreement to have a visitor stay more than 30 days. In this instance, a formal month-to-month or fixed-term leasing agreement should be drafted.

You may require a visitor to sign a short-term rental agreement if the conditions are disclosed before booking. Airbnb suggests that you do so by including a reference to the agreement in your listing description.

15 Essential Provisions for a Short-Term Rental Agreement

Because each property is unique, the provisions included in an agreement will vary according to the circumstances. However, several critical provisions should be included in any short-term rental agreement.

The following are 15 components that you should include in your vacation rental agreement:

1. Rental Party Information

Include a list of all visitors who will be staying at your home throughout the rental period. Include the complete name, current home address, and phone number of each visitor. Additionally, you may choose to provide the effective date, which is the day on which your short-term leasing agreement becomes effective.

2. Specifications of the rental property

Clearly describe your item. Ascertain that the wording is unambiguous. This section should include every amenity included with your rental.

3. Rental Term

This is a critical component of the short-term rental agreement. The agreement should include the arrival and departure dates. If you change these dates before the arrival of visitors, they should sign a revised short-term rental agreement.

4. Maximum Capacity

Maximum occupancy refers to the maximum number of visitors authorized to stay at your facility. Ascertain that the sleeping arrangements for each visitor are defined. Include any applicable fire code rules that support your maximum occupancy limit.

This agreement clause safeguards you if your visitors bring uninvited guests into your property. Additionally, it holds guests liable for injuries or property damage caused by unlawful visitors.

5. Access and Keys

This section should outline the procedure for visitors to enter your home. If you have a lockbox or other key policy that visitors must adhere to, be sure to explain your short-term rental agreement.

6. Rental Restrictions and Requirements

This provision is required in every vacation rental agreement since it clarifies your home regulations. You may consider including no-smoking or no-pet laws as examples of home rules and limits. Include any punishments for violating the regulations in this area as well.

7. Payment Information

Cover anything related to payment in this area. Include the rental fee agreed upon and the due payment dates. Additionally, outline the other services you offer. For instance, provide specific information here if you provide guided tours, transportation, or breakfast.

8. Deposit for Security

A security deposit insures you against damage to your property caused by a visitor. The host will refund the money to the visitor upon departure, provided no issues. Before deciding on a security deposit amount, ensure that it is comparable to what other hosts in your region charge.

9. Fees

Numerous hosts levy additional fees. Ensure that you identify the cost, purpose, and due dates for any extra fees you collect in addition to the rent and security deposit.

10. Cancellation

This section should detail how a visitor may terminate the agreement. Generally, hosts need visitors to provide a written cancellation notification.

11. Cleaning

This is the section where you should detail precisely what the cleaning charge covers. Additionally, you should provide directions on properly exiting your property upon leaving. 

12. Furnishings and Amenities

You should provide a list of all the amenities in your residence in this part of your short-term rental agreement. Detail everything from the furnishings to the bedding, television, and air conditioner. Make a point of mentioning any outdoor locations to which your visitors will have access.

13. Liability Limitation

Accidents and injuries may occur regardless of how carefully your property is maintained. The limitation of liability provision assists you in limiting your obligation in such instances. The provision limits the amount of compensation the host must pay if the visitor suffers a loss during the length of the short-term rental agreement.

This provision must be sensible and well prepared, which is why it is a good idea to have your terms reviewed by a lawyer. This section should include the following information:

• It should specify the legislative limitations on the guest’s ability to sue you, the host.

• It should specify the losses that each party is willing to endure to compensate, both with and without limits.

• It should specify the losses that each party will abstain from incurring (specific losses that each party will not be liable for).

In any case, ensure that you have insurance in place to prevent having to pay for unpleasant events out of your wallet.

14. Agreement Violation

This section should detail the consequences of either party breaching the agreement. You may advocate for your right to terminate visitors’ stays if they violate the terms and conditions.

15. Additional Clauses

You may choose to incorporate additional conditions in your template for a short-term vacation rental agreement. These will further restrict what visitors are permitted to and are not permitted to do while staying at your home.

If you want to restrict your visitors’ access to particular areas of the property, specify this in an additional clause. For instance, you may exclude them from the pool area or a specific room in the home.

What Are the Consequences of Failure to Utilize a Short-Term Rental Agreement?

Short-term rental agreements spell forth the hosts’ and guests’ rights and duties. It is intended to assist the host in avoiding any disputes that may emerge during and during a guest’s stay.

The following are the most often encountered issues that a short-rental agreement may protect you from:

• Guests Who Refuse to Leave

Guests who refuse to go are a frequent source of vacation rental horror stories—having a short-term rental agreement in place gives you greater power if you are forced to remove your visitor legally via the courts.

• Destroyed Property

Airbnb and other holiday rental services have insurance policies in place to protect you against guest-caused damage to your home. On the other hand, a short-term equipment rental agreement may be beneficial if you want to file a claim with your insurance carrier. A short-term equipment rental agreement may be helpful.

• Airbnb Is Not Covered

If you have an incident and file a claim with Airbnb, Airbnb’s resolution team does not have to resolve your claim. If Airbnb’s traditional standards do not cover your specific occurrence, you may utilize your vacation rental agreement to defend your case in court.

Final Suggestions

Additionally, your Airbnb rental agreement should be amended and updated regularly to guarantee compliance with any changes to local or state regulations. This is critical if you want your agreement to be enforceable in a court of law.

Bear in mind while drafting your short-term rental agreement that Airbnb will not assist you in enforcing any particular conditions included in your contract. As a result, you must see an attorney if any concerns emerge. You will certainly have to resolve any contract violation in a court of law.

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