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Vacation home maintenance checklist

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Your Ultimate Vacation Home Maintenance Checklist

Property managers should build a vacation home maintenance checklist. They can impact guest satisfaction, property longevity, and improve long-term revenue.

Consistent home maintenance is a cornerstone of any successful short-term rental business. Regular checks and upkeep can extend your property's life and guarantee a top-tier guest experience. But with numerous tasks to manage on varying timetables, it's easy to miss a step or delay essential services. A tried-and-true solution for this problem is building a vacation home maintenance checklist—a tailored guide to keep your property in prime condition. Whether you're an experienced property owner with multiple rentals to manage or just starting out with your first, this list can be your go-to reference or a starting point for customization. Read on to discover actionable steps to make property management more systematic and stress-free.

Choosing the Right Property Management Company

A property management company becomes indispensable for many property owners, especially those not residing close to their rental property. But how do you choose the right one?

What to Look For: Responsiveness, Expertise, and Reputation

A competent property management company will be able to show you a systematized workflow that covers everything from check-ins to yard care. Many will have detailed checklists for everything, including a vacation home maintenance checklist. They'll be adept at everything, from routine maintenance checks to addressing unexpected water damage. Responsiveness is key. If a guest reports a malfunctioning heating system, the company should be on it immediately. Their expertise in handling everything from faucets to flue maintenance and their reputation in the real estate sector can provide homeowners peace of mind.

The Benefit of a Company That Addresses Issues Promptly

Maintenance issues in a vacation rental can range from minor touch-ups to significant repairs. The faster these are addressed, the shorter the property sits empty, and ultimately, the better the guest experience. A company that prioritizes the upkeep ensuring that everything is in good condition—from the air filters to the sump pump—can be a valuable asset to homeowners. Quick fixes, like swapping out light bulbs or updating the caulk and grout, can prevent more significant issues later.


Remote Property Management: Ensuring Your Property is in Good Hands Even if You're Not Close By

In today’s digital age, distance doesn’t need to be a barrier in property management. For homeowners not close to their short-term rental, the right property management company provides regular maintenance updates and peace of mind. Whether it's ensuring the landscaping stays vibrant, the smoke alarms function perfectly, or simply making sure the linens are fresh for each new guest, a reliable company ensures that your property remains in tip-top shape, regardless of where you are.

Communication with Guests

Effective communication is the basis of a well-run vacation rental, which results in a positive guest experience. A maintenance checklist is more than just a list of tasks; it’s a written record of the ongoing dialogue between the property owner and their guest.

The Value of Open Communication

For rental property success, open communication ensures that all amenities, from the air conditioning to the water heater, are in working order. When homeowners actively engage with guests, they instill confidence that everything, from the smallest light bulbs to carbon monoxide detectors, is in tip-top shape. OwnerRez allows you to communicate with guests all from one unified inbox. Email, SMS, Airbnb & Vrbo native platform messaging are all options that allow you to communicate in the way that works best for you and your business.

phone and laptop

Encouraging Guests to Report Problems

Guests should feel comfortable alerting homeowners to maintenance issues, whether it’s a dripping faucet or an issue with the thermostat. It is normal to want to have an aggressive damages fee to pass along damage to the guest who caused a problem, but that system can backfire. If a guest hides damage to your property to avoid a damage fee, the problem may worsen exponentially before it is discovered.

Make it easy for your guests to report damage. Consider waiving damage fees except for the most egregious violations. You may even wish to reward guests for reporting damage they discover while staying at the property. A proactive approach ensures that small issues don't balloon into significant repairs.

Another way to make sure you're covered for any accidental damage that may occur during the guest's stay is to take advantage of the built-in Damage Protection option within OwnerRez. Damage Protection is a feature that applies to your contracted rental property, providing protection against accidental damage a guest might do while at your property. Through our unique integrations, OwnerRez connects you to a suite of protection programs that responds to accidental guest-caused damages arising during an OwnerRez-contracted booking. The protection is paid for on a booking-by-booking basis. It's directly integrated into OwnerRez and powered by RentalGuardian®.

broken window

The Balance: Being Attentive Without Being Invasive

While it's important to check in on the state of your vacation rental property, there's a delicate balance to strike. You want to ensure everything from the gutters to the HVAC system is in order but without encroaching on your guest’s space. It's a blend of preventive maintenance and respect. Many hosts set up automated messaging that goes out to the guest a couple of hours after check-in, asking if they got in okay and if there is anything they need from the host. This provides a sense of comfort to the guest, knowing the host is there to help if needed while also providing an opportunity for the guest to let the host know about anything wrong with the rental.

Vacation Home Maintenance Checklist

Owning a vacation rental property can be a rewarding venture, especially if you prioritize the upkeep and maintenance of your property. Doing proper maintenance ensures a positive guest experience, preserves your real estate's value, and offers homeowners peace of mind. Here's a comprehensive vacation rental maintenance checklist to get you started. Feel free to customize this list to fit your unique profile of properties:


  1. Check-In and Touch-Up: Before new guests arrive, inspect the property for any visible issues and make necessary touch-ups.
  2. Linens: Replace and launder bed linens, towels, and other fabrics.
  3. Light Bulbs: Ensure all are functioning and replace any burnt-out.
  4. Pest Control: Look for signs of pests and address them immediately, either DIY or through maintenance services.
  5. Air Filters: Check and clean, particularly if the property sees frequent renters.


  1. Thermostat & HVAC System: Test the heating and air conditioning systems to ensure they're in working order. Clean or replace air filters as needed.
  2. Smoke Detectors and Carbon Monoxide Detectors: Test for functionality and replace batteries if necessary.
  3. Landscaping: Keep the exterior looking tip-top by trimming bushes, mowing the lawn, and caring for plants.
  4. Faucets & Hoses: Check for leaks or drips and ensure the hoses are in good condition without any wear or cracks.
  5. Water Supply & Water Heater: Inspect for leaks, sediment build-up, and ensure the heater functions efficiently.

Every 3 Months:

  1. Gutters and Downspouts: Clean out any debris to prevent water damage and ensure proper drainage.
  2. Caulk & Grout: Inspect around windows, bathrooms, and kitchens. Touch up or replace to prevent water damage and mold growth.
  3. Fire Extinguishers: Check that they are in working order and not expired.
  4. Security Systems: Test alarms, cameras, and other security features to ensure they're operational.

Every 6 Months:

  1. Deep Cleaning: Beyond the regular cleaning, deep clean the property, focusing on areas like the oven, behind appliances, under furniture, and more.
  2. Upgrades: Inspect any old appliances or decor for consideration to upgrade. Refreshing these items can enhance the guest experience and keep the property modern.
  3. Pest Control Services: Schedule regular pest control services, even if no pests are evident. Nothing will ruin a guest’s stay like a kitchen crawling with ants, or worse. Preventive maintenance services will solve the problem before it is an infestation.


  1. Heating System & Flue: Just before the winter season, before that first cold night of the year, inspect and clean the heating system, and if your property has a fireplace, make sure the flue is clear.
  2. Roof Inspection: Look for potential issues or damages to prevent future costly repairs.
  3. Sump Pump: If your property has one, test it to ensure it's ready for heavy rains or potential flooding.
  4. Regular Maintenance Schedule Review: Take a moment each year to review your maintenance checklist, updating and revising it based on the property’s needs and changes in the vacation rental business landscape.

Leveraging a property management company can help efficiently tackle these tasks, especially for remote homeowners. The key is to stay proactive, ensuring all elements of your vacation rental property remain in good condition and ready for guests at all times. This not only maintains the integrity of your property but also ensures positive reviews and repeat bookings. Explore our library of short-term rental guides for more checklists designed to help property owners manage their short-term rentals effectively.

Having the right tools is essential in today's competitive vacation rental landscape. OwnerRez offers property owners a powerful solution to seamlessly manage their short-term rentals across multiple platforms, ensuring consistent guest satisfaction and optimal property performance.