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Vacation Rental Guide - Property Management Checklist

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Vacation Rental Guide - Property Management Checklists

Our vacation rental property management checklist guide includes checklist templates you can use to maintain your property from check-in to check-out.

Owning a short-term rental property can be a great investment opportunity, providing an additional stream of income and potential tax benefits. And while the short-term nature of these rental properties allows you to avoid some of the tasks and responsibilities that come with long-term real estate investing, including rental applications, renter background checks, security deposits, evictions, and rent collection, you still have some hands-on responsibilities for move-in, move-out, and routine maintenance of the property. In this article, we'll provide practical checklists for these critical areas to ensure a smooth and successful rental experience allowing you to command top-dollar rental rates.

Preparing for Check-in

One of the most important aspects of a successful short-term rental experience is ensuring that the property is in good condition for guests upon arrival. This is where a move-in checklist can be incredibly helpful. Using a move-in checklist, you can make sure that each room of your rental property is clean, well-stocked, and in good condition so your guests have a comfortable and enjoyable stay. This section will provide you with a comprehensive move-in checklist example. Feel free to print this off and use it to help you stay organized and ensure your rental property is ready for guests.

Security and Safety

  • Functioning child safety features
  • Functioning pet safety features
  • Carbon monoxide and smoke detectors
  • Fire extinguishers
  • Emergency contact list
  • First aid kit
  • Updated insurance
  • Closed, locked, and functional windows
  • Functioning entry locks/deadbolts
  • Security Cameras
  • Fireplace is off/cold
  • Proper storage for chemicals, paints, and cleaning products
  • Adequate lighting in all rooms
  • Effective lighting near outdoor paths, entryways
  • Hot water heater is functioning properly
  • Address marker is visible both night and day

Guest Information

  • Arrival/parking/check-in information
  • List of amenities
  • Wifi password
  • How to use appliances/TV/ and other devices
  • Emergency contact information
  • Local activities/restaurant guide
  • Welcome letter
  • House/community rules
  • Feedback card/book


  • Wifi - speed test
  • Plugs/power strips/outlets
  • Light bulbs
  • AC/Heater/Thermostat - function test
  • Coffee machine/toaster/etc. - function test
  • Oven/refrigerator - function test
  • Clocks/alarms - accurate/functional
  • TV/cable/remotes - function test/batteries
  • Netflix/Prime/Disney+/Hulu - update accounts

The Check-Out Checklists

As a short-term rental property owner, it is essential to conduct a thorough walk-through of the property after each guest departs to make sure that everything is in working order and ready for new tenants. A move-out checklist can help you stay organized and ensure that each aspect of the rental property has been properly cleaned and maintained before the next tenant moves in. While a property management company can certainly assist with this process, as the owner, it's ultimately your responsibility to ensure that your rental property is in good condition for the next guest. In this section, we'll provide you with a helpful move-out checklist to use as you determine if everything is in working order and ready for new tenants.


  • Kitchen
    • Cooking utensils
    • Table settings
    • Napkins/paper towels
    • Dish soap/dishwasher detergent
    • Hand soap
    • Tea towels/washcloths/sponges
    • Salt/pepper/oil/sugar/etc.
    • Coffee/tea/milk/etc.
    • Cleaning supplies
  • Bathrooms
    • Towels/washcloths
    • Hand soap
    • Shampoo/body wash
    • Toilet paper
    • Toothpaste etc.
  • Bedrooms
    • Sheets
    • Blankets
    • Pillows
    • Face tissue
    • Clothes hangers
  • Living room
    • Decorative pillows
    • Throw blankets
    • Face tissue
    • Remotes

Property Maintenance Checklist

Routine maintenance is essential for the upkeep of your short-term rental property, as it helps prevent more significant maintenance issues. By performing regular inspections and addressing necessary repairs before they progress, you can help ensure that your rental property remains in good condition for your guests. A comprehensive rental maintenance checklist can help you stay on top of routine maintenance tasks, such as checking for leaks and inspecting appliances. In this section, we'll provide a fully customizable property inspection checklist to help you identify necessary repairs and perform preventative maintenance.

  • After every check-out
    • Cleaning
    • Trash removal
    • Laundry
    • Test smoke/carbon monoxide alarms
    • Test all locks
    • Clear obstructions from walkways and exit routes
  • Monthly
    • Check kitchen drawers/cabinet doors
    • Check dressers/storage doors and drawers
    • Test appliances
    • Test entertainment devices
    • Test light fixtures and outlets
    • Test all doors
    • Check drywall/walls
    • Check exit routes
    • Landscaping chores
    • Check weatherproofing
  • Quarterly/6-month
    • Check all furniture for damage
    • Check HVAC filters
    • Test all outlets (indoor and outdoor)
    • Check windows/doors for leaks
    • Check window screens
    • Check exterior walls for cracks/damage
    • Clean oven
    • Clean hood vent
    • Clean laundry vent
    • Dust overlooked locations
  • Yearly
    • Exterior weatherproofing
    • Deep clean kitchen and bathrooms
    • Inspect showerheads/faucets/toilets
    • Inspect crawl space/roof/sidewalks/etc.
    • Check for interior and exterior rot
    • Clean home exterior
    • Inspect the HVAC system/air conditioning unit
    • Clean gutters

OwnerRez as Your Property Management Partner

If you're looking for an easier way to manage all of the responsibilities and tasks related to your short-term rental, OwnerRez may be the solution for you. OwnerRez offers powerful property management software with robust reporting capabilities, including checklists, tenant screening tools, and other reporting options to help you stay organized. With OwnerRez, you can automate many day-to-day tasks associated with managing a short-term rental, giving you more time to focus on other aspects of your business. So why wait? Visit OwnerRez today to learn more about how our property management software can help support your real estate business.