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Tips for renting out your property over the short-term

This time of year presents the perfect opportunity for residents along the South African coastline to supplement their income by renting out their home or a section of their house to travellers, and for those who regularly rent out accommodation for longer terms, who may want to consider short-term rentals in their unoccupied properties over the holiday period.
© micheleranchetti – 123RF.com
"Many travellers prefer renting a room in a home or self-catering options, which offer many comforts of home, to that of a hotel, which can get expensive," says Liezl Hesketh, Founder of TheRoomLink, the only South African rental site dedicated to offering flexi-time accommodation. "However, owners are often concerned about shorter accommodation periods, such as how to find a renter for such a short time period, and what to provide."

Hesketh provides the following tips for renting out a property, or a room in your home, for a short-term period:
  1. For peace of mind, remove all jewellery, important documents, firearms, and other valuables from the home if possible, or locked away in a safe.
  2. Do leave everyday items available that your guest may need, but that are unlikely to have brought on their holiday. Be sure to leave every day essentials, such as an ironing board, iron, a hairdryer, and of course, the remotes for the television and audio equipment.
  3. Leave the linen closet open, so that it is easy to find. Keep clean sheets, pillow cases, and towels available, as well as beach towels that are suitable for outside use. Use a good quality mattress pad and pillow protectors.
  4. Provide a map, a local listing of attractions in the area, and local emergency numbers.
  5. Write out detailed instructions on how to set the alarm, switch on the television, use the sound system, and any other gadget that may prove difficult to operate.
  6. Do not assume that your guests will behave in the same way that you do, so be sure to lay out house rules ahead of time, such as designated smoking areas, what time music should be turned down, and whether parties, additional occupants, or pets will be allowed.
  7. Without advertising, your potential guests will not be able to find you, but remember, personal safety must be top of mind at all times. Utilise a trustworthy platform to promote your accommodation, and one that is embraces flexi term accommodation, so that you are able to quickly change your listing as your requirements change. References are not usually supplied with short term rentals, so utilise virtual viewing to first screen out of town guests. This also provides potential guests the opportunity to see the home before paying a deposit.
To find out more about listing a room over the short-term, visit www.theroomlink.co.za.
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