A recent online discussion between owners of furnished rentals sheds interesting light on a lesser discussed matter – property exteriors. After receiving poor customer feedback due to the appearance of a back patio, one owner of short term housing wanted to know what fellow owners thought. The responses were intriguing and enlightening. So, if you are someone who offers furnished rentals, here are a few tips to consider:
- All outdoor areas in short term housing should be well-kept without any dead plants or overgrowth, but formal gardens are not essential. Do put empty pots and gardening tools away for both esthetics and safety (no one should be at risk for stepping on a rake!)
- As to outdoor areas, it is entirely up to the owner whether to list and/or advertise outdoor spaces. As an example, if there is an open patio, it can be listed as available for use by guests, but any caveats (i.e. furnishings may be put away seasonally or as weather demands, “gardens are being installed”, and so on)
- Included any explanations about outdoor spaces in the short term housing listing and the handbook available to guests (i.e. “You are free to use the backyard or patio. Folding chairs are available for your use” or “In spring and summer, leaves and debris may litter the patio, we do our best to keep it clear, but weather conditions may make that difficult. We appreciate your understanding”)
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- The exterior of furnished rentals should not show any signs of wear or a need for repair (i.e. shutters should be fixed and sturdy, siding should not have any mold or mildew, paint should NOT be peeling)
- Entrances should be clean, clear of clutter and well illuminated. This includes sidewalks or paths as well as main entrances. Sensor lights are helpful.
- All doors should close and lock.
As you can see, there are not a lot of actual, formal requirements in place about the exteriors of furnished rentals. The key is to know what you should and should not put in the listings. If you are really marketing the short term housing to families because there is a lovely backyard with furnishings and views, then it is up to you to make everything about the exterior meet those descriptors. Is the building itself clean and in good repair? Are places like decks, patios and terraces furnished or at least tidy? Are the gardens in good shape?
As we noted, you can always list caveats about the exteriors of furnished rentals, but the most important thing to remember is that they must look good, be 100% safe and up to code and meet the terms you used when describing your short term housing in its listing.
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