Every single short term letting property owner will receive a few strange requests at some point or another. Whether it is something relatively reasonable, such as early check in or late arrivals, or something more complicated, such as whether or not guests are allowed to throw parties or sub-let rooms to friends, it is essential to be prepared so that you handle requests in a consistent way.
While every rental owner has their own limitations on what guests can and can’t do, it will become a lot easier to maintain order if you have a system in place that dictates how you and your staff will deal with less than ordinary short term letting property requests.
How to Handle Unusual Short Term Letting Property Requests
Some tips to keep in mind to ensure that your short term letting property is always reasonable include the following:
- Develop a set of rules, and make them visible. The simplest and most effective way to prevent requests that are not standard or acceptable is to be very clear on what guests can and cannot do. Whether that means drafting a set of house rules, or including a list of things that guests may not do in your booking confirmation email, problems arise when guests are unclear of their limitations. If you have not created a specific rule that says no parties, pets or smoking is allowed, you cannot expect guests to follow such rules. Assuming that most travellers do not need to be told that turning your property into an underground club is not ok will result in guests abusing your property. Having a set of rules on hand will also make it easier to turn down requests.
- Treat requests on a case by case basis. With that said, if you get any strange requests, you can also decide to review them on a case by case basis. If, for instance, the request is not unreasonable, such as extra sleeping options for your small children, or a small pet that will not cause any noise or mess, you can decide whether or not to grant the request. Obviously, this only applies to unique requests that do not fall under clear violations of your property rules or South African law.
- Have penalties in place in case of rule violation. You will also need to decide how you will deal with any guests that proceed with their behaviour despite having their request denied. If guests are found to be clearly violating not only your rules, but also your request, then they are in direct violation of your regulations. As such, you could consider charging a penalty, or you could seek legal action depending on how serious the offence has been. These penalties should also be clearly outlined in your policies so that guests are well aware of the price that they will pay for ignoring their turned down request.
Take the stress out of dealing with problem guests by investing in a reliable short term rental manager who will manage every aspect of your property. From day to day management all the way to bookings, guest concierge and marketing, a good manager will help you keep on track of running your short term letting property smoothly and efficiently. Contact us today for more information on getting started with short term letting property management.