Although no short term vacation rental owner likes to think of disaster, it is impossible to avoid completely. In the last week, South Africa has experienced two major storms, in Johannesburg and Durban respectively, along with a serious fire in Camps Bay, Cape Town. Further abroad, wildfires have decimated a large chunk of California, while other parts of the US have faced tornadoes, floods and damage.
The trick to protecting your short term vacation rental very often lies not so much in avoidance, then, but rather how you choose to reduce potential risk. Today, we are sharing some tips on how to proactively cover your bases in a world of natural disasters.
How to Protect Your Short Term Vacation Rental Against Disasters
Although losing your short term vacation rental may not compare to losing your home and all of your belongings, this investment may account for a large portion of your income. As such, you want to ensure that it is protected against any possible risk, whether that is fire, storms or something else entirely. Some tips to keep in mind include the following:
- Invest in comprehensive cover. This should include both house and contents, of course. Make sure that your cover protects you against the widest range of circumstances. The last thing you want is to fork out money each month for a plan that does not cover everything. Good cover will help you replace your investment property and its contents so that you can recoup losses and start again.
- Make sure that your property is weather-proof. One way to at least reduce some potential damage is to invest in a comprehensive weather-proofing solution. Here in Cape Town, problem areas include wooden window frames, old roofs, old trees that have been damaged by wind, leaking ceilings and coastal houses that have been subjected to moisture and salt over a long period of time. Replacing old windows, fixing your roof before and after winter, and taking measures to strengthen any possible weak areas can help to prevent serious damage.
- Be prepared for anything. Fitting your property with smoke alarms, fire hydrants, sprinkler systems and similar features may seem like overkill. These features can save lives however. At the very least, they may reduce damage from smoke in the event of fires. Likewise, shatterproof glass may fare better in a storm than regular glass. Other measures you can take include keeping tree branches far away from house and keeping trees regularly trimmed.
- Listen to warnings. If you have been warned about an impending storm, told to evacuate or advised that there is a serious risk of damage, do not take any chances. Make sure that your guests are kept updated and that you always put their safety first. Overseas visitors may not be as knowledgeable about local weather issues, which means that it is your job to inform them when there is a real risk of harm. You can replace a property, but you cannot replace human lives.
Although these recent cases are more of an exception than a rule, it is nonetheless important to have a plan of emergency in place. These measures, along with a trusted short term vacation rental manager who is on hand to proactively manage your property, will make all the difference.