While Airbnb and other booking platforms will have payment terms and conditions taken care of, it is critical for professional short-term property managers to have a rental payment agreement in place for when they accept direct bookings.
What is a rental payment agreement?
Some may think rental agreements are only necessary for long leases, but writing up an agreement for a short-term rental is a small undertaking that can go a long way in ensuring you protect yourself and your property should something go wrong.
The agreement should clearly state the obligations and expectations of both the property manager and the guest as well as the consequences for any violations of those terms.
Of course, any payment agreement much also list the total price for the guest’s stay and what that price includes.
What should a rental agreement include?
A rental agreement should include the following:
- The full names of the guest and property manager
- The contact information of the property owner, including phone number, email and address
- The address of the property being rented
- The number of guests in the party
- The dates and times of the beginning and end of the rental period
- The total price for the rental as well as the price per night
- Other fees such as security deposits, cleaning fees and taxes
- A termination section clarifying that the property manager maintains the right to cancel or terminate the booking should the guest violate any of the terms specified in the agreement
- The property manager’s policy on long-distance calls made from the property phone
- The expected condition in which the guests must leave the rental property and the right of the property manager to deduct costs from the security deposit in the event of damage
- The guest’s obligations regarding waste disposal
- The property manager’s policy on pets
- The property manager’s policy on smoking
- The expected behavior of the guests and specified quiet hours, during which guests are obligated to keep noise to a minimum
- A list of the amenities the property manager will provide guests
- A section protecting the property manager from liability regarding personal injury, damage or loss and expressing the need for guests to purchase their own insurance to protect themselves in these events
- Policies regarding rental deposits
- Clarification that the property is for short-term use only
- Policies regarding refunds for cancellations and shortened trips
- Policies on firearms, fireworks and other hazardous materials
- Statement forbidding the use of the property for any illegal purposes
- Protocol for possessions left behind by guests
- Policies regarding partial refunds and price deductions due to unexpected unavailability of services like cable TV or internet
- Identification of the State under whose laws the agreement is governed
- Any other conditions to which the guest and property manager are agreeing
- Signatures and printed names of both the guest and property manager as well as the date of the signing
Is a rental agreement a contract?
A rental agreement is a contract that is legally binding so long as all of its demands and stipulations are legal. If either party violates his end of the agreement, the contract can be used to pursue legal action.