Vacation Rental Maintenance: How to Prevent & Solve Problems

Successful vacation rental maintenance is all about having thoughtful and efficient systems in place. According to iProperty Management, there were over 100,000 vacation rental companies in the world as of 2020. So you need to do something to set yourself apart from the competition if you want to have success managing your vacation rental properties.

Vacation Rental Maintenance: How to Prevent & Solve Problems

At RueBaRue, we understand the challenges that can arise for vacation rental managers when it comes to property maintenance. That’s why we’ve put together this guide about how you can optimize your vacation rental maintenance systems. In this article, you’ll learn all about:

RueBaRue is much more than a guest communication tool. We’re constantly adding new functionalities to our platform to help you streamline your operations – like solving maintenance issues. To see how it works, book a demo now.

Why should you make vacation rental maintenance a priority?

Staying on top of vacation rental maintenance is one of the most important things a property manager can do. You obviously want to keep property owners happy, so taking good care of their properties, which are owners’ biggest assets, is a great way to ensure vacation rental owner retention .

On top of keeping property owners satisfied, guest satisfaction is central to your success as a vacation rental manager. An unexpected pipe burst can mean an unsatisfied guest who leaves a bad review. This type of issue may also require you to cancel your next booking, which can result in lower rankings on OTAs, lost revenue, and even penalties.

Plus, you should always prioritize the safety of your guests, and regular maintenance is a good way to do so. Rundown properties are not only unpleasant but can also be dangerous to stay in, making maintenance key to both the satisfaction and safety of your guests.

In summary, being proactive, not reactive, keeps owners happy, as their properties will always be in good condition. It is also a way to ensure that your guests leave content, as no one wants to deal with a broken furnace or malfunctioning kitchen appliance during what is supposed to be a relaxing vacation.

How to prevent common vacation rental maintenance issues

There are a number of steps that you can take to avoid maintenance issues in the vacation home, Airbnb, Vrbo, or any other property that you manage.

Schedule regular inspections

You should be checking on a property’s fire and electrical safety, fireplace, plumbing, air conditioning, furnace/boiler, and kitchen appliances on a regular basis. These inspections will allow you to detect potential issues before they even occur, which is essential when it comes to preventive maintenance.

Stay on top of your supplies inventory

Every few months or so, be sure to check the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to ensure that they are working properly. You should also be checking light bulbs on a regular basis. The best way to stay on top of your supplies inventory is by setting a reminder for yourself.

Don’t forget about maintenance risks in outdoor areas

Don’t neglect your property’s outdoor area during maintenance checks! Be sure to inspect the pool, hot tub, fences, gutters, and sidewalks when doing scheduled maintenance on the rest of the home. You should also check trees on the property to make sure that there are no potentially dangerous limbs that need to be removed.

Pay attention to aesthetic details

Though they may not be necessary to the safety of guests, the aesthetic details of a property still play a big role in guest experience. Examining your vacation rental for paint chips, stains, and furniture scratches should form part of your normal maintenance checklist.

Prepare for seasonal changes

If your property is located in an area that experiences extreme weather during a part of the year, you must prepare for any potential hazards that may arise during the extreme weather season. You should be doing these preparations a few weeks before the season is forecasted so you don’t get caught off guard.

Set vacation rental house rules

One way to avoid potential issues that many homeowners and vacation rental property managers overlook is providing vacation rental house rules. Give guests guidelines on what can and can’t be done at the property. This can help you to avoid maintenance issues like clogged plumbing, broken appliances, or chewed wiring (we’re looking at guests with pets here).

Preview of RueBaRue guestbook house rules

Caption: A preview of rental rules on RueBaRue’s digital guestbook.

Provide a vacation rental manual

Another great way for vacation rental managers to prevent issues and damages from occurring is by creating a detailed house manual. Here you can provide guests with instructions on things like how to operate appliances, helping you to avoid mishaps before they even occur. You can automatically send your house manual to guests via RueBaRue as a part of your digital guestbook.

Create and implement property maintenance standard operating procedures (SOPs)

By having standard operating procedures in place, you will ensure that you and your team are organized enough to react quickly when problems arise. You can also create SOPs that help you to implement practices related to damage prevention, which will assist in avoiding issues in the first place.

Have communication systems in place

While preventing issues is ideal, it’s important to create a way for guests to reach you should a problem arise. Create a system that makes it easy for guests to report damages or other maintenance issues to you. You should also make sure that you can easily message your maintenance workers and fix issues without delay. Soon, RueBaRue will offer a feature that will allow you to send and receive messages related to property maintenance.

Who should be responsible for vacation rental maintenance?

As a property owner or someone who runs a vacation rental property management company, you probably don’t have time to worry about maintenance vacation rentals. So who should be responsible for vacation rental maintenance?

You have two main options: hiring an in-house maintenance team and cleaning staff or outsourcing to a third-party provider. Unless you’re an extremely large vacation rental business that manages hundreds of short-term rental properties, hiring third-party maintenance and cleaning services is usually your best option.

Thankfully, there are platforms like Mendbnb that allow you to hire maintenance professionals on an as-needed basis. For example, Mendbnb gives you unlimited access to maintenance professionals with no call-out fees. You can also hire out preventive maintenance work with these types of networks.

Performing maintenance on a home

Caption: Staying on top of maintenance is the best way to prevent structural issues in your rental home.

Vacation rental maintenance checklist

One of the best ways to ensure that you are staying on top of your vacation rental maintenance is by following a checklist. The following list divides tasks into weekly, monthly, and annual duties. And while the tasks are created to be relevant for the majority of vacation rentals, the tasks you need to include for your property may vary.

You may be in charge of vacation rental maintenance yourself, or you may give this checklist to your maintenance staff. Note that while following this vacation rental maintenance checklist can help you to prevent issues from arising or getting too serious, you should also refer to your SOPs when unexpected problems occur.

Weekly maintenance tasks

Monthly maintenance tasks

Annual maintenance tasks


If you want to offer good property management services, then proper vacation rental maintenance must be a key part of your strategy. Put regular cleaning, preventive maintenance, and emergency maintenance systems in place to prevent issues and to allow you to address them quickly when they do.

If you optimize your vacation rental cleaning and maintenance, you may even have the potential to increase your pricing, as guests will be happier and property owners will place a greater value on your services. By following these guidelines, vacation rental maintenance will become one of the easiest parts of your job as a vacation rental manager.

Frequently asked questions about maintenance for vacation rentals

Can you hire vacation rental maintenance services?

Yes, if you are managing a vacation rental remotely, you should definitely look for professional maintenance providers near the property. Mendbnb and FixFlo are both great options. You can also search local Facebook groups to find providers of vacation rental maintenance services where your vacation rentals are located.

How often should you or your maintenance team be checking in on rental properties?

Someone should be checking on a property after every guest. This means that each property must be checked at least once a week. Again, if you manage your property remotely, you can definitely outsource this work.

Weekly checks can even be performed by your housekeeper. Just make sure that they have a checklist and an easy way to communicate with you should they find an issue.

How can you keep guests happy in the event of an issue with their rental property?

In the event of an issue, quick and clear communication is key. Respond to the guest promptly and let them know that you are doing everything that you can to fix the situation. You should also offer solutions to quick fixes in your vacation rental house manual, which will give guests the information they need to avoid issues or be able to address them on their own.

Preview of RueBaRue vacation rental house manual template

Caption: A preview of RueBaRue’s digital vacation rental house manual.

In the meantime, offer them practical solutions that will make them more comfortable while your maintenance team does their work. For example, if the A/C is out, provide your guests with fans and water bottles (something that you could even have stocked at the property in preparation for an incident like this one) until the issue is resolved.

RueBaRue is much more than a guest communication tool. We’re constantly adding new functionalities to our platform to help you streamline your operations – like solving maintenance issues. To see how it works, book a demo now.

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