Friends and Relatives Rental Rules
I'm a huge fan of the trip adviser forum for STJ. One of the regular site experts, RickG, posted a list of rules for setting ground rules for expectations when you travel with other couples, friends or groups to STJ.
Does anyone on this site have similar list of
"Friends and Relatives Rental Rules."
I'm looking for guidance about renting your propety to friends and family. Do you charge them rent? Do you offer a reduced rate? Do you make them sign a contract? Security Deposite?
Elaborate Stories are welcome.
Good rules for traveling with a group of people.
A bit different if it's your home/property.
I'd imagine it would be dependent on how long a stay is for and how close you are to the family members or friends in question.
If I have family or friends visiting for a couple weeks and staying in the vacation rental apt., I just ask that they cover electricity and pay for the maid cleaning at the end. They always rent a vehicle so not dependent on me and my varying schedule and can come and go as they please.
I'll either cook, they'll cook or we'll go out to dinner, depending on how everyone feels.
If I was renting long term, then I'd require the same lease terms and address it the same way I would any other tenant/rental situation.
That way everyone is on the same page and knows what to expect.
It is a transaction so it's best if everything is clarified or things could get sticky with the relationship.
These are our rules:
If you are a product of either my womb or Pete's loins (ie: our three kids and their families), your stay is free, but we do ask that you try to plan to come down off-peak.
If you are a friend or relative and come down while Pete and I are here, your stay is free.
If you are a friend or relative and wish to come down in off-peak months, we will offer a nicely reduced rate.
If you are a friend or relative who wants to come down during peak, you have to pay the same rate as everyone else, with perhaps a free night or something.
We had to do it this way. The second we bought this place, we had people lining up to come down and we had to draw the line somewhere because it was getting ridiculous and we had to make it clear that this was a business for us. I have a few friends who gave me a little side-eye, but whatever. They'll get over it.
ETA: We generally don't make friends/relatives sign an RA. We did have a friend come down on her own this summer - she has a service animal so I did ask for a damage deposit.
Thank you Pammerjo. Elanna33, I appreciate your advice, but we plan to buy a property for a vacation home and for short term rentals. We hope to build equity over time, so we can enjoy it some now and more later.
Our friends are very excited to have a place to visit, but most of the time will be visiting without us there.
I was imagining losing friends and family because we asked them to rest, but in high season, especially, that's significant lost revenue.
Anyone have cautionary tales of friends or relatives who took advantage of your generosity with your villa?
Docasch - we sort of headed it off at the pass and made it clear that this was an investment property and that you had to "pay to play", but we tried not to be jerks about it.
I have a friend whom I've known most of my life. She's an artist. She started to have a go at me about not letting her come down when the condo was empty and not rented. I said "listen, I wouldn't commission you for a piece of work and expect to get it for free - that's your livelihood...this is my retirement." I think she's still a little peeved at me, but I should add that even if I DID let her stay for free, she is the type of person who would call me and complain about A.) Blackouts B.) grey water interruption C.) cost of car rental D.) lack of night life that one can walk to E.) turtle grass in the water F.) my choice of color schemes G.) my choice of appliances H.) Lizards.....etc......you get the point.
Friends sometimes feel that it's their duty to "review" your place verbally and may hold your property to higher standard "because they're just trying to help". No. Thank you, but no. I get plenty of feedback from the PAYING guests. I kinda don't want to hear it from someone who's here on a freebie (Alternatively, strangers have nothing to lose - "we PAID for it...it should be PERFECT" - and will complain out the wazoo. too).
Our renters have all been strangers to us, with the exception of two of Pete's very close work associates. They didn't expect a freebie and were happy when we gave them a free night. They were both great guests and treated our place respectfully, no complaints and great reviews. We've had family/friends come down while we've been here and everyone is very appreciative.
It would be easy with me, if you came up with a bunch of rules, I'd be out. I"m not a big fan of rules and usually don't follow rules real well especially if they are by friends or relatives. I look at it as they either don't trust me or don't really want me coming along. The few times I have traveled with friends and family, it was usually on my tab mostly and I didn't have any set rules and had no issues.
yeah - once people are HERE, there aren't a lot of rules...just the usual - don't smoke inside, no animals (HOA rules) unless it's a service animal, kindly don't remove live things from the sea unless you plan to eat them, no sacrificing small mammals in the bathtub, please respect the neighbors, empty the garbage so we don't get bugs....