The Benefit of Shortening Minimum Stay Requirements

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Minimum stay requirements can vary depending on your personal preference, housekeeper availability and comfort level. Many vacation rental property owners opt to have a one-week minimum stay, while others shorten the minimum stay requirement to three or four nights. Having a longer minimum stay cuts down on paperwork, managing inquiries and house cleaning costs, but it could also keep many potential renters from booking your property.

With many travelers spending less on vacations in the past few years, a one-week minimum stay requirement might be too much for some. This is especially true for destinations with higher rental prices, such as cities, beaches or popular ski resort areas. Consider shortening minimum stay requirements temporarily to match renter needs and expectations if you see that renters are shying away from your one-week minimum property rental.

If filling your calendar is a top priority, you may need to shorten your minimum. Offering one, two or three night stays could attract more potential renters looking for a short getaway, or last minute accommodations. While you will need your housekeeper more often, you do not need to offer any special discounts for shorter stays, so you’re actually not loosing much in terms of profit. Make sure that your housekeeper has the flexibility to do more frequent cleanings if you are going to offer shorter-term stays before advertising this option.

In terms of payment for short-term rentals, you may want to require full payment up front, and also rethink your security deposit. Full payments made via credit card are easiest for renters, and easiest for property owners. Most renters will balk at the sight of a $500 security deposit for a 2-night stay of $250, so instead of the security deposit, you can instead opt for a pre-authorization on the renter’s credit card to ensure that you’ll be covered for any potential damages.

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