We at Owner Direct Vacation Rentals are all about building the connection between hosts and guests. One thing is for sure: the global vacation rental community is built on honor, respect, and open communication between parties. So support your hosts by being a good guest—it’s good for everybody!

Without getting too nasty, here are a few things to avoid doing as a renter—you’ll be welcomed back to that special place season after season!

Don't Make These 6 Mistakes At Your Vacation Rental

1. Not Reading the Rules…

Photo: Wikimedia

Remember, every host is entitled to set their own rules of engagement (after all, it’s their house)—and a ton of stress and confusion can be successfully avoided by simply, you guessed it, reading the rules. And please, if you don’t understand something or have an additional question, reach out and confirm the answer before booking, or as far out from your trip date as possible if you have already booked. Of course, reading the rules alone won’t cut it, you actually have to abide by them.

2. Rearranging The Furniture (And Leaving It That Way!)

Photo: Wikimedia

This one comes from TripAdvisor Cape Cod Forum; courtesy of member PleasantForestShores out of South Chatham, Massachusetts—and sits near the top of the list. This would have to be one of the most discouraging things to find when checking up on the place after a guest has stayed there... I can feel my lower back acting up just thinking about putting everything back in place by myself. Seriously, when is this ever “ok?” In fact, even if you do intend to put it back afterwards—because of the risk of scratching the walls and/or floor, and/or damaging the furniture itself, I would steer away from making big changes to the furniture layout altogether (even if you do put it back afterwards.)

3. Leaving Food Behind (From the Fridge or Elsewhere)

Photo by Jason Rogers on Flickr.

Generally, leftover food is a big no-no. However, if it’s something of a staple, such as a condiment bottle left in the fridge, that might be okay. In our research, hosts seem to be split on this policy—so be sure to check before assuming. But please… never, ever leave old takeout in the fridge or half-eaten bags of chips lying about! That’s just plain rude.

4. Over-Cleaning (Yes, It’s A Real Thing)


Photo: freestockphotos

Here’s the thing. A lot of owners spend good money on cleaning services, and they generally aren’t out to make guests clean everything to the nth degree. They usually expect things to be more or less left in the state they were found, but not necessarily scrubbed and sanitized. This is because they legitimately want guests to enjoy their vacation time, and not spend the last half day or more of their trip on their hands and knees scrubbing toilets and floors.

5. Not Leaving a Positive Review

Photo: Golden Snub-nosed Monkeys, Qinling Mountains - China by Giovanni Mari

Assuming the stay was pleasant and all the terms were honored, why not take the time to leave a positive review? Reviews are practically the lifeblood of VR property listings, and your host will be very thankful for it. Not leaving one is just rude. Want to be a super-guest? Leave a review on multiple sites instead of just one.

The photo above is of two Snub-nosed Monkeys; it’s a reminder not to “snub” the host by not leaving a kind review. It’s also a reminder to not make the monkeys sad—leave a review. :-)

6. Leaving A Bad Review Without Talking to the Owner/Manager First

Photo: It’s Sabotage by Dustin Gaffke on Flickr.

This is different from the last point. Here, you had an issue with your stay, and then go out of your way to preemptively write a bad review before properly working the issue out with your host. It’s so important to recognize how important reviews are to this industry, and just helpful or damaging a review can be to a person’s livelihood. As one private individual to another (these are not “faceless corporations” after all), give the host the benefit of the doubt before doing a karate chop to someone’s business. We all have bad days, and sometimes there are extenuating circumstances that are at play. What if the owner just had a death in the family, or is suffering from a bad cold, etc., etc. If something is wrong, take the time to discuss it politely with the owner. They are aware of the power of reviews, so it’s always in their best interest to work it out and leave you a satisfied guest.

This article was written by our partners at Owner Direct.