Vacation rentals and COVID-19: Tips to keep people renting your property during a worldwide pandemic
The ongoing worldwide pandemic continues to rage, and many property owners that rent out vacation homes and apartments are realizing that there are some unique challenges in this endeavor according to one Central Florida real estate lawyer.
The outbreak of COVID-19 poses some risks to renters that the property owner should be aware of in order to keep his or her renters or guests safe and healthy during their stay.
It is important that your current and prospective vacation home/unit renters feel confident that proper precautions against the spread of this contagious virus have been taken and that such precautions meet the current CDC health and safety guidelines.
There are some common sense COVID-19 infection control protocols that should be implemented to keep guest exposure rates down. These steps involve taking some extra precautions and implementing some additional cleaning regimens that should be followed in-between guest stays to help keep everyone safe.
Below are some practical tips that you may find helpful in combatting the spread of the COVID-19 virus:
Keeping It Clean
Every property owner who intends to rent out rooms, homes or other rentals during the COVID-19 pandemic should thoroughly clean and sanitize surfaces, linens and other items in between guest stays. Per CDC guidelines and recommendations, the property owner should ensure that the cleaning agent being used to clean and disinfect any surfaces, linens or other items is effective in lowering the risk of spreading infection associated with the COVID-19 virus.
Use gloves when cleaning, and then wash hands thoroughly, for at least 20 seconds with soap and water, afterwards to prevent yourself or your cleanup crew from getting the virus on their hands then transferring it to their face, more specifically, the eyes, nose and mouth.
The COVID-19 virus is thought to live about 3 hours in the air, so it is recommended that the property owner wait at least 3 hours before doing any in-between guest stay cleaning and disinfecting within the property. Pay close attention to thoroughly cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched items, such as doorknobs, handles, countertops, toilet flush handles, faucets and light switches. Also, thoroughly clean and disinfect TV and other device remotes. As an additional precaution, leave disinfectant cleaners on the surface for 3 to 5 minutes before wiping the surface clean.
To ensure guest safety, follow all safety and infection control recommendations and mandates from the CDC and from the local health department. It is also important to note that that bed linens and towels are considered a source of contamination and should be cleaned regularly.
Always wash any bed linens and towels in water hot enough to kill bacteria and germs and use a sanitizing agent in the washing machine. If available, use the sanitize setting on the washing machine. Dry any bed linens and towels thoroughly and put out extra towels and washcloths to avoid the sharing of towels between guests during their stay on the property.
Provide Details About the Local Area/Restrictions
Prior to guest arrival, the property manager should alert the guests of any health or safety related restrictions in the local region. A Central Florida real estate attorney suggests that guests be screened for possible illness and the guests should be informed of any mask or other health mandates currently in place. It is also helpful to alert guests if certain nearby food venues or tourist sites are open and whether those venues and sites require the use of masks or the adherence to any existing health mandates.
Include Things Within the Property to Do
If nearby entertainment venues close due to COVID-19, it is important to have some alternate entertainment options available to the guests. Some of those alternate entertainment options may include entertainment options within the actual rental unit. These options could include the provision of some gaming systems, board-games, a pool table or other forms of entertainment options.
One experienced Central Florida real estate lawyer urges property owners to be patient during this difficult time. It is essential to ensure that your guests and staff remain healthy and safe. Many property owners are addressing this by waiving deposits or offering cancellations without any penalties to the guests. Happy guests are more likely to be repeat guests.
For legal assistance regarding property rentals during the COVID-19 crisis, contact a friendly law firm in Orlando to speak with any of the attorneys at Nishad Khan P.L., or visit https://nishadkhanlaw.com.