The must-have guide to vacation rental maintenance [+ Checklist]

Explore essential maintenance strategies for vacation rentals, from routine checklists to seasonal tasks, and discover the top software solutions to streamline operations and enhance your guest experiences.
Hosting Advice
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April 26, 2024
min read
The must-have guide to vacation rental maintenance [+ Checklist]

Did you know that 92% of guests say cleanliness and property upkeep are the most important factors when booking and staying in a vacation rental? Swiftly followed up by the property adhering to safety regulations.

Whether it’s a broken bed, cupboards falling off the hinges, lingering cigarette smoke, or even (shudder) dirty sheets, the upkeep of your properties has a direct impact on experiences, reviews, and most importantly, bookings.

However, it's not always easy to keep track of what's been checked and when—especially if you have multiple people going in and out for maintenance and cleaning.

In this guide, we'll explore the most important aspects of vacation rental maintenance that directly impact occupancy rates and guest satisfaction, and we'll cover how you can keep track of them. From essential amenities to software options to seasonal checklists, we're sharing everything you need for efficient, reliable property maintenance that enhances your guests' experiences.

Let's get into it.

STR software will enhance your maintenance management

The best maintenance management software integrate seamlessly with PMS and booking platforms, automating turnover scheduling and mid-stay cleans based on your own customized settings. By creating cleaning checklists for cleaners and scheduling repeat maintenance tasks for vendors, the software ensures no task is overlooked and operations run smoothly.

6 benefits of investing in STR software

Still not sure you need STR software? Here are six ways you can improve your property management with the right investment.

  1. Efficiency: Automation streamlines turnover scheduling and task assignment, optimizing resource allocation.
  2. Reliability: Standardized checklists and automated scheduling reduce the risk of missed tasks, ensuring consistent property care.
  3. Scalability: Easily onboard new cleaners and vendors with centralized communication features, adapting to the needs of a growing business.
  4. Real-time updates: Stay informed with instant notifications on task progress and property status, enabling quick responses to guest concerns.
  5. Reporting and analytics: Gain insights into maintenance performance metrics to make data-driven decisions and optimize operations.
  6. Integrated payment processing: Simplify billing processes with built-in payment capabilities for cleaning services and maintenance tasks.

Key features to look for in maintenance management software

Staying on top of maintenance tasks isn't just for your own peace of mind, it's essential for ensuring guest satisfaction and the longevity of your property. Here are the key features to consider when selecting the perfect solution for your vacation rental business.

Automated scheduling

Look for software that offers automated scheduling capabilities, allowing you to easily assign tasks, set deadlines, and track progress without manual intervention. This feature should ensure that maintenance tasks are promptly addressed, minimizing downtime and maximizing guest satisfaction.

Integration capabilities

Choose software that offers integration capabilities with popular property management systems like Minut, accounting software, and communication tools. This should allow for smooth data transfer, real-time updates, and synchronized operations across multiple platforms.

Mobile accessibility

Opt for maintenance management software that offers mobile accessibility, allowing you to manage tasks, track progress, and communicate with guests and/or your team, wherever you are. Mobile access will keep you connected and informed, no matter what.

Customizable checklists

Every vacation rental property has unique maintenance needs. Look for software that offers customizable checklists, allowing you to tailor maintenance tasks to the specific requirements of each property. Customizable checklists ensure that no detail is overlooked, enabling you to maintain your properties to the highest standards.

Inventory management

Find a software that offers robust inventory management features, including item tracking, stock alerts, and reorder reminders. With inventory management, you will always have the necessary resources on hand to address maintenance issues promptly.

Real-time updates

Select software that provides real-time updates on task progress, maintenance requests, and property status. Real-time updates enable you to respond quickly to guest concerns, address issues proactively, and keep stakeholders informed.

Reporting and analytics

Your software needs to offer robust reporting and analytics features, so you can track maintenance trends, analyze performance metrics, and make more informed decisions. Reporting and analytics empower you to optimize resource allocation, reduce costs, and enhance guest satisfaction.

Task prioritization

Not all maintenance tasks are created equal. Select software allows you to categorize tasks based on urgency and importance. Task prioritization ensures that critical issues are addressed promptly, minimizing downtime and maximizing guest satisfaction.

3 STR software options for vacation rental maintenance

1. Breezeway

Breezeway is a comprehensive property care and maintenance platform designed specifically for vacation rental managers. It offers features such as automated scheduling, customizable checklists, and real-time updates.

Breezeway integrates seamlessly with leading property management systems (PMS) and booking platforms, allowing for efficient communication and task management. maintenance workflows, enhance guest satisfaction, and drive business success.

2. Operto Teams

Operto Teams is a maintenance management solution tailored for the hospitality industry, including vacation rentals. Its features include mobile accessibility, centralized communication, and task prioritization to streamline maintenance operations and ensure timely task completion. 

The platform also provides real-time updates and reporting capabilities, allowing property managers to track task progress and performance metrics. 

3. Turno

Turno is a user-friendly maintenance management platform designed to simplify the upkeep of vacation rental properties. It offers automated scheduling, inventory management, and customizable checklists to help property managers keep their properties well-maintained and guest-ready. 

Turno's mobile accessibility allows cleaners and vendors to access task assignments and updates on the go, facilitating efficient communication and task completion. 

💡Pro tip: Take things a step further and prevent increased maintenance costs before they happen, with a noise and smoking monitor like Minut. Integratable with hundreds of other STR software, Minut enables property manages to track occupancy levels, noise levels, detect smoking and track temperature and humidity changes all in real-time. So you can keep your property and guests safe, no matter where you are. 

Maintenance checklist: Routine tasks for every turnover

One of the most important ways to ensure a smooth turnover process and maintain high standards across all your properties is by implementing a comprehensive maintenance checklist. These routine tasks, which can be integrated into your cleaning procedures, serve as a blueprint for your cleaning teams, ensuring that no detail goes unnoticed.

Remember: Consistency is key

By incorporating maintenance checklists into your turnover routine, you establish a systematic approach to property care. This consistency is particularly crucial when managing multiple properties, where cleaning teams may vary from turnover to turnover. 

With a detailed checklist in hand, your cleaners can confidently tackle each task, knowing that they are upholding your brand standards and ensuring guest satisfaction.

Indoor maintenance tasks for each turnover

Here's a breakdown of essential indoor maintenance tasks to include in your turnover checklist:

  • Inspect and replace light bulbs as needed: Proper lighting enhances the guest experience and ensures safety.
  • Look for and report signs of wear and tear or damage: Addressing minor issues promptly prevents them from escalating into larger problems.
  • Ensure that all appliances are functioning correctly: Guests rely on appliances for their comfort and convenience, so thorough testing is essential.
  • Check for leaks under sinks and around toilets: Water damage can cause significant harm to your property if left unchecked.
  • Clean and inspect windows and screens for damage: Clean windows offer guests a clear view and enhance the overall aesthetics of your property.
  • Check locks on doors and windows to ensure they are secure: Safety should always be a top priority for your guests.
  • Inspect furniture for damage and stability: Sturdy and well-maintained furniture contributes to a positive guest experience.
  • Look for signs of smoking: Smoking can leave behind unpleasant odors and damage your property. If you don’t have a real-time cigarette smoke detection monitor, you’ll need to manually check for signs of smoking.
  • Check remote controls for functionality and replace batteries if needed: Small details like functional remote controls can make a big difference in guest satisfaction.
  • Ensure fire extinguishers are accessible and fully charged: Safety equipment should be readily available in case of emergencies.
  • Look for any pest intrusion signs and report if necessary: Pest infestations can quickly escalate if not addressed promptly.

Remember, attention to detail and a proactive approach to maintenance are key factors in maintaining guest satisfaction and protecting your investment in your vacation rental properties.

💡Pro tip: Struggling to monitor noise levels in and around your property? Minut detects parties, smoke and noise levels to keep your property safe and damage-free.  Monitor your property in real-time, wherever you are, with tracking and alerts sent straight to your phone.

Outdoor maintenance tasks for each turnover

If your properties have an exterior, you’ll need a separate checklist. Here are the most important outdoor tasks during a turnover:

  • Inspect and clean the entryway and pathways: A tidy entryway sets the tone for the guest's experience and ensures safe passage.
  • Check outdoor lighting and replace bulbs as needed: Adequate outdoor lighting enhances safety and security for your guests, especially during evening arrivals.
  • Clean and arrange outdoor furniture: Comfortable and well-arranged outdoor seating areas provide guests with opportunities to relax and enjoy the surroundings.
  • Inspect and clean the grill and barbecue area: For properties equipped with outdoor cooking facilities, ensuring cleanliness and functionality is crucial for guest satisfaction.
  • Remove debris and leaves from gutters: Clogged gutters can lead to water damage and compromise the integrity of your property's exterior.
  • Sweep and wash decks and patios: Clean outdoor surfaces contribute to a welcoming outdoor environment and prevent slips and falls.
  • Check the pool area for cleanliness and safety: If your property includes a pool, regular maintenance is essential to ensure cleanliness and safety for guests.

💡Pro tip: Minut’s outdoor noise monitoring feature enables you to keep your outdoor noise levels down, and your neighbors happy. Find out how.

Maintenance checklist: Checks to carry out each month

In addition to routine turnover tasks, monthly maintenance checklists play a crucial role in ensuring the long-term upkeep of your vacation rental properties. 

While many of these tasks can be handled by cleaning teams, others may require the expertise of a maintenance supervisor or gardener. By scheduling these checks months in advance and integrating them into your regular cleaning and maintenance routines, you can stay ahead of potential issues and keep your properties in top condition.

Monthly maintenance tasks

Here's a breakdown of essential monthly maintenance tasks to include in your checklist:

  • Check and replace HVAC filters if necessary: Clean air filters improve air quality and enhance the efficiency of your HVAC system, contributing to guest comfort.
  • Test and replace batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors: Functional smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are vital for guest safety.
  • Deep clean carpets and upholstery to remove stains and odors: Regular cleaning prolongs the lifespan of your carpets and upholstery, ensuring they remain fresh and inviting for guests.
  • Test security systems and alarms to ensure they are functional: Security systems provide peace of mind for both guests and property owners, so regular testing is essential.
  • Check and clean dryer vents to prevent fire hazards: Clogged dryer vents pose a fire risk and reduce the efficiency of your dryer, so regular maintenance is crucial.
  • Inspect plumbing for leaks and clogs in pipes and drains: Early detection of plumbing issues prevents water damage and ensures uninterrupted guest stays.
  • Clean windows thoroughly, including tracks and frames: Clear windows enhance the aesthetic appeal of your property and provide unobstructed views for guests.
  • Maintain garden equipment and outdoor furniture: Well-maintained outdoor spaces contribute to the overall appeal of your property and provide guests with opportunities to enjoy the outdoors.
  • Maintain the pool area, checking chemical levels and cleaning filters: If you your property has a swimming pool, proper pool maintenance ensures a safe and enjoyable swimming experience for guests.
  • Mow and trim the lawn: Neatly manicured lawns enhance curb appeal and create a welcoming outdoor environment for guests to enjoy.

Maintenance checklist: Maintenance tasks by season

Maintaining vacation rental properties involves adapting to seasonal changes and ensuring that your properties are well-prepared for the unique challenges each season brings. 

From deep cleaning after winter to preparing for summer heat, seasonal maintenance checklists help you stay ahead of issues and maintain the comfort and safety of your guests. While many tasks can be handled by your cleaning teams, some may require specialized vendors. Here are the essential maintenance tasks for each season in warm-summer climates:

Spring maintenance

  • Deep clean the interior: Include areas less frequently cleaned during the winter, such as baseboards and behind furniture.
  • Inspect and repair outdoor spaces: Check for any damage caused by winter weather and address any necessary repairs to ensure outdoor areas are safe and inviting.
  • Service the air conditioning system: Prepare for warmer temperatures by ensuring that your AC units are in optimal working condition.
  • Clean gutters and downspouts: Clearing debris prevents water damage and ensures proper drainage during spring showers.
  • Refresh landscaping: Prune overgrown plants, plant new flowers, and mulch garden beds to enhance curb appeal.
  • Hot tub chem check: Ensure the chemical balance of your hot tub is maintained for safe and enjoyable use.

Summer maintenance

  • Maintain the swimming pool: Check chemical balance, clean the pool, and ensure all equipment is functioning properly to provide guests with a refreshing oasis.
  • Touch up exterior paint: Address any areas where paint may have faded or chipped due to sun exposure.
  • Check irrigation systems: Ensure that sprinklers are properly adjusted and watering efficiently to keep landscaping lush and healthy.
  • Implement pest control measures: Warmer temperatures can attract pests, so proactive measures are essential to keep them at bay.
  • Check cooling systems: Regular maintenance of air conditioning units ensures guests stay cool and comfortable during the summer heat.

Fall maintenance

  • Prepare the heating system: Clean or replace filters and run checks to ensure the heating system is ready for winter use.
  • Clean the fireplace and chimney: Clearing debris and soot prevents chimney fires and ensures safe operation during colder months.
  • Seal cracks and gaps in exteriors: Prevent drafts and heat loss by sealing gaps around windows, doors, and other openings.
  • Clean gutters and downspouts: Removing leaves and debris prevents clogging and water damage as winter approaches.
  • Store garden furniture and equipment: Protect outdoor furniture and tools from winter weather by storing them properly.
  • Mold and mildew checks: Addressing moisture issues prevents the growth of mold and mildew, which can thrive in cooler, damper conditions.

Winter maintenance

  • Inspect the roof: Look for damage or leaks that can be exacerbated by snow or ice accumulation.
  • Check pipe insulation: Prevent frozen pipes by ensuring proper insulation and addressing any areas of concern.
  • Winterize the swimming pool: Protect your pool from freezing temperatures by following proper winterization procedures.
  • Check heating systems: Ensure that furnaces and heaters are functioning effectively to keep guests warm and comfortable.
  • Update emergency kits: If your property is in a colder climate, be prepared for winter storms by stocking emergency kits with essentials like flashlights, batteries, and non-perishable food.
  • Mold and mildew checks (again): Monitor moisture levels and address any signs of mold or mildew growth promptly to maintain a healthy indoor environment.

Whether it's preparing for summer fun or winterizing for colder months, proactive maintenance is key to successful property management in warm-summer climates.

💡Pro tip: Be proactive rather than reactive with Minut’s mold-risk detection feature. Monitor the humidity and temperature levels in your properties and receive SMS alerts based on your own set thresholds. 

Streamline vacation rental maintenance and minimize costs with STR software

There’s no need to make maintenance a harder task than it is. Investing in a maintenance software is the easiest, most reliable way to ensure the upkeep of your property and maximize your guest experiences. 

Finding a maintenance software that integrates with a preventative STR software like Minut, ensures you’ll be the first person to know when your property is at risk. From parties to smoking to unnecessary heating bills, Minut keeps you up to date in real-time, so you can minimize any additional maintenance costs in advance. 

Book a demo to discover why Minut is trusted by property managers around the world. We’d love to discuss how we can help you. 

Frequently asked questions about vacation rental maintenance

1. What are the essential maintenance tasks for vacation rental properties?

Essential maintenance tasks for vacation rentals include regular cleaning, inspection of HVAC systems, checking for leaks, maintaining outdoor spaces, and ensuring safety features like smoke detectors are functional.

2. How can I prevent common maintenance issues in my vacation rental?

To prevent common maintenance issues, perform regular inspections, address minor repairs promptly, provide clear guest instructions, and establish preventive maintenance schedules for appliances and systems.

3. What upgrades can enhance the value and appeal of my vacation rental?

Upgrades such as modern appliances, high-speed internet, smart home technology, outdoor amenities like hot tubs or fire pits, and stylish interior design elements can enhance the value and appeal of your vacation rental.