Vacation Rental Agreement Form

Vacation rental agreement forms are very similar to a rental lease agreement, except they have very specific terms and clauses needed to addresses the uniqueness of these very short term rental situations.

TIP: Be careful if you're just starting off in renting your property short term. Short term and vacation rentals are subject to tax according to the IRS. Here's a helpful article on the IRS rules surrounding tax and vacation rentals.

To offset the tax you owe the IRS, consider adding that tenants are charged tax, and include it on your vacation rental agreement form as a separate fee. By showing it as a separate fee, it will create a much easier way for you to keep track of the money you owe to the IRS.

What you'll need to complete a Vacation Rental Agreement Form:

  • Legal names of all guests
  • Start day
  • End day
  • Rate per day
  • Total charge
  • Tax
  • Method of payment
  • Security Deposit amount
  • Security Deposit due date
  • Pet info (if you are allowing pets): how many pets, breed/age of each

Important things to include in your Vacation Rental Agreement Form:

  • Applicable rules to the governing condo/community like parking restrictions, gate access code information, noise, pets (must always use leash? always clean up after?)
  • What you are offering:  how many beds and size of each, use of pool/hot tub or is it prohibited, free wifi and code if yes, how many TVs and if offering cable/DirecTV, how many parking spots, are you offering basic toiletries, are you offering full kitchen use and providing utensils and pots, pans, dishes, are you offering towels, sheets and blankets for each bed.
  • Short term rentals are usually subject to sales tax. Make sure to outline this charge for your tenants so they understand what they are paying for

Helpful tip: do NOT accept payment without first having a signed agreement by the prospective tenant! They must read through and agree with your terms first.

Give as much information as you can in the form so your guests don't claim to be unhappy from lack of knowledge later on. Manage their expectations, and you'll end up with a good short term tenancy. 

Tip: THERE ARE MANY, MANY SCAMS RIGHT NOW TARGETING SHORT TERM AND VACATION RENTALS. BE VERY CAREFUL TO USE A SYSTEM OF CHECKS AND BALANCES WHEN BOTH ADVERTISING YOUR RENTA, AND TAKING PAYMENTS. It's usually best to use a system like Airbnb that already has security systems in place to help protect your business efforts.

Some of these scams are sophisticated, and are hard to identify until it's too late. If ANYTHING sounds "phishy"... it most likely IS trouble.