Have you decided to rent out your property for short term or holiday rentals? If so, before renting your property, you will need to have an agreement between you and your guests. Unlike long-term residential property agreements, you don’t need to comply with your state’s residential tenancy legislation. Consequently, you have more freedom regarding what terms and conditions you impose on your guests.

Having a clear and comprehensively drafted holiday rental agreement ensures that both you and your guests understand your obligations. This will in turn help to reduce any disputes that may arise regarding the property. So what should you include in your agreement?

1. The Who, What, When, Where and Why

Your holiday rental agreement will need to include:

  • Who your guest is,
  • How many people will be staying, and
  • How many people will the property accommodate,

Will you allow children and if so, is your property suitable? If you prohibit children from staying, however, you may also be restricting the potential guests who may wish to rent the property.Will you allow pets?

What date will your guest be staying? It is important to not only include booking dates but also, check in and out times. Your agreement may also address a penalty for overstay as this will hinder your ability to prepare the property for the next guest.

Where is the property located? Although this may seem obvious, it is necessary that your agreement is specific with regards to the property you are renting.

What activities will be prohibited, if any? For instance, many short term rental properties prohibit guests using the property to hold parties. Clearly outlining these requirements at the outset of your relationship with your guest will help protect not only your investment but your relationship with your neighbours.

Your holiday rental agreement should set out the rental fees for the property. It should also include whether or not a deposit is required and when it must be paid to secure the booking.

2. Bond

It is sensible to charge your guests a security bond. Unlike long-term rental agreements, there is no requirement that you deposit the bond with your State’s rental bond board and how you determine the security bond is unregulated. The agreement should set out what the security bond will cover such as additional cleaning, repairs or a penalty for overstaying the booking.

3. Changes and Cancellation of Booking

Inevitably, guests will change their minds or cancel bookings. The agreement should then specify if and on what conditions a guest can cancel or change a booking, and any applicable penalties. Commonly, a deposit will be refundable to the guest if the property can be re-let.

You should also include under what circumstances you may need to cancel the booking. For example, the property is damaged, or you sell it. The agreement should also cover the deposit and bodn’s return, as well as any costs you will be liable.

Conclusion

We have outlined just some of the provisions we encourage you to include in your holiday rental agreement. You should address these issues along with standard contract clauses covering the application of the Australian Consumer Law, jurisdiction, assignment, liability and confidentiality to name just a few.

Should you have any questions, or need any assistance drafting your holiday rental agreement, please get in touch. One of LegalVision’s experienced contract lawyers would be delighted to help!

Nicole Wilson

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