The must-have vacation rental maintenance checklist

Use this vacation home maintenance checklist to keep your rental in great working order.


“The dishwasher didn’t work our entire stay, and that sort of ruined the trip.”

If you own a short-term rental, you’ve probably gotten a guest review like this before. It’s disappointing, but—thankfully—avoidable.

That’s why vacation rental maintenance is crucial. And as an authority in the vacation rental business, we at Vacasa understand the essentials to keeping your second home running smoothly.

That’s how we know a structured approach to vacation home maintenance is best. In this article, you’ll learn how to create a rental property maintenance checklist, get an inspiring sample vacation rental maintenance checklist, and figure out which vacation rental maintenance services you should outsource.

Creating a vacation rental maintenance checklist

Vacation rentals are just like any other home: people gather in kitchens and on decks, primp in mirrors, and kick back on the couch to enjoy a movie with their loved ones. But unlike a normal house, vacation rentals see heavy use from guests every month—and that means vacation home owners need a solid plan to keep ahead of wear and tear.

Think about a long-term vacation property maintenance plan

Do a property inspection of your vacation home and check the condition of key utilities, like your water heater, HVAC system, and large appliances. Take note of how old these features are, how they’ve been treated over the years, and if any need to be replaced in the near future. Also consider what you’ll need to properly conduct vacation home hot tub maintenance (and be sure to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations).

Schedule any updates ahead of time, and block off your vacation rental calendar accordingly. By being mindful about preventative maintenance to your homes’ core systems, you avoid major breakdowns and can feel more secure about a positive guest experience.

Set attainable goals

Let’s face it, our homes are never-ending projects. But that’s a good thing to remember when taking care of your vacation rental: maintenance is a practice, not a race.

Each month you come in to inspect your rental home, plan to do both short-term repairs and preventive maintenance. And don’t forget to call for help when you need it (more on that later).

Modern vacation rental management.

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Monthly vacation rental maintenance tasks

Reserve some time one per month to take care of these tasks:

☐ Test appliances and confirm they are working properly
☐ Test entertainment systems
☐ Test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
☐ Make sure light fixtures are in good working order
☐ Repair drawers and malfunctioning storage units
☐ Check for holes in walls, spackle, and touch up
☐ Test all doors and locks
☐ Ensure all exit routes are clear of obstructions
☐ Cut lawns and spruce up plants, trees, and shrubs
☐ Check for weather-related issues in gutters, like ice dams, plant build up, and clogs

Bi-annual vacation rental maintenance tasks

Twice per year, check off the chores on this list:

☐ Test all outlets across your rental property
☐ Inspect furniture for damage
☐ Replace furnace and HVAC filters
☐ Inspect windows for sealant issues and damaged screens
☐ Check interior walls for cracks and water damage
☐ For speciality amenities like pool tables, inspect for damage and missing pieces
☐ Clean hood vent in kitchen
☐ Dust hard-to-reach areas, like the tops of cabinets
☐ Deep clean showerheads and faucets
☐ Inspect decking for damage
☐ Clean your home’s eaves, cladding, and exterior trim
☐ Remove any debris and dead plants from yard

Yearly vacation rental maintenance tasks

These once-a-year chores help keep your home looking fresh (and feeling secure):

☐ Check exterior caulk condition and reseal where necessary
☐ Deep clean and repair bathroom and kitchen grout
☐ Inspect sinks, showers, and tubs for worn parts
☐ Fertilize plants and lawns
☐ Inspect roof, foundation, brick pointing, and other structural features
☐ Look for rot and wear to decks and balconies
☐ Inspect weatherstipping on windows and doors for cracks and damage
☐ Clean home exterior and verify paint and trim are in good condition
☐ Inspect outdoor and indoor walkways for trip hazards, including uneven pavement and unmarked steps
☐ Cover gaps underneath decks and in foundations
☐ Remove pool filter, clean each component, and replace cartridge filter elements
☐ Flush hot tub plumbing, inspect cover and wiring
☐ Inspect outdoor A/C system and clean, if necessary

Choosing between a vacation home maintenance service and DIY

If you've only rented long-term before, you're used to making tenants happy, not guests. But if you rent short term, you'll need to start considering the greater number of people who will be coming and going from your vacation rental every week.

Should something go awry, you’ll only have a limited window to repair—and that means you’ll have to choose between DIY and calling in the professionals.

Making repairs in a timely manner is crucial to owning a successful vacation rental. Why? Reviews.

Maintenance issues tend to be a common area of guest complaints. And as we’ve discussed before, reviews matter. So it’s in your home’s—and your bottom line’s—best interest to do everything you can to resolve problems before your next visitors arrive.

3 questions to ask before you DIY

  1. How long will it take for me to address?
    If it means disrupting a guest’s stay, you might want to call in the pros. (A good vacation rental property manager can help you overcome those last-minute issues.)
  2. Is this meant to be a permanent solution or a quick fix?
    If it’s the latter, you can probably cover it yourself—but often it’s worth talking to an expert to find a durable solution later.
  3. Does it put my guests at risk?
    For problems that could adversely impact your guests’ safety, it’s a good idea to bring in people who know what they’re doing (and warn your visitors to avoid the problem area or item in the meantime).

Hire a trusted property management company

Unless you live close by and can commit to customer service 24/7/365, chances are you’re not doing 100% of the work at your vacation rental. Nor should you—it’s an immense job, and it’s best done by a strong local team.

Hiring a vacation rental manager can make it easier for you to rent day-to-day, so you can focus on the things that matter when it comes to maintenance. (We’ve got a few ideas about what makes the perfect property manager—it’s more complicated than you’d think.)

Let's get started

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Call 844-518-0967 to speak with a Homeowner Consultant, who can answer preliminary questions and see if we’d be a good fit for you.

If you'd like to move forward, we’ll put you in touch with our market expert in your neighborhood to explore the financial potential of your home, outline our management fee, and introduce your local team.


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California licenses
Vacasa Seasonals Inc.
California DRE #02160171

Vacation Palm Springs Real Estate, Inc.
California DRE #01523013

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