Vacation Rental Welcome Book Template

rocky 12/30/2019

What to Include in a Welcome Book for Your Vacation Rental

When deciding to rent out your property, there is one thing that is crucial for your guests to have, a Welcome Book! Your Welcome Book will inform all of the guests of the house rules and what is available to them during their stay. It will also give them specific instructions on how to check out and how to contact you if they have any questions. Want you, guests, to be prepared and know what to expect?! Then make sure to send them the Welcome Book before their stay. Additionally, you should have a copy of the property as well, so guests can quickly reference it. You should also think about having a copy in the property so guests can quickly reference it.

There are a lot of things you should consider including in your Welcome Book, but how will you know exactly what you want your guests to know? Below are examples of the different sections of a Welcome Book that you can help inspire on how you want to write yours!

Welcome Home

To start your Welcome Book off, provide a sincere message to your guests about how excited you are for them to stay at your property. Since you aren’t going to be there in person to welcome them, you need to make them feel at home through your words. You want to make it short and sweet to make them want to continue to read on to all of the rules. Here is a sample of what you could say!

"We are very excited to have you stay at our property. We want you to have the best stay with us. Please feel free to contact me if you have any concerns or questions before and during your stay. We will help you in every way we can, so you enjoy your visit that much more.
Thank you for taking the time to read the Welcome Book before your stay, so that you can see all of the helpful information that is necessary for your visit."

Table of Contents Example

To make it easier for your guests to quickly find what they are looking for, include a table of contents! You don’t want your guests to get frustrated, trying to find the information they need. They are trying to relax on vacation after all! Include page numbers to make as easy as possible for them by include page numbers too.

"Table of Contents

Pictures of the Property
What’s in My Kitchen?
Laundry Room Essentials
How to Adjust Thermostat
Home WiFi
TV guide
Home Audio System
Noise Pollution
Pool and Backyard Accessories
Number of Guests
Cars and Parking
Is Smoking Allowed?
Are Pets Allowed during my stay?
Close the Doors
Property Damages
Reporting any issues
Checking out
Contact information
In Case of Emergency"

Pictures of the Property

Get your guests excited for their stay by including pictures of the key features at your property!

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What’s in my kitchen?

The kitchen is one of the focal points of your house. It's the place where everyone congregates to eat, drink, cook, talk, etc. You want your guests to easily be able to use and know where all the available appliances are. Imagine if you wake up in the morning and go to get coffee in the kitchen, but you don’t know where to find or how to use the coffee machine. You would be starting your morning off in frustration, and you don’t want that for your guests!

"The Kitchen is open for whatever you need to make! It is stocked with dishes, silverware, glasses, cooking pans, coffee maker, and other utensils can be found in the cabinets. Want to cook dinner at home? Don’t worry, we provide the necessary spices and cooking oils for any typical meal.
If you need something to drink, the refrigerator will dispense filtered water and ice on the front door of the fridge. When you need to clean your dishes, there are dishwasher pods below the kitchen sink. You will only need to run the dishwasher on a normal cycle."

Laundry Room Essentials

If you give your guests access to the laundry room, make sure to let them know what they are allowed to use and where to find it! There is always at least one person who spills something on themselves and needs to get it out before it stains. All washers and dryers are very different, so tell your guests how to use them! It will keep your guests from destroying their clothes and even your machines! Even though you include these in your Welcome Book, a pro tip would be to have the instructions in the laundry room as well.

"We provide a washer and dryer located in the room attached to the kitchen. You will be able to find all of the laundry supplies in the cabinets located above the washer machine.
To operate the washer, turn the knob to the cycle preferred and hold the start button down until the washer drum begins to move. This will be the same process for the dryer, but don’t forget to clean out the lint trap. Please don’t wash the sheets unless you feel like it is necessary during your stay. If you decide that you need to please tumble dry the sheets, so they do not get damaged."

How to Adjust Thermostat

Everyone has a different preference for what temperature is comfortable for them. You don’t want your guests' teeth chattering or dripping sweat while they are trying to relax on vacation. Tell your guests how to use the thermostat to make their stay more enjoyable. Just like the washer and dryer, all thermostats are different and will need to be explained. If you don’t let them know how it works, it can leave your guests frustrated will still freezing or sweltering hot.

"We have a smart thermostat to keep the property comfortable during your stay. It is automatically set to the perfect temperature. You may adjust the temperature within the temperature range during your visit. If you want to change the temperature that is not within the allowed range, please contact us, and we can help you adjust it. The Thermostat is located in the main living room by the staircase. There you can turn the knob to the desired temperature."

Home WiFi

WiFi is the first thing that guests look for upon arrival is the WiFi password. You want to make the Network Name and the Password something that the guests can remember. For the Network Name, you want to make it the name of the property or the address. For the WiFi password, you can have fun with this as long it is super simple for the guests to remember. In your Welcome Book, this section should be bolded to draw the readers' attention. Below is an example:

"You will have access to free WiFi during your stay.
Network Name: The Property
Password: enjoyyourstay"

TV guide

Have you ever looked at a remote and couldn’t figure out how to find the channels you want? This section is guaranteed to keep your guests from being confused. The more buttons that are on the remote, the more you should explain which buttons will be the best for them to use. If you have a smart tv, let your guests know that they can log in and use whichever streaming service they have. Another good idea is to label all of the remotes, so the guests don’t get them all switched up.

"All TV’s in the house are smart TV’s. You will be able to login to any of your streaming services, so you can watch the shows you want to watch. We have Netflix, Hulu, HBO NOW, Amazon Prime, and Disney+ already downloaded to the TVs. If you want to download any other streaming services that you have accounts with, please feel free to do so!
All TV’s have universal remotes with the names of the TV’s they belong. For example, the remote for the downstairs living room will say, “Downstair Living Room” on the back."

Home Audio System

Do you have speakers that go throughout your property? Make it known that they are allowed to use them and how to get them to work. If you want to protect your guests from the consequences of loud noise established by the city’s noise ordinance, make your guests aware of the laws.

"To access the house speakers, you will need to turn on the TV and go to “Source” then the one labeled “Music” from there you can select your music. We want you to enjoy any music you wish. You can play the same audio within all of the rooms, or you can have each room set up with different songs.
If you decide to play any music through the outdoor speakers, remember that that city will fine you if you go over the specified noise levels at that time. The fine can be anywhere from $250-$1000 depending on the levels of noise. If this happens, you will be evicted without a refund and obligated to pay the fine given by the city."

Noise Pollution

When you have a smart home device installed at your property, you want to inform your guests what they are for and how they are there to help. To keep your guests from disturbing the neighbors or causing damages to the property, get a Noise Monitoring Sensor! Tell the guests where they can expect to see the device and ease your guest's minds by informing them how the Sensors work and that they are 100% privacy safe. Make them aware of the consequences that come with violating the noise ordinances. You want them to know that you are serious. Be up to date on the vacation rental regulations in your area. Below is an excellent example of what you can include in your Welcome Book when talking about noise pollution.

"This property is not a party house. Keep the music and noise indoors at a reasonable level (rule of thumb: you should not be able to hear any music or noise from the property line). Music absolutely cannot be played outdoors or played from indoors with the doors/windows open.
Please be respectful and mindful of our lovely neighbors, and enforce quiet time from 10 pm (night) to 10 am (morning). Please limit outdoor activity during this time.
To preserve the peace and quiet that makes our property such a relaxing and unique place, the City enforces an Ordinance that prohibits the use of outdoor music of any kind in vacation rental homes. Playing music from indoors and leaving the doors or windows open is not permitted. Music or noise heard from the property line is also a violation of the Ordinance. We will respond to any complaints from neighbors or the City regarding noise levels. Anyone found to be violating noise ordinances will be subject to and responsible for fines by the City (usually $500 and $1,000), immediate eviction, and an additional $250 eviction fee.
We have noise monitoring systems installed inside the home, as well as in the backyard. Please note these devices do not record audio of any kind but do notify us when high noise levels are reached."

Pool and Backyard Accessories

If you have a backyard at the property, you want to tell your guests what is available for them to use. If you have anything that can lead to harm, you want to let your guests know that they are responsible for themselves, if they decide to use any potentially damaging activities. If you have an outdoor cooking area with a grill, you want to give specific instructions on how to properly turn the grill on and off. No one wants to burn their eyebrows off when they are trying to relax. Having a pool in the backyard can be a huge liability. You want to have a wavier of liability included in the Welcome Book. This section is essential if you don’t want your guests to blame you for not informing them of the dangers of pools. Pool rules can seem obvious, but you don’t want to risk someone’s life by being lazy.

"The property does have an outdoor kitchen with a grill. You are welcome to use our gas grill, as long as no children are operating it. When using the grill, make sure you turn off the gas after you are done cooking. Make sure that any children are not within 5 feet of the grill. When renting the property and using the grill, you are agreeing to the rules stated and will take full responsibility for any injuries or damages that may occur. You can waive a claim or hold the owner accountable for any accidents or injuries that occur when using the grill.
Please keep the outdoor furniture in their original spots. There are pool rafts located on the cabinets next to the outdoor kitchen area that is available for your use.
When you reserve this property, all guests agree to the pool rules and pool waiver that is stated below:
1. Since there is no lifeguard on duty, you are swimming at your own risk
2. Children all only allowed to swim in the pool if an adult is present and has constant supervision over the children
3. No running around the pool
4. No roughhousing in or around the pool
5. No swimming at night or in storms
6. No eating or drinking in the pool
7. No glass near the pool
8. Keep gates to the backyard locked at all times
Waiver of liability: You understand that you are at your own risk when using the pool. You will full accept any responsibility for any harm caused when using the pool and will not hold the property owner responsible. You fully understand all of the dangers that come with children using the pool when not adequately supervised by an adult. There are added dangers for people who use the pool when they have health problems, intoxicated, using drugs or any medicines, or if you are pregnant. By renting out this property, you have agreed to inform all of your guests about the pool rules and potential dangers of using the pool and will be solely held responsible for any accidents that occur with your guests. You agree to waive any claim against the owner for accidents you or your guest have when using the pool."

Number of Guests

Even though the guests know how many people are allowed when they initially book the property, we recommend you to state how many people are allowed at the property during their stay. No one wants guests inviting a bunch of people and throwing a crazy party. Hopefully, you can deter your guests from bringing more people than the home is intended. Again, to let them know you mean business, specify the immediate consequences. If you do end up having to take action, you can have them to refer back to the Welcome Book to say it was in the rules.

"We accommodate six guests comfortably. To rent the property, you must provide a government registered ID that states you are over 25 years old.
If you are planning on having other people over during your stay, it must not exceed ten people. If you do exceed ten people, you are subjected to immediate eviction."

Cars & Parking

Most cities have laws about parking and how vacation/short-term rentals are allowed to have their guests park. Did you know that parking is one of the top three issues associated with banning STRs?! Tell your guests where they are allowed to park, so you don’t have to worry about their car disturbing the neighbors. The worst-case scenario would be if your guests got towed or ticketed, and then the city gives your property a violation. That is a lose-lose situation. To keep it a win-win situation, include this section in your Welcome Book.

"You can have up to four vehicles parked at the property. All of the vehicles must be within the driveway, not on the street. If these rules are not followed, the City can issue a violation to the property, which will cause immediate eviction.
We are firmly against drinking and driving. If you need a ride, please use Uber or Lyft and be safe!"

Is Smoking Allowed?

If you don’t want people smoking inside your house, you need to state it explicitly. If you allow them to smoke outback, then give them that option. Otherwise, you could have a home that lingers with smoke. To make it easier for yourself or the cleaning team after your guests' departure, make sure to provide ashtrays so that you don't have to pick up a bunch of cigarette butts.

"We are a drug-free, smoking-free property. If you need to smoke, then you will have to go outside and dispose of the cigarettes properly."

Are Pets Allowed during my stay?

Again, like the section about smoking, people will bring their pets if you don’t say anything about them. If your property allows pets, that is great! Include the specific rules that the pet owners should follow if their pets come with them. If your property isn’t equipped for pets, you want to sympathize and inform the guests about the consequences of their actions.

"We, unfortunately, do not allow any pets at the property. If there is a pet found, it will result in immediate eviction."

Close the Doors

Sometimes the most common sense things need to be stated. If you are trying to save energy and not have your house infested with bugs, you need to make it crystal clear that the doors shouldn’t be left open for long periods of time. I know it seems dumb, but when the weather outside feels delightful, people tend to open the windows to let fresh air in and forget to close them for hours at a time.

"Please do not leave doors and windows open. We want to help keep any bugs out and conserve energy as much as we can."

Property Damages

To protect your bank account from having to dish out money for damages, your guests are responsible for include a few sentences about property damages. This section is the only financial protection that holds guests accountable. You want to clearly and explicitly state what will happen when there are damages to the property. If you forget to cover your bases in this section, you could end up paying for the damages. The more specific, the better!

"If something happens where damages have occurred, we would love it if you let us know as soon as possible so that we can get it replaced or repaired promptly. By renting this property, you will agree to replace or repair anything you or your guests' damage during your stay. Examples can include stains that can not be removed after multiple attempts, broken furniture, taken kitchen items, broken windows or doors, etc. Any items that will need to be replaced will be replaced with the same thing or equivalent at the original items price."

Reporting any issues

You want your guests to let you know of anything that happens at your property before or during their stay. You don’t want your guests to refuse to pay for damages that they didn’t cause, and you don’t want to be duped for damages that they did cause, but claimed were already there! By having them do a sweep as soon as they get there, the problem can be solved promptly.

"When you first check into the property, do a full sweep of the house, inside and out, to identify any problems. We request that you report any issues to us as soon as you arrive so that we can troubleshoot the problem and get it resolved during your stay. If you decide to report any issues after 5 pm, we will do everything in our power to get it fixed, but can not fully promise that it settled until the next day."

Checkout Instruction

Checklist are the best! If you write out in a paragraph about the different items that the guests should complete before leaving, there will be some that are overlooked. Providing a checklist will make it effortless for the guests to go down the list and complete all tasks. You want their last experience with your guests to be pleasant, rather than having then pay more money for not properly checking out.

"If you leave the house a mess, where our house cleaners will need more time to clean, you will be charged the additional cleaning fee, depending on how much longer they need. We ask that you are out of the property no later than 11 am, so the maids are not delayed in their cleaning process.
Here is a checklist of everything that needs to be done:
1. Leave everything the way that you found it during check-in
2. You can go the sheets and towels where they are so that our maids can quickly find them
3. Deflate any water rafts that were used
4. Take all trash to the garbage bins
5. Put all dirty dished in the dishwasher and run it through a normal cycle
6. Make sure all doors and windows are locked
7. Send a quick message to us letting us know that you are checked out on time
Please take all trash out to the garbage bin located on the driveway. Do not leave bags of trash on the side of the road, or you can be subjected to a fine of $100 by the City."

Contact Information

You want to let your guest know when the best times to contact you. You don’t want your guests waiting around by the phone and not hearing from you for hours after they have already moved past the situation. You want to give them the best way to get in contact with you, whether that is a phone call, text message, or email. Specifically, state which one you are most likely to respond to the quickest!

"We thank you for choosing our property to stay at during your trip. We hope you have an enjoyable time and don't hesitate to contact us if you have any questions. We want you to have the best experience possible.
Best way to contact us (text or call):
Phone: 555-555-5555
Other ways to contact us:
Email: theproperty@rentals.com"

In Case of Emergency

Above we stated that the property damages section is one of the most important ones to include for your safety, but the In Case of Emergency section is by far the most critical section for guest's safety. You want to add any pertinent information for the local emergency numbers and hospitals. Below is a general example, but if there is anything else that you believe would benefit your guest in a situation of emergency, feel free to add! The more information here, the better!

"If you have an emergency, please call 911.
Poison Control Number: 111-111-1111
Our Address: 1234 Street, Dallas TX 54321
Best exits out of the property: Front and Back Doors
First Aid Kit: In each bathroom under the sinks
Fire Extinguisher: Under the kitchen sink.
Closest hospital: Medical Center
Address: 9111 Emergency Way, Dallas TX 54321
Phone Number: 911-911-9111
We are a text or phone call away if you need us! (555-555-5555)"


Another great tip is to add the local attractions as well as food recommendations to your Welcome Book. Include the best spots to grab coffee/breakfast, brunch, lunch, and dinner! Given them the name, location, and a blurb about what they should try it! Provide them with the best bars to go to for a fun night out on the town! Out down all the must-see local attraction they should see or any day trips they should look into. If your city or town has anything extremely unique that they should do before they leave, make it known! Your guests will appreciate you telling them, as a local, what is the best thing to do.

Every Welcome Book should be tailored to that specific property. By having the manual available to guests, it will cut down on questions and make it a more enjoyable trip for them. Take a reasonable amount of time, making sure you covered all of your bases so your guests will know what to expect upon arrival.

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