Essential Maintenance Tips for Short-Term Rental Property Managers

Property Manager Tips
Essential Maintenance Tips for Short-Term Rental Property Managers

Successful short-term vacation rental managers pay near-constant attention to their properties. Whether they perform maintenance themselves or rely on outside vendors, managers must be aware of every aspect and issue that affects their rental units and income.

One of the most effective, proven ways to keep vacation homes in top shape is to use a rental maintenance checklist. A well-built maintenance list, broken down by time and functionality, keeps managers on schedule and addresses every potential situation. It can slow down the process of wear and tear and help rental properties maintain usefulness longer.

Property Management Maintenance Checklist

Although every rental unit has different features and issues, a few action items are more important to check as soon as possible. For example, it’s important to make frequent checks on smoke detectors and security systems to stay safe and compliant. Testing kitchen appliances that typically aren’t prone to breakdown should still occur, but not as often.

Organization is an important part of keeping a rental maintenance checklist, and you can use whatever methods you prefer to stay on schedule. We’ve provided a sample for managers to consider, along with some vacation rental maintenance advice to make your properties more attractive and valuable.

Indoor Maintenance Checklists

Making accommodations comfortable and operational is a priority for vacation rental managers. Here are some duties to perform at different stages.


These operations can happen soon after guests check out, but they should at least be done weekly.

  • Check for missing or broken items, sink and drain leaks, light switch issues, and pest infestations
  • Run faucets to check water pressure and temperature
  • Do “empty” dishwasher and washing machine runs
  • Check Wi-Fi speed and entertainment center functionality
  • Ensure the pilot light is lit for gas fireplaces and stoves
  • Clear stairways, passages, and exit routes of blocks and hazards
  • Check amenities for children, pets, and disabled persons (high chairs, guard rails, etc.)

Other weekly responsibilities may include checking dining utensils, toilets, and garbage disposals and making sure a backup key is safely in place.


Your property management maintenance checklist should include these monthly checkups:

  • Check fire extinguishers, smoke detectors, and security systems
  • Check bed frames, mattresses, bedding, and furniture for wear, tear, or sagging
  • Check door hinges, handles, curtains, blinds, windows, and screen doors for damage
  • Check thermostat settings, air conditioning, and heating systems
  • Check all rooms for signs of water damage and mold
  • Check bathtubs, showers, and shower heads for mildew and grout issues
  • Check fireplaces and ensure the flues are clean

You may also check amenities like pool tables or games, water filters, and storage units.


Vacation rental maintenance advice steps to heed every quarter include:

  • Check HVAC air filters, furnaces, sump pumps, and kitchen hood vent filters
  • Check when safety devices were last repaired or replaced
  • Test power outlets
  • Inspect walls and ceilings for structural damage

You can also check appliances and utilities for proper functioning and efficiency.


Make these checks and repairs every year:

  • Flush out water heaters, bleed radiators, and clean out sinks and drains
  • Inspect the foundation for damage
  • Inspect sinks, bathtubs, and showers for wear and tear
  • Inspect window and door insulation for cracks and damage
  • Replace batteries on remotes and clocks
  • Touch up interior painting and polish floors
  • Prepare pipes for freezing winter temperatures (in the fall)

This is also a good time to check rental insurance policies to make sure they’re up to date.

Outdoor Maintenance Checklists

Here are some outdoor structures and features to keep tabs on.


Make these regular outdoor checkups every seven days:

  • Clean yards of debris, weeds, and falling branches (especially near power lines)
  • Check doors, locks, smart locks, motion detectors, and security cams
  • Check common areas, stairs, passageways, and entries for tripping hazards
  • Check for signs of pest infestation
  • Clean and treat hot tubs and check pools for pH and chlorine levels

It’s also good to water plants and trees every week.


Checkups to be performed every month include the following:

  • Finish yard work (mowing lawns, pruning trees and shrubs, pulling weeds, etc.)
  • Check for water issues, leaks, or damage in gutters, drains, and carports
  • Check exterior walls and pavement for structural issues
  • Run irrigation to disclose leaks
  • Check for animal holes in the ground or lawn
  • Clean fixtures like barbecue grills and pool and hot tub filters

You may also want to check safety railings and accessibility features like gates and doors.


These jobs are suited for quarterly checkups:

  • Inspect woodwork and deck for damage, rot, wear, and tear
  • Check driveway and pathways for cracks or holes
  • Fertilize lawns and plants
  • Determine when the septic system was checked last and pump it out as needed

It’s also beneficial to touch up outdoor areas that need paint every quarter.


Review these outdoor features and fixtures once a year.

  • Check outside walls, roof, foundation, and other structures for damage
  • Pressure-wash and repaint outside walls
  • Empty, clean, and refill pools and hot tubs (and check hot tub for plumbing and wiring)
  • Check external caulking and reseal if needed

Remember to carry out gardening needs every year, such as pruning trees in winter and planting in spring.

Vacation Rental Maintenance Advice and Mistakes to Avoid

There are a few common mishaps that may occur in vacation rental checking. Here are some pitfalls to avoid:

  • Not having your maintenance system documented and installed
  • Not taking care of repair matters immediately — don’t procrastinate due to money or time issues
  • Getting trapped by a strict schedule — if your property just endured a weather event, inspect it now instead of at its next slated time
  • Ignoring guests’ feedback and reviews
  • Not respecting your contractors for yard work, repairs, and cleaning – pay and treat them well
  • Not setting clear guidelines and boundaries for guest behavior and usage

Most importantly, install clear communications between you, your employees, and your guests to ensure that their concerns are being addressed.

Your property’s rental maintenance checklist can include all or some of the suggestions above. On the other hand, your rental property may have unique issues that we haven’t covered in this post. Use these checklists as a guide for adding your own ideas later.

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Grace is the Chief of Staff at Safely and a licensed insurance agent. She began her journey at the company over a year ago in the Customer Happiness department, where she learned the ins and outs of the customer experience, getting to know Safely’s customer base and exploring Safely’s value proposition in the market. Grace was asked to step into the Chief of Staff role in 2023 and spends her time working on company-wide initiatives including investor relations, compliance, and expansion. Outside of working hours, you can find her trying new restaurants with her husband, walking her dog along the river, and exploring the city of Atlanta.

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