Top 6 Ways to Protect Your Vacation Rental from Unauthorized Parties

Top 6 Ways to Protect Your Vacation Rental from Unauthorized Parties

Parties are fun for guests but they can be a real nightmare for property management companies and homeowners. When parties get out of hand, they can cause damage to your vacation rental, often leaving hosts and managers scrambling to clean up, repair, and bill guests. Damage costs can quickly add up, not to mention the nice gift baskets you will have to send the neighbors to apologize for all the trouble caused. 

So the question is, how can we prevent big parties from happening? 

Your first line of defense will always be to screen your clients before they even come in, something we do at Angel Host, but even the best of screenings will not eliminate the problem. In this article, we have put together the top 6 things we recommend to our clients to minimize this costly problem. 

1) Update Your House Rules

All the major booking platforms allow you to set up your listing so that guests have to agree to your House Rules. These are customizable so make sure they show that parties are not allowed and that they include a hefty penalty if this rule is broken. Here’s an example of the text you can use: 

No parties or events are permitted, any illegal activity is strictly prohibited, and excessive noise will not be tolerated. No loud music is allowed after 10 pm. Please be respectful of the neighbors. Failure to comply will result in a $300 penalty.

2) Add Additional Guest Requirements

Besides your house rules, whenever you are renting to a larger group, you can deter bad behavior by requesting a copy of your guest’s government-issued ID. At Angel Host, we normally request the users send this in the form of a “selfie” holding their picture ID, this way there is no doubt the ID belongs to the guest booking.

3) Ask Questions!

Even if your listing is on instant-booking, you have the right to ask questions that ensure the guests will obey your rules. If ever you’re uncomfortable with any response, you can cancel without incurring penalties. At Angel Host we regularly ask:

  • What is the purpose of your stay?
  • How many people will be staying?
  • Do you plan on having any guests over while you’re staying here?

4) Increase Your Minimum Night Stay

Sometimes short reservations during the weekend can be a red flag for parties. You can avoid party-prone reservations by setting longer minimum stays, especially on weekends.  

5) Collect a Security Deposit

Although hosts are not allowed to collect additional fees or charges outside of some booking platforms (e.g. Airbnb), if you’re a software-connected host (Angel Host is), you can get a special authorization allowing you to charge guests additional fees in person. Once authorized, you can collect a security deposit to be refunded back to the guest, provided there are no problems or damage by the end of their stay. 

6) Leverage Technology 

Now that you’ve set up your listings and procedures to minimize problematic guests, let’s look at some of the technological investments you can make to ensure your vacation rental is party-proof.   

Smart Locks

Other than allowing for a contactless, socially-distanced, simple check-in process, smart locks can be a great way of putting an end to an unauthorized party in your rental. Digital locks allow you to automatically generate and change codes. If ever you realize there is a party going on without your knowledge or prior authorization, you can simply change the code to avoid unwanted visitors coming in while you address the problem with the guests. Below are some of our recommendations for smart lock providers. 

Noise Control Devices

Noise control devices are a great way to detect if unauthorized parties are happening. These devices work by monitoring the decibel levels on the property. If the noise rises above a preset limit of decibels, you or your staff will get a text notification. This will allow you to take control of the situation and curb any problems before they get out of hand. Unlike a camera, the sensor does not listen to or watch your guests — it just monitors the noise level. Your guests will still enjoy their privacy and you can relax knowing that you’ll be alerted if any problems arise before it’s too late. We recommend:  

Security Cameras

Security cameras are a great way of verifying if an unauthorized party is actually going on without having to send someone physically over to the residence. For example, you might be notified that there are high noise levels thanks to your noise control device, but this doesn’t necessarily mean that there’s a party. In case of doubt, you can look for red flags such as the number of cars parked outside or the number of guests that have accessed the property. Remember that it is mandatory to mention to your guests the presence of security cameras on the premises. And, of course, there cannot be any  security cameras inside the house to respect your guest’s privacy and Airbnb’s rules! We recommend:

Wi-Fi Monitoring

This one might be tricky. We don’t recommend it unless you’re comfortable with technology and willing to spend some time researching to figure it out. With Wi-Fi monitoring, you can track the number of devices that are connected to a Wi-Fi network. When in doubt about the real number of guests on your property, you can verify it this way. If the number of connections by far exceeds the guest’s agreed-upon number of occupants, you’ll have a red flag indicating that something might be going on. 

The most basic way to monitor your Wireless Network or LAN is by simply checking the Wireless Router logs or by checking the logs of central switches. Here are some instructions on how to monitor your Wireless Network by checking the Wireless Router logs.


All of this may seem like a lot to take in, but in the end, it’s essential to protect your property from unwanted situations or property damage. If you’re looking for a partner to help you with all of this, Angel Host has a wealth of knowledge and experience with every item listed above. It’s part of what we do on a daily basis! We can also integrate seamlessly with your current process and help you gain some control over this sometimes challenging area when renting to vacationers.

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Get a free property analysis & discover your true revenue potential.

Choose

Select one of our properties - we'll analyze your listing and your local market

Learn

Our analysis will indicate what's working well and what could be improved

Discover

We'll show you the true revenue potential of your property with Angel Host