10 Ways to Spot a High Maintenance Renter

high_maintenance In an ideal world, your renters will call or e-mail you to check availability of your property; complete a rental agreement; pay you on time; enjoy a wonderful vacation and write a glowing review in your guestbook. However, ideal world situations don’t always apply in our fun business of vacation rentals. Although most rental clients are delightfully easy to deal with, the 80/20 rule applies, and you’ll probably find that 80% of your time is spent on the 20% of your guests you could call “high maintenance.” Here are 10 ways to spot the ones who will cause you the most frustration and be the most time-consuming.

· Long emails with questions that could be answered by looking at the website

· 3 or 4 telephone calls with additional questions, most of which you have already answered

· The list of occupants doesn’t include any children although they have asked about facilities for them. When you ask for more detail, they say they didn’t think that children counted in occupancy limits

· You have to chase them for a deposit, and just as you are about to cancel, they call to say it’s on the way

· You have to chase them for the final payment, and when it arrives they have forgotten to include the damage deposit

· They tell you they are very busy people and don't have time to read the information you've sent

· They will ask to check-in earlier and check-out later than your published times

· They ask questions about the nearest vet when they hadn't mentioned bringing a pet

· You get a call when they are on the way, to say they have forgotten the directions and can’t remember the lock box code

· They arrive 2 hours earlier than the check-in time states (a day earlier is not uncommon)

Once these guests arrive at your property, they either continue to maintain their high maintenance profile, or you don’t hear a peep out of them – you really can’t tell how it will turn out. In any case, it is probably a good idea to call them near to their departure time and remind them of the checkout procedure, as you can be fairly confident they won’t have read the guest manual. In fact, they probably won’t remember the day they were meant to leave either, and you’ll arrive to do a changeover, and they are still there, thinking they have another day of vacation left. Believe me, this is not unusual either.

If you have plenty of interest in your property, you may even wish to by-pass the potential high maintenance clients, but if you are happy to answer all the questions and have a good amount of patience, they may end up being the best guests you ever had.


Oh how right you are ! that list seems very familiar. I too had a family who, whilst chatting, asked for a late checkout for their departure the next day, at which point I had to remind them that according to the details they sent me their flight was in fact early the next morning !

Heather Bayer

We had one group last year that called our management company to say the cottage they had arrived at had not been cleaned. When we politely said that it could be because they had arrived a day early, the renter said she was a very busy person with a family so she hadn’t read the information that told her when to arrive! Quite amazing!


Great post. So true … I’m still laughing at the vet/pet one. Classic.

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