How to Avoid Service Calls

The best rental guests are those that arrive after check in time, enjoy their vacation, write wonderful comments in your guest book, depart before check out time leaving the property in great condition, and recommend you to their friends.  Perfect guests like these are not hard to find if you make the whole process easy for them.  Good pre-arrival information, a comprehensive Welcome Book, and a clear check-out list will go a long way to achieve this, however it’s easy to be caught out by the lack of something your guests need, or a minor breakdown that could be resolved with some forward planning.

Being prepared for all eventualities benefits everyone;  your guests are able to manage minor issues themselves, and you sidestep the potential for being called out to deal with something simple. Here’s a few things you can do to avoid call-outs.


Always have a propane tank on the BBQ and a full spare so even if they run out on the first night, there is a replacement to ensure the start-of-vacation grill goes ahead as planned.

Fuses and access to breaker panel

If the power goes out there’s a good chance your guests may need to reset a breaker at some point and if your electrical system is an older one, you should consider providing spare fuses together with instructions on how to replace them.

Spare keys

Guests lock themselves out frequently, so having a spare key in a hidden location outside the property can be a helpful resource.  For security reasons you will want to change the location of the hidden key regularly so you may not want to publish its whereabouts in your Welcome Book.  You could write the location on a blank fridge magnet or chalk board each week – just make sure the instructions match each new location.

Emergency hot tub chemicals

Your hot tub maintenance regime may keep quality of the water optimum with normal activity, but occasionally a tub will be subject to heavy and frequent use, and may need adjustment more often than your schedule allows.  Leaving guests with a supply of spa shock and instructions to apply at the end of each day may be sufficient to prevent a call-out.  Of course, a well-written and clear guide to hot tub use is important to prevent the overuse in the first place.

Light bulbs

Yes, we have heard of owners being called out to replace light bulbs.  The best way to avoid complaints about burnt out bulbs is by checking every bulb on each changeover, and providing replacements for every type of bulb you have in the property.

Hair dryer

Pop an inexpensive hair dryer in each bathroom and you will meet the requirements of guests who are used to staying in hotels and expect dryers to be supplied as standard equipment.  It’s also a nice idea to include a power adapter so guests bringing their own appliances can convert to your voltage easily.

Iron and ironing boards

Personally, I have never used an iron on vacation but that is just a matter of principle to me.  Many guests do like to have the facility available, and since vacation rentals are becoming the accommodation of choice for many wedding parties and guests, it could also be considered as standard supply.

Cleaning supplies

Even if your guests have paid for a cleaning service at the end of their stay, they may still want to keep the place neat and tidy during the time they are there.  Give them the means to do so or you will get a phone call asking where the vacuum cleaner bags are or the floor mop.  If you have self-confessed ‘clean freaks’ they will not hesitate to tell you if you fall short on cleaning supplies.

Not providing essentials is likely to trigger service calls of one sort or another so ensuring the property is fully equipped with emergency supplies will reduce the likelihood of those pesky call-outs.  Of course every owner will run across needy and demanding guests at some time, and will have to deal with their laundry list of minor issues, but if every preventative effort has been made, they will be few and far between.