Sample Property Audit Checklist

This sample Audit Checklist will help you make sure your property is up to standard. Performing an audit with rigor may seem like a repetitive practice, but it will undoubtedly pay dividends in the long run.

  • Arrive at the property as if you were a guest for the first time. What is the first thing you notice? How inviting does it look? Think of two things you could do to make it look more attractive. Do an initial walk-round. Are there any areas where you store things that are unsightly or need cleaning up? Does the siding need cleaning?
  • Is the approach clear of debris, leaves and fallen branches? What could you do to improve the approach to the cottage? A new sign with the property name? Hanging baskets or flower tubs outside the door?
  • Is the exterior neat and tidy? Are tables/chairs stacked or laid out neatly? Are items stored in an unsightly way under the deck?
  • Is the waterfront clean and clear of clutter - is the dock in good condition - are there any areas that need repair? Do you have a lockable storage shed where you can store items you don’t want your guests to find or use?  If there is anything you don’t want touched or used, then make sure it is out of sight, or clearly marked ‘Not for Use by Rental Guests’.
  • Are decks and docks free of rotten wood and exposed nails and screws? Replace and repair as required.
  • Look at the property critically from the outside. Do you need to power wash the siding? Are the windows clean? Would the frames benefit from repainting? Does the barbecue need to be replaced? Is it clean and functioning correctly? Have you provided a brush to allow your guests to clean it?
  • Check all patio and outdoor furniture and dispose of stained, mildewed and broken chairs. Check umbrella - is it clean and free of mildew and stains. Do the same for tables.
  • Are your boats/kayak/canoe/paddleboat in good condition with no leaks or weak spots? Are oars and paddles in good condition?  Do you have a complete safety kit for each boat?  Are lifejackets/PFDs approved and functional?
  • Are there any materials or items stored outside that could pose a safety risk for children? For example, rat or mouse poison, fertilizer, paints, flammable liquids etc.
  • Enter the property as if for the first time. What is your first impression? What does it smell like? Does it feel damp or smell musty? Walk through each room and record your impression in a note book. Then do a more thorough and methodical search checking all appliances for cleanliness; carpets and rugs for stains and wear; drawers and cupboards for mess and clutter; bathrooms for lime deposits and hard floor cleanliness; window frames for bugs and dirt.
  • How does the lighting affect the ambience?  After dark, does the place feel welcoming and cozy, or dark and gloomy?  Is there sufficient lighting in living rooms and bedrooms for reading?
  • Are children's toys, games and books generally clean and in good condition?  If you have any toys or games you don’t want used, remove them. Buy a lockable chest or cupboard to put in the basement or storeroom and clearly mark it ‘Owner’s Cupboard’, or something similar. Check all board games and packs of cards to ensure they are complete. Plan to purchase one new board game each season.
  • Do you have sufficient plates cutlery and glassware for the maximum number of people you will accommodate, and do you have spares? Do you supply serving dishes, casserole dishes, pie plates, mixing bowls etc.
  • Do you have a good range of small appliances such as a blender, food processor, waffle maker.
  • Do you have sufficient plastic plates, cutlery and glassware for outdoor use?
  • Are your cooking pans and utensils in good condition? Is there a large pot for boiling corn or cooking pasta? Do you have a slow cooker (often asked for)? Are non-stick pans in good condition?
  • Bedrooms: Are the mattresses comfortable - not too soft and not too hard? Are they clean and free of mildew and damp smells? Check for evidence of bed bug activity.
  • Do the bedrooms look attractive? Are comforters or bed covers clean and fresh? Check all pillows for stains - replace if necessary.  Check the mattress covers too and replace any that are stained or worn. If you supply linens, consider buying new sets for the new season.
  • Move the beds and check underneath. You may find more than dust bunnies! Vacuum thoroughly.
  • Check all your cleaning supplies. Your guests won’t clean unless you provide the supplies and equipment for them to do it.  Restock with paper products – toilet paper, kitchen towel, coffee filters; laundry detergents; bathroom and kitchen cleaning products, and furniture polish.
  • Check your Welcome Book. This should be a neat, typed document that is easy to read and presented in a friendly tone. Is it up-to-date? Are the contact telephone numbers still correct? Have you bought any new appliances or equipment that may need explanatory notes in the guide? Is the Guide dog-eared, grease stained or otherwise unsightly? Do you need to buy a new binder or Guide cover?
  • Renew your tourist information. This is all free from your local tourist office. The only thing you may need to buy is a map of the local area, and make sure you label it with your name and a request to leave it behind when your guests depart.
  • Make sure you have working smoke alarms on each level of the property, and a fire extinguisher in the kitchen.